- Step 1: Check if you can apply for in-year admission
- Step 2: What you need to know before applying
- Step 3: Choose the schools to apply for
- Step 4: Complete the application form
- Step 5: Complete any supplementary forms
- Step 6: Outcome of your application
- Step 7: Accept or decline a place
- Step 8: Adding or keeping your child on a waiting list
Summary of this step
If you wish to submit a new in year application, you must fill in the appropriate application form and return it.
You should read the information to help you complete your application before filling in the form.
Which form to use
This will depend on the school(s) you are applying for. There are two different application forms available:
- The Centrally Managed Application (CMA) form for schools that Surrey receives applications for
- The School Managed Application (SMA) form for schools that receive applications direct
You must use the correct application form. You can find out which form to use by:
- Looking up the school in the directory of Surrey schools and selecting the 'Apply' tab. There you will find a link to the correct in-year application form. The directory will also tell you if there is a supplementary information form that may also need to be completed for each school.
- Checking our primary schools list or secondary schools list.
Completing the Centrally Managed Application (CMA) form – for schools that we receive applications for
- You can express a preference for up to three schools.
- You must name the schools in the order you prefer them, with your most preferred school first. This information is not shared with the schools and will not disadvantage your application.
We encourage parents to apply online:
This will enable you to:
- see application information in one place.
- make applications for multiple children.
- upload scanned or electronic documents in support of your application.
- make changes to your application before submitting.
You will need an email address to complete the application online and regular access to your emails.
Be sure to submit your application when it is complete and make sure you receive a confirmation email (check both your inbox and junk folders). Please check this confirmation email carefully to make sure your application details are correct.
You can upload any supporting information online at the time of making your application, such as professional evidence to support an exceptional medical or social claim, a change of address or proof of arrival in the United Kingdom.
If the school requires a supplementary information form for the criterion you are applying under and is a school we manage admissions for, you can attach the supplementary form to your online form. If, however, the school manages their own applications, you should return it to the address on the form.
Apply on paper
Please only apply on a paper form if you are unable to apply online as it may take longer for your application to reach us.
- Download and complete the application form CMA (PDF). Read the guidance notes (PDF) to help you complete your form.
- Email the completed form to email@example.com. If you are unable to email the form, please send it to: School Admissions team, Surrey County Council, PO Box 475, Reigate RH2 2HP. We recommend you send it by recorded delivery as we are unable to confirm receipt. Alternatively you can apply online via the in year online portal link above, whereby you will receive a confirmation email once your form has been submitted.
- You can email any supporting information - such as professional evidence to support an exceptional medical / social claim, a change of address or proof of arrival in the United Kingdom - to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot email it, please send it to the address above.
- If the school requires a supplementary information form for the criterion you are applying under, please return it to the address on the supplementary information form.
Completing the School Managed Application (SMA) form – for schools that receive applications direct
- Download and complete application form SMA (PDF). Read the guidance notes (PDF) to help you complete your form.
- You can express a preference for only one school on this form. However you can complete more than one copy of this form if you want to apply to more than one school.
- Return the completed form directly to the school you are applying for.
- If the school named on your form requires a supplementary information form (check the directory of Surrey schools or the school's own website), you must complete the supplementary form as well, and return it directly to the school.
Information to help you complete your application
All of the information below is important and may affect the place that is offered to your child - please take the time to read it.
- Who should apply
- The address to use
- If you change your address after applying
- Looked after and previously looked after children
- Exceptional medical or social criteria
- Your reasons for preference
- Fair access admissions
- Supporting evidence
Who should apply
The person applying should be the person with parental responsibility for the child. If you are unsure of your status you should submit your application with a covering letter explaining your situation.
The address to use
The address on the application must be the child's current permanent place of residence, usually the parents' address.
- Where the child is subject to a child arrangements order and that order stipulates that the child will live with one parent/carer more than the other, the address to be used will be the one where the child is expected to live for the majority of the time.
- In other cases where the parents do not live together, the address is where the child spends most of their time. In cases, where the child spends an equal time between their parents/carers, it will be up to the parent/carers to agree which address to use.
- Where a child spends their time equally between their parents/carers and they cannot agree on who should make the application, we will accept an application from the parent/carer who is registered for child benefit (where applicable). If neither parent/carer is registered for child benefit we will accept the application from the parent/carer whose address is registered with the child's current school or nursery.
- You must not use a business or carer/childminder's address.
- You must also not use a relative's address unless the child lives at that address as their normal place of residence.
- We will not normally accept a temporary address if the main carer of the child still owns or rents a property that has previously been used as a home address, nor if we believe it has been used to obtain a school place when an alternative address is still available to that child.
- Where a temporary address is used to secure a school place and the agreement to reside there is due to expire before the allocation of places, we may contact you for an update on your plans to secure a more permanent address.
- An application can only be made from one address, and only one application per child can be made.
We will need two pieces of evidence of where your child lives. Please provide either two pieces of evidence from group A, or one from group A and one from group B. If you are unable to provide any of the documents listed, please contact us for further advice.
- Council tax statement for current financial year
- Tenancy agreement signed by both tenant and landlord
- Solicitor's letter on completion of purchase
- Solicitor's letter on exchange with completion date stated (address will not be updated until child is resident in the property)
- Benefits statement for the current financial year
- Current utility bill (less than 3 months old) - excludes mobile phone
- Driving licence
- Bank statement (less than 3 months old)
- GP or medical letter (less than 3 months old)
We will check the address on your application against the records we hold for your child's current school and we may also check council tax records or write to ask you to provide further proof of your address.
Any offer of a school place based on where your child lives, is conditional on your child living at that address on the date the offer is made.
