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Any pupil has the right to a place at any one of the schools for which Bolton Local Authority (LA) is the Admission Authority, provided that the demand for places at a school does not exceed the admission number for that school. Where demand for a school exceeds the number of places available the LA needs to allocate places based on a fair and objective method.

If a community school is oversubscribed, the criteria listed below will be applied in priority order. All applications will be considered without reference to the parents/carers preference ranking for a school (the order the school is expressed as a preference).

Children who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) will be offered places first. The following criteria will then apply:


1. Children in Public Care (Looked after children) including adopted children who were previously in care and children who leave care under a special guardianship or residence order. A ‘looked after child’ has the same meaning as in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989, and means any child who is (a) in the care of a local authority or (b) being provided with accommodation by them in the exercise of their social services 6 functions (e.g. children with foster parents) at the time of making the application to the school. “A ‘previously looked after child’ is a child who was looked after, but ceased to be so because he or she was adopted, or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order. Previously looked after children also includes those children who appear (to Bolton Council) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. Children adopted overseas will be treated as if they were previously looked after children from this country.

1.1 All schools must have oversubscription criteria for each ‘relevant age group’ and the highest priority must be given, unless otherwise provided in this Code, to looked after children and all previously looked after children, including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order). All references to previously looked after children in this Code mean such children who were adopted (or subject to child arrangements orders or special guardianship orders) immediately following having been looked after and those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. Oversubscription criteria must then be applied to all other applicants in the order set out in the arrangements.

2. Children for whom there is a child protection plan or has been within a 12 month period. A Child Protection Plan is one which is made under Section 47 of the Children Act 1989.

3. Children who will have older siblings in Years 7 to 11 of the preferred school at the time of application and the date of admission. Siblings can include full, step, half, foster and adopted brothers and sisters living at the same address.

4. Children who suffer from a medical condition or disability, which makes it better for them to attend the school rather than another. Places will only be offered under this criterion if the child has certified medical condition with strong professional supporting evidence confirming that existing exceptional problems with the child’s health would be seriously exacerbated if a place were not made at the preferred school. Medical evidence must be provided at the time of application. Parents applying under the criteria must provide a letter from the child’s GP/Consultant setting out the reasons why the school is the most suitable school and details of the child’s medical condition. Medical evidence must be submitted by 31 October 2021. Evidence received after this date will not be taken into consideration.

5. Proximity (where you live)
Children who live nearest the school (geographical proximity). Under this category, the remaining places will be offered to children who live nearest the preferred school. The distance will be measured in a straight line using Routefinder, a computerised mapping system which measures from the home address point to the designated main entrance to the school.


If category (2) or (3) is oversubscribed, geographical proximity (as set out in category 5) will be used as the ‘tie breaker’ to decide between the remaining cases. If after measuring distances it is still not possible to decide on the child(ren) to be offered admission (for example two children living in the same block of flats or in the same house) the Local Authority’s system of a random draw will determine which of the children can be offered a place. The draw will take place at the Local Authority’s offices and the name(s) will be drawn by a Local Authority Officer who is independent of the admissions process.

Where a single place remains at a school and the application being considered is for twins etc. the council will allocate above the admission number to accommodate each child.

Applications for Westhoughton High School should be made online via The closing date for all applications is 31st October. Places will be confirmed on National Offer Day 1st March.

In-Year Admissions

For parents looking to secure a place for their son/ daughter during the school year (any year group), you are kindly requested to contact Bolton Council’s School Admissions team, they also co-ordinate this process for us.

Admissions Contact Details

Pupil and Student Services, Bolton Council, Paderborn House, 16 Howell Croft North, Bolton, BL1 1UA | 01204 332143 or

Admissions Appeals

You have the statutory right to submit an appeal for a place at your preferred school when your application has been unsuccessful.

  • The deadline for secondary school appeals for the September 2024 intake is Monday 15 April 2024.
  • Appeals for in year admissions can be made at any time.