Under the 1996 Education Act, parents have a legal right to express a preference for which school they want their child to attend. The Education Authority and school governors have a general duty to meet this preference - as long as it does not “prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources”.
In law there is no automatic right to a place in any particular school.
Parents can appeal to a panel, independent of both the LEA and the school, if their child is refused a place at the school for which they have expressed a preference.
The Local Education Authority is responsible for making general arrangements to place children at all Derbyshire’s schools and is the admission authority for community and voluntary controlled schools which includes setting the criteria to be used for admitting children to these schools.
Parents should bear in mind that school admissions are considered on an annual basis - so it is not possible to confirm that a place is available at a school any earlier than during the year before the child will join.
Each year schools have to admit eligible pupils on request up to their published admission number (as shown in the list at the back of the Parents Information Booklet) which takes account of past admissions and the amount of accommodation available.
Parents should note that admission authorities cannot necessarily guarantee a place for any child whose parents apply after the closing date. This includes a child who moves into a school's normal area after that date.
In situations where late applications are received and the school’s admission number has been reached, but subsequently a place becomes available - if choices need to be made between normal area applications those children living nearest to the school (measured by the nearest available route) will be given preference.