Parents have a legal right to express a preference for which school they want their child to attend.
This is not the same as being able to choose. It means that if a parent expresses a preference for a particular school and there are places available then a place should be offered at that school.
In law there's no automatic right to place a child in any particular school. It may not be possible to offer a place at a preferred school.
Applying for your child's school place
You should only apply to us if you pay your Council Tax to one of the following district or borough councils:
- High Peak
- Derbyshire Dales
- North East Derbyshire
- Amber Valley
- South Derbyshire
You should not apply to us if you pay your Council Tax to Derby City Council or any other council not listed. We do not forward applications made to us in error to your home authority.
If you don't live in Derbyshire you can find your local council.
Children with education health and care plans (EHCP)
If your child has an education health and care plan (EHCP) you should contact the special educational needs team, email email@example.com as their transfer is dealt with through their education health and care plan.
You should not complete the application form on this page (non-Derbyshire residents should contact their home council).
We expect parents to consult with each other and agree on the school(s) for which they wish to express a preference. We don't investigate whether applications have been agreed or to resolve disagreements between parents. Where the child spends time at 2 different addresses with their parents and each parent makes an application, we will process the preference(s) of the parent who cares for the child for the greater part of the school week (where the child normally sleeps between Monday evening and Friday morning).
Where we are unable to determine the home address and where there is no parental agreement or court order, we will be unable to process the application further until the matter has been resolved. We encourage parents to resolve any disagreements quickly as delay may affect the availability of places at preferred schools.
Once we have offered a school place, any disagreement on the child's school placement is for the parents to resolve between themselves.
Normal area / local area school
It is advisable to include your child's normal area school / local area school as one of your preferences, although it does not have to be your first preference. If you do not include the normal area school as one of your preferences, then a place may not be available there if your other requests cannot be agreed.
Find your normal area school
Home to school transport
Consider how your child will travel to school. If none of your preferences can be agreed, you will be offered a place at the nearest Derbyshire school with places available. This could involve you paying transport costs to a distant school. View our school transport policy.
Transfer to out of county high schools and university technical colleges
If your child attends a school outside of Derbyshire which operates a different pattern of education and they are due to transfer to secondary school phase in September 2024, for example, your child is due to transfer from middle school to high school or you wish for your child to attend a university technical college you can also use this online facility to make your application.
If you wish to apply for a school place for your child at the JCB Academy, Staffordshire, you will need to make your application directly to this academy. View details of how to apply to a JCB Academy.
Take a look at the information in our parents' guide to secondary admissions to help you to choose a school and make an application.
For children transferring to secondary school in September 2024 you can apply online from 11 September 2023 until midnight on 31 October 2023.
Apply for your secondary school place
Making changes to your application
You will be able to make changes until your application is downloaded by us. The application status you can see will change from "submitted to local authority" to "local authority has received the application" once this is completed.
Once your application has been downloaded, you can still make changes to your application up until the closing date of midnight on 31 October 2023 by completing the following form.
Make changes to your application after 31 October 2023
If you wish to make changes to your application after the closing date please email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
Getting your offer
We'll let you know which school your child is being offered a place at on 1 March 2024 by email.
If you can't get a place for your child in the school you wanted, you can make a school admissions appeal. Your appeal will be heard by an appeal panel independent of the school and the council.
Changing secondary school at other times
You may want to apply for a place at a secondary school for your child at other times, for example if you have recently moved.
Find out everything you need to know about changing schools and how to make an application.