Council’s School Places Plea

Parents of children who are starting Year 6 this September are being advised strongly to list four preferences when applying for their child’s secondary school place for next year – to avoid losing out on their preferred school for September 2023.

While next September may feel a long way off, Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) says parents and guardians of Ruddington children who are about to start their final year at St Peter’s Junior School (or, indeed, at a school elsewhere) should be thinking about their application for secondary school right now – and apply before the application deadline on Monday 31st October 2022.

Parents are advised to make sure they fully understand the admission criteria for the schools they are considering applying for, and whether their child would have a good chance of getting a place at one of those schools, before completing their application. Moreover, the council is urging parents to make use of all four of their school preferences, because only making one preference does not ensure that a place is allocated at that school.

‘National Offer Day’ in March this year was very much better for most Ruddington families than in March 2021. However, there was still disappointment for some pupils who were not attending St Peter’s Junior School. Going forward, as local house-building continues without local school-building keeping pace, if parents list only one school on their application, and there are no places available at that school, when an alternative offer is made NCC warns this is not automatically at a catchment area school, nor at the nearest school to Ruddington.

NCC explains that places can only be offered at the next closest school with places available after all other on-time applications have been processed – so if other families nearby have used all four of their preferences, their children will have a better chance of getting a place at a nearby school and those who only listed one preference could be admitted to a school further away. Using all four school preferences gives parents and their child the best chance of getting a place at a school they are happy with, it says.

Rushcliffe Spencer Academy (formerly Rushcliffe School – top left in header photo) has historically been the first choice for Ruddington children – and a significant number of new school places have now been promised there by an imminent expansion of the site. This September will see an eleven form intake there, rather than the previous ten. However, in recent years, some village families have had to settle for their second preference of South Wolds Academy (bottom left) instead. Other popular alternatives for Ruddington residents are West Bridgford School (top right) and The Becket School (bottom right).

Cllr Taylor

Councillor Tracey Taylor, NCC’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, says: “Starting a new school is a big milestone and I know that parents and their children may already have strong ideas about which secondary school they want – or don’t want –to attend. It is very important that parents apply on time and it’s crucial that they identify four preferences. The good news is that last year, nearly 97 per cent of families that applied for a secondary school place on time were offered one of their preferred schools.”

She continues: “I urge parents to please make sure they have read the admissions to schools guide and the admissions criteria for the schools they are interested in by visiting the council’s website. It can be heart-breaking when a child does not get the school place they want, but if parents have made sure to list four schools on their application, that truly is their best chance of getting a school that they are happy for their child to attend.”

Ruddington residents still need to apply to Nottinghamshire County Council even if their preferred schools are in other areas such as Nottingham City or Derbyshire. They say the easiest way to apply is online at Those who apply online will receive email confirmation that the application has been received.

Secondary school offers will be made on the the next secondary school National Offer Day, Wednesday 1st March 2023.

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