Finding the right school for your child, and securing a place, can be challenging for any family, but Armed Forces families moving area can face additional hurdles if the school of their choice is oversubscribed. The Armed Forces Covenant will not automatically secure you a place at your school of choice, but it will help to make sure that you are not disadvantaged compared to civilian families.
If you have a particular problem with admissions to schools, please contact the Children’s Education Advisory Service (CEAS) by email firstname.lastname@example.org to seek advice. If you would like to provide feedback to the NFF about your admissions issue, so that we can represent your experience to effect change, please email email@example.com.
Admissions in England and Wales
You must apply for a place at a school, even if it’s linked to your child’s current nursery or primary school.
The way you apply depends on whether you’re applying for:
You should apply in the same way if you have just moved to England or Wales or are applying from abroad. Contact the council if you’re applying for a school place after the start of the school year (eg changing schools).
Applications open on different days in each local council area – usually at the start of the autumn term of the year before your child is due to start school. Find out from your local council when applications open, and the deadlines for primary or secondary schools. If you are unable to apply for a school place by the deadline because of an assignment, let the council know as soon as you can, if necessary using your unit address.
Admissions in Scotland
Admissions in Northern Ireland
Separate procedures exist for admission to pre-school (2-4 years), primary (4-11 years) and post-primary (11-18 years) education. You can find out how to enrol a child here.
All schools have admission criteria to decide which children get places. The school or local council usually set these. If you have not been able to get your child into your school of choice, there will be an appeal process which you can follow.
The admissions and appeals codes for Wales can be found here.
In Scotland, contact your local council to make an appeal. You can find out about the process here.
The appeals process for Northern Ireland is here.