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School admissions guidance for parents, carers and sponsors for Ukraine nationals arriving on government schemes


The school year ends on 21 July 2022. Schools reopen on 1 September 2022. 

You can apply for a school place using the online portal during summer. But we need to contact schools before we can offer your child a place. This process takes up to 15 school days.

You may not hear about a school place for your child before 22 September 2022.  We work hard to complete the process as soon as possible.


The Government have set up the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme which allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Phase One of the scheme opened on 18 March for visa applications from Ukrainian applicants who have named people in the UK willing to sponsor them.

The Government has also set up the Ukraine Family scheme which allows Ukraine nationals and dependents to come to the UK to join family members.

Both schemes allow you to live, work and study in the UK and access public funds.

School admission

School Admissions for children aged 4 to 16 are co-ordinated by East Sussex County Council.

The Admissions and Transport service can support you in applying for children who are already of school age and children due to start school for the first time in September 2022.

Contact School Admissions online or call 0300 330 9472 between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Information for Families East Sussex offer impartial information, advice, and guidance service on admission into a Nursery or early-years setting.

They can be contacted:

If you have a child aged 16-18 you will need to apply directly to colleges and sixth forms.  For advice about where to apply, you can visit our website: What options do I have at 16?

How to apply for a school place

Applications should be submitted by the parent or carer. If the application cannot be submitted by the parent or carer, the parent or carer will need to confirm in writing that they authorise another named person to be added as a contact on the application.

Parents and carers can apply online or download and print a paper form from the relevant section. Hosts can assist the family with this, or staff at the local school will be able to help during term-time.

Parents and carers should be supported to read the guidance provided on the site before applying.  Parents may be asked for proof of address, and this will need to be provided by the host.

This is needed because each home address in the county will fall into the community area for one or more schools, and in most cases, children are prioritised for admission to the school(s) in their community area, or by distance from home to school.

Some schools prioritise children who are baptised members of a Christian community, and all this information is available below:

In-year admission

Parents and carers of children already of school age should apply through our website:

Children are taught according to their chronological age and follow the national curriculum for that age group.

The tables below show the ages of children this applies to for 2022-2023:

Primary school
Age group Date of birth from Date of birth to
Reception 1 September 2017 31 August 2018
Year 1 1 September 2016 31 August 2017
Year 2 1 September 2015 31 August 2016
Year 3 1 September 2014 31 August 2015
Year 4 1 September 2013 31 August 2014
Year 5 1 September 2012 31 August 2013
Year 6 1 September 2011 31 August 2012
Secondary school
Age group Date of birth from Date of birth to
Year 7 1 September 2010 31 August 2011
Year 8 1 September 2009 31 August 2010
Year 9 1 September 2008 31 August 2009
Year 10 1 September 2007 31 August 2008
Year 11 1 September 2006 31 August 2007

Other arrangements apply for children who are due to join Reception or year 7 in September 2023, and these are in the Admission to Primary school section of this guide.

Families should apply when they arrive in East Sussex

We cannot guarantee that a place will be available at the preferred school. If we are unable to offer a listed preference a place will be offered at the closest school with available space. This will be at the catchment school if possible, or the closest school with available space if not.

Where possible, we will try and allocate siblings the same school.

We cannot guarantee admission at the school that the sponsors children attend or where other family members’ children attend.

Some religious schools in East Sussex have additional forms which give priority to children of that religion. You should still submit our application but may also wish to complete the school’s form as well.  These can be found on the school’s website.

For assistance with the application process please email the Admissions Team or phone 0300 330 9472 between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Admission to Primary school

Children born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019 can join school, in Reception, for the first time from September 2023.

The application process for this will start on 12 September 2022 and the closing date is 15 January 2023.  It is very important to apply by this date as if you are late, all the places at your preferred school may have been offered to other children.

Decisions will be sent to parents on 17 April 2023, with information about what to do next.

Admission to Secondary school

Children born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012 – or educated in Year 6 during the 2022-23 school year – should start secondary school, Year 7 from September 2023.

The application process for this will start on 12 September 2022 and the closing date is 31 October 2022.  It is very important to apply by this date as if you are late, all the places at your preferred school may have been offered to other children.

