Window now open to apply for primary and secondary school places


Parents and carers can now apply for primary and secondary school places for September 2021.

The deadline for applications to secure a place at a Suffolk secondary school is Saturday 31 October 2020 and for a primary school it is Friday 15 January 2021. Secondary schools include high and upper schools and primary schools include infant, junior and middle schools. All applications received by these dates are processed at the same time using the schools’ oversubscription criteria to prioritise applications when necessary. Late applications are processed after all of those received on time.

Last year, Suffolk County Council received just over 16,000 applications from parents and carers indicating at which school they would prefer their child to be educated from September 2020. Nearly 93% of applicants received offers for their first preference school and almost 98% of applicants received an offer for one of their top three preferred schools.

Before making a school application, parents and carers need to consider how they will get their child to and from school. School Travel eligibility is based on a child attending the nearest suitable school that would have had a place available. This might not be the catchment area school. To find out more about SCC’s school travel policy please visit

Councillor Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Education and Skills, said:

“Making the right school choice is one of the most important decisions a parent makes on behalf of their child. It is important that parents and carers complete and submit their application by the closing date to give their child the best chance of getting a pace at one of their preferred schools. We also recommend applying for more than one school and you can list up to three schools on the application form.”

“Parents and carers also need to consider carefully how their child will travel to school before they apply for a school place. I would strongly recommend that you check which school is your nearest suitable school on our Nearest School Checker because this might not be your catchment area school. This can be found at”

Parents and carers should apply online at as they will receive confirmation that we have received their application. If for any reason parents and carers are unable to apply online they should apply on a paper CAF1 application form. Suffolk County Council is unable to acknowledge receipt of paper applications and therefore suggest that proof of posting is obtained.

If families are planning to move house or think their circumstances may change before September, it is still important to make an application on time. Advice and guidance about the application process is available at

Families who apply online will be able to log on to the Online Service on the National Offer Day, which is Monday 1 March 2021 for secondary school places and Friday 16 April 2021 for primary school places, to see their offer of a school place, and they will receive an email to confirm this offer on the same day. Offer letters will be sent by second class post to applicants who made a paper application.

Information to help parents and carers make their application is available at