School Admissions FAQs

Advice for parents about applying for school place in Suffolk and what happens on school offer day.

You can find out how to apply for a school place by visiting one of the following pages: 

You can search for schools in your area by checking the school catchment areas list.

We cannot guarantee your child a place at any school.

A catchment area school may not be the nearest school to your child's home address.

Some voluntary aided, foundation, free schools and academies do not operate catchment areas to rank applications.

Find out about making an in-year application for the 2018/2019 school year.

Information and guidance is available on how to apply for the coming year:

You can find information about school and post-16 travel policies by visiting www.suffolkonboard.com/schooltravel   

Important changes to School Travel eligibility

In Suffolk, 88% of families find they can walk to school or make their own travel arrangements.

Suffolk’s School Travel Policy 2019/2020 has been amended. It is important that you understand how this might affect your child’s eligibility for Suffolk County Council (SCC) funded school travel before you apply for a school place. Children living in Suffolk who will be starting at a new school in September 2019 will be eligible for SCC funded school travel when they meet the statutory walking distance criteria from their home to the nearest suitable school that would have had a place available for them. This would be whether or not an application was made for a place at that school.

Here are some school travel scenarios (PDF, 103KB) to help you understand the changes.

We have also developed some FAQs (PDF, 104KB) in response to the travel enquiries we have received.

Full details about SCC funded school travel, including additional arrangements for low income families and those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), can be found on Suffolk on Board.

If you cannot access your online account, please visit the school admission portal homepage which offers advice on common user problems. 

If you are experiencing difficulties, such as starting an application after registering or certain functions of the form are not working, please visit the school admission portal homepage. It will explain what devices/browsers are best to use to complete an application.

Online applications

You should have received an email acknowledgement if you have submitted an online application for the normal year of entry.

If you apply online, you can change and resubmit your application at any time before midnight on the closing date. You must resubmit your form even if you haven't made any changes. 

Paper applications

We’re unable to tell you if your application has been received. This is due to the high volume of applications. We recommend you get proof of postage when submitting a paper application.

If you’re still worried that your application has not been received, we recommend that you submit another application.

If you apply using the paper form (CAF1), you can change your application at any time up until the closing date by submitting another paper form.

You must make sure that these changes are received by us before the closing date. We will process the application received nearest to the closing date.

You can try entering part of the school’s name in the required field and click on ‘search’.

This process is more successful if the ‘postcode’ and ‘schools located in’ fields are left unfilled.

If the search returns a list of schools, click on the correct one to select it and to continue with the application.

Please note, even if the search only returns one school, you must click on it to select it before you can continue with the application.

Suffolk schools for the normal year of entry

We assume that you are accepting the school place offered, unless you complete and return the non-acceptance form accessed through your offer email. It will be enclosed with your offer letter if you made a paper application.

Schools outside of Suffolk for the normal year of entry

If your child has been offered a school in another county, you may be required to formally accept the place. Please contact the school directly for details.

Further information

You can find out more by reading the section What to do after receiving your offer (Step 7) on the following pages:

For the normal year of entry to a school, if you’ve been refused a place at a preferred school you’ll automatically be put on a waiting list for that school in case a place becomes available.

The waiting lists for community and voluntary controlled schools will close on 31 December 2019. The waiting lists for those foundation, voluntary aided schools, and academies who have agreed to operate the same policy as Suffolk County Council will also close on 31 December 2019.

Information on when the waiting lists close for foundation, voluntary aided schools, and academies who do not operate the same policy as Suffolk County Council is available from the schools directly.

We do not hold waiting lists for in-year applicants to community and voluntary controlled schools. Some academies, voluntary aided and free schools do hold waiting lists for in-year applicants. This information is available from the schools.

Further information

You can find out more by reading the section What to do after receiving your offer (Step 7) on the following pages:

We understand that there are several reasons why parents may want to change the schools they originally listed on their application.

You can find out more about your options by reading the section What to do after receiving your offer (Step 7) on the following pages:

If we cannot meet any of your preferences, we will offer your child a place at the next nearest suitable school with spaces available.

For more information and guidance, read the section What to do after receiving your offer (Step 7) on the following pages:

You can contact the Admissions Team at admissions@suffolk.gov.uk to find out your child’s position on the waiting list. You could also call us on 0345 600 0981 (local rate). Please remember that the information we provide is only accurate at the time you contact us.

There may be circumstances which affect your child’s place on the waiting list (e.g. moving house). In which case you should send the appropriate written evidence to the Admissions Team as soon as possible.

The waiting lists for community and voluntary controlled schools will close on 31 December 2019.

The waiting lists for those foundation, voluntary aided schools, and academies who have agreed to operate the same policy as Suffolk County Council will also close on 31 December 2019.

Information on when the waiting lists close for foundation, voluntary aided schools, and academies who do not operate the same policy as Suffolk County Council is available from the schools directly.

Further information

You can find out more about waiting lists by reading the section What to do after receiving your offer (Step 7) on the following pages:

You can find out more about applying for a school place by visiting one of the following pages:

If you’ve recently moved, or you’re unhappy about your child’s current school you can apply for a school place during the current school year 2018/2019.

How to contact School Admissions

Contacting us online is quicker, easier and costs less than a phone call. You can contact us using:

If you need to contact us by phone please call 0345 600 0981.

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