School admissions frequently asked questions

I have just had a child; do I need to put their name down with a school?

No: Putting your child’s name down on a list for a school place when they are born will not entitle your child to a place at that particular school or give them an advantage over anyone else applying for a place. You must still apply for a place at the same time as everyone else, and all the applications will be assessed together after the closing date.

When do I have to apply for my child to attend school?

You will need to apply at various stages:

  • For entry into an Early Years place
  • For entry into Nursery
  • For entry into Reception
  • For entry into Secondary School Year 7

All applications open in the September prior to the year of entry.

Each type of application is subject to a closing date.  These change, year on year.  Please refer to the website for specific dates.

When does my child have to start full-time school?

By law children have to be in school full-time in the term after they are five.

What happens if I miss the closing date for applications?

You can still apply for a place online, however, your application will not be considered until the second round of admissions.  Applying late could mean that you may miss out on a place at your preferred school.

How can I find information on particular schools?

You can find information about all of the schools in Caerphilly Borough in the starting school guide.

Alternatively, you can contact schools directly and they will be able to supply you with a copy of their prospectus.

What is an Admission Number?

The admission number is the number of places that can be filled within a particular year group e.g. if the Admission Number is 150, then we can admit up to 150 pupils into the school in the main round of admissions.

How do I apply for a school place?

You can apply for a place here.

What address should I use on my application form?

The address used should be your child’s main address. Proof of address may be required.  Where a child lives at more than one address, then the address to which the child benefit is paid will be the address used.  Evidence of this will be required.

If my child attends a nursery class in my preferred school, will they automatically get a place in the reception class?

No, you will be required to apply separately for a place in the reception class. 

Do I still have to apply, even though I live in the catchment area or close to the school and I am happy to send my child to the local school?

Yes. You will not be considered for a place unless you apply, even if it is your local school.

Do I have a choice of school for my child?

Many parents prefer their catchment or nearest local school because that often means that children can make more local friends and will be able to walk to school. Parents and Carers have a right to say which school they would like their child to go to, and give reasons for that preference.

The headteacher of my favourite school has told me my child has a place. Is this right?

Headteachers are not responsible for deciding who can attend their school or any other school. Admission authorities are the only ones who can allocate places.

Am I guaranteed a school of my choice?

No. You can say which school you would like your child to go to but if there are more applications than there are places available you may not be successful in being offered a place.

What happens if there are more applications than places available at a school?

If we receive more applications than places available, then we have to use our ‘oversubscription criteria’.  Places are then allocated up to the admission number in the following order:-

  1. Children looked after or previously looked after (in public care).

  2. Children with an Local Authority IDP that states that they must attend the particular school.

  3. Children who live within the catchment area of the school and currently have a sibling attending the school (the sibling must be of statutory school age at the time of admission).

  4. Children who live within the catchment area.

  5. Children who live outside the catchment area but have a sibling currently attending the school (the sibling must be of statutory school age at the time of admission).

  6. Children who live outside of the catchment area.  These places will be allocated according to distance from the school, with those living closest to the school being allocated a place first.

What if I don’t get a place at my preferred school?

We will write to you (normally via e mail) outlining the reason it was not possible to offer a place.  You have the right to appeal this decision.  Appeals are heard by an independent panel.  In the main admission rounds for Reception and Secondary places, your child will remain on a waiting  list until 30 September.

Can I apply for a place at a school in another county borough?

Yes, please contact the relevant local authority regarding their application process.

I don’t live within Caerphilly County Borough, can I apply for my child to attend a Caerphilly school?

Yes, you can apply online.

I want to change my child’s current school.  How do I go about this?

Changing a child’s school is a big step.  In the first instance, it is advisable to discuss your decision with the Headteacher of the school. If you do still wish to change school, then you can complete an in-year transfer form.

Where there is shared custody for a child, both parties must be in agreement with the transfer taking place.  When there is a disagreement, School Admissions will not become involved in any disputes.  Any disputes will need to be dealt with via the Family Court.  We will then act in accordance with the advice of the Court.