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In-year admissions (moving schools)

An in-year admission is when you are applying for a school place outside of the ‘normal admissions rounds’. (Normal admissions rounds are a statutory process where all parents/carers must apply for a place for their child to start school in the school’s year of entry at Primary, or Secondary school).

  • An in-year admission could be a move between Cambridgeshire schools, or a move to a Cambridgeshire school from a school in a different county or country.
  • To apply for a place at a school outside of Cambridgeshire you will need to apply to the local authority of the new school.
  • You can submit an application for a school place up to 30 school days before the intended start date. When we have received a valid application, along with the appropriate documentary evidence, we aim to process it within 20 school days*. From 1 May you can apply for the new school year and from 28 June all applications will only be processed for the new school year (September).

Admissions Manager:

“Make sure you read all of the guidance on these pages. If your application is incomplete it will be delayed, or cancelled.”

Your reason for applying/circumstances may affect how you apply

Think carefully before moving your child from their current school:

  • Each school teaches the National Curriculum in different ways and at different times of the academic year. Your child may miss out on or repeat parts of the curriculum at the new school, which will have a significant impact on their learning.
  • If your child is in Key Stage 3 it may not be possible for the school to immediately place your child into the most appropriate class group for their abilities. Additionally your child may not be able to take the same subjects at a new school, or choose the same options if they are in Year 9, so previous work might be wasted.
  • If your child is in Key Stage 4 they may lose the work they have already done if they can't study the same exam course/subject at the new school.
  • Starting a new school, means a settling in period where you child will need to learn new rules, ethos and expectations, get to know new teachers and make new friends. You will also need to purchase new uniform including PE kit.
  • Other siblings will have no automatic right to transfer to the new school, either now or in the future. If the school is not your catchment school, you will be responsible for getting your child to and from school. If siblings go to other schools getting them all to school at the same time may be harder.

Before you apply

If moving from a Cambridgeshire school to another Cambridgeshire school, you will need to ask the school to complete a student details form. You will need to attach the completed form to your in-year application. Your application will not be processed without this form. If your child has an existing school place it may not be possible for the new school to offer a place immediately. You may be offered a school place for the start of the following term/half term.

Many issues that worry parents/carers and children can be put right without the need to move schools. Before you consider changing your child’s school, we recommend that you reflect and discuss the move with your child’s tutor/head of year or head teacher prior to making an application.

  • Have you sat down with your child to talk about the points raised here and to find out how they really feel about moving to a new school?
  • What is the real reason why your child wants move schools? If they are worried about certain subjects, have you spoken to the subject teachers who teach your child to find out how they are getting on?
  • If your child needs extra help or has needs that aren’t being recognised, have you spoken to the teacher in charge of special needs (SENCO)?
  • If there are concerns about bullying, friendship issues, or teaching speak to your child's class teacher or Head of Year.

If you are not happy about the way the school is working with your child you should speak to the head teacher. All schools have a complaints policy which will set out how to raise your concerns and what steps the school will take to help resolve them.

Information on support for bullying

If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan, you will need to contact the Statutory Assessment Team instead of following the usual in-year admissions process.

Statutory Assessment Team 
Box SCO2209 
Scott House 
Huntingdon 
PE29 3AD
Telephone: 01480 372 600 
Email: [email protected] 

These children get priority in admissions arrangements under the School Admissions Code.

A child is looked after by a local authority if a court has granted a care order to place a child in care, or a council’s children’s services department has cared for the child for more than 24 hours. Applications for looked after children must be made by the Social Worker involved with the child or documentation attached to your application to say that their Social Worker is in agreement with the application.

A previously looked after child is defined as a child who following being looked after became subject to:

  • an Adoption Order under the Adoption Act 1976 or Section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002
  • a Residence or Child Arrangement Order under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989 and amended by Section 12 of the families Act 2014
  • Special Guardianship Order under Section 14a of the Children Act 1989

For previously looked after children you will need to provide evidence that they were previously looked after and attach this to your application.

You will need to provide proof of your new address with your application. If you are unable to provide proof of your new address, you can apply using your old address. However this may affect how your application is considered against the over-subscription criteria for your chosen schools. 

If we're not able to offer you a place at one of your preferred schools, we will try to offer you a place at the next nearest school to your new address  with availability (subject to proof of address).

In the UK, the law says children must be receiving an education between the school term after their fifth birthday and the last Friday in June in the school year they turn 16.

If you are moving from overseas, temporarily or permanently, your child may be eligible for a school place.  You will need to provide proof of your new address. Your child must be:

  • aged between 4 and 16
  • intending to attend a Cambridgeshire school for at least 30 school days

If you are applying for a Year 11 school place between April and July, please don't submit an application. This is due to GCSE exams and study leave taking place during this period. Please email [email protected] for further guidance and include your full name, address and contact details.

We only process applications for Cambridgeshire (but not Peterborough) state schools. We do not manage admissions for independent (fee paying) schools.

We can allocate a school place in advance if you provide an official government letter stating your relocation date and intended address. We will accept a unit postal address or a quartering area address for applications from service personnel in the absence of a new postal address. You will need to attach this documentation to your online application.

A school day is when a child is expected to be in attendance at school. This is usually within theterm times set and a school day also excludes bank holidays and teacher training days not included in the term dates.

Admissions Team Leader

"Think carefully before moving your child from their current school, please see the frequently asked question to see the impact on your child's education".

Help with choosing and applying for a school is available to all parents from our Parents' School Preference Adviser.

The information in this online guide can be saved or printed by selecting 'download pdf' at the top of the page.

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