We will investigate any applications where there is doubt about the address being given. Use of false information may lead us to withdraw an offer of a place, even after a child has started at a school.
More information on how we will investigate applications is available in our Address of Convenience Assessment Protocol (PDF) and if you wish to made a referral please use the Address of Convenience Referral Form (PDF).
If you change address after applying
If you move after applying, you must let us or the school know immediately confirming the date you moved and providing evidence of your new address, for example, a copy of your signed tenancy agreement or confirmation of exchange with the date of completion.
A new address can only be considered once a house move has taken place and we reserve the right to seek further verification from you.
If you do not tell the school or us about a move, or about a declared house move that has failed to take place we may withdraw any offer of a school place we have made.
Looked after and previously looked after children
If the child is currently looked after by a local authority you should not complete the in-year application form. Instead their social worker should contact Admissions to request an in-year application form for children in care to apply for a school place.
If the child was previously in care but left through adoption, a child arrangement order or special guardianship order or was adopted from state care outside England, you must indicate this on your application form and provide supporting evidence.
Applying under exceptional medical or social criteria
If you wish to apply under a school's exceptional medical or social criteria, you must indicate which school you are requesting this for on the application form and provide relevant information, including medical evidence where appropriate, to support your case at the time of your application. However please first check whether the school does have this criteria as part of its published admission arrangements, because not all schools give priority on this basis.
If you are applying for a community or voluntary controlled school, you should also complete a supplementary information form to confirm that you wish to be considered under the exceptional medical or social criterion and to help you provide all the information that is needed to consider a request. A supplementary information form may also apply to some academies and foundation, free, trust and voluntary aided schools. You can find out which schools require a supplementary information form by visiting our Directory of Surrey schools. Please ensure you complete the form and submit it with your evidence when completing your application.
The exceptional social or medical circumstances might relate to either the child or the parent/carer. Supporting evidence from a professional is required such as a doctor and/or consultant for medical cases or a social worker, health visitor, housing officer, the police or probation officer for other social circumstances. This evidence must confirm the circumstances of the case and must set out why the child should attend a particular school and why no other school could meet the child's needs. If you are applying for exceptional priority for a school that is not your nearest, you must explain why nearer schools cannot meet your child's needs.
Providing evidence does not guarantee that a child will be given priority at a particular school and in each case a decision will be made based on the merits of the case and whether the evidence demonstrates that a placement should be made at one particular school above any other.
Common medical conditions and allergies can usually be supported in all mainstream schools, therefore priority under a school's exceptional medical criteria would not normally be given for these. Some mainstream schools have units attached which provide specialist provision for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan which names the school. The facilities in these units are not normally available to children in the mainstream school and as such priority under a school's exceptional social or medical criteria would not normally be agreed for a mainstream place on the basis of a specialist unit being attached to the school.
In addition, routine child minding arrangements would not normally be considered to be an exceptional social reason for placement at a particular school.
If you believe your child is eligible for sibling priority at one of your preferred schools, you must include their details on your application.
For community and voluntary controlled schools we define a sibling as:
- a brother or sister (with the same parents) whether living at the same address or not, or
- a half brother or sister, adopted or fostered brother or sister or step brother or sister living as part of the same family unit at the same address, Monday to Friday
If you fail to tell us about an eligible sibling in your application this could result in your child receiving a lower priority for a school place.
Siblings must already be on roll at the school you are applying for (or another school which operates a shared sibling priority) and be expected to still be on roll at that school on the date of the child's admission. A child will not be eligible for sibling priority if their sibling is attending or due to attend a nursery that is attached to the school.
Academies and foundation, free, trust and voluntary aided schools may have different definitions of siblings and also different criteria regarding them. You should contact these schools directly for details.
Your reasons for preference
The application has space for you to give a reason for naming a school as a preference but you do not have to complete this. Any information included will be considered, but reasons given will not usually affect how places are prioritised.
Fair access admissions
Our Fair Access Protocol (FAP) ensures that, outside the normal admissions round, unplaced and vulnerable children, and those who are having difficulty in securing a school place in-year, are offered a place at a suitable school as quickly as possible. It also ensures that, when seeking to place a child under this Protocol, no school – including those with places available will be asked to take a disproportionate number of children who have been permanently excluded from other schools, who display challenging behaviour, or who meet one of the other categories of the Protocol. Applicants are asked to answer the questions on fair access admissions honestly and accurately to ensure that qualifying children can be identified quickly.
Please do not forget to include proof of your child's address and any other supporting evidence that we might need to see, for example, medical/social evidence that you want us to consider in relation to a request for priority on the basis of medical or social need. Please do not send original documents as we will be unable to return them.
Failure to complete the application fully or to attach required evidence may result in a delay in processing your application. If you are unable to provide the required documents, please contact us on 0300 200 1004 for further advice (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
Files available to download
Protocol for the processing of in year admissions for children in care (PDF)
Surrey County Council's protocol 2023 to 2024 for the processing of in year school admissions for children in care.
Guidance on admission of children overseas (PDF)
How we handle applications for school places for children from overseas
Fair Access Protocol (PDF)
This document sets out the Fair Access Protocol which will be operated by Surrey in partnership with all state funded mainstream schools.
Centrally Managed Application (CMA) for in year admission to a school (CMA) - Application form (PDF)
Applying for an in year admission place at a school which uses this centrally managed form
Centrally Managed Application for in year admission to a school - Guidance notes (PDF)
Guidance notes to help you complete the Centrally Managed Application form for in year applications
School Managed Application (SMA) for in year admission to a school - Application form (PDF)
Applying for an in year admission place at a school that manages its own applications.
School Managed Application for in year admission to a school (SMA) - Guidance notes (PDF)
Guidance notes to help you complete the School Managed Application form for in year applications