School Placing Request Guidance Notes

On this page you will find information on:

As a parent/carer or young person, you have the right to make a placing request for your child/yourself to be educated in a school other than the local school.

There are sound educational reasons for trying to ensure that the transfer or admission of children to a school takes place at the start of a school session. The Education Committee, therefore, advises all parents/carers and young people who would like a school placing request (other than those who are moving home to a new area) to seek this to take effect only at the start of the next school session.

If you wish to make placing requests for more than one school for your child/yourself, the duty of the authority as defined by the Education (Scotland) Act and the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act applies only to the first named school.

Every effort, however, will be made to try to meet the wishes of parents/guardians and young people, but you should note that it is not always possible to grant every placing request to a particular school.

How to make a school Placing request

If you wish to make a school placing request you must complete an application for each child/young person. Please ensure that all sections of the form are completed. This will assist the education office in prioritising your request.


If your child has a sibling attending the requested school at the time the school placing request takes effect e.g. the school start date in August if you are applying for a place for a new school session, please tell us about this on the school placing request application form.

Additional Support Needs

Children and young people may have additional support needs for a short or a long time. They will already be receiving support in schools to help them to learn, but additional support may be needed at times for a variety of reasons, for example if a child or young person has an additional support need in relation to the following:

That the child or young person:

  • finds it difficult to behave in school;
  • who has experienced grief and loss
  • is hearing or visually impaired;
  • has a particular health need;
  • is living with parents who have a drug or alcohol dependency;
  • has English as an additional language.

Depending on the need arising from their circumstances, a child or young person may require additional support to help them achieve their potential.

Co-ordinated Support Plan - This statutory plan is used to identify, and ensure provision of, services for children and young people with complex or multiple additional support needs.

A Co-ordinated Support Plan will be prepared for a small number of children and young people with the most extensive additional support needs, if their needs:

  • arise from complex or multiple factors
  • are likely to last for more than a year
  • require significant support, which needs a high degree of co-ordination from agencies other than education

Pupil Support Plan – a pupil support plan is a detailed plan for your child’s learning. It usually describes your child’s additional support needs and the type of support they require. These plans set out short-term aims and goals for your child and the methods that will be used to help to reach them.

Full information about additional support provision in your area can be obtained from the Education office.

If you specify in your request that your child/yourself has any documented Additional Support Needs this should be supported by reports/evidence from the appropriate professionals. Information on whether a Co-ordinated Support Plan has been prepared, or is in the process of being prepared or you have requested an assessment to be undertaken, is also required.

In addition, information on what the child’s/young person’s first language is, together with whether there is any involvement with external agencies e.g. Social Work, Housing, Health, Psychological Services, Children’s Panel, should also be provided.

Special Educational Facility

Provision is made in the school admission policy to give a degree of priority to pupils requesting entry to specialist educational facilities in the Council area. For example, in East Dunbartonshire we currently manage facilities such as these, namely Douglas Academy Music School and Meadowburn Primary Gaelic Unit.

Check list of documents submitted to support your application

Please ensure you attach all relevant documents with your placing request application. Any incomplete applications or applications that do not have the relevant documentation attached will result in the application form being delayed. If you are unable to upload the relevant documents then they can be emailed to

Please note that if your school primary placing request application is successful your child would not automatically transfer to the associated secondary school. 

Timescale for making decisions

The timescale for making decisions on school placing request applications is outlined below.

  • If you wish your child/yourself to start the school of your choice at the beginning of the school year in August and your application has been submitted by the closing date 15 March, you will be given an answer by 30 April.
  • If you wish your child/yourself to start the school of your choice at the beginning of the school year in August and your application has been received by this office after the closing date 15 March will be considered a late application and will not be considered until after 30 April. 
  • If you wish your child/yourself to go to a different school in the middle of the school year, you will be given an answer within 2 months from the date your application has been received by this office.

School placing requests for primary and secondary schools will be considered against a set of guidelines which set out the council’s priorities for admission. Placing requests for special schools are considered on the individual needs of the child or young person.

As soon as a decision has been made you will be notified of the result. If your placing request is successful, the school will contact you to establish arrangements for enrolment.

If your request is refused

If you do not get an answer within the above timescales, your request is treated as a refusal and you will have the right of appeal to an appeal committee. In the case of a refusal for a child or young person who has a co-ordinated support plan or a plan is in the process of being prepared, the appeal should be made to a Tribunal. Every effort will be made to ensure this situation does not occur.

The appeal should be sent to the Education Appeal Committee via

You will, by the time of the appeal, know the reasons why your placing request was refused and you will be given the opportunity to present your case in person or through a representative, whichever you prefer.

If the appeal committee refuses your request, you have the right of further appeal to the Sheriff. If the Tribunal refuses your request, you have the right of appeal on a point of law to the Court of Session.

How decisions are made

The responsibility for decisions on placing requests lies with the Chief Education Officer.

Where there are more requests than places available for a particular school or a particular stage in a school, all requests will also be considered by the Chief Education Officer.

Guidelines and criteria

Chief Education Officer works to a set of guidelines in reaching decisions on placing requests to primary and secondary schools – admission to special schools is based on the individual needs of each child or young person. These guidelines set out the council’s priorities for admission and can be obtained from the Shared Services.

An abbreviated version of the priorities for admission can be found in the attached appendix 1.

Why requests are sometimes not granted

The authority may refuse a school placing request where granting it would, amongst other reasons:

  1. if placing your child in the specified school (that is, the school specified in your placing request) would:
    1. make it necessary for the 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 your child's education;
    4. be likely to be seriously detrimental to order and discipline in the school; or
    5. be likely to be seriously detrimental to the educational well-being of pupils attending the school;
  2. if the education normally provided at the specified school is not suited to the age, ability or aptitude of the child;
  3. if the education authority have already required the child to discontinue his/her attendance at the specified school;
  4. if, where the specified school is a special school, the child does not have additional support needs requiring the education or special facilities normally provided at that school;
  5. if the specified school is a single sex school (within the meaning given to that expression by section 26 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975) and your child is not of the sex admitted or taken (under that Section) to be admitted to the school;
  6. if accepting a request would prevent the Council from retaining reserved places at the specified school to accommodate pupils likely to become resident in the school’s catchment area between the requested application date and the end of the session to which the request relates;
  7. if, assuming that pupils 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 take an additional teacher into employment at that school.
  8. if accepting a request would mean that the capacity of the school would be exceeded in terms of pupil numbers.
  9. if the specified school is not a public school, the authority can make alternative provision for the child’s additional support needs and it is not reasonable to place the child in the specified school having regard to the suitability and cost of the provision there and in the school the child would otherwise attend, and the child has been offered a place.

Pupil Travel

The education authority does not provide transport for those pupils in receipt of a school placing request other than in exceptional circumstances, therefore parents/guardians should make appropriate transport arrangements to ensure their child(ren) arrive at school safely.