How to apply for a school place outside the normal transfer times


We are changing the way in-year applications are processed by School Admissions during the COVID-19 crisis.

The local authority (NCC) will prioritise supporting those children most in need at this difficult time.

If your child does not currently have a school place

The School Admission Team will only process in-year applications for school places for children who do not have school places at the moment. All in-year applications will be checked thoroughly so that we are aware of the circumstances of all children and we aim to ensure that as many children as possible are placed on a school roll.

The government has asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. Schools, and all childcare providers, are therefore being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable, and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

To reduce the spread of coronavirus, from Monday 23 March 2020, schools are only open to look after the children of key workers and vulnerable children. This means that only Looked After Children, children with a social worker, children classed as vulnerable learners and children of key workers will be able to attend school.

As a matter of priority, new school places will be allocated for Looked After Children, children with a social worker, children classed as vulnerable learners and children of key workers.

If you have recently moved to Northamptonshire and are without a school place, your application will be processed after applications from the children and young people identified above.

The local authority will work with academy trusts and schools to ensure that schools are kept open, but in some cases this may not be possible. We will work with schools to make the most appropriate arrangements and we will talk to parents about this. It may not always be possible for children to attend their usual school in order to ensure that children and staff are kept safe.

If your child has a school place but cannot attend their usual school

If your child is in any of the categories above (a vulnerable child or a child of a key worker), and if you need your child to go to school while you are at work, please contact your child’s school to arrange this. If your child cannot attend their usual school, the school will advise you which other school is available in the area. If there is any problem, the School Admissions team will contact both schools to find a solution.

If your child has a school place but is not classed as a 'vulnerable learner' and you are not a key worker

Your application will not be processed. You will may need to submit another application when schools reopen and we will contact you to discuss this when this happens.

We will be reviewing our processes frequently.

Before you consider changing schools please consider whether this is the best option for your child.

To apply for an in-year transfer

Please read the important information below before completing the application form.

​Northamptonshire County Council co-ordinates all in-year admissions for Northamptonshire schools, except for the following:

If you wish to apply for a school place at any of the above schools, please contact the school directly.

Schools outside of Northamptonshire 

To make an in-year application at a school outside of Northamptonshire, please contact the local authority in which the school is situated.

Schools in Northamptonshire 

Before you make an application for a Northamptonshire school (other than those listed above), please note:

  • You must not apply for a school place more than one month before it is required. Applications outside of this timescale will not be processed. Please see below for the processing dates for in-year applications that have requested to start in September 2019.
  • The child must be a resident of the UK (see 'Moving to Northamptonshire' below).
  • You may state up to three preferences on the application form (see schools directory for list of schools).
  • You may only apply if you are the person with parental responsibility for the child.
  • Ensure you have read the further information below before applying.
  • Some schools (e.g. faith schools and some academies) may require you to complete additional forms to enable them to apply their criteria. These supplementary forms must be returned directly to the school. Use the schools directory to check if the school you are applying to requires a supplementary information form to be completed.
  • Your child should take up the school place within 10 school days, or by the date shown on the formal letter offering the school place.
  • It is expected that your child will continue to attend their current school (where possible) until a school place at an alternative school is offered and a date has been arranged for admission.
Apply now

A reference number will be automatically generated following successful submission of your form.

What happens after applying

To understand our process and timeframes in detail, please readFile Download - how we allocate in-year places (PDF 247KB)how we allocate in-year places (PDF 247KB).

Further information

You should be aware of the following when making an application:

  • Moving into a school’s linked village or area does not necessarily guarantee your child a place at the linked school.
  • A high percentage of schools in Northamptonshire are already up to the published admission number (PAN) in most year groups and, therefore, it may not be possible to offer a place at your preferred schools.
  • For families with more than one child, it can be extremely difficult to allocate a place for all the children in the same school. The result of an in-year application may be that siblings have to be split across two or more schools and that, in order to keep the children together, we may only be able to allocate a school which is not your preferred school and which may be some distance away from the home address.

If you are moving to Northamptonshire, documentary evidence in the form of a solicitor’s letter to confirm exchange of contracts or a copy of your signed tenancy, or rental agreement, will be required to verify your address.

Moving from overseas

If you are moving from overseas your child may be entitled to a school place. You should be aware that:

  • Children must be resident within the country before we will process an application. Please note a visitor's visa does not entitle your child to a school place.
  • If your application is due to a move into the UK, documentary evidence to verify your address may be required. A copy of either a child benefit letter or Tax Credit letter is normally acceptable, along with a copy of your rental agreement or exchange of contracts letter. The county council reserves the right to seek further documentary evidence as necessary.


Do not send original documents in support of your application, as they will not be returned.


Special conditions apply to UK Armed Service Personnel and other Crown Servants.

For families of service personnel with confirmed posting to their area, or crown servants returning from overseas to live in that area, admission authorities must allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area, provided the application is accompanied by an official letter declaring a relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address.

Admission authorities must not refuse a service child a place because the family does not currently live in the area, or reserve blocks of places for these children.

Therefore, where places in the year group are available at the preferred school, it is expected that places will be allocated in advance.

However, this does not necessarily guarantee a place at the preferred school if the year group is already up to the published admission number (PAN).

The operation of the waiting list is not on a 'first come, first served' basis. When a place becomes available at a school, if there is only one child on the waiting list, the child will be offered the place. If, however, there are two or more children on the waiting list when a place becomes available, then the children will be ranked according to the school's oversubscription criteria.

Documentary evidence to verify your address, e.g. Child Benefit letter or Tax Credit letter is normally acceptable, along with a copy of your new rental agreement or an exchange of contracts letter.

A child's position on the waiting list may change if new applicants are added to the list.

Schools who do not keep a waiting list

Some academies in Northamptonshire do not keep a waiting list. This means that parents who wish to secure a place for their child at one of these schools will have to continue to make additional applications throughout the year.

Normally, we will accept only one application per academic year in respect of the same school for the same academic year. We will, however, accept a second and subsequent application from a parent for those schools which do not continue to hold a waiting list. If the school remains up to the published admission number (PAN), and there has been no significant and material change in circumstances, the application will be refused. Parents or carers will receive a generic email response stating the school is still unable to offer a school place in the relevant year group and a second appeal will not be offered.

Contact details


School Admissions Team
Northamptonshire County Council
Angel Street
Phone: 0300 126 1000

All local authorities have in place a Fair Access Protocol (FAP) in order to ensure that ‘unplaced’ children, especially the most vulnerable, are offered a place as quickly as possible. 

The operation of FAP is outside the arrangements for coordination and is triggered when an eligible child has not secured a school place under normal in-year admission procedures. The local authority must ensure that no school - including those with available places - is asked to take an unfairly large number of children who have been excluded from other schools or who have challenging behaviour.

There is no duty to for local authorities or admission authorities to comply with parental preference when allocating places through the FAP. However, parental preference will be considered.

In order to identify whether a child meets the criteria of the Fair Access Protocol or whether additional support may be required in school for a successful reintegration, parents are encouraged to complete the questions on the in-year application, providing as much information as possible regarding the child’s previous history.

Fair Access Protocol Policy

More detail is available in our Fair Access Protocol Policy:

​If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan or a statutory statement of special educational needs (SEN), please see the special educational needs (SEND) page for information on how to apply as there is a different process for these applications.