I have not been offered my prefered school

General advice

Places in Newcastle schools are very limited this year and we recommend you accept your current school offer as you may not be offered an alternative. Accepting the place guarantees your child a school place in September 2019 but does not affect your chance of getting place at a school you prefer more. If you accept the school place you will:

  • Remain on the waiting lists for higher preferences;

  • Be able to put in a new application to change preferences (remember to include any schools you want to stay on the waiting list for);

  • Be able to appeal for higher preferences (see Appeals information below)

Waiting lists

Throughout the admissions process places at schools can become available after National Offer Day due to other parents moving out of the area, having places confirmed at Independent schools and parents refusing school places. There are 2 published periods when places are offered after National Offer Day, these are the 1st waiting list run (20 March 2019 - which considers places which have become available only for on time applicants) and the 2nd waiting list run (10 April 2019 - where late applicants are considered for the first time). The places which have become available before these dates are offered to students who are top of the individual schools waiting lists. Waiting lists are ranked in line with the school’s oversubscription criteria, not based on the date the application was received. Your child’s position on a waiting list can therefore change over time.

After the second waiting list run we continue to offer school places out periodically until the end of August 2019. Any offer from waiting lists will made by Newcastle City Council in writing. We will automatically remove any lower preference school previously offered, even if you have accepted it, and offer a higher preference school if we are able to.

In September 2019 waiting lists are then handed over to individual schools who then continue to offer places out which become available. If you are placed on a waiting list you will continue to remain on that waiting list until the end of December 2019 unless you either confirm in writing that you no longer wish to be on a waiting list or make a new application which doesn't include the school you are on the waiting list for. After the end of December 2019 schools can start to  remove students from their waiting list, schools' admissions policies will include how often students are removed from a waiting list.

Please note we cannot tell you where you child sits on a waiting list. Waiting lists are only re-ranked at the point a place becomes available.

Changing or adding preferences

If you are unhappy with the school you have been offered you can apply for other schools which have places available, this is called a late application. We publish which schools have places available after each step of the offering process.

If you are making a late application but still wish to remain on a schools waiting list named on a previous application this school needs to be named on your new form. You can only be on a maximum of 4 waiting lists at any one point.

Right of appeal

If you are not offered a place for your child at your preferred school you have the right to appeal against the decision to an independent Appeals Panel. However please be aware the panel has very limited grounds to uphold an appeal for reception, year 1 and year 2 because of infant class size legislation which limits these year groups to a maximum of 30 children per qualified teacher.

If you want to appeal for more than one school you will need to appeal separately for each one.

You can only appeal for a school if you have applied and been refused admission to the school (not because a higher preference was offered)

You cannot appeal if an offer is removed on the grounds of misleading or fraudulent information, unless you reapply for the school using the correct information and a place is subsequently refused.

Submitting an appeal does not affect your position on the waiting list.

Parents are advised to consider their case carefully and seek independent advice from the Appeals Service by email to schoolappeals@newcastle.gov.uk or phone 0191 277 7427. You can also read more information about making an appeal here. You will not improve your chances of winning an appeal by refusing the allocated alternative school place – this has no bearing on your appeal. Appeals forms should be returned by 5 April 2019 to ensure it is heard before the end of the summer term.

My child has been offered a place in an independent school or Emmanuel College; what do I need to do?

If you’d like to refuse the school offered by Newcastle City Council and accept your place at the independent school or college, you need to put your refusal in writing to the School Admissions Team (email admissions.information@newcastle.gov.uk) please remember to include the school your child will be attending in September as this will prevent a “Child Missing Education” referral.

Accepting school places and the process after National Offer Day

I am happy with the school I have been offered; what do I need to do next?

Make sure you accept the place before 15 March 2019; you can do this on the portal or by email. If you don’t have access to email, you can ring us and leave a voicemail message, remember to include your name, your child’s name, date of birth and the school you want to accept.

If you have been offered a lower preference school, you will automatically be added to the waiting list for the higher ranked school/s. If a place becomes available before 31 August 2019 we will offer your higher preference and withdraw your current offer (even if you have accepted the place). Your child can only have one school offer.

If you are happy with your current school and do not want to be added to waiting lists, you must put this in writing to the School Admissions Team

Email: admissions.information@newcastle.gov.uk 

What happens after I accept a school place?

