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School Admissions

Welcome to information on school admissions for children who live in the Devon County Council area – at an address where Council Tax is liable to be paid to one of the 8 District councils in Devon

If your child lives in another local authority area - including Plymouth City Council or Torbay Council – you should access information on their websites as some may differ slightly. For contact details for other local authorities go to GOV.UK or here for our neighbours.

Your child must be in full time education at the beginning of the term following his or her fifth birthday. This would be at a school unless you decide to educate at home, in which case you should contact the Education Helpline on 0845 155 1019 for advice on the process.

The consequences of a child of statutory school age not being in full-time education can include a referral to the Education Welfare Service. There are legal sanctions where a child does not receive an appropriate education. For advice, please see our information on Attendance.

If you would like your child to attend a school or academy which is state-funded, the law says you have to make an application for admission. Neither the local authority nor the school (including academies) will assume that you want a place and reserve one for you - even if you have an older child at the school or live next to the school. Everybody has to apply. The local authority has a legal duty to manage applications for the first admissions intake to schools which are funded by the state. This is in order to make the process as fair and straightforward as possible. We do this through our Co-ordinated Admissions Schemes which enable all parents to apply for a school place at the right time. You can view these schemes and other policies on our admission arrangements page.

There are two types of admission:

  • Normal round admissions
    This is when children start at a school at the earliest possible time for that school or (for schools which provide education all-through from Reception to Year 11) who transfer at the start of Year 7. Find out more >>
  • In-Year admissions
    This is when children start at a school at any time other than the normal round – either in another year group or in a normal round year group that has already started. Find out more >>
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