What to say to parents

Families will often ask for advice on admission to your school or to the child’s next school. 

We know you are keen to help parents.

Help them understand the process

Explain that you are not involved in the decision making. The local authority or an own admissions authority makes the decision by ranking children against the admission criteria. 

Advise parents to read the relevant admissions criteria. Explain that this may change annually. 

Do not offer an opinion on the application outcome. 

Direct them to the Admissions team with any queries.

The arrangements for all schools are detailed on Apply for a school place | East Sussex County Council.

Avoid common misunderstandings

The move between schools or phase transfer for children aged 4,7 and 11 doesn’t happen automatically - all parents must apply.

First preferences do not receive any advantage, all preferences are treated equally.

Medical or social reasons and current attendance play no part in the admission criteria for community or controlled schools.

Siblings living outside the community area served by the school do not have priority over children living in the area. 

Delayed entry for summer-born children

Parents of summer-born children have the right to delay their child’s entry until the following September, but they would normally go into Year 1.

If they want to start in Reception the following the year, they need to apply and complete a form. For more information, visit How do I request delayed admission? | East Sussex County Council.

The school’s admission authority will decide whether to agree this.

All parents can choose to delay their child’s start until the term after their 5th birthday. But if they don’t start by the first day of summer term, they will lose their place.

See Educating out of year group – a guide for East Sussex schools [62.5 KB] [docx].

Changes to applications

After National Offer Day, we cannot amend any applications (unless there was an error) until the deadline for waiting lists and appeals has passed.

Offer of places

We allocate available places as soon as possible, but this does take time. Please be patient. Do not offer places during coordination.

We know that schools are keen to get all children onto 'taster days'. Sometimes it is not possible to resolve applications before these take place.

Please do not let children attend taster days if they have not been offered a place. This leads to confusion for both the child and parents and may lead to issues at school appeal hearings.


See advice for schools when parents ask for support with Appeals.

Parents of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

Separate arrangements apply to students with an Education, Health and Care Plan. Parents can find advice on Finding and applying for schools | East Sussex Local Offer.

Guidance for parents

Detailed guidance about applying for a school place is on our website:

A new version is published each September.

Leaflets for parents

Parent leaflet for the secondary school application deadline [1.1 MB] [pdf]

Parent leaflet for the junior school application deadline [1.0 MB] [pdf]

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