Applying For A School Place

Primary offer day

From 16 April 2021, all applicants who applied by 15 January 2021 for their children to start in Reception year and transfer to junior school will find out which school they have been offered. 

Parents/carers who applied using the online system will be able to login to their accounts from 10am on Friday 16 April 2021 to see their result. Anyone who supplied an email address on their application will be emailed their offer letter during the day. Parents who applied using a paper form and did not provide a valid email address will be posted their letter on the evening of 16 April. 

Your offer letter contains the offered school and information about any next steps. It's important you read it before calling us.

2021 allocation

You may wish to see how places were offered for September 2021 in BCP Council schools for the Primary, Junior and Middle, Secondary and Upper allocations.

2020 allocation

If you would like to see how places were allocated for September 2020 in BCP Council schools, you can read the statistics for the primaryjunior, middlesecondary and upper allocations. 

Further Information

You can find information about all aspects of starting or moving up to a school in our Parents Guides. There is booklet for children who are starting schoolmoving up to Junior or Middle school and for children moving up to Secondary or Upper school. Once you have read these, if you have any further questions please contact our Children's Information Service by:

You can find useful dates in the Coordinated Scheme 2021-22.

Changes for 2021

Grammar School Testing 

Within BCP Council there are four schools which require children to pass a test in order to be considered for a place. These are single sex schools with Bournemouth School and Poole Grammar School for boys, and Bournemouth School for Girls and Parkstone Grammar School for girls. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most children have not been attending their primary schools for some time. As a result, the Department for Education has issued guidance to selective schools, asking them to delay testing and to amend their admission policies to allow for this situation. This will enable as many children as possible to get back into the routine of education before being tested and therefore minimise the disadvantage caused by the lengthy period many children have had to spend away from school.

The Admissions Code is clear at Paragraph 1.32 that admission authorities must take ‘all reasonable steps to inform parents of the outcome of selection tests before the closing date for secondary applications on 31 October’ so as to allow parents time to make an informed choice of school. The Department for Education have stated that it is reasonable, for this year only, to test in late October even if this means that test results are not known before the closing date for applications (31 October).

The new dates for the selection tests for the four schools named above is Saturday 17 October 2020. Poole High School is a school in the BCP Council area which offers 10% of its places to students who have been selected as a result of taking a test. Poole High School is planning to hold its test for the Expressly Academic class on the new date of 10 October 2020.

It is therefore unlikely that parents will know the outcome of these tests prior to having to select their preferences. This means parents may name a school on their application that their child will be refused due to not meeting the required standard. In order to ensure that families are not disadvantaged by this change, BCP Council has decided to increase the number of preference schools that can be requested for each child, from three to four.

We strongly advise parents to use their final preference(s) for a local non-selective school(s) in order to increase their opportunities of obtaining one of their preferred schools. There are many popular non-selective schools in the BCP Council area which fill from their initial allocation. If you name only selective schools in your preferences and your child does not meet the required standard, it is highly possible that your child will be offered a place at a school which did not fill, which may be some distance from your home.

Faith Criteria

Due the COVID-19 pandemic, many places of worship have not been open to the public, meaning people have not been able to attend as they normally would. As a result, the Department for Education has issued guidance to schools who require evidence of religious practice, asking them to amend their admission policies to allow for this situation. It is important that you read the admission policy of any school you wish to apply for to see whether their policy has changed.