We inform every school of the names of the children we have made offers to for transfer places and whether the parent has accepted or refused the place. We update this regularly and after every round of offers to ensure they have up to date information.

The school will then contact you during the summer term to invite you to an Open Evening in the school, when they will introduce the class teachers, advise on how you can prepare your child leading up to the first day and the importance of regular attendance, and share information such as term dates, the school day, uniform requirements and so on.

If we are able to offer a higher preference school, we will remove the offer for any lower preference school even if you have accepted the place unless you inform us in writing that you wish to be removed from the waiting list for the higher preference school/s.

What happens if you offer me a lower preference school and I do not want to remain on the waiting lists for higher preference schools?

If you are happy with the offer, you must accept the lower ranked school by 15 March 2019 and must let us know in writing that you want your child removed from the waiting lists for higher preference schools.

If we do not offer your highest preference, your child will automatically go on the waiting list for any school ranked higher than the school we did offer. For example, if you are allocated your third ranked preference you will be placed on a waiting list for your first and second preference schools. If a place becomes available at a later date, we will withdraw the current offer, even if you have accepted it, and allocate your child a place in the higher preference school. At any point you may only have one school offer.

The above process will happen automatically. If you do not want to go on the waiting lists for higher preference schools, you must let us know in writing or you could lose the place you were originally allocated at the lower ranked school.

Waiting list processes are run regularly by the local authority until September and if your child is not removed from the waiting list we will allocate a higher preference if one becomes available at any time therefore if you decide at a later date you wish to be removed from waiting lists you must let us know in writing.

When will available places be reallocated after offer day?

The first waiting list process will be run on 20 March 2019 and will only include applications that were received on time (12 noon, 31 October 2018). If you are successful in gaining a place we will contact you with a new offer. Please do not call us because offer information will not be given over the telephone.

Late applications and changes will be included in the second waiting list run and applicants will be notified of offers on 10 April 2019.

After the second waiting list run we continue to offer school places out periodically until the end of August 2019. Any offer from waiting lists will made by Newcastle City Council in writing. We will automatically remove any lower preference school previously offered, even if you have accepted it, and offer a higher preference school if we are able to.

In September 2019 waiting lists are then handed over to individual schools who then continue to offer places out which become available. If you are placed on a waiting list you will continue to remain on that waiting list until the end of December 2019 unless you either confirm in writing that you no longer wish to be on a waiting list or make a new application which doesn't include the school you are on the waiting list for. After the end of December 2019 schools can start to  remove students from their waiting list, schools' admissions policies will include how often students are removed from a waiting list.

Changing an application and late applications 

Can I change my preferences after submitting my application?

If you apply online you can change your preferences online up to the closing date of midday on 31 October 2018. Remember to resubmit your online form every time you view it even if you have not made any changes.  You will get a confirmation email each time you do this.

If you submitted a paper application, you will need to inform us in writing about any changes to your preferences before the closing date of midday, 31 October 2018.  Please include your child’s full name and date of birth in any correspondence.

If you want to change your preferences after the closing date, you will have to send us a new paper form.  Your original application will be cancelled and replaced with your new application. The new application will be classed as late and will not be processed until the second waiting list on 10 April 2019.

Can I change my preferred schools after offer day?

Yes. If you wish to change your preferences, for example to apply for a school that was not included on your initial application, you must make a new application.  The new form will cancel and replace the original.  If you wish to keep any of your initial preferences they must be included in any updated application.

Late changes will be processed in the second waiting list run on  10 April 2019.  You must send us the late change application by  22 March 2019 to be included in this process. We will contact you if we can offer a higher preference at this time.

After this date we will add new applications on to waiting lists and reallocate school places from waiting lists on a weekly basis where spaces have become available.  Waiting lists are ranked in line with the school’s oversubscription criteria, not based on the date the application was received. Your child may therefore go up or down the waiting list for any school.

Will it make a difference if my application is submitted late?

Yes. If your application is received after midday 31 October 2018, it will be processed after we have processed all the on time applications. You are unlikely to get a place at one of the schools listed on your form and you will not receive your school offer until 10 April 2019.  Evidence must also be submitted on time or will not be considered.

Page last updated: 
14 March 2019
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