TIME is running out for Wiltshire families to apply for secondary school places for those starting in September 2024.

Applications can be submitted online at Apply for a school place - Wiltshire Council until the national deadline date of October 31 for secondary school places.

Online applicants will receive the outcome of their application on National Offer Day on March 1 2024.

Applications can also be submitted using a paper application which can be obtained from Wiltshire Council’s Customer Services Team on 01225 713010.

Those who apply using the paper application will be sent a letter confirming the outcome of their application, but information will not be available on the National Offer Day.

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, said: “Thanks to all those parents and carers who have already applied for their preferences for their child for secondary school places for September 2024. I would like to remind everyone of the deadline for applying which is looming. All parents and carers want the best school for their child and I would say submitting the application on time will provide the best opportunities for this.

“Families can visit our website where there is important information on how to follow the simple process. I’d urge families to make their preferences online where possible and ensure the application is in before the deadline day.”

Families are advised of some important tips when applying:

• Apply online if you can. You will receive immediate email confirmation that your application has been received and on National Offer Day you will receive the outcome of your application.

• The person completing the application must have parental responsibility for the child.

• You can apply for up to three schools. Please put these in your order of preference.

• Naming additional preferences will not reduce your chances of securing a place for your child at your first preference school. Repeating your first preference school in the second and third preference boxes on the application does not improve your child’s chance of securing a place at your preferred school. This will however result in wasting your preferences as a school can only be considered once on each application.

• If you live in Wiltshire and want to apply for a school place outside the county, you must still make your application to Wiltshire Council. The council will pass on your application to the relevant local authority where it will be considered alongside the other applications for that school.

• If you do not live in Wiltshire and want to apply for a Wiltshire school, you must make an application to your own local authority. They will then pass on your application details to the council. The only exception to this are applications from children of UK service personnel.

• If you wish to find out more about the schools you are looking at, please contact each school directly.

• Although the council is not able to guarantee an offer of a school place even if you live in the schools designated area, it is recommended you name your designated school as one of your preferences.

• Visit the Wiltshire Council website to find out the designated school for your home address.

• You can make a late application online even if the deadline for the intake round has already passed but you are less likely to secure a place at one of your preferred schools. For more information visit our school admissions pages at www.wiltshire.gov.uk Families applying for primary school places must do so by January 15 and the National Offer Day for these places is April 16.