Virtual Schoolbag (VSB)

10 Sep 2018
Business managers, bursars and secretaries, governors, headteachers, sencos, teachers and teaching assistants of all schools
For information
Action, Information
Arrangements for children transferring to Secondary School in September 2019

Arrangements for the secondary transfer process for September 2019 are set out below and it would be helpful if the person at your school responsible for the administration of the process is made aware of the content of this article. Parents are encouraged to apply online rather than make a paper application and we would actively discourage you providing paper applications to parents if at all possible. You are reminded that we no longer send booklets and paper applications forms to parents. they are given a leaflet advising how to apply and view the arrangements on line.

1           Timetable

The secondary transfer process operates under a nationally co-ordinated scheme and you will find the timetable is now available on Czone. It is vital you study this year’s arrangements and deadlines. You may recall the scheme was agreed following consultation with schools and a full copy is available on our website. The timetable has a column for 'schools actions' so you will be able to follow the required actions throughout the school year.


2           Children in the transfer age group

The data schools provide us with has been used to update our pupil database. A further update will take place in September to link with the termly census. It is assumed this accurately reflects the children in your Year 6 age group. Please could you ensure that school data is up-to-date and that we have the latest information on individual children. When parents indicate a change of address, it would be helpful that the current school obtains documentary evidence of the new address to ensure this is now the child's permanent place of residence. Experience has shown that a small number of parents give a false address to secure a place at their preferred school. If parents share the care of their children it will be necessary for us to determine which address the child spends the majority of weekday nights during term time.

If you have any questions about addresses please contact colleagues in our team at


3           Pupils who are the subject of an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP)

You may give the leaflets [see below] to children with an EHCP but they will receive details direct from the ISEND team. It is, however, possible that you are proposing to refer other children for assessment and it would be helpful if you could advise us in admissions if you are aware of any children in this category.


4           The admissions process

Our booklet 'Apply for a school 2019-20' is now available for parents to view or download from our website where parents can also apply online using the Parent Portal. A supply of leaflets explaining how to apply for a school place will be sent to you very shortly by courier. These should be distributed to every child in the Year 6 age group by 12 September at the latest and posted home for any children not in school.

We no longer have hard copies of the booklet. The booklet is available online and includes a copy of the application form and schools are asked wherever possible to assist parents with applying online or printing relevant information or forms for them. If you or the applicant need assistance or forms posted out please contact us at or 0300 330 9472

Under the co-ordinated arrangements, parents living outside of East Sussex must make an application for a secondary school place through their 'home authority', even if they require a place at an East Sussex school. Any parents residing outside East Sussex must therefore apply online through their local authority or obtain a copy of that authority's application form.

The closing date for secondary school applications is 31 October 2018. Parents have been asked to return paper applications direct to us but if you do receive any they should be forwarded to the admissions team as soon as they are received and date-stamped with the date the document arrived in school. You could alternatively scan the document and email it to the admissions inbox. Late applications will be accepted but will be considered after all on-time applications and it may not be possible for us to consider these at the initial allocation stage. Furthermore, it may not be possible for us to offer one of the schools that featured as a preference[s] as by then all available places may have been allocated.


5           School Access Module - SAM

SAM allows direct access to the admissions database where secondary schools can view applications and, for those schools responsible for their own admissions, assign and rank their applications. All secondary schools should verify where sibling connections have been claimed.  

Primary schools are also asked to ensure that applications for the children in their Year 6 age group have been submitted. Where an application has not been made you will need to remind parents prior to the closing date that they need to apply, you may wish to do this by newsletter or SMS or by sending an e-leaflet to remind parents. We will make these available at the appropriate time. Colleagues in Customer Relations or ESBAS can assist if you are experiencing difficulty in obtaining applications from parents. This is particularly important where children come from socially deprived families or where families may have difficulty in understanding the process.


6           Cases requiring special consideration

Community and voluntary controlled schools do not have criteria which refer to a child’s exceptional medical or social needs. However some admissions authorities do. It is of course possible that some parents may approach the Headteacher or staff of their child's present school to ask whether it is likely that the child will be allocated a place at a particular secondary school. It is important that staff at schools say nothing which could be construed as a guarantee that a place would be offered at a particular school.

On occasions in the past Headteachers have submitted letters to support preferences expressed for particular schools, please bear in mind that for county and controlled schools any reasons put forward will not be taken into account and your writing may therefore give the parent false hope.


7           Offer of places

The majority of parents will receive an email notification to convey the outcome of their application. Those who did not apply online will still be sent a letter and these will be despatched from our office on 1 March 2019, the National Allocation Date.

Secondary Schools will be able to view the allocations via SAM and record acceptance of the places before importing this information into the school's management information system [SIMS] at the relevant time.        

Please remember if you are a Local Authority school we are now measuring distances for admission purposes by straight line route. Distances for determining eligibility to home to school transport are still calculated by shortest walking route. Please also bear in mind that the sibling rule changed in September 2017 for siblings residing outside of the community area and parents may seek clarification from you regarding this.        



David Taylor
Guy Thorndyke
Senior Admissions and Transport Officer

Phone: 0300 3309472
David Taylor
Admissions and Transport Team Leader

Phone: 01273 337386