School Admissions FAQs

Advice for parents about applying for a school place and what happens on National Offer Day.

Suffolk County Council (SCC) Funded School Travel

Please be aware: You must consider how your child will travel to and from school before you apply for a school place.

The following information is very important:

1. We will provide SCC funded school travel to the Nearest Suitable School that would have had a place available for your child when they are: a) aged under 8 and live at least two miles from the school; or b) aged 8 or older and live at least three miles from the school. This would be whether or not an application was made for a place at that school. The nearest suitable school might not be your child's catchment area school.

2. It is important that you check which school is your child’s nearest suitable school on our Nearest School Checker for the 2023/2024 school year, because this might not be the catchment area school. You can find out which are the three nearest Suffolk schools (based on the statutory walking distance including Public Rights of Way) by putting your child’s postcode into our Nearest School CheckerWe update this each year to include new roads and developments.

3. We would only provide SCC funded school travel to your child's Catchment Area School if it is the nearest suitable school to their home that would have had a place available for them and they meet the distance criteria.

4. Your School Preferences and the order you put them on your admissions application could affect your child’s eligibility for SCC funded school travel. Our school travel scenarios can help you work out when your child might be eligible for SCC funded school travel to their school when the age and distance criteria are met. There is also detailed information on School Travel to County High School, Upper Site, Beetons Way and County High School, Lower Site, Oliver Road from September 2023.

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

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

Applying for a school place for the 2022/2023 school year

Find information on how to apply for a school place for the 2022/2023 school year.

The Fair Access Protocol will apply if there are no places available in a particular area. However, we will not be able to place a child in a key stage 1 class if it already has 30 pupils with a single qualified teacher.

Please visit our website for further information for residents in Suffolk on how they can provide support to Afghan and Ukrainian refugees.

You can find out which are your child’s three nearest Suffolk schools (based on the statutory walking distance including Public Rights of Way) by putting their postcode into our Nearest School Checker.

It is important that you check which school is your child’s nearest suitable school on our Nearest School Checker for the 2023/2024 school year before you apply. This is because it might not be their catchment area school and could affect any entitlement they may have for Suffolk County Council funded school travel if they live over the statutory walking distance.

We update this each year to include new roads and developments.

Use our school catchment area lists to find out if your child’s address has a catchment area school.

Some voluntary aided, free schools and academies do not operate catchment areas. Please check the relevant school's admissions policy for details:

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

It is important that you check which school is your child’s nearest suitable school on our Nearest School Checker for the 2023/2024 school year, because this might not be the catchment area school.

Please be aware that school travel eligibility is based on a child attending their nearest suitable school that would have had a place available for them and they meet the distance criteria. More information on school travel can be found at Suffolk on Board.

You can find out which are the three nearest Suffolk schools (based on the statutory walking distance including Public Rights of Way) by putting your child’s postcode into our Nearest School Checker. We update this each year to include new roads and developments.

We cannot guarantee your child a place at any school, including their catchment area school.

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

Find out about making an in-year application for the 2022/2023 school year.

How you should apply for a school place for your child with SEN varies depending on whether or not they have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or are currently going through an Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA) process.

Read the Admissions to Schools in Suffolk 2023/2024 guide for more information.

Applying for a school place if your child has SEN but does not have an EHC plan

You must apply for a mainstream school place by visiting one of the following pages:

Applying for a school place if your child has SEN and is currently undergoing an EHCNA but has not yet had an EHC plan issued

Until your child’s EHCNA is complete, you must apply through the mainstream admissions process as outlined above.

If the outcome of the assessment is that an EHC plan is issued, your child’s school placement will then be overseen by the Family Services Team and the new school named in their EHC plan when it is finalised.

Applying for a school place if your child has an EHC plan

If your child has an EHC plan, then this will need to be amended to specify the name of their new school.

In order for the Local Authority to consider your preferences and understand what sort of provision might be most suitable to meet your child’s needs, a ‘Phase Transfer Review’ of their EHC plan must occur in the first half term of the year before they transfer (for example, Year 6), to allow plenty of time for everyone to plan what support your child will need when they transfer.

The SEN Co-ordinator (SENCo) at your child’s current school will invite to you a review meeting. You will have the opportunity to say, at that review meeting, what school you would like your child to transfer to.

Your child’s EHC plan will be up-dated with the proposed amendments, before it is finalised and the new amended EHC plan is issued.

You do not need to make an application through the mainstream admissions process but you can if you want to. The Admissions Team will liaise with your Family Services Team if you make an application through the mainstream admissions process.

Please contact your Family Services Team who will be able to advise and support if you have any questions about this process.

Further sources of information and support can also be found at:

You can apply for up to 3 schools, inside and/or outside Suffolk, putting them in order of preference.

Each of your preferences will be considered equally and separately.

Your preferences and the order you put them on your admissions application could affect your child’s eligibility for SCC funded school travel.

You can find out more by reading the section Think about how your child will get to school (Step 4) on the following pages:

Listing second and third preferences will not affect your child’s chance of being offered their first preference. Your first preference will be offered above your second or third preferences where possible.

We cannot guarantee your child a place at any school.

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. Please note: you may have to resubmit your form even if you haven't made any changes.

Paper applications

We do not acknowledge receipt of paper applications. We recommend you get proof of postage when submitting a paper application as we cannot be held responsible for forms being lost in the post.

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 application (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 relevant closing date. We will process the application received nearest to the closing date.

You can find information about the School and Post-16 Travel Policies by visiting Suffolk on Board.

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

You can also view the guide to making an online application and help with adding your child's details. These files may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

Please contact the Admissions Team on 0345 600 0981 (local rate) for further assistance.

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 button ‘select school’ to the right-hand side to select it and to continue with the application.

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

Please contact the Admissions Team on 0345 600 0981 (local rate) for assistance.

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.

You can also view the guide to making an online application and help with adding your child's details. These files may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

You cannot apply online after the closing date and would have to complete a paper application (CAF1).

Please contact the Admissions Team on 0345 600 0981 (local rate) for further assistance.

Suffolk schools for the normal year of entry

We assume that you are accepting the Suffolk school place offered unless you let us know in writing.

Please note: We are unable to withdraw an offer of a school place unless your child has another education provision in place.

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 your child has been refused a place at a preferred school, their name will automatically be added to a waiting list for that school in case a place becomes available.

If you do not want your child’s name on a waiting list, please email us at admissions@suffolk.gov.uk.

The waiting lists for community and voluntary controlled schools will close on 31 December 2023.

The waiting lists for those voluntary aided schools and academies who have agreed to operate the same policy as Suffolk County Council will also close on 31 December 2023.

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

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.

Read the Admissions to Schools in Suffolk 2023/2024 guide for more information on late applications or 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 a place available. Your child will not be eligible for Suffolk County Council funded school travel to that school if they could have been offered a place at a nearer school, had you applied for it, or if they do not meet the statutory walking distance criteria.

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 on 0345 600 0981 (local rate) or email us at admissions@suffolk.gov.uk to find out your child’s position on the waiting list.

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 (for example, moving house). In which case you should send the appropriate written evidence to the Admissions Team as soon as possible. We recommend that you email this to admissions@suffolk.gov.uk.

The waiting lists for community and voluntary controlled schools will close on 31 December 2023.

The waiting lists for those voluntary aided schools and academies who have agreed to operate the same policy as Suffolk County Council will also close on 31 December 2023.

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

If your child has been refused a school in another county, you should contact the school directly for details of waiting lists.

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 2022/2023.

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.