Decisions will be sent to parents on 1 March 2023, with information about what to do next.


I am a sponsor and would like the guest child(ren) to attend the same school as my own children will that be considered?

Where possible we will allocate a place at a preferred school if it has available spaces. If a school is oversubscribed in the year group required, and there is an alternative within a reasonable travelling distance, this will be offered instead.  It is the responsibility of parents and carers to make the application, not the host, but you can assist the family with the process.

Siblings are prioritised by all schools in East Sussex. In most cases, sibling is defined as brother or sister, half-brother or half-sister, adopted brother or sister, and in every case, the child should be living in the same family unit at the same address.

Therefore, host families’ children are not classed as siblings, so guest children will not be prioritised on this basis.

The school you have allocated is not my preferred school. Can my child still be considered for my preferred school?

Yes, the decision email will explain to you how to join the waiting list for your preferred school, and also how to appeal for a place.  You can do this for any school you have applied for that has not been able to offer a place.

I want my child to attend a lower year group, will they automatically be considered for the year group I want?

No, children are almost always taught in the appropriate national curriculum year group for their age. If you believe that it is in the child’s best interest to place them in a different year group a request can be made for a child to be offset into a lower year group.

If you wish for your child to be considered in a different year group, please email the Admissions Team to explain what you would like before making an in‐year application, and we will send you the relevant information.

The appropriate admission authority is responsible for making the decision in the best interest of a child.

Uniform: what will my child need to wear/take to school?

You will be expected to buy a uniform for your child as well as suitable clothing for Physical Education, a water bottle and bags to carry their possessions. Each school will have a different uniform which can be bought at a reasonable cost nearby, or through the school itself.  Details can be found on the school’s website.

Free school meals: will my child be entitled?

Midday school meals are provided free of charge to all children in years Reception, 1 and 2, and to older children whose families are on Universal Credit and certain other benefits. Vegetarian and halal meals can be provided on request, and any other dietary requirements can be discussed with the school.

If you are on benefits, you will need to apply for free school meals if you would like your child to receive them.

You can, if you prefer, send your child to school with a packed lunch, but you will need to pay for this from your own income.  Some schools will have specific policies about what foods are allowed in school, so it is best to check before your child starts.

How will my child get to school?

Transport to school is normally the responsibility of the family concerned. However, if your home is over 3 miles (4.3km) away from your nearest available school, or 2 miles (3.12km) if your child is below the age of 8, you will be entitled to help with transport to school. This will usually be a pass to be used on public transport, although in rural areas where this is unavailable it may be a hired coach. 

Children who are unable to walk to school because of a medical condition will be assessed separately and you will need to apply for assistance with transport if this is the case.

Further information about home to school transport is available:

Will I need to buy books and other materials?

These are normally provided free of charge, but you may be asked to make a contribution towards art or photography materials if your child chooses to study these subjects at GCSE, or to purchase various apps or supporting books related to courses they are studying.  Schools will often have a list of items which students need to purchase prior to joining the school, which should be available on their website.  In cases of hardship the school will often help.

My child doesn’t speak English, can the school help?

All schools will be able to access support to help children to learn English and to understand the lessons they are learning.  This will not be all the time, but will focus on helping your child to be able to learn with the other children in the school.

My child has special educational needs and/or a disability, what do I do about schooling?

It is very important to tell the school about any needs your child has- all schools will be happy to support any child they can, but they can only do this if they are aware of what those needs are.  For more information, see our Local Offer website.

What if there are School trips/off-site activities?

Many schools offer a variety of enrichment activities off-site ranging from local theatre or museum trips to overseas residential trips lasting around a week.  These are non-compulsory and parents will be expected to pay a financial contribution if they wish their child to attend.  Schools will often help in cases of hardship.

Are there any school organisations for parents to join?

All schools will have a group of parents and school staff members, often called the ‘PTA’ or ‘Friends of…school’.  These organisations exist to support the school by fundraising for various activities and they have charitable status.  You can attend any meetings of these or fundraising activities you wish, and the activities often involve sales of second hand uniforms and books which families of older children donate so that younger ones can buy them.