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Admission Arrangements

We are delighted you are considering applying for a place at Essa Academy for your child. View our Transition Guide here or below:

Timetable for admission to secondary school 2023

End of summer holidays August 2023

Secondary school admission portal opens for parent/carer to apply online for secondary school.  Admission booklet available online.

September/October 2023

Schools will be holding open occasions where parent/carer will have the chance to visit the schools they are interested in. Further information from school.

31st  October 2023

Closing date for applications to be submitted. Online applications must be submitted by the end of the day, and the website will close at the end of this day.

1st  March 2024 (or next working day)

National offer day. Offer emails will be sent out to parents/carers informing them of the school they have been allocated. Appeal forms will be made available online for any child not receiving a place at their first preference school.

End of March 2024

Last date for appeals to be lodged, to be heard in the first round of appeals. Appeals lodged after this date may be heard later in June/July.

March - Autumn 2024

Children who have not been offered a place at their chosen school will automatically be added to the schools waiting list for the original preference schools, places offered off the waiting list where possible.

End of April/May/June 2024

School appeals heard.

September 2024

School term starts.


Note: this timetable applies to parents/carers resident in the Bolton Council area. If you live outside Bolton the timetable may differ.

How to apply

You can apply quickly and easily online at The closing date is 31st October 2023.


The online application form will allow you to express three preferences for a school. All applications will be considered after the closing date. Applications are not considered on a first come first served basis. We would advise you use all three preferences.


Applying online is:

  • Quick and easy Safe and secure

  • Allows you to make changes at any time up until the closing date Provides confirmation upon receipt of your application

  • Enables you to receive application results by e-mail


Where can I access the website to apply online?

At home, work, or at any Bolton Library.


Free internet access is available at Bolton libraries for two hours per day.


Computers can be booked up to one week in advance, either in person when visiting the library or by telephone on 01204 333333.


To use the computers you need to be a member of Bolton libraries, however, you can join as an ICT member only if this is all you want to do. Membership of the library is free and anyone can join. All you have to do is fill in a form at your nearest library.


Please note: to register online applications you will need a valid email address.


The closing date for applications is 31 October 2023.

Admissions Criteria

In brief EFAT’s admissions policy for Essa Academy and over-subscription criteria are:

  • All children will be admitted if there are sufficient places available.

  • Children with a statement of special educational need or an Educational Health Care plan, naming Essa Academy will be admitted.

  • If there are insufficient places available, priority will be given to:

    • Looked after children (children in public care), or those who have been

    • Other children deemed vulnerable

    • Children with a sibling attending Essa Primary Academy or Essa Academy

    • Children with a proven medical or social need

    • Children who live nearest to Essa Academy

    • Tie breaker - geographical proximity to Essa Academy

Published Admission Number

September 2021 - 210


Usually your child will be offered a place at a preferred school, but if you are not offered a place in one of your preferred schools or you are unhappy with the school place allocated for whatever reason, you have the right to appeal to an independent panel. Bolton Council’s Democratic Services unit will set up appeals on behalf of all the schools in Bolton.


Before deciding whether to appeal, it may be helpful to visit the school you have been offered a place at. You may decide that you are happy with the alternative offered and have no need to use the appeal procedure. The offer you receive from Bolton Council will also provide information about your right to appeal. You must make sure your appeal is submitted within the deadline given. If you want to appeal for more than one school you must complete a separate appeal form for each school you are appealing for.


Appeals are usually held in May/June/July. You will be given approximately two weeks’ notice of the date, time and place of the appeal. You are advised to attend the appeal hearing, where you will be given the opportunity to put your particular case forward and ask questions.


The result of your appeal will depend on the strength of your case. In most admission appeals the panel goes through two stages:


Stage 1

The panel hears the case put by the Admission Authority explaining how places have been allocated and why it could not offer a place at your preferred school. The panel must consider if the admission arrangements comply with the School Admissions Code, whether the admission arrangements were correctly applied and if the admission of additional children into the school would prejudice the provision of efficient education or efficient use of resources.


Stage 2

If the panel does decide there was good reason for turning down your application and the admission of additional children would prejudice the provision of efficient education or use of resources, they begin the second stage of the appeal. The panel hears your case, and you give your reasons for appealing against the decision. You can mention all the reasons why the school is best for your child, and what special factors justify your child being offered a place in the school. The panel then makes a ‘balancing judgement’

to decide whether the benefits for your child going to this school instead of the one they have been offered, outweigh the problems caused to the school in having one extra pupil. If the panel decide that your case is stronger, it will uphold your appeal and the Admission Authority is then under a duty to admit your child to the school.


If the appeal succeeds, the Admission Authority must offer your child a place at the school. If your appeal does not succeed, your child will be kept on the waiting list for your preferred school. There is no set number of appeals that are allowed. The panel may allow some, all or none at all. Unless there are significant and material changes in circumstances relevant to a further appeal the policy is not to consider repeat appeals for the same school. If you are unsuccessful with your appeal you may appeal for other schools in the same way stated above providing they were listed as one of your preference schools.  You cannot appeal for a place in a school unless you have been refused a place.

You can also complete the appeal form online here - Schools and children: School admission appeal

Admissions at other times

If you are new to the area or for some other reason you are seeking a place at Essa Academy at a time other than the normal application time for admission you should obtain and complete and return an In-Year Admission form to Bolton Council.

Full details and online application forms are available for downloading from Bolton MBC by following the link below.

Secondary school places – Bolton Council

Admissions outside of the normal age range

Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. Full details of the Trust’s arrangements for considering such requests are included in the admissions policy. There is no right of appeal if this is refused.

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