Skip to main content

School waiting lists explained

School waiting lists explained
Missed out on a place at the school of your choice? Joining the waiting list could keep the door open for your child.

Finding out that your child has missed out on a place at your first choice of school can be a bitter blow, but all is not necessarily lost if you don’t get the offer you were hoping for. Every year, many children who were initially disappointed by their school allocation are subsequently offered a place at their preferred school through the waiting list system. This is called the continuing interest or continued interest list in some areas.

Joining a school waiting list

Parents find out which school their child has got a place at on National Offer Day (in March for secondary school applications, and in April for primary schools). If you’re not offered your first choice of school at this point, you can join the waiting list for any school that you ranked above the one you’ve been given.

So, for example, if you applied for schools A, B, C and D, in that order, and were allocated a place at school C, you can go on the waiting list for schools A and B.

Register for free to keep reading...
... and we’ll send you some goodies!

Give your child a headstart

Give your child a headstart

  • FREE articles & expert information
  • FREE resources & activities
  • FREE homework help
By proceeding you agree to our terms and conditions. For information on how we use your data, see our privacy policy. You will receive emails from us but can opt out at any time.