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Placing request

You have the right to submit a placing request for your child to attend a school outside your catchment area. As long as there's space, this request is usually granted.

Find school catchment area

Use YourLocation to find local schools, by entering your postcode.

Submit a placing request

Submit a placing request online or complete and return a placing request form (PDF, 116kb).


  • it's important that you enrol your child at your local school as there's no guarantee a placing request will be successful
  • you can only apply for a placing request for 1 school at a time

High demand

Where there are more placing requests for a school than places available, priority will be given to:

  • children who would benefit medically from attending the specified school - this benefit must be supported by the family doctor and community medicine specialist
  • thereafter, children who have older brothers or sisters at the school

Where these situations don't apply, places are decided by drawing lots. This is done by a member of the Educational Services Directorate and a North Ayrshire councillor.

When will I know if my request is successful?

If you apply before 15 March for the following school session, we'll write to you by 30 April to tell you whether your placement request was successful.  We make decisions on midsession applications within 28 days of receipt.

What happens if my request is unsuccessful?

You can appeal by writing to the Principal Registrars within 28 days of receiving our letter of refusal. We'll set up an appeal committee to consider your request. More information on this process is available in our Appeal Guidance for Parents (PDF, 92kb).

Please note: waiting lists are not kept for placing requests.

Transfer to Secondary School

Your local primary school will be able to tell you which secondary school your child will transfer to after Primary 7.

Pupils who attend a primary school outside their catchment area may need to submit another placing request form (PDF, 116kb) if they want to attend a non-denominational secondary school also outside their catchment area.

The denominational secondary school serving North Ayrshire is St Matthew's Academy. Children attending a denominational primary school in North Ayrshire will automatically transfer to St Matthew’s Academy. Children attending a non-denominational primary school must make a placing request if they want to attend St Matthew's Academy.