Primary and secondary school admissions: frequently asked questions
Last updated 22 August 2023
I’m moving to Stockport, when and how should I apply?
If your child is due to start reception or year 7
You’ll need to apply before the nationally prescribed closing dates. These are 31 October for year 7 and 15 April for reception. If you’ll be living in Stockport before these deadlines, you can apply directly to Stockport. If you will not be living in Stockport by these deadlines, you should apply to your home authority if this is in England. You can include Stockport schools in your list of preferences and your application will be sent to us as part of the national co-ordinated admissions scheme. You’ll be able to change your preferences once you’ve moved if you’d like to.
If you’re applying to transfer schools during the school year
If your child is currently attending a school outside of Stockport, you should apply for the new school in Stockport no more than 14 days before you move house.
You may be asked to provide proof that you’re living at your new property in both circumstances.
You can find more information on key dates for in-year applications on our changing schools during the school year page.
Which schools have places available?
You should apply for schools you’d like to be considered for a place at rather than schools that have places available. This is because places can be taken up or become available on a daily basis. If none of the schools you apply for have places available, you’ll be offered the nearest available school with room. You’ll remain on the waiting list for all higher ranking preferences.
You can request availability at any school in Stockport by emailing email@example.com.
How do I know if I’m likely to get a place at the school I want?
It’s not always possible to determine the likelihood of getting a place at a particular school. Parental preference can change depending on various factors including:
- Ofsted reports
- schools opening and closing
You can find out how places have been allocated in previous years by looking at our school admission statistics. You can also email our school places team for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long does it take for my application to be processed?
Applications for in-year transfers
These applications are normally processed within 15 school days. This can be longer in limited circumstances, for example where your application is referred to be considered under the Fair Access Protocol. You can find more information in our In-year Secondary Fair Access Protocol document.
Applications for children starting reception and year 7
These applications will be processed in accordance with nationally prescribed deadlines. You can find more information about:
If you apply after the closing date, your application will not be processed until national offer day. The process is then likely to be completed within 4 weeks.
How will I hear about the outcome of my application?
Most applicants will receive an outcome letter by email. You may be contacted by an officer from the school places team by email or telephone to discuss in more detail if necessary. Calls may come from a withheld number.
If I only apply for one school, am I guaranteed to get a place there?
No. You can apply for up to 6 schools and it’s always advised that you use all 6 preferences. There is no obligation to meet parental preference where it’s not possible, for example if there are no places available or more applicants higher up on the oversubscription criteria.
Who should complete an application?
Any person with parental responsibility for the child can make an application. It's advised that the application is made by the person:
- with whom the child spends the majority of their time
- who receives child benefit
This person should make the application from their address.
If 2 applications are received with different preferences, both applicants will be contacted and asked to agree upon a set of preferences. If this cannot be agreed, the applicant with whom the child lives the majority of the time will be used.
How does the waiting list work?
Waiting lists are ordered according to the schools’ oversubscription criteria and are subject to change at any time. You can move up or down on the waiting list. If your child comes to the top of the waiting list and a place becomes available, you’ll be contacted by the school places team to offer you the place.
Your child will remain on the waiting list until the end of the academic year for which they’ve been refused a place. You must reapply for your child to be placed on the waiting list for the following year.