Step 8: Adding or keeping your child on a waiting list


Summary of this step

If your child is not offered a place at your preferred school you can add their name to a waiting list for a place.

If your child is already on a waiting list and you wish to request for them to remain on the waiting list in September, you may not need to complete a new application form. Instead, please see below for how to remain on a waiting list.


How to add your child to a waiting list

We maintain the waiting lists for community and voluntary controlled schools and for some academies and foundation, free, trust and voluntary aided schools. Other academies and foundation, free, trust and voluntary aided schools maintain their own waiting lists.

You can find out who will manage a school's waiting list by checking our primary schools list or secondary schools list

For schools we manage waiting lists for, you will have to let us know, in writing, if you want your child added to the school's waiting list. The exception is if you have applied for more than one child and not all children can be offered a place at the same school, in which case we will add your child to the waiting list automatically.

For academies and foundation, free, trust and voluntary aided schools which manage their own waiting lists, you should check with each school as their waiting list policies may be different.

Your child's position on the waiting list

As children leave a school, vacancies are created which will be filled from each school's waiting list.

Waiting lists are ranked according to each school's admission criteria. Your child's position on a waiting list may go down as well as up, for example, if other children with greater priority according to the school's admissions criteria are added to the list.

If you have moved since originally applying and your child is ranked on the waiting list according to distance, then your new address will usually be used to determine your child's place on the waiting list. However, you must make sure you tell the admission authority for the school that you have moved address. If you are unsure which address is being used, please check with the admission authority for the school.

A significant change may take place to waiting list positions at the start of the autumn term. This may be due to:

  • the volume of applications received during the school holidays
  • removal of any pupils who have not reapplied for a place for the new academic year
  • changes to the way admission criteria are applied once the new academic year has started.

Remaining on the waiting list after the end of the school year

For schools we manage admissions for, we will maintain a waiting list until 23 July 2024 which is the last day of the summer term, after which it will be cancelled. You can find out who manages a school's waiting list by checking our primary schools list or secondary schools list. If you would like your child's name to stay on the waiting list after this date, you must submit a Continuing Interest form between 1 July and 31 August 2024.

If a Continuing Interest form is not received by 31 August 2024, the applicant will be required to submit a new in-year application.

Once waiting lists close on 23 July 2024, we will start compiling the waiting lists for the new academic year using information received on the Continuing Interest Forms and any new in year applications that we have received. Fully completed forms received in July will be used to reform the waiting list at the beginning of August. Forms received between 1 August and 31 August will be added to the waiting list as soon as they have been processed. If a place can be offered from the waiting list once it has been reformed, we will write to you. Waiting list positions for the new academic year will be available from 20 August 2024.

Academies and foundation, free, trust and voluntary aided schools which manage their own admissions may have different policies on cancelling their waiting lists. You should check their requirements for remaining on a waiting list with each school directly.