Apply for a school outside your catchment

Your child would normally attend a school within the school zone (catchment area) close to where you live. However, you can request that your child attends a school in another zone:

Before you apply

Find your catchment school by visiting the school catchments page. Alternatively you can email education@aberdeenshire.gov.uk for advice.

Please be aware that you are responsible for any transport arrangements and associated costs if your child attends an out of zone school.

View the out of zone placing request policy (PDF 318KB) for more information.

How to apply

To apply for an out of zone school here are the steps you need to take (in the following order):

  1. If the placing request is for a P1 admission, you must enrol your child to their in-zone school 
  2. Complete an out of zone placing request
  3. If your placing request is successful, enrol your child to the out of zone school

1. If the placing request is for a P1 admission

If your child has already started primary, please skip this step.

If your child is starting P1, there is an additional step you need to take before making an out of zone placing request. You will need to apply for a primary school place for your in-zone school (you will be able to indicate on the form that you are applying for an out of zone place). This is to make sure your child has a school place if the out of zone placing request is declined.

2. Complete an out of zone placing request

To request that your child attends a school outside your zone please complete the online form.

Make an out of zone placing request

Alternatively, you can complete the paper form (available in two formats) and email it to our Learning Estates team:

We have two months to make a decision on all placing request applications. We will normally accept your request if there is a place available at the school. Find out what happens when there are more requests than there are places.

Applying for the next school session

If you are applying for the next school session, we deal with applications received before 15th March first and notify all the applicants at the same time. We have until 30th April to notify applicants regarding out of zone placing request decisions. Applications received after 15th March will then be considered and we have up to two months to make a decision. 

Applying after school session has started

If you are applying to start a school partway through the current school session, we assess applications on a first come first served basis. We will let you know our decision as soon as possible however we have up to two months to make a decision.

3. Placing request approved - enrol your child to the out of zone school

If your placing request is approved, you should then apply for a primary school place for the out of zone school. You will be asked to confirm on the form that your out of zone placing request was approved.

Apply for a primary school place

Primary (except P1 admissions)

If your placing request is approved and your child has already started at primary school please follow the instructions in your approval letter from the Learning Estates team to enrol at the out of zone school.

Secondary

If your placing request is approved, please follow the instructions in your approval letter from the Learning Estates team to enrol at the out of zone school.

Appeals

If we refuse your application you can appeal no later than 28 days after you receive the letter of refusal. The appeals committee is made up of 3 or 5 people including councillors.

You should keep in mind that you:

  • can't 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

You can appeal in writing by providing:

  • reference number from the refusal letter
  • your child’s full name
  • name of the school you would like them to attend
  • reasons for appealing against the decision

Please send your letter to the Director of Business Services.

Find out more about your right to appeal

Contact

As we continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines from the Scottish Government on home working, if you are applying in paper please email your application to us rather than posting it.

For general enquiries you can contact our Learning Estate team:

Learning Estates Team
Aberdeenshire Council
Gordon House
Blackhall Road
Inverurie
AB51 3WA
Email: placingrequest@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

For appeals you can contact: 

Director of Business Services
Woodhill House
Westburn Road
Aberdeen
AB16 5GB
Email: educationappeals@aberdeenshire.gov.uk