School admissions and transfers

Rosebrook Primary School

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Whether your child is starting at nursery, reception or secondary school, it is an important time in their school journey. Both you and them are probably looking forward to it with a mixture of excitement and worry. We aim to help make the move a smooth and simple one.

These pages include information on school admissions and may answer questions you have regarding the appeals process and 'in year' school transfers. Our School Admissions and Transfers Team help parents and carers through the school admissions process.

Further guidance can be found in the Admissions to Primary Schools 2022 booklet and in the Admissions to Secondary Schools 2022 booklet

Admission appeal options

There are several options that you can take if you have been refused a place at your preferred school(s). Please visit our school admission appeals page for more information.


Applying for a school place

Applying for school places can take time and effort, and as a parent, you want to get it right.

You have the right to say which school you would prefer your child to go to, but the procedure for getting a place at some schools is different from others. We have incorporated admission procedures for each stage of education in these pages.

We are responsible for processing all applications for school places in community schools, Voluntary-Aided (VA) schools, academies and free schools.

All applications for a place in a school within the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees needs to be made through the School Admissions Team. The application form will give parents the opportunity to put up to four preferences (secondary only) on the form and give reasons for the application.

Applying for Primary

Applying for Secondary 

Admission Criteria

Places are allocated according to a strict set of admission criteria and each admission authority sets its own criteria. All Voluntary-Aided (VA) schools (Roman Catholic and Church of England), academies and free schools have their own admission policy, which you can view on the school's own website. When deciding which schools to apply for, you should look carefully at the admission policies to see the category that your child will be considered under.

After the closing date, we will send applications to each VA school, academy or free school. They will then consider the applications against their admission policy and will send us a list of all applicants, ranked in order of their over subscription criteria. We will do the same with applications for community and voluntary-controlled schools.

Please be aware that children who have attended a school nursery will not have priority for a place at that school.

All faith schools policies will include definitions with regards to what ‘Catholic’ means and membership of the Church as well as referring to ‘parish zones’. If you are seeking a ‘church place’ for your child then you will be required to provide some form of evidence at the point of application.

However, we do not guarantee to meet parents’ preferences for a school place for pupils who live within the admission zone, if the school is full.

Parents and carers who apply online will be informed of the outcome of their application by either an email or a letter.

Admission Zones

It is important to note that Stockton-On-Tees adopts an ‘admission zone’ policy where most schools have a defined area. This means that your registered home address (i.e. the one you pay Council Tax for) generally identifies that you are ‘in-zone’ for that school. 

We do understand that secondary schools do work closely with local primaries to support transition and while this is good practice, it does not automatically mean that children from those primary schools will be offered a place within a specific secondary school. In addition some Roman Catholic or Church of England schools may, as part of their admission policy, also identify Catholic ‘feeder’ or ‘partner’ schools and if your child attends one of these, at the point of application this may further aid your chances of securing a school place for your child.

All faith schools policies will include definitions with regards to what ‘Catholic’ means and membership of the Church as well as referring to ‘parish zones’. If you are seeking a ‘church place’ for your child then you will be required to provide some form of evidence at the point of application.

If you would like further information about which school admission zone you live in please contact either the preferred school/academy first or the School Admissions Team.

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School Admission arrangements for 2023/24

Please find below Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's proposed (final draft) admission arrangements for entry in 2023/24.

Please note the consultation period for any views or comments on the proposed arrangements (below) has now closed. As per the School Admissions Code (2021) the proposed Admission Arrangements will now be determined by the Councils Cabinet no later than the 28 February 2022 and be published on this webpage by the 15 March 2022.

Admissions Policy for Primary, Secondary maintained Community and VC Schools for September 2023

School Admission Numbers for September 2023

Co-ordinated Admissions arrangements timetable for Primary and Secondary Schools 2023/24


School types

Community and controlled schools

Places at primary and secondary schools are allocated according to a set of admission criteria. Each admission authority sets its own admission criteria. Stockton LA acts as the admission authority for all Community and Voluntary Controlled schools in Stockton, so it sets the admission criteria for these schools.

Voluntary-Aided schools, academies and free schools

Voluntary-Aided (VA) schools, academies and free schools act as their own admission authority and therefore set their own admission criteria. If you want your child to attend a VA school, academy or free school, we would advise you to look at the individual school’s criteria to see where your child would be considered. You can request a hard copy of the Admission Policy direct from the school. Some VA schools will ask you to complete a 'supplementary form' to allow them to find out more information about your faith.

Visit our Find a School or College page for more information 

Proof of address

If we need to confirm you are living in the property and it is your main residence, we will ask for proof of your home address. We will ask for this in writing or by email if you have applied online. In the majority of cases we will require documents as outlined in the School Admissions booklets. Applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis and may include other possible proof of address.

Children of UK service personnel (UK Armed Forces) and Crown Servants

For families of service personnel with a confirmed posting to the Borough or crown servants returning from overseas to live in Stockton-on-Tees, the LA as the ‘admission authority’ for maintained Community or Voluntary Controlled (CE) schools only, will consider your family’s individual circumstances when processing your application. If we receive your application within the agreed application dates, and you provide an official letter that declares a relocation date and a Unit Postal address or Quartering area address, then, when considering the application against our oversubscription criteria, we will, where possible allocate your child a place in advance of your family arriving. 

Children from overseas

If your child is arriving in the UK from abroad and you would like a place at a school in Stockton-on-Tees, you should contact us (or your own LA if you live outside the Borough) and we will tell you how to apply.

You may need to provide ‘Proof of address’ that your child has the right to go to school in this country. If your stay in this country will be short, it may not be practical for your child to start a new school. We will tell you if we think this is the case. Please note that children whose parents are seeking asylum in this country have the same right to attend school as other children living in Stockton-on-Tees. We will use the same procedures for providing a school place for asylum-seeking children as for other children already resident in the area.

Home to school transport

Please read the Local Authority Home to School Transport policy for children applying for school places on the School transport webpage.

Other educational opportunities

To all parents/carers of children who are due to move into either Year 9 or Year 10 in September 2022, the information below is to advise you of other opportunities for education across the North East & North Yorkshire area, which you may not be aware of.

Schools within a reasonable travelling distance

Other School Admission documents and information

2022 - School Admission Arrangements 

Details of school admission arrangements across the borough of Stockton-on-Tees.


2021 - School Admission Arrangements

Details of school admission arrangements across the borough of Stockton-on-Tees.


Admissions Statistics


2021 - Office of the Schools Adjudicator


2019 - School Organisation Plan

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