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In-Year admissions additional information

What an In Year Admissions means

An “In year Admission” is when a child starts at a school at a different time to most people. For example, in a primary school it is when they don’t start in the reception year at the beginning of September. It might be because they have moved into the area during the school year.

When you can apply for a school place

You can only apply if your child is ready to take the place within the next 6 school weeks. We cannot hold places longer than this.

How long it takes to process applications

We aim to process applications within 15 school days.

What the admission criteria mean

Each school has its own set of rules on how to work out who to give places to if there are more children who want them than there are spaces available. These are called the admission criteria and will be on the school’s website.

Allocation requests

If the school has space in the year group you need, we will likely be able to allocate the place.  

What happens if there is only space at your chosen school for one of your children 

You can either:

  • tell us you will accept the place for one child, and add the other child to the waiting list
  • tell us that you would like both the children to stay on the waiting list until they can be offered places together.

Putting one preference on the application form

Only putting one preference does not increase your chance of getting the preferred school. You have the same chance of getting a place at your most preferred school whether you put a second or third preference as well.

If we cannot allocate any of your preferred schools

We may offer a different school that has space.

Waiting lists

You can email us to let us know that you would like to be added to a waiting list. You can still join a waiting list if you have accepted another school place.

Waiting lists are sorted by the school’s admission criteria, and not by the amount of time a child has been on it. This means that a child may go up or down a waiting list at any time, as other children join or leave it, or as family circumstances change. 

Home education

Waiting lists are sorted by the school’s admission criteria. How a child is educated such as by home education does not affect the place on the waiting place.


You have the right to appeal against a refusal.

Accepting a place whilst on a waiting list

You can accept place from another school while you appeal or remain on a waiting list.

The full parent guide

All the information you need to know about in year admissions can be found in the In-year parents’ guide.

Applying for a grammar school

If one of your preferences is a grammar school, we will tell the school and they will contact you to arrange a test.  If the school’s year group is full, your child will be placed on the waiting list. The school will contact you about testing once they are near the top of the waiting list.

When you should apply if you want your child to start in the new academic year in September

Applications are accepted from the beginning of May. We will start to process applications from the middle of June. We aim to tell parents the results by the middle of July.

UK service personnel applications

If you are UK service personnel and are being posted to the area you may be able to apply 12 school weeks in advance of a move. You will need to provide evidence of your posting such as:

  • a copy of your posting draft to the area
  • an official government letter which declares a relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address.

If the new home address is not known at the time of application, the Unit address will be used in distance measurements.

No places will be reserved for service families and no particular priority can be given to them in the Fair Access Code.

Applying for schools outside of Plymouth

To apply for an in year admission to a school outside of Plymouth for example in Cornwall, you will need to contact the local council for the area. 

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

If you are applying for a mainstream Plymouth school for a child with an EHCP, you need to complete an in year application form. This will be sent to the SEN team for them to process. You will need to contact the SEN team if are applying for Special schools or if you have any queries about the process.

Call: 01752 307409

Who can apply

Any parent of the child can apply. A parent is anyone who:

  • lives with a child and acts as a parent towards them
  • does not live with the child but has legal parental responsibility for them

Parental disputes

Any parent of a child can apply for a child to move schools.

It is the parent’s responsibility to inform other parents of the child that the application is being made.

If the application has been made by a parent, then we must process the request, unless there is a Court Order in place preventing us from doing so. You will need to provide a copy if there is a court order in place.

If another parent objects to a move, and the parents cannot agree, they should take legal advice about obtaining a Specific Issue Order from the Court regarding which schools can be applied for. The parent that objects will be able to apply for the child to return to the previous school if the child has moved.

Queries from someone other than the named applicant

We can only talk about an application with the person who has made it unless they have given us written permission to speak to another specific person about it.

If another person proves to us that they are also a parent of the child, then we will share details of which school has been requested and the outcome of the application.