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Everything you need to know about applying for secondary schools in Suffolk, including deadline and Q&A

PUBLISHED: 12:35 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:35 17 October 2017

Find out everything you need to know for applying for a Year 7 secondary school place in Suffolk for September 2018. Picture: RUI VIEIRA/PA WIRE

Find out everything you need to know for applying for a Year 7 secondary school place in Suffolk for September 2018. Picture: RUI VIEIRA/PA WIRE

Increasing numbers of parents are applying online for a Year 7 place for their children. Find out everything you need to know about how to apply for secondary schools in Suffolk for September 2018.

Parents and carers have until midnight on Tuesday, October 31 to submit their application to Suffolk County Council to secure a secondary school place for September 2018. This provision includes high and upper schools. You can rank up to three preferences.

If your application is received after the closing date, it will not be dealt with until all on time applications have been considered. This means that all available places at your preferred school(s) may have been filled.

The closing date for primary school applications (including infant, junior and middle) is Monday, January 15 2018.

• The most popular secondary schools in Suffolk revealed for 2017/18.

Last year, the authority received 7,171 applications. More than 93% of applicants received offers for their first preference school and 98% of applicants received an offer for one of their top three preferred schools.

In addition, 91% of applications for a place in Year 7 from September 2017 were made online, representing a 19% increase since 2015.

What is the deadline?

Midnight on Tuesday, October 31.

How do I apply?

To apply online, this is the all-important link.

(https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/school-places)

Applying online is recommended by Suffolk County Council. Benefits include:

- Receive confirmation of your application by email

- Check or change your application right up to the closing date

- View the outcome of your application online on the offer day

- Receive an email with details of your school offer on Thursday March 1 2018 for secondary (including high and upper) schools or Monday April 16 2018 for primary (including, infant, junior and middle) schools. A letter will also be sent to you on the offer day by second class post.

If you apply on paper you may not receive your letter with details of the school offered for two or three days after the relevant offer day.

The alternative to applying online is to downloand, print and complete a paper form, available here.

(https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/assets/Children-families-and-learning/schools/2017-07-10-CAF1-2018-2019.pdf)

The closing date for this paper application form is the same as for online.

Can you tell me if my application has been received?

Online applications

You should have received an email acknowledgement if you applied online for the normal year of entry.

If you have not received an email acknowledgement , please check your application has been submitted. If your application has been submitted, check your junk or spam folders.

If you need further assistance, please contact the Admissions Team by 0345 600 0981 (local rate) or by email to admissions@suffolk.gov.uk.

Paper applications

Due to the high volume of applications received, teh authority is unable to tell you if your application has been received. It’s for this reason that they recommend applicants get proof of posting.

Is there any data to help me decide which school?

The first secondary school league table was compiled by this newspaper last week based on provisional Progress 8 and GCSE results for summer 2017.

• Where does your school rank in provisional Progress 8 and GCSE results 2017 in Suffolk?

Am I guaranteed a place at my catchment school?

Suffolk County Council cannot guarantee your child a place at any school, including their catchment school.

I’ve just moved to Suffolk. What schools are in my area and what is my catchment area school?

You can search for schools in your area by checking the catchment areas list and maps for schools.

I’ve been offered a place at a school that wasn’t my preference. Can I go on a waiting list for my preferred school(s)?

Suffolk County Council does not hold waiting lists for in-year applicants to community and voluntary controlled schools. Some academies, voluntary aided and free schools do hold waiting lists for in-year applicants. This information is available from the school.

For the normal year of entry to a school, if you’ve been refused a place at a preferred school, you’ll automatically be put on a waiting list for that school in case a place becomes available. Waiting lists close on 31 December 2018 for applications made for the normal year of entry for the 2018/2019 school year.

What if I am unhappy with the school my child has been allocated? (How do I appeal?)

When you receive your offer letter, you will receive information about the reasons why you have not received your school preferences for your child.

Your offer letter should also contain details about how to appeal the decision made or find out more information about the appeal process.

Gordon Jones, education cabinent member at Suffolk County Council, said: “Moving from primary to secondary education is a big step in any child’s life and making the right school choice is one of the most important decisions a parent makes on behalf of their child.

“I would urge all parents and carers to complete and submit their application by the closing date of October 31 to give them the best chance of securing a place at one of their preferred schools. Parents and carers can list up to three schools on the application form and we recommend applying for more than one school.”

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