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

Applications for primary school places are normally for the start of reception (primary schools) or year 3 (junior schools), and applications for secondary school places are normally for the start of year 7. Any requests for a school place outside of these times will be treated as an in-year transfer.

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.

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

Before you make an application for any other Northamptonshire school, 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.
  • The child must be a resident of the UK (see 'Moving into the area' below) 
  • You can state up to three preferences on the application form (see schools directory for list of schools)
  • You can only apply if you are the person with parental responsibilty for the child
  • Ensure you have read the further information below before applying
  • Some schools (for example, faith schools) 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 must 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 until a school place at an alternative school is offered and a date has been arranged for admission
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A reference number will be automatically generated following successful submission of your form.

Further information

Please be aware that:

  • Moving into a school’s linked area does not necessarily guarantee your child a place at the school
  • A high percentage of schools in Northamptonshire are already up to the published admission number 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 all the children a place at the same school. The result of an in-year application may be that siblings have to be split across two or more schools; or 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.

We are unable to consider applications until you have a confirmed moving date.

If you are moving into the area, 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 support your application.

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 an application can be made. 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 support your application will be required. A copy of a child benefit letter or medical card are normally acceptable, along with a copy of your rental agreement or exchange of contracts letter and a document to confirm eligibility for a school place. The county council reserves the right to seek further documentary evidence as it feels appropriate.

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.

Where places in the year group are available at the preferred school it is expected therefore 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 county council holds and maintains waiting lists for all community and voluntary controlled schools and also for some academies.

If we are unable to allocate your child a place at your preferred school, we will add your child’s name to the waiting list if you have indicated on the application form that you wish your child to be added to the waiting list.

All waiting lists maintained by the county council are held for one term only. Therefore your child will only be on the waiting list for the term in which you applied. 

In order to renew your interest in remaining on the waiting list, you must put your request in writing by email to the School Admissions team at the end of the Autumn and Spring terms to

If, at the end of the Summer term, you wish to renew your interest for a place in the school in the following academic year, you will need to submit another in-year application as your child will be moving up to a different year group.

For all schools holding their own waiting lists, we will notify the school that you have indicated on the application you wish to be added to their waiting list; however, own admission schools may operate their waiting lists in a different way from us and, therefore, parents must contact these schools directly for information regarding their procedures on waiting lists.

How the waiting list is operated

The operation of the waiting list is not on a first come first served basis – the oversubscription criteria for the school will always be applied and the children will be ranked accordingly.

Since a child’s position on the waiting list may change if new applicants are added to the list, the list is only ranked in order of the school’s oversubscription criteria when a confirmed place is available.  Therefore we may not be able to inform parents where their child is ranked on the list.

Schools who do not keep a waiting list

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

We will accept a second and subsequent application from a parent on the basis the school does not hold a waiting list; however, if the school remains up to the published admission number and there has been no significant material change in circumstances, 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


Northamptonshire County Council
School Admissions
P.O. Box 216, John Dryden House
8-10 The Lakes, Northampton

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 the 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 a disproportionate 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 (SEN) page for information on how to apply as there is a different process for these applications.

​What happens next?

Find out how we allocate in-year school places and the timeframes we work to.