How we allocate school places

We coordinate admission arrangements and allocate school places by an equal preference scheme.

The purpose of an equal preference scheme is to ensure that where possible, parents receive a single offer of a school place for their child. With the exception of in-year school transfer admissions, all parents are notified of the result of their application on the national allocation dates. This means that everyone will be told the result of their application at the same time.

You can find out more about how we process applications and the timetables that we work to by reading the coordinated admission scheme documents and the guides for parents for your application type.


Fair access in Plymouth

In Plymouth we have a fair access protocol, agreed with the majority of schools. The protocol applies to all schools, including foundation, free, trust, voluntary aided schools, studio schools and university technical colleges and academies.

This protocol exists to:

  • ensure that outside the normal admissions round, unplaced children, especially the most vulnerable are offered a place at a suitable school as quickly as possible
  • ensure that no school, including those with available places, is asked to take a disproportionate number of children who have been excluded from other schools, or who have challenging behaviour

Children with special educational needs or have an Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) aren't included in this fair access protocol as their needs are considered separately.

Download Fair access protocol secondary schools [PDF, 791KB]

Download Fair access protocol primary schools [PDF, 1MB]