Coronavirus (COVID-19) and school admissions
We are monitoring government guidance and currently considering the possible impact of the coronavirus on school admissions. Further information on the impacts of the coronavirus can be found here.
Apply for a secondary place
Apply for your child to start in year 7 at secondary school.
You can also apply here for your child to start in year 9 or 10 at a studio school or university technical college (UTC) or at a middle or high school elsewhere in the country and for transfer into a new sixth form at year 12.
- Before you applyChanges to policy for September 2021
Before you apply we encourage you to do the following:
- read the Step by Step guide to normal round admissions for the type of school you are applying to, including:
- year 7 secondary school applications
- year 9 or 10 studio school or university technical college (UTC) applications
- middle or high school applications elsewhere in the country
- transfer to a sixth form at a new school
- read the guidance on using the citizens portal
- view information about schools on the schools information pages
- find out what different schools have to offer your child (please be aware that given the current coronavirus situation, open events at schools which have previously been held in September/October may be subject to change – check individual school websites for up-to-date information)
- know which school is designated for your child’s address
- understand what equally ranked preferences mean – it enables you to apply for the schools you most want without affecting your chances of a place at other schools
- be aware of the school transport policy – it is important that you understand who will be responsible for transport before applying to a school and before accepting a place
- view frequently asked questions of what happened in previous admissions rounds
You must apply to the local authority where your child lives. Residents of Plymouth, Torbay, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset should apply to their local authority.
We will not assume that you want a place at a particular school – even if you have an older child who already attends or you live nearby.
The Admissions Team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.orgApply now
Additional preference for secondary transfer applications into year 7
Parents will be offered the option to express preferences for up to 4 schools rather than 3 for the 2021-22 academic year only.
This is because parents will need to express their preferences without knowing the outcome of selective testing before the closing date for applications on 31 October 2020.
This additional preference will be available for all applications, not only those where at least one preference is for a selective school. The additional preference does not apply to normal round applications for primary schools.
Changes to eligibility for priority on faith grounds
Churches and other places of worship were closed during the spring and summer, preventing parents and children from attending services.
This would render them ineligible for admissions priority on the grounds of attending services where this is a part of the oversubscription criteria for a school.
To address this, requests have been made for in-year variations and the addition of some wording for St Peter’s Church of England Aided School which is the only secondary school in Devon which prioritises applications according to attendance.
Faith schools in other areas may also make similar requests, including St Cuthbert Mayne School in Torbay. Parents should consider the arrangements that will be in place for any school they are interested in.
The additional policy wording requested for St Peter’s is:
- In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church [or, in relation to those of other faiths, relevant place of worship] has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, the requirements of these [admissions] arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church [or in relation to those of other faiths, relevant place of worship] or alternative premises have been available for public worship.
If you have any questions about this year’s admissions process in general or specifically about faith oversubscription criteria for St Peter’s please contact email@example.com or the Diocese of Exeter Education Advisor or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Similar requests to vary the admission arrangements for September 2021 have been made for a number of Devon primary schools.
Changes to selective testing and secondary transfer
Colyton Grammar School
Colyton Grammar School has requested agreement from the Regional Schools Commissioner to change the date of this year’s admission tests (the 11 Plus) as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. The request to change the date follows Guidance from the Department for Education.
For admission in September 2021, Colyton proposes that the test be moved back from Saturday 19 September 2020 to Saturday 17 October 2020 and Sunday 18 October 2020.
This recognises that education has been disrupted over the spring and summer and will enable children to return to school for a longer time at the beginning of term before they take the tests.
This means that the outcomes of the tests will not be known before the national closing date for applications on 31 October 2020 and parents will need to make choices and express preferences for their children without knowing whether their children have met the required academic standard for the grammar school.
To mitigate this, parents of Devon resident children will be able to express preferences for up to 4 schools instead of 3.
We strongly advise parents to use their final preference(s) for non-selective schools. This will improve the chances of children being allocated to a school preferred by parents if the child is not able to be allocated a place in a selective school.
Parents are free to name any schools they wish and there is no requirement to name a non-selective school but parents should be aware that places are not held in reserve at any school in case children are unsuccessful with their preferences.
The advice we give every year is for parents to consider naming the catchment or closest school to home as a preference so that there is a lower risk of not getting a preferred school and being allocated whichever happens to be the nearest available school with a vacancy.
All selective schools are making additional arrangements to promote a safe experience for children and all adults involved in the testing process. This will include more space, enhanced hand-washing and toilet and health protection measures.
Later testing will be arranged where children are unable to attend on the revised day because of shielding or displaying symptoms. Parents should liaise with school staff end ensure good communication between home and school.
Children will still need to register to sit the entrance test which can be done online
- Register to take the test by 9 September
- New testing date to be arranged: 17 October and 18 October 2020
- An extra preference for all applications (not just selective schools): 4 instead of 3
- Deadline for applications: 31 October
- Enhanced health protection arrangements on site
- Later testing where necessary and by arrangement
If you have any questions about this year’s admissions process in general or specifically about entrance testing for Colyton Grammar School please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Torbay selective schools
The following selective schools in Torbay are seeking the same change to their published arrangements:
- Torquay Girls’ Grammar School.
- Torquay Boys’ Grammar School.
- Churston Ferrers Grammar School.
- Colyton Grammar School.
- The Spires College.
Plymouth selective schools
A similar variation has been requested for Devonport High School for Boys, Devonport High School for Girls and Plymouth High School for Girls that the 11 plus test dates and result dates are moved from 12 and 19 September 2020 to 7 and 14 November 2020.
Parents should be aware that changes to selective schools in other parts of the country may also be made.Late applications
The application system to apply for year 7 in September 2021 is now open. The closing date is 31 October each year. You can apply after this date but applications made after this date will be considered late and may be at a disadvantage. Please see the ‘Late applications’ tab for more information.
How to apply
If you cannot apply online, please contact the education helpline on 0345 155 1019 and ask for a paper copy of the form to be sent to you. Please note that it is not possible to make an application by email.
Other application forms available from our Customer Service Centre are:
- Middle or high school – (there are no middle or high schools in Devon but you can apply for them elsewhere if your child lives in Devon).
- Key Stage 4 admissions – Apply for your child to start in year 9 or 10 at a studio school or UTC.
- Sixth form – if your child wishes to transfer to a new school for year 12, you can use the application form provided by the Local Authority but are encouraged to contact the school itself for advice.
Applications close on 31 October each year. If you apply after this date, the application will be considered late unless you can demonstrate that you were unable to apply on time, for example, because of illness or a house move. For illness to be taken into account, it must have prevented an application being made.
If the reason you give is accepted and you are able to apply by the date when applications are processed by us, your application will be considered to have been made on time.
- you cannot apply online after the closing date. To apply after this time please contact us on 0345 155 1019
- if your application is late, places at the schools you prefer may already have been filled – no places are held in reserve
- if your application is late you may be responsible for transport to and from a school further away from your home
We will email your child’s offer of a school place on Monday 1 March 2021. Please make sure your email address is kept up to date.
If you applied online you can also log into your online account from 1 March to find out which school has been offered.
We will offer your child one secondary school place. If a place was available at more than one of your preferences, the offer will be for the school that can offer a place which was your highest preference.
If none of your preferred schools could offer a place, we will make an offer at another school. This may be the school designated for your address if it has a vacancy remaining or the closest school to your child’s home with a vacancy.
What happens next
If you are happy with the school place offered to your child you do not need to do anything else, other than confirm you want the place to the school itself.
If you are not happy with the offer, find out how to appeal.
- read the Step by Step guide to normal round admissions for the type of school you are applying to, including: