In-year school admissions

An in-year application is any application for a school place made outside the normal admissions rounds (reception, year 7 and (where applicable) also year 3 and year 10). In-year applications are for children who either wish to change schools or who have moved to the area and need to start a new school during the academic year.

In this section

In-year admissions protocol

For more information, read our  In-year school admissions protocol 2023 (PDF) [336KB].

In-year fair access

Hillingdon's Fair Access Protocol (FAP) is required by the  School Admissions Code 2021 (PDF) [558KB]. The purpose of a FAP is to ensure that vulnerable children, and those who are having difficulty in securing a school place in-year, are allocated a school place as quickly as possible, minimising the time a child is out of school. 

This protocol applies equally to all schools and academies, and reflects the Fair Access Protocol guidance issued by the Department for Education in August 2021. 

For more information read  Hillingdon Fair Access Protocol 2023/24 (PDF) [758KB].

Things to consider before applying to transfer schools

  • When a child is currently in school, we advise parents to contact their child's headteacher to inform them of their intention to apply for another school place.
  • If you are considering moving your child to a different Hillingdon school because of a problem with a particular school, you may be able to resolve the issue with the school rather than changing schools.
  • If your child is studying for their GCSEs, other schools may not offer the same options as their current school, or may have a different syllabus or exam board. This could mean that the course work your child has already completed cannot contribute towards their final mark.

If, after full consultation with members of staff, you still wish to transfer your child to another school, you need to apply for an in-year place.

Important: You should not withdraw your child from their current school unless you have secured a place at another school.

How many schools can I apply for?

You can apply for up to 4 community schools on the CAF, which should be ranked in order of preference. 

You can also apply individually to any non-community school (academies, foundation, free, studio, voluntary aided schools and university technical colleges). There is no limit on the number of different in-year applications you can make for non-community schools.

List of local authority schools (PDF) [300KB]

Proof of address 

When you apply for a school place, you must have parental responsibility for the child and submit evidence to show that you and your child live at the address you've stated on your application, even if you have been placed in temporary accommodation. 

Please read our  Proof of address (PDF) [163KB] for details on what proof of address is accepted.

Making an in-year admission application

You can apply for an in-year school place at any state-funded school in Hillingdon using our online form.

Apply for an in-year school place 

If you apply for a non-community school using this form, the information you provide will be passed directly to the school and it will become their responsibility to process the application and make an offer where appropriate. 

We will process applications for community school places in accordance with the co-ordinated admissions arrangements, and you will receive a decision letter from our school admissions team, giving you the outcome of your application.

You can also apply directly to any non-community school (academies, foundation, free, studio, voluntary aided schools and university technical colleges) in Hillingdon, which may save time.

If you wish to apply for a school that is not in Hillingdon, you will need to apply directly to the school or through the local authority where the school is based. Each authority has its own arrangements for in-year admissions and you will need to check with the borough or county to find out the best way to apply for a school in that area.

Seeking school places: Addressing the challenges of in-year admissions 

Applying for a school place outside the regular points of admission is much more complicated than applying for a place at the start of primary or secondary school, when there is a pan-London system for all state schools. 

The  London Councils (2023) Seeking School Places report (PDF) [760KB] explores the cohorts of children seeking school places in-year, the challenges in the system, and the levers local authorities need to ensure that all children and young people in their area have fair and timely access to school places. 

Applications for families arriving from abroad, including from the EU

In most cases, children arriving from overseas have the right to attend schools in England. It is the responsibility of parents to check whether their child has a right, under their visa entry conditions, to study at a school before submitting an application. 

Read more about applications for families arriving from abroad

Waiting list positions for community primary schools

If you complete an online application for an in-year school place, you will be able to check your waiting list position for community schools by using the reference number provided in your confirmation email. 

Waiting list positions should be used as guidance only as your actual position may be higher or lower depending on offers made or applications received since the most recent update.

Check your waiting list position

Please note:  We routinely clear all community primary school waiting lists at the end of the summer term. 

If you have applied just before or during the summer break, up-to-date online waiting list positions for the new academic year will be available from September. 

To check your waiting list positions for academies, foundation, voluntary aided or free schools (including all secondary schools), contact the school directly.

Other school applications

Reception and year 7

If your child is due to start primary or secondary school in September 2024, you will need to apply through the standard processes for each. Please visit our Starting primary school and Starting secondary school web pages.

Independent (private) schools

None of the above arrangements relate to independent schools. Applications and admissions to private schools are administered directly by the school.

Read more about independent schools

Grammar schools

Applications and admissions to grammar schools are administered directly by the school. 

Voluntary-aided (faith) schools

For voluntary-aided (faith) schools, you may need to complete a supplementary information form (SIF), which should be returned directly to the school. You can access supplementary information forms through the relevant school's website or by contacting the school directly.

Children of nursery or sixth-form age

Please apply directly to schools for nurseries and sixth form admissions.

Parental responsibility and disputes

The School Placement and Admissions team have seen a significant increase in the numbers of disputes between parents relating to where their children should go to school. We understand that parental disputes when trying to come to a mutual agreement on child arrangements can be extremely upsetting for all involved (including the children). 

The following guidance has been published to help parents understand Hillingdon Local Authority's protocol for dealing with situations in which parents disagree. This is general guidance intended to help parents understand their rights and responsibilities in line with the law. 

Protocol and guidance regarding parental responsibility (PDF) [141KB]

Can't find the information you're looking for?

If you're unable to find the information you are looking for, please complete our online schools query form.

Submit a schools query form

Page last updated: 17 Jun 2024