Secondary school admissions


Starting in year 7 at a secondary school in 2015

Decisions for starting at a secondary school will be available from 9.30am on Monday 2nd March 2015. You can log into your account to view your decision.

We process applications to secondary schools for all parents living in Derby City Council's catchment area.

If you want to apply for a secondary school place, you need to make the application to your local council. If you are unsure which is your local council you can search for it on DirectGov.

As a parent you have a legal right to express a preference for a school that you want your child to attend. If your preferred school has a place, then a place should be offered to your child.

You need to apply to your local council even if your preferred school is in another council's area.

If you live in Derby City Council's area, and want to apply for a school you need to complete an application form. As the Council's Admissions service we are responsible for coordinating all applications made for secondary school places.

If you want to apply for the intake year of a secondary school starting in September 2015 you can make your application from 8th September 2014, to make an application you can:

  • apply online - it's quick and easy and lets you track your application process
  • apply by phone on 01332 642726 - this takes around 10 minutes and you will need to know the name of the school you are applying to
  • apply using a paper form - telephone 01332 642726 to ask us to send you one.

If you make your application online you will be able to access your decision on 2nd March 2015 – National Offer Day. If you apply by phone or on a paper form your offer letter will be posted on 3rd March 2015, second class. No decision will be given over the telephone.

For information on how the places are allocated please read the Secondary Admissions Handbook.

Do you want to change secondary school in year?

Moving to a new school is a very serious step to take. It can affect your child in many ways. If you are not moving address and are considering changing your child's school, it is important to consider whether a transfer is the best option.

Before deciding to move your child to another school, please read this information carefully and consider the following...

  • Moving to a new school may not mean that a problem is solved – it can happen again and could be worse because your child will not know who their new teachers and other pupils are.
  • Your child's needs may not be known to staff at the new school.
  • How will your child cope with learning new rules and having to do things differently?
  • There is the possibility of missing important work.
  • Children who transfer schools after their exam subjects have been chosen in Year 9 may find that they cannot do the same subjects, or that the examination boards and courses are different at a new school.
  • If your child has brothers or sisters at the same school, transferring one child may affect the others.
  • Will it be difficult for you to have children attending different schools?

Many things that worry you or your child can be sorted out without the need to move schools. We advise that you sit down with your child and ask them why they want to move to a different school. If they mention that they are being bullied or not getting on with other pupils, you should speak to your child's Form Tutor or Head of Year in order to try and resolve the situation. Schools in Derby have an 'Anti-Bullying Policy' which must be followed.

If after speaking with the Form Tutor or Head of Year, you still are unhappy about the way the school is dealing with your concerns, you should make an appointment to speak to the Headteacher as soon as possible. You may also write to the Chair of the school's Governing Body.

Making an in year application

If you want to make an application for a school in Derby City Council's area, and want to apply for a school you need to complete a Secondary School in-year admission form. As the Council's Admissions service we are responsible for coordinating all applications made for secondary school places.

 Alternatively you can complete the eform - it's quick and easy.  If you want to apply using a paper form you can telephone 01332 642729 to ask us to send you one.

How we process your application

When you complete your application form you will have the opportunity to express your preferences in rank order for up to three schools both in and outside of Derby City. You will also be able state your reasons for your preferences.

We will then process your application form according to how you have ranked your preferred schools and you should receive a written decision from us within 15 working days.

Letting you know our decision

A decision will be sent to you and will be one of these three outcomes...

  • A school place is offered where your child meets the criteria for a place at your first preferred school.
  • A school place is offered at the highest rank school where your child meets the criteria for a place at the second or subsequent preferred school.
  • Where it is not possible to offer your highest ranked school, your child is added to that school's waiting list and you are informed of how to appeal to the Independent Appeal Panel if you wish to.

How to appeal against a decision we make

The Independent Appeal Panel is completely independent of the schools and the Council. They are able to take your family's personal circumstances into account and balance these against the school's admission criteria. The Panel's decision to allow or refuse an appeal is final.

Reasons admission to a school can be refused

All maintained schools and academies that have enough available places must offer a place to every child that has applied for one. However, this rule does not apply if one of the statutory reasons for refusal can be applied.

The statutory reasons for refusal of admission are:

  • children who have been permanently excluded twice from school. The obligation to comply with a parent's preference is removed for a period of two years from the date on which the latest exclusion took place
  • children with challenging behaviour where a school has protection on admissions, schools can refuse to admit a child, if it is a child with challenging behaviour or if previously excluded from school, or if their attendance is below a certain percentage.

Determined Admission Arrangements

These are the 'set' and 'agreed' arrangements for admissions into schools following the outcome of a consultation.

The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 require Admission Authorities (for example, Schools and the Council) to consult other local Admission Authorities and determine their school admission arrangements for 2015-2016 by 1st May 2014.

The Local Authority is required to publish its determined admission arrangements together with those of other Admission Authorities within Derby City.

Once all arrangements have been determined, arrangements can be objected to and referred to the Schools' Adjudicator by 30th June 2014. Any decision of the Adjudicator must be acted on by the admission authority and admission arrangements amended accordingly. The Schools' Adjudicator can be contacted at

Section 88P of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998 requires Local Authorities to submit an annual report to the adjudicator.

The School Admissions Code (External website: PDF, 797kB) at paragraph 6 sets out the requirements for reports by local authorities. Paragraph 3.23 specifies what must be included in the report to the adjudicator and makes provision for the local authority to include any other local issues.

Download our Adjudicator report

Community Schools

If you have applied to any community schools, we will decide whether your child can be offered a place at that school taking into account the school's admission criteria.

Academy, foundation, or voluntary aided schools

If you have applied for any academy, foundation, or voluntary aided school places, the governing body of the school will decide whether your child can be offered a place. We send your application from to the school for them to consider.

Useful forms


Contact details

Post address:
Secondary School Admissions
The Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 642725
Minicom: 01332 640666
Secondary School Admissions
The Council House
Corporation Street