Find out if you need to submit extra information to support your school application.
If you think your child should get a school place due to a specific admissions criteria, find out how to submit extra information.
Your child was previously looked after by a local authority
What is a previously looked after child
A child is classed as previously looked after if they:
- have previously been looked after by a local authority and then were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order)
- have previously been in state care outside of England before being adopted
This does not apply if a Child Arrangements Order is in place due to a custody disagreement between two parents separating.
To apply, you must
email us proof at the same time as you make your application. You will need to send both:
- A copy of the relevant court order
- Evidence your child was in care, such as a letter from the local authority or state
You are applying for a place based on your religion or other special criteria
Some schools will need you to send information to them such as:
- evidence of your child's religion
- details about your child's aptitude
You may need to complete a supplementary information form (SIF). This is available on the school's website and must be returned to the school directly.
If coronavirus restrictions affect your application
If you have been unable to meet the admissions requirements due to the pandemic,
contact the school.
Faith schools might change their admissions criteria if people are not able to meet certain criteria such as regularly attending religious services.
Your child has exceptional educational needs that can only be met at one school
If your child does not have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP), you can still apply for priority on the basis that your child has exceptional educational needs that can only be met at one specific school. This could be either:
- Special Educational Needs
- exceptional medical or mobility needs
Not all schools offer this as a priority. Check if this applies to the school by checking their
How to apply
To apply, you should
email us two documents when you make your online application on our portal.
1. A letter written by the child's parent or carer
You should write a letter explaining:
- your child's name, date of birth and address
- the school you're requesting priority for
- what support your child requires
- why only this school can provide the support needed
- why no other school can meet this need
- what extra support or funding your child currently receives
2. Evidence from a professional explaining your child's needs
You must also attach supporting evidence from an independent professional, such as a doctor, nurse or teacher. This must explain what your child's needs are and why only one school can meet that need.
Examples of successful and unsuccessful applications
Cases likely to be successful
Complex communication and sensory needs
A child with complex communication and sensory needs, who has been attending a school nursery and struggles with transition.
All professionals involved agree that going to the same school would help the child. The panel would need specific evidence from professionals that moving the child to another school would be be bad for their wellbeing and unsupportive of their needs.
A child who has physical difficulties and requires an accessible building but the local school is over two floors and has no lift.
The panel would require a physiotherapist or medical professional to provide evidence of the child’s needs and the access arrangements they need.
Cases unlikely to be successful
Extra learning needs
If a child has learning needs and requires extra support from a Teaching Assistant. All schools should provide support in class when needed.
Medical needs such as diabetes or eczema
All schools should be able to provide support to children with their medical needs such as insulin injections or putting on cream.
Mild to medium SEN support needs
All schools should be able to provide support for children with mild to medium SEN support needs. Find out more about
support in mainstream schools.
Delay your child starting school
You can request for your child to delay starting primary school or start part time.
Before making a request, you should read our page on
starting reception later or part time.
You still need to apply for a Reception place in their normal age group, in case you do not get permission.
You will need to
email us a letter addressed to each school you are applying for. The letter should explain:
- Why you want your child to start school later
- The year group you would like your child to start school in
You can also choose to attach evidence that supports your request, if you have any.
You can find out if you need to submit extra information by checking each school admissions policy.