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Apply for a secondary school place

When to apply
How to make a late application:

1. Pick your school preferences
2. Read the information for parents
3. Fill in the application form

Supplementary information forms (SIF)  
Sending supporting information
Applying to independent schools

Children with special educational needs
How to check or change your application
When you'll find out

When to apply

If your child is in year six you should apply for a place at a secondary school.  Applications are open between September and October each year.  You can check when to apply based on your child's date of birth.

You need to apply for a place at a secondary school, even if it’s linked to your child’s current primary school, or your child's brother or sister is already at the school.

The admissions system for children starting school in September 2017 closed on 31 October 2016. If you've missed this deadline fill in the late application form as soon as possible. We prioritise applications received on time and a late application may reduce your chance of getting your preference of school.

How to apply

If you live in Lancashire please follow the application process below, even if any of your preferred schools are outside Lancashire.

1. Pick your school preferences

Before you apply, research the schools in your area. You could contact schools, read the school's most recent Ofsted reports or check school league tables.

You need to list three different schools - your first, second and third school preferences. Think carefully about your preferences, if you need advice, contact your local area education office.

It is always best to include a school near to where you live as one of your preferred options. Demand for school places is high, in some areas greater than others, and this helps towards you being offered a local school.

Your nearest school for admission purposes is measured by a straight line. But, for help with travel costs the nearest school is measured by walking distance.  If travel cost is an important factor in your school preference or you are in any doubt over the distance between your home and a school please check with the area education office.

2. Read the information for parents

Find out more details about the admission criteria and process in the following document:

You also need to read the admissions policy booklet relevant to your area:

If you would like more detail, you can read the full admission policies.

3. Fill in the late application form

If you have already applied please don't use this form to make changes to your application. Please contact your area education office if you need to alter an application you've already done.

Click here to start your application

You will need to have the following handy:

  • Your name, address, telephone number and a valid email address.
  • The first name, last name and date of birth of the child.
  • The name of the child's current primary school.
  • The name of the district council that the child lives in.
  • The child's permanent address (if this is different from the parent/guardian applying for a place).
  • The names of your first, second and third school preferences
  • Details of brothers or sisters that already go to any of the schools you are applying to.
  • If the child receives care, you need the name of the Local Care Authority that is responsible for this care.

Supplementary information forms (SIF)

Voluntary aided (church) schools and academies usually have a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) which they require you to complete.

Please contact the school directly or visit their website to get a SIF and return it to the school when complete.

If you select three voluntary aided (church) schools or academies, please complete three separate SIFs, one for each school.

Sending supporting information

If you have indicated on the application form that you will be sending supporting information (from your doctor or health visitor for example) please send it to your local area education office by 31 October 2016.

Please ensure that you include a covering note giving details of your child's name, address and date of birth.

Applying to independent schools

Apply directly to the school itself if any of your preferences are independent (fee paying) schools.

Children with special educational needs

If you want to apply for a special school place for your child the process is different. Your child should have an education, health and care plan (or statement of special educational needs). This names the school which will meet their needs best.

If you've got any questions or need any more information you can take a look at our local offer. You can also contact the Information, Advice and Support Service on 0300 123 6706 or email

How to check or change your application

You can log back in to your application form to check the information you've given, however, you cannot change your application online now the deadline has passed.

You'll need to use the same email address that you used previously. If you have completed your form fully it will show as complete. Click on your child's name to check the information in your application.

This is not available for late applications.

Change your application

Usually you cannot change your preferences after the closing date. In limited and exceptional cases, and where there have been substantial changes to your circumstances, we will consider requests for changes.

Change of address

If you have moved house permanently since you submitted your application, please write to your area education office providing proof of your change of address. The place at a school will be allocated based on the new address and you would be able to change your preferences if you are moving further away.

When you'll find out

School places for September 2017 admissions will be announced for secondary schools on 1 March 2017.

Find out how we announce school offers and what happens next.

Due to the number of applications we receive, we can't provide updates on your application between the closing date and your official offer. Don't worry though, if there is a problem with your application we will contact you.

Late applications

If you apply late (after 31 October 2016) you will receive an offer by post after 1 March 2017.

If you have not received your letter by 7 March please contact the area education office.


If you are unhappy with the outcome of your application you can find out about the appeals process.


If you need more information or help completing the late application form you can contact the admissions team at your area education office.

For independent advice about school admissions visit the ACE Education Advice website.