You have the right to make a placing request for your child or children to be educated in a school other than your local catchment school. If you are applying for more than one child, please complete a separate form for each child. You may only apply for one school at any time.
Please send the completed form(s) to the education department and inform the head teacher of your local school that you are making a placing request.
You will receive an acknowledgement when your request has been received. If you have not received this within 10 working days, you should contact the department at the number given below.
As soon as a decision has been made you will be notified of the result. If your placing request is successful, you will receive a letter inviting you to enrol your child in your chosen school.
Your successful placing request to a primary school is valid only until the end of primary 7. If you wish your child:
- to attend a secondary school other than your catchment secondary or,
- to move from a denominational primary to a non-denominational secondary or,
- to move from a non-denominational primary to a denominational secondary,
you must make a further placing request for a place in S1 in your chosen secondary school
In December/January each year, the authority will advertise its arrangements in connection with placing requests. If placing requests are made by 1 February, every effort will be made to meet parents’/carers’ requests within the limits of places available in schools, but you should note that it is not always possible to grant every placing request to a particular school. You will have declared on the application form that the information that you provide is accurate and correct. The council reserves the right to request proof of where you are living and further information or evidence in some situations from you or other council officials. Requests received after the 1 February may be considered after decisions are made for requests received by the due date.
There are sound educational reasons for trying to ensure that the transfer or admission of children to a school takes place at the start of a school session. You are advised to avoid changing schools part way through the school session, to avoid disruption to your child’s education.
How Decisions are Made
The responsibility for decisions on placing requests lies with the education directorate. The presumption is that a placing request will be granted unless there is a valid reason not to grant it.
Most placing requests are made for pupils to change school at the start of a new school session. However it is accepted that there will be circumstances when a placing request will be made for a pupil to change school during a school session. In such cases, requests will be considered in the order in which they are received.
For requests made for the beginning of a new school session, all placing requests made by the 1 February will be considered together. If there are more requests than places available in a particular school, a set of criteria is used to prioritise placing requests. For all schools other than St Ninian’s High School, these are as follows and are listed in order of priority:
- A child who has a medical condition, supported with evidence from a medical practitioner, who requires facilities or support available only in the requested school.
- Those cases where a brother or sister attends the school and will continue in this school during the next session.
- In secondary schools: children who attend a primary school associated with the secondary school according to the length of time at the associated primary. This means that pupils who have attended the school for the longest time will have the highest priority.
- The child is part of a single parent/carer family where it would be advantageous to the care and welfare of the child to attend the requested school. Please provide details with your application.
With the exception of condition 2, requests from parents/carers resident in East Renfrewshire will have priority.
The criteria will be applied in the order listed. If there are not enough places to grant all the requests which have the same priority, then a ballot will be held to allocate the places available. This ballot will be organised by a senior education officer.
Why Requests are Sometimes not Granted
You will be sent a letter notifying you that your request has been refused. This will state why your request has been refused and quote the section of the Education Act which applies.
The most usual reason is that the school is full at the required stage, that is, all available places at the stage have been allocated. Additional pupils would require the authority to employ an additional teacher and/or modify or extend the school’s accommodation or facilities at this stage or at a future stage of your child’s education. The authority is entitled to reserve places for pupils who may move into the school’s catchment area during the next year.
There are other circumstances where a request may be refused including:
- where the granting of the request would interrupt the continuity of the child’s education
- where it is likely that order and discipline in the school or the well-being of pupils in the school be adversely affected
- in secondary schools where it is not possible to provide the courses you want.
If Your Placing Request is Refused
You may lodge an appeal and your appeal will be heard by an independent council appeals committee. If you are not provided with a decision on your request by 30 April (or within 2 months for requests made at other times of the year), you may also appeal. However if you decide to appeal you will not be able to make another placing request until the appeal is heard or you withdraw your appeal.
Deciding whether to Appeal
You may be very disappointed that your child cannot go to the school you want because the school is full, and you should have a good reason for asking an appeal committee to look at your request again. Before you decide to appeal you should consider these points:
- Do you agree with what the council have said?
- Do you think what they have said is allowable?
- Have the Council’s guidelines been followed?
- Would it be more advantageous to apply for another school at this time rather than appeal?
More information on appeals and alternatives may be obtained from the education department.
Your appeal should be sent to the education department. You will know the reasons why your placing request was refused and you will be given the opportunity to explain why the authority was wrong to refuse your request in person or through a representative, whichever you prefer.
If the appeal committee refuses your request, you have the right of further appeal to the Sheriff (other than in the case of early entry requests, where there is no opportunity for appeal).
Information concerning schools in other authorities is available from the education offices or department of that authority.
Specific information on placing request procedures may be found in:
- “Choosing a School: A Guide for Parents” from: The Scottish Government Learning Directorate, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ and on the Scottish Government website. The publication is regularly updated, and is best found by searching the web for “Choosing a School Scotland”
- If your child has additional support needs you will find advice including information about choosing school and your appeal rights in “The Parents’ Guide to Additional Support for Learning” published by Enquire: from: Enquire, Children in Scotland, Princes House, 5 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh EH2 4RGLegislation relevant to this topic includes:
- Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (HMSO) as amended by Section 1of the Education (Scotland) Act 1981, section 33 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1996 and section 44 of the Standards in Scottish Schools Act 2000.
- Education (School and Placing Information) (Scotland) Regulation 1982 (S1 1982 No 950 (S.125)) and Amendment Etc. Regulations 1993.
- Education (Appeal Committee Procedures) (Scotland) Regulations 1982 (S1 1982 No 1736)
- Education (Placing in Schools and Deemed Decisions) (Scotland) Regulations 1981 (S1 185 No 1733)
- Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004
- Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009