Apply for a school place

We are changing the way you apply for a primary or secondary school place for your child. To make it easier to apply, we are introducing online applications for children starting in 2019.
The online application form will be available in early January. If you would like to apply for a school place to start before then, please use the forms on this page.
The nursery school application process has not changed. Find out more about applying for a nursery school place.

Parents have a right to ask for their children to be enrolled in the school of their choice.

If you live in the catchment area for the school of your choice please contact the school.

If you want your child to attend a school outside the area you live in or if your child has not previously attended an Aberdeen City primary school, you can apply for a place.

Every household is located in a school zone. You can enter your postcode on school zone map to find your zoned school. 

How to apply

You can apply using the forms below. 

You should fill in a separate application form for each child if you are applying for more than one child.

You can apply to more than one school but must indicate which school is your first choice.

Please read the notes for applicants below before you fill in the forms. All of the information you supply will be checked. This may result in the Education Authority changing the priority you have selected. You will be informed of any such change.

Please fill in the mandatory School Placing Request (SPR) form for all placing requests. 

If you are planning to move into the zone of the school for which you are applying, please complete Form 1 and return it along with the mandatory SPR form.

To confirm Priority 2 (Sibling), ask the school your elder child attends to complete PART B of Form 2. Once this has been done, complete the Declaration section and return this form along with the mandatory SPR form.

To confirm Priority 3 (Childcare), ask your childminder to complete PART B of Form 3. Once this has been done, complete the Declaration section and return this form with the mandatory SPR form.

If you wish to provide further details in support of your application, please complete Form 4 and return it with the mandatory SPR form.

Please fill in all sections of the SPR form (and SPR1, SPR2, SPR3 and SPR4 if appropriate) and return to:

School Placements
Customer Applications Team
Business Hub 13
Second Floor North
Marischal College
Broad Street
AB10 1AB

The following list of priorities will be applied to placing requests:

1. Residence within Zone

  • (i) Where children move into the zone of a school after 15 March. Applications are prioritised according to the date the application was received. Where parents/children are moving in-zone it will be the date they take up residence. (After proof of residency has been received).
  • (ii) Where children are already in the zone but not in a local authority school.

2. Family

Where either an older brother or a sister is already in attendance at the specified school, and will be in continuing education at the school at the time of admission.

3. Childcare

Where parent(s) are working and transport the child outwith the school zone in which they are resident in order that the child can be cared for by a responsible adult other than their parents outwith normal school hours (that is, at the beginning and end of the school day). This must be on the basis that there is existing, ongoing childcare in the zone relating to the school applied for at the time of application and the name and address of the carer can be verified as a genuine carer or childminder.

4. Others

Where none of the above applies, for example friendship groups, transport arrangements, family employment circumstances.

Precedence is given to pupils within each priority who are ordinarily resident within the zone of a school which lies within the boundaries of Aberdeen City. Ranking within a priority grouping will be on the basis of direct distance between home (ordinary place of residence) and school, except where the parents of a child living within zone have to apply for a place in the school as they fall into the categories indicated in 1 (a) or 1 (b) above. Here, precedence will be determined by the date of the receipt of application after taking up ordinary residence in the zone.

The above guidelines will be applied to all school placing requests. However, placing requests may be granted where exceptional circumstances exist in any particular case.

How will I be informed of a decision on my placing request?

You will be informed in writing of the decision. Requests received by 15 March should be responded to by 30 April. All placing requests made on or after 16 March, for admission in August of that year, will be considered and decided after the requests made before 15 March have been decided and notified.

In cases where the time of entry requested is other than August, the Education Authority has two months to give a decision from the date of the request.

Where a place is granted parents will receive a letter directly from the school and should reply accepting or declining the place within two weeks. When no reply is received within 14 days a further letter will be issued with a final 7 days to reply, after which the offer of a place will be withdrawn.

When accepting a place parents should immediately notify their zoned school in writing to inform them that they will not be taking up their place in August of that year.

If the decision is not made within the statutory timescales it is deemed to have been refused and the parent has the right to refer the deemed refusal to an appeals committee.

If the request is refused the reasons will be given and you will be informed of your right to appeal. 

Why might my placing request be refused?

The legislation states that the Education Authority can refuse a placing request in terms of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 as amended, if placing the child in a requested school would:

  1. make it necessary for the Education Authority to take an additional teacher into employment;
  2. give rise to significant expenditure on extending, or otherwise altering, the accommodation at, or facilities provided in connection with, the school;
  3. be seriously detrimental to the continuity of the child's education;
  4. be likely to be seriously detrimental to order and discipline in the school;
  5. be likely to be seriously detrimental to the educational well-being of the pupils attending the school.
  6. Assuming that pupil numbers remain constant, make it necessary, at the commencement of a future stage of the child's primary education, for the Authority to elect either to create an additional class (or an additional composite class) in the specified school or to take an additional teacher into employment at that school.
  7. even if neither of the tests set out in sub-paragraphs 1 and 2 above is satisfied, have the consequence that the capacity of the school would be exceeded in terms of pupil numbers.

The Education Authority may also refuse a placing request if:

  • the education normally provided at the specified school is not suited to the age, ability or aptitude
    of the child;
  • the Education Authority has already required the child to discontinue his/her attendance at the
    specified school;
  • the specified school is a special school, the child does not have special educational needs
    requiring the special educational facilities normally provided at the school.

Education (Scotland) Act 1980 as amended allows Education Authorities to reserve places in certain schools if it anticipates that places will be required for families moving into an area. At the time of publication this applies only to specified secondary and primary schools.


Parents have the right of appeal against refusals and deemed refusals of placing requests. Appeals should be lodged within 28 days of receipt of letter of refusal or the timescale for making a decision has expired.

Parents should bear in mind that they:

  • cannot appeal against the refusal of a place in a nursery school or nursery class
  • can appeal only once a year for each of your children
  • should lodge the appeal no later than 28 days after receiving the refusal or the timescale for making a decision has expired
  • can appeal only against refusal or deemed refusal of a place in your first choice school.

You should send a letter of appeal giving the child's full name, the school you wish him/her to attend and your reasons for appealing against the decision to:

The Senior Democratic Services Manager

(Placing Request Appeal)

Aberdeen City Council
Town House
AB10 1AQ

Appeals against placing refusals are heard by an Appeals Committee which comprises members of the Council and external members with experience of education in the city.

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