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Step 4 - what happens after you apply for a secondary school place

​​​​​​​​​​We'll start processing applications as soon as applications have closed. ​All preferences for school places​ are looked at equally, regardless of whether you choose them as a first, second, third or fourth choice. Putting a secondary school first does not improve your chances of obtaining a place there.​ Please remember:

  • If it's possible ​to offer your child more than 1​ secondary school place, ​you'll be offered the school that was ranked higher on your application​.
  • For all schools where the total number of preferences received is equal to, or less than the number of places available (the published admission number), all applications who have expressed the school as a preference will be offered a place.
  • If the number of preferences is greater than the number of school places available, places will be offered in accordance with the school's admission criteria.

Foundation, voluntary aided, academies or schools in another local authority

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If you've chosen a foundation, voluntary aided, academy or a secondary​ school in another local authority, ​we'll liaise with the appropriate admission authority who'll consider your application against their admission policy. They'll tell us what places can be offered.​​

Appeal a school place

If your child is not offered a place at any of the secondary ​schools you've chosen, you have the right to appeal against that decision to an independent appeal panel.​

Community and voluntary controlled school waiting lists​

Your child will automatically be added to the waiting list for the schools in Rochdale borough you applied to but didn't get a place for. If you applied for a school place out of the borough, you'll need to contact the local authority in that area to be added to their waiting list.

Waiting lists for community and voluntary controlled schools are maintained by us in accordance with the oversubscription criteria. That waiting list is held for at least the first term in the academic year of admission.

Waiting lists are not kept on a first come, first served basis. It's only ever possible to give an indication of your child’s position on a waiting list as they're subject to change​. Applications with a greater claim for priority may be placed in a higher position on the waiting list. You can contact us to find out where your child is currently ranked on the waiting list.

  • Please contact us if you no longer wish to remain on the waiting list for a particular school or you wish to discuss alternatives​.

Foundation, voluntary aided schools and academy​ waiting lists

Foundation, voluntary aided schools and academies maintain their own waiting lists. If any vacancy becomes available, we'll confirm which child is top of the waiting list with the school before contacting you​ to offer the place.

  • You'll have to contact the school to find out where your child is on the waiting list.


0300 303 0340

Phone: Monday-Friday 9am-4.45pm.

Early Help and Schools​
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU