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School placing request

You have the right to ask for your child to go to a school other than your catchment school. This is called making a placing request.

You may only apply for one school at a time. 

Requests can be made at any time during the school session. However, it is better to submit a request, before a child starts school, or at a particular stage of school. 

If a child is due to start school in the next August, they should be registered in your catchment primary school during registration week. Registration week takes place in November each year. 

Find school catchment area

Enter your postcode in YourLocation to find your catchment schools.

Submit a placing request

Applications for a P1 place the following school session should be submitted by 8 December. 

Applications for an S1 place the following school session should be submitted by 15 March. 

We will write to you by 30 April with a decision. Mid session applications will be decided within 2 months of receipt.

Submit a placing request online

To request a paper version of this form, phone 01294 310000 or email educationresources@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

Over 16's placing request

Young people, aged 16 and over, can make their own placing request application.

Applications from parents, of young people aged 16 and over, will not be processed unless:

  • the young person has consented to the application being made on their behalf
  • the parent has been appointed Welfare Guardian on their behalf (if the young person lacks capacity) 

Submit a young person placing request online

To request a paper version of this form, phone 01294 310000 or email educationresources@north-ayrshire.gov.uk


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

  • children who, in the opinion of a family doctor and community medicine specialist, could only be educated with difficulty in another school.
  • children who have older sibling(s) continuing their attendance in the requested school.

Why we may refuse placing requests

The authority may refuse a placing request where granting it would, amongst other reasons result in the following:

  • make it necessary for the council to employ additional teaching staff or create an additional or composite class
  • prevent the council from retaining reserved places for pupils likely to move into the catchment area with the consequence that the capacity of the school would exceed pupil numbers
  • result in significant expenditure in extending or altering the school’s accommodation or facilities
  • be likely to be seriously detrimental to order and discipline within the school or the educational wellbeing of the pupils
  • if the education normally provided at the school is not suited to the age, ability or aptitude of the child
  • be seriously detrimental to the continuity of the child’s education
  • would mean significant costs in changing the accommodation
  • If the specified school is a special school and the child does not require the additional support or special facilities provided at the school or the education authority would be in breach of its duty to provide mainstream education by placing your child there

What happens if my request is unsuccessful?

You can appeal in writing to Committee Services within 28 days of receiving your letter of refusal.  An appeal committee will be set up to consider your request. 

If your child has Additional Support Needs you should appeal in writing to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal.

More information is available in our Appeal guidance for parents (PDF, 179kb).

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 attending a primary school by placing request may need to submit another placing request form if they wish to attend their cluster secondary school.

Primary pupils transferring to secondary school have the choice of attending their catchment non-denominational secondary school or St Matthew’s Academy, which is the denominational secondary school for North Ayrshire.