Starting Primary or Secondary School in September 2022

Applying for a Primary or Secondary School Place – A Guide for Parents/Carers

It is an important decision for many families when considering which schools to name on their application for starting school for the first time and when moving onto secondary school. 

Sefton Council has prepared two guides which provides parents/carers with all the relevant information required in order to submit an application for your child’s school place, whether they are starting school for the first time (entering Reception class), or transferring from Primary to Secondary School (entering Year 7).

It is very important that you read both guides before you submit an application. The Guide for Parents includes information on:  

    • How applications should be submitted
    • The closing dates and deadlines for applications
    • How the Local Authority processes both primary and secondary applications
    • What happens if your application is late
    • What to do if you move house during the application period 
    • How and when you will receive your offer of a school place around national offer days
Parents Guide Applying For A School Place 2022 23 (pdf 1.14MB)

Once you have read the Guide for Parents you can then view the Sefton Schools Admissions Information Guide

Sefton Primary and Secondary Schools - Admissions Information Guide

To help decide which schools you would like to apply for you should:

    • Read the Parents Guide - Applying for a Primary or Secondary School place
    • Refer to the Primary and Secondary Schools Admissions Information Guide to find schools in your area
    • Look at the admissions criteria for the schools you are considering
    • Think about which criterion your application would be considered under and review the numbers of successful applications in each criterion for previous years. This should help inform your choices and chances of a successful application.
    • Contact the school to enquire about open evenings/days or personal visits 
    • Look at other sources of information such as school website and Ofsted reports
    • Complete the supplementary information forms (which you should request from the school) if you want to be considered under the faith criterion for admission to a faith school you name on your application. You will see if this is required for your preferred schools by reading the Schools Information Guide.
    • Look at whether you child would qualify for home to school transport for the schools you are considering - Section C of the Guide for Parents/Carers.
Sefton Schools Admissions Information Guide 2022 23 (pdf 10.72MB)

Important Dates for September 2022 Admissions 

Submit your application online via the Citizen Portal by the following closing dates:

  • Closing Date for applications to start Secondary School is 31 October 2021

  • Closing Date for applications to start Primary School is 15 January 2022

Frequently Asked Questions for primary and secondary allocation of school places

If you have already registered on the Citizen Portal and you have forgotten your password, use the citizen portal link, enter your username (which is your email address) and click on the link for ‘forgotten password’. You will receive an email with further instructions and a link to reset your password.

If, after following the above process, you are still having difficulty accessing the online system, please contact the School Admissions Team for further advice.

The national offer dates are 1 March 2022 for Secondary School places and 19 April 2022 for Primary School places. 

  • If your child can be offered a place at more than one of your preferred schools we will offer you the place at your highest preferred school listed on your application form that we can.
  • If your child cannot be offered a place at any of the schools listed as preferences on your application form we will offer your child a place at the nearest qualifying school to your home address with an available place.
  • If you apply via the Citizen Portal and tick the box requesting your offer to be sent online we will send an email on the national offer date (shown above). The email will confirm the name of the school at which your child has been offered a place. You will also be able to access the offer information online on the allocation days.
  • If you have not been offered your highest preferred school you will ordinarily  receive a letter within 48 hrs from the national offer date informing you about the appeals process.
  • If you do not apply via the Citizen Portal, a letter will be posted to your home address 1st class on the national offer date. The letter will confirm the name of the school at which your child has been offered a place. In normal circumstances the letter should be received within 48 hrs.

Please note we will not disclose any offer information over the telephone (or in response to email enquiries) and you will have to wait for the letter to arrive at your home address.

You do not have to accept the place offered. The school place is allocated automatically and you should only return the slip declining the place offered if you have secured a place at another school, or no longer require a school place for your child in the Sefton area. Full details will be enclosed with the email and letter.  You should NOT decline the place offered if you are going to appeal for a place at another school, until that appeal has been heard.

For current vacancy information, please contact the Admissions Team preferably via email and provide your child's full name and date of birth and the name(s) of the schools that you are interested in.

Alternatively you can telephone the School Admissions Team (see contact details on main page), however please note that the phone lines will be extremely busy on and around the national offer dates.

If you wish to  proceed with requesting a change to your child's allocated school place, you MUST complete a Change of Preference form - see next section.

Yes, you must complete a late application/change of preference form which will be available below on the relevant national offer day dates. You can also request a paper copy of the form by emailing the School Admissions Team directly. 



Your child will automatically be added to the waiting list for a school you have been refused (providing it was a higher preference than the school you were offered). For further information on the operation of waiting lists please refer to the Guide for Parents.

Full details will be contained in the email/letter sent to you on the national offer date. Further details are also available on our School Admissions Appeals page.


Last Updated on Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Recite Me Button