Waiting lists for secondary school places

How to add your child to a waiting list, called reallocation pool, for a place at a secondary school

About school waiting lists

If you don't get offered a place at a community secondary school you listed as your first preference in your school application, your child will be automatically added to a waiting list for that school.

Waiting lists for places at secondary schools are called reallocation pools because they work differently to primary school waiting lists.

If you want your child to be added to a reallocation pool for another school you listed as one of your preferences, please email the school admissions team.

You can accept a school place you've been offered, even if you want your child to be added to a reallocation pool for another school.

How reallocation pools work

A list of five rules, called admission priorities decides how children are added to the reallocation pool.

When a place becomes available at a school, an electronic system creates a random list of children's names within each admission priority. The child at the top of the list is offered the school place.

If you're offered a place

If you are offered a school place you need to accept the place within seven days or it will be offered to another child.

Staying in the reallocation pool

Your child will stay in the reallocation pool until the end of autumn term in December, or until a place becomes available at the school if this happens sooner.

To keep your child on the list you need to email the school admissions team at the end of every school term.

You can email the school admissions team if you want your child to be added to a reallocation pool for another school you listed as a school preference in your application.

If you apply late or change school preferences

If you apply late for a school place we will add your child to the reallocation pool once we've looked at your application.

If you change your school preferences and apply again for a school place we will add your child to the reallocation pool for the new school you listed as the first preference after 30 June.

How reallocation pools are managed

Reallocation pools for community schools run by the council are managed by the council's school admissions team.

Church voluntary aided, free schools and academies manage their own waiting lists or reallocation pools. To get more information, please contact these school directly.

More information

Download our school application guides for more information.