Online school applications

A guide to online school applications.

Applying for a school place online is simple, fast and secure. Make sure that you have read all the advice and information before you start. You can use this system to apply for the following school places:

  • Reception - starting school for the first time (4-year-olds)
  • Moving from infant to Year 3 at junior school (7-year-olds)
  • Moving to Year 7 secondary school (11-year-olds)
  • Transferring to UTCs/Studio Schools (14-year-olds)

For all other applications read our changing or moving school page.

Before you start

Before you fill in an application form online we recommend that you visit the school you want your child to attend. You can do this by contacting the school directly to arrange an appointment.

Make sure you have read the information about the type of application you want to make.

What you will need

When you apply for a school place you will need the following:

  • Your child's date of birth
  • The names of the schools you wish to apply for. We highly recommend that you select four preferences
  • An email address in order to receive a response, (need help setting up an email account?).
  • Your unique identifier number (if you have one). This can be found in the letter we sent you.

If you don’t have the unique identifier number you can still submit your online application.

Getting started

The link to the application form (Citizen Portal) will only be available on each of the school admission pages when the form is open for you to apply for a school place or respond to an offer.

How to register

Before you start your online application you will need to register on the Citizen Portal. When you register, you need to create a password.

How to create a password

The password must be between six and 20 characters and must contain at least two letters and at least two numbers and is case sensitive. It cannot contain special characters, e.g. &, _, #, %.

You should choose something memorable, and perhaps write it down as you might want to use it to apply for another child in a future year.

When creating your login you also must provide an answer to a secret question. You can select which question you want to answer from a drop-down list (e.g. ‘Maiden name of mother’, 'Place where you were born', 'The name of your first pet', 'Your favourite colour', 'Your favourite film', 'Your most memorable holiday'). You will need to remember this information in case you need to reset your password.

Log in to the Citizen Portal

Once you have registered you can log in using your email address and password. 

If you forget your password

If you forget your password, you can use the ‘Forgotten password’ facility on the website which asks for your email address. It then shows you your secret question and asks for the answer. Once you have provided this information correctly, a website link is emailed to you. This link takes you to the ‘Choose a new password’ screen, where you will be able to type in a new password.

Start the application

Click the 'New application' link.

You do not need to complete the application process in one go. You can save your application and return to complete it at any time up to the admission deadline. To complete a previous application click on 'View or edit existing applications'. Select the application you want to edit.

Once you are happy that all the information is correct click Submit.

Edit your application

You can log back in to edit a submitted application but you must then resubmit the form.

Forgotten your password?

You can reset your password for the portal on the forgotten password page.

What happens next?

After the deadline for online applications has been reached, all submitted applications will be processed.

If you applied online before the deadline, you will be sent an email on national allocation day, or you can log into the portal to see your offer on that day. You can accept or reject your place online.

Please do not contact the Admissions Team once applications are being processed. The team is very busy during this time and they do not have the outcome information until it is sent to you on the allocation day. Check the current status on the individual school admission pages for the timetable.

All key dates and deadlines can be found on the individual school admission pages.

Continued interest list

If you are not offered the school that you wanted you can place your child on a continued interest list. This list isn't a simple waiting list. There are a number of factors that determine if and when a child on a list will be offered a place.

We strongly advise that you accept the place we have offered to ensure your child has a school to go to in September.

If your child has special circumstances such as a statement of special educational needs then please read the information on our website.

Voluntary aided schools, foundation schools and academies

Some voluntary aided, foundation and academies require supplementary information. This should be obtained from the school and used in addition to your online application.

Online admissions FAQs

What if I don't receive the registration or password reminder email?

Check your spam, junk or deleted items folder first. We recommend that you add '' to your email address book. This will prevent our emails from being stopped by spam filters.

What happens if my email address changes?

As long as you have not previously registered your new email address with our online system, you will be able to login using your old email address and amend your details via the 'My Account' link.

If you are unsuccessful, please contact us.

I missed the application deadline, what do I do?

If you did not apply in time and have not yet made an application you will need to complete a paper application as soon as possible. You should also explain why you were unable to make the application on time. There is more information on each of the admission pages.

I don't have an email address or internet access how can I apply online?

You can use any computer with an internet connection to apply online, for example in a library

Need help setting up an email account?

Am I more likely to get the school I want if I apply online?

No. Your submitted application will not be looked at until after the closing date. It will be considered alongside all other applications which were submitted online or on paper by that date. Online applications are not looked at more or less favourably than paper applications and are not offered on a first come first served basis.

Applying online has some advantages:

  • You can easily edit your application.
  • You will get an email on offer day containing the school you've been offered (offers from paper applications are sent out by post and will take several days).
  • you can accept an offer and join a continued waiting list online.

Do I need to apply online as soon as the form opens?

No. There is no need to apply online as soon as the website opens early September. Many people will try to use the website on that day and so access will be slow. It is important that you submit your application by the closing date, but places are not offered on a first come first served basis.

Do I need to apply online and fill in a paper application form?

No. You do not need to do both. However, some church (voluntary aided) schools require supplementary information which can be obtained from the school.

Can I change my preferences if I apply online?

Yes. You can make any changes you like until the closing date. If you make changes to any part of the application you will need to re-submit it.

What if I didn't receive the confirmation email after I submitted the application?

Check your email account's junk mail folder.

If you can't find the email, log in and check that the status of the application is 'submitted'. This is very important as applications that have not been submitted by the closing date cannot be considered.

If it is submitted and you have not received a confirmation email, contact us.

How will I be notified of the outcome of my application?

If you apply online, we will automatically email you on notification day to tell you which school we have offered your child.

If a place at your first preference school is offered and the council determines your child is not eligible for free travel assistance to school, the email will be the only notification you receive. If you are in this category, a separate email will be sent to tell you this.

Otherwise, a full explanatory letter will be sent out by second-class post on national offer day (please allow 2-3 days for delivery).

You will also be able to log in on this date to view the information online.

Will I get a letter offering a school place?

A letter will be sent to those who:

  • apply on paper
  • apply online but are not offered their first preference school
  • apply online, but the council has determined that free travel assistance should be offered to the allocated school.

Can I appeal online if I don't get the school I want?

Visit the appeals pages for more information about lodging an appeal.