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Waiting lists and over subscription

Waiting lists

If a school reaches its published admission number either for intake in Reception year or Year 7, parent/carers can ask us to add their child's name to a waiting list for a school that they had applied for but had not been offered a place at.

A child's position on a waiting list(s) will be determined by the oversubscription criteria. If you want your child's name to be added to a waiting list for a school for which you were refused a place for, then you must complete the 'options' form which is attached to the refusal/offer letter issued in March/April.

We hold waiting lists only for schools within Darlington Borough and names can be added to a waiting list at any time.

When pupil numbers fall below the published admission number, children will be admitted from the waiting list according to the priorities of the relevant over-subscription criteria.

We do not take into account the length of time on the waiting list. After the initial offers have been made, further offers will be made every 3 weeks.

Vacancies often arise at short notice and those on the waiting list should be prepared to take up a place as soon as it occurs. Places will not be held for later consideration.

We will maintain waiting lists for Reception/Year 7 year pupils until December (the end of the first academic term of admission). Afterwards, normal transfer/in-year admission arrangements will operate.

In-year waiting lists

Schools operate waiting lists for all other year groups as well as the normal point of entry but parents must indicate whether they wish to remain on a list after the end of an academic year and a new application must be made.


Where the number of applications for admission is greater than the published admission number (PAN) for a school, we must apply their oversubscription criteria to every application made for the school.

Places will be offered in order of the criteria after the admission of pupils with an educational health and care plan (EHCP) where a specific school is named on the plan.

There is a legal requirement for all schools to admit children with an education, health and care plan (EHCP).

The highest priority in any schools oversubscription criteria must be given to looked after children and previously looked after children.

For in-depth definitions see Section 22(1), Section 8, Section 14A of the Children's Act 1989 and Section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 [external link].

It is important when applying that you understand the application process and the criteria that will be applied to your application when a school is oversubscribed.


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