Which children get priority

If a community school run by the council receives more applications for school places than it has available, a list of five rules is used to decide which children get offered a place first.

These rules are known as school admission priorities. 

Read our school application guides for more information.

1. Looked after children and all previously looked after children

This includes those children who appear (to the council) to have been in state care outside of England, and stopped being in state care because they were adopted.

A child is regarded as having been in state care outside of England if they were in the care of, or were accommodated by:

  • a public authority
  • a religious organisation
  • any other provider of care whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society

'Previously looked after' children are children who were adopted (or subject to child arrangements orders or special guardianship orders) immediately following being 'looked after'.

To show your child fits in this priority you will need to provide proof of your child’s status.

2. Children who have a medical or social need

Some children have a medical or social need that can only be met at a specific school. 

To show your child fits in this priority you will need to provide independent evidence that shows why your child’s needs can only be met at your preferred school.

3. Children who have a brother or a sister at the school, known as a sibling link

Sibling link includes brothers and sisters as well as other children in the home who share the same main address.

The main address is usually where your child is registered with a doctor.

4. Children who are transferring from a linked infant or junior school

Children who go to an infant school that is linked with a junior school have priority over other children who apply:

  • Downs Infant School is linked with Downs Junior School
  • Hertford Infant School is linked with Hertford Junior School
  • Patcham Infant School is linked with Patcham Junior School
  • Stanford Infant School is linked with Stanford Junior School
  • West Hove Infant School in Portland Road is linked with Hove Junior School in Portland Road
  • West Hove Infant School in Connaught Road is linked with Hove Junior School in Holland Road

5. Other children who apply

Other children includes all children who do not fit in the first four priorities.

If more children in each priority apply than there are places available home to school distance is used to decide who should get offered places first.

Twins and triplets

If it is possible to offer a school place to one of the children because is the only place left, both or all children will be offered a place.

More information

View our school application guides for more information.