Admission to secondary schools

Information for parents and carers about admission to secondary schools.

Transfer to secondary school

The following gives information on how to apply for a place for transfer to secondary school, how places are allocated and admission policies.

Where applications for places at a community or voluntary controlled school exceed the published admission number set for the school the following factors will be taken into account in priority order when deciding which pupils will be allocated places.

Children with Education Health and Care Plans

These children will be dealt with in accordance with the Code of Practice on Special Educational Needs.  Where a school is named in a child’s plan the school has a duty to admit the pupil, this will reduce the number of places available.

The remaining places will be allocated in this order:

1. Looked after children and previously looked after children

A ‘looked after child’ is a child who is:

  • in the care of a local authority, or
  • being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions at the time of making an application to a school.

A ‘previously looked after child’ is a child who ceased to be looked after because they were:

  • adopted, or
  • became subject to a child arrangements order, or
  • became subject to a special guardianship order,

immediately after being looked after, including those who appear to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.

2. Children who live in the school’s designated catchment area

You can view the school catchment areas covering where you live on our interactive map by entering your postcode.

There is also a pdf copy of the catchment map for each school on its page on our website.

The address taken under this factor will be that on the 8 December 2022 for secondary admissions.

Parents who move after submitting their preference must inform the Admissions Team of any change of address.

For admission purposes, the home address is where a child usually lives with their parent or carer. You must not give the address of a childminder or relative.

Where a child lives with parents with shared responsibility, each for part of the week, the Admissions Team will apply the address of the parent who claims the child’s benefit as the pupil’s address for determining this criterion.

If neither parent claims child benefit other documentary evidence (eg medical card) may be required.

If it is found that you have given a false address your child may lose their school place.

3. Children who will have a sibling attending the school at the time of their admission

Included in this factor are siblings who will be attending the school at the expected time of admission. Sibling means a child living as part of the same family unit at the same address. This includes natural siblings, adopted siblings, step siblings, foster siblings, and the child of a parent’s partner. For Secondary admissions the elder sibling must be in years seven to 11 at the expected time of admission.

In the event of two applications for one vacancy using the above criteria, the council will apply a tie breaker decision based on geographical distance.

Siblings for the same year group (twins and multiple birth children)

Where there are twins or multiple birth children to be admitted to a school in the same year group if there are insufficient places available for all siblings, and one can be allocated a place, the admission number will be exceeded to allow them to be placed in the same school.

This only applies to community and voluntary controlled schools within North Lincolnshire where the parents have put identical preferences for all siblings.

4. Children who live closest to the school

The distance will be determined by measuring the shortest available route using the public road and path network from the pupil’s home to the main school gate, as determined by the council.

The distance will be measured by using a computerised geographical information system (GIS).

Priority will be given to those living nearest to the school using this system.

Pupils living in flats where the distance measures the same, priority will be given in ascending order of flat number/letter/floor.

 Tie breakers

Where the offer of a place would lead to oversubscription under any of the above factors places will be allocated by reference to subsequent factors in order.  In exceptional circumstances where it has not been possible to decide between applications, because they have the same distance measurements, the place will be allocated by drawing lots independently verified

All councils must have a coordinated scheme so parents only have to complete one common application form to apply for a place at any school, including schools outside of their own area. All parents must make application through their own council.

The North Lincolnshire scheme enables parents/carers to name up to six schools in rank order. Rank order means you should name the schools starting with your highest preference first.

Applications can be made online through our website or by completing a paper application form.

A coordinated scheme means generally that:

  • Parents must make application through their home council
  • Information will be exchanged between admission authorities

All parents who have expressed a preference for a school by the closing date will receive only one offer of a school place on the same day.

The coordinated scheme for North Lincolnshire will follow the process outlined below:

  • all parents must either apply online or complete the common application form;
  • parents to name up to six schools on their application;
  • schools named on the application should be in rank order;
  • the admission authorities for the schools will rank all applications in accordance with the schools’ published admissions criteria;
  • the council will use these ranked lists to determine if a place can be offered at the first preference school, or the second preference school, etc;
  • where the council cannot offer a place at any of the named schools the parent will be offered a place at the next nearest school with places available;
  • the council will send all parents a single offer of a school place on the same day;
  • parents will be given their statutory right to appeal against a decision not to offer a place at their preferred school(s).

Parents of children who are due to transfer to secondary school in September 2023 and live within North Lincolnshire will be sent information via their child’s current school.

If your child currently attends a school outside North Lincolnshire this information will be posted to your home address.

All parents can express up to six preferences, in rank order, either online or on a common application form for any school in North Lincolnshire or the surrounding area.

  • North Lincolnshire Council will inform the academies within North Lincolnshire of all children who have made application for a place at their school.
  • North Lincolnshire Council will inform neighbouring councils of all children who have made application for a place at one of their schools.
  • North Lincolnshire Council will apply its admissions policy for all community and voluntary controlled schools within North Lincolnshire, the governors will do the same for the academies within North Lincolnshire and neighbouring councils will do the same for their schools.
  • Governors of the academies within North Lincolnshire and our neighbouring councils will notify North Lincolnshire Council of the children they can offer places to.
  • North Lincolnshire Council will consider all preferences expressed equally.  Each school listed will be considered against the published admission criteria for that school but without any reference to how the school applied for has been ranked.  Where a pupil can be offered a place at more than one school a place will be offered at the highest ranked school at which a place was available. Where a pupil is not eligible for a place at any school named on the CAF a place will be provisionally allocated at the next nearest school with a place available.
  • Following the timetables set out earlier in this guide, North Lincolnshire Council will write to all parents with an offer of a place at a school. We will also offer places at academies within North Lincolnshire and schools within our neighbouring councils.  This duty is done on behalf of those bodies.

Where there are more applications than available places North Lincolnshire Council will apply its admissions criteria and the governing bodies of academies will do the same using their oversubscription criteria. Please look at each school’s web page on this site to see what its criteria are. Details of our neighbouring councils’ admissions criteria can be obtained by looking on their websites or contacting the relevant council.

Please note that it is essential that you submit your application by the closing date.  Failure to do so may mean that your child will not be considered for a place at your preferred school and that the council will allocate a place at a school which has places available. You should also be aware that if your catchment school was full, as a result of allocating places from those parents who have submitted their application on time, your child would not be allocated a place there.

Date by which parents must apply online or return their common application form:
31 October 2022

Date on which notification of school place will be sent to parents:
1 March 2023

Deadline for parents to accept the place offered:
10 March 2023

Parents will be assumed to have accepted the place offered unless they contact the council to indicate otherwise.

Date by which appeals should be returned:
29 March 2023

Date appeals will be held:
If possible, appeals will be held during May and June.

Applications received after the closing date

The closing date for applications is 31 October 2022. Where applications are received after this date and up to 8 December 2022 each application will be considered and included in the offers of secondary school places made on national offer day.

As far as is reasonably practicable applications received after the allocations procedure has begun on 8 December 2022 and prior to 1 March 2023 will be offered a school place on 1 March 2023, but the closer to the 1 March 2023 that an application is received, the less likely it will be that an offer will be made on that date.


01724 297000