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The application process to apply for a primary or secondary school place starting September 2023 will open on Monday 5 September 2022.

Ask to be put on a school's waiting list


Information about school waiting lists including checking your child's current position and how waiting list places are ranked.

Add your child's name to a waiting list

If you are not offered a place at your most preferred school, your child's name may be added to one or more waiting lists for other schools and you will be notified if a place becomes available (for example, if other people decline their offer of a place at those schools).

If you are offered a place that was not your first preference, your child's name will automatically be placed on the waiting list for any community or voluntary controlled schools you named as higher preferences than the school your place has been offered at.

If you aren't offered a place at any of your preferred schools, your child's name will automatically be placed on the waiting lists for all the community or voluntary controlled schools you applied for.

Waiting lists for community and voluntary controlled schools are maintained by our admissions team.

Waiting lists for academies and voluntary aided schools are normally maintained by each of those schools - please check their waiting list policies for details.

If you would like your child to be considered for a school you didn't originally apply for, write to us (even if the school is in another council area) so we can add it as a preference.

Your child's position on waiting lists

Waiting lists are ranked according to each school's admissions criteria, not the date the application was received or when the child's name was added to the list. They are ranked according to an individual school's over-subscription criteria. They are maintained throughout the school year and your position on a list may change as children are added or removed from it. Vacancies can arise at short notice and you should be prepared to take up a place as soon as it is offered.

Your child's position on a waiting list can go down as well as up. This is because other children who have greater priority against the school's admission criteria may be added to the list (for example, a child who moves into the area).

If you have moved since originally applying and your child is ranked on the waiting list according to distance, then your new address will usually be used to determine your child's place on the waiting list. You must let us know as soon as you have moved as it may affect your position on the list. You should do this in writing, by email or post.

How to make sure your child remains on the waiting list after the end of the school year

If you want your child to remain on a waiting list for more than one school year you must inform us in writing or by email between 1-30 June.

A significant change may take place to waiting list positions at the start of the autumn term. This may be due to:

  • the volume of applications received during the school holidays
  • removal of any children who have not reapplied to remain on waiting lists for the new academic year

Travel to school

If the school is now not your nearest suitable school, you may be affected by our home to school transport policies.

Contact us
School places and admissions
03000 265 896
Our address is:
  • School Places and Admissions
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • Green Lane
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6JQ