Accessibility Options

How places are offered 

When we have received a valid application, along with the appropriate documentary evidence, we aim to process it within 20 school days*If your application is incomplete, has errors or omissions, or falls outside of the timescales, your application could be delayed, we will advise you of any issues using the email address registered in your Citizen Portal account.

* If you applied from 1 May to 28 June for a place in the new school year (September) – you will get your offer of a place between 8 July and 15th July. 

  1. If we can meet your first preference, we will offer your child a place at that school. 
  2. If we cannot meet your first preference but can meet your second preference, we will offer your child a place at that school. Your child’s name will then be added to the waiting list of your first preference school.
  3. If we cannot meet your second preference, but can meet your third preference, we will offer your child a place at that school. Your child’s name will be added to the waiting list for your first and second preference schools.

If we cannot meet any of your preferences, we will offer your child a place at your catchment school if;

  • you have not already expressed it as a preference; and
  • there are places available at the school.

Alternatively a place will be allocated at the nearest school where a place is available. Your child’s name will be added to the waiting list of all your preferred schools.

Accepting your offer for a school place

You will receive your offer by email and by letter (second class post). You can accept your offer through your Citizen Portal account that you used when you applied or contact the school.

  • You will need to accept the school place that has been offered within ten school days. If you do not want to accept the place please contact the school as soon as possible.
  • If your child’s name is on a school’s reserve list and a place becomes available, you will need to accept the place within five school days. 

Frequently asked questions

Shelley - Admissions Manager

"Under no circumstances should you withdraw your child from their current school before an alternative school place has been allocated."

If a school is oversubscribed and cannot offer your child a place, they will add your child to a waiting list. This means your child may be accepted if a place becomes available.

Children are added to the list in the order of the school's oversubscription criteria. If there are multiple children who meet the same criteria, those who live closest to the school will be higher up the list.

Your child will remain on a waiting list, until:

  • you are offered a place by an independent appeal panel;
  • a place becomes available;
  • you are offered a place at a school you ranked as a higher preference but were previously refused due to oversubscription; or
  • you submit a new application.

Your child’s name will remain on the school’s waiting list for the remainder of the term in which you applied and the whole of the following term. 

Every school has a limited amount of places called the Published Admission Number (PAN). The number of students a school can accept depends on the school's size and layout. Oversubscription criteria are rules on how to offer places when the school receives too many applications.

Different schools use different criteria, for example some prioritise religious belief. Find information on oversubscription criteria for Cambridgeshire primary schools and secondary schools in the First Steps and Next Steps booklets

If we have not been able to offer your first preference school, we will send information on the appeals process in your offer letter. We also have a web page explaining our appeals process.

The Fair Access Protocol ensures that vulnerable children get a place as soon as possible. 

Contact us (Admissions Team)

OCT1221, Admissions team, The Octagon, Castle Hill, Cambridge, CB3 0AP

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