How to apply to change your child’s school

Brighton & Hove city council coordinate admissions for most of the schools in the city so you will need to apply for these schools via the School Admissions Team.

You can apply either:

You can apply for one, 2 or 3 schools of preferences on your application, but we will only allocate one school place which will be your highest ranked preference possible. 

Please make sure you like your first preference more than your second preference and your second preference more than your third. Putting a second or third preference will not affect the likelihood of being offered your first preference school so only apply for schools at which you would like to accept a place. 

Find a list of primary, infant and junior schools.

Find a list of secondary schools.

How we'll process your application to change schools

Your application will be looked at and a school place allocated as soon possible after as it is received, so only apply at the time you would like your child to change schools. We'll aim to give you a decision as quickly as possible but please allow up to 15 school days to receive your school offer.

Your school preferences will be considered separately. If it is possible to offer a place at more than one of your selected schools, only one school place will be given. The place will be given at the school you have ranked highest on your application.

If the school you have selected has available space for your child, we will be able to offer a place.

If there are more applications for the school than available places or if the school has a waiting list, your preference will be judged against the schools’ admission priorities to decide which child is given the place. 

These are the council’s admission priorities for community Infant, Junior and Primary schools and for community secondary schools

Some schools like Church Voluntary Aided schools, Free schools or Academies have their own admission arrangements. Find out how church voluntary aided and free school places are decided.

If it is not possible to offer any of your named schools, we'll advise that your child stays at their current school if that is possible. If this is not possible a different school place within Brighton & Hove will be offered. This will normally be the nearest school to your home address with a place available. 

The admissions team will let you know the outcome of your application by email if you have applied online or given an email address on your application or by letter if an email is not provided.

When a new school place is offered, we'll expect you to accept or decline the offer within 7 school days.

Supplementary information forms (SIF) and proof of address

Some schools like church voluntary aided schools need additional information for their governors to assess your application against the school’s admission priorities. 

You can get a copy of the school’s SIF from the school. You can also get a copy from our website.

Please return your SIF to the school that you're applying for, not to the school admissions team.

If you have recently moved to a new house, or your child is currently at private school, please supply proof of address with your application. If we do not receive this with your application, it may mean that you miss out on a place at your preferred school if other children with confirmed addresses have also applied for places there. Go to our Proof of address for school applications page for more information. 

When your child can start school

If the offer is accepted the school will be asked to make arrangement for your child to start as soon as possible.

School places will not be held open for more than half a term. Where an allocated place has not been accepted within this time, it will be withdrawn. You'll need to reapply again when your child is able to take up the new school place.

What happens if you move house

If you have moved to a new house and it is no longer practical to make the journey to your child’s current school, you will need to apply for a place at a different school.

You can find schools local to your address by using this interactive map

No school places are reserved for people who move into the area, but we can tell you about which schools have places available if you contact the school admissions team.

Your application will be looked at and a school place allocated as soon as it is received by the school admissions team, so only apply when your move is confirmed. We'll aim to give you a decision as quickly as possible but please allow up to 15 school days to receive your school offer.

If you have recently moved to a new house, please supply proof of address with your application. If we do not receive this with your application, this may mean that you miss out on a place at your preferred school if other children with confirmed addresses have also applied for places there.

Go to our Proof of address for school applications page for more information.

Moving to Brighton & Hove from abroad

Your application will be looked at and a school place allocated as soon as it is received by the school admissions team, so only apply when your child can take up the school place offer. 

If you do not have a confirmed address or arrival date in the city, making an application will not help your child secure the school place that you want. We are more likely to be able to offer the school place that you would like or that is close to where you live, if you apply when you have a confirmed address in the city.

We'll aim to give you a decision as quickly as possible but please allow up to 15 school days to receive your school offer.

Moving school if you have not moved house

Sometimes a change of school is unavoidable, for example where a child has moved to a new house or has had to leave private school due to a change of circumstances.

However, moving school at any time can have a disruptive effect on a child’s education and moving school multiple times can have a significant negative impact on your child’s progress. While parents do have the right to apply to change schools at any time it is worth thinking about the effect a move may have on your child.

Children and young people do less well in examinations when they have moved schools outside of normal transition periods. This is particularly the case for movement during Years 10 and 11 which can be harmful for GCSE results, as schools will follow different combinations of syllabuses and offer different courses.

Schools in Brighton & Hove do talk to each other and will share information about potential new pupils to ensure a smooth transition.

How to get your child added to a waiting lists or reallocation pool

The School admissions team hold waiting lists (Primary schools) and reallocation pools (Secondary schools) for the community schools in the city and Bilingual Primary School. 

Other free schools, Academies and Church Voluntary aided schools hold their own waiting lists and have their own procedures for operating them.

After an application, if it is not possible to offer a place at your first preference school your child will automatically be added to that schools waiting list (primary) or re-allocation pool (secondary).  If you would like your child added to another school of preference, you can request that your child’s name is added to that school’s waiting list or re-allocation pool. This applies to, second or third preference schools with the exception that reallocation pools are not operated for year 11 pupils.

Pupils are added to a waiting list or reallocation pool according to the school’s admission priorities only. It is possible for children to move down as well as up a waiting list if other children join the list in a higher priority.

Waiting lists or re-allocation pools held by the council are cleared at the end of each term. If you would like your child to remain on a waiting list or reallocation pool for more than a term you will need to contact the admission team at the end of each term to request this.

What we do if a place becomes available at a school with a waiting list or reallocation pool

Each time we can offer a place, or places at a school it will be given to the child or children at the top of the waiting list. 

For schools with a reallocation pool, the list will be randomised, and the place allocated to the child at the top of the list.

Parents notified that their child has been offered a place from a waiting list or reallocation pool will have 7 school days to reply before the place is offered to another child.

In-year fair access protocol

As required by law, Brighton & Hove has a fair access protocol with schools. This ensures that vulnerable children who need a school place outside the main admission round are offered one as soon as possible.

This applies to certain groups of children who are can't secure a place through the normal admission process. It can sometimes result in schools going above their published admission number for an established year group.