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:

If you are unsure about which school is in your catchment area you can check school catchments. Alternatively you can email for advice.

How to apply

Before applying view our out of zone placing request policy (pdf 318KB).

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

Make an out of zone placing request

Or download the out of zone placing request application form (pdf 203KB) and send it to our Learning Estates team.

View privacy notices relating to out of zone placing requests:

You should still make arrangements to enrol your child in a school in the area you live in until you know the outcome of your application.

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.

You are responsible for any transports arrangements and associated costs if your child attends an out of zone school.

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.


If we refuse your application you can appeal. The appeals committee is made up of 3 or 5 people including councillors.

You must appeal no later than 28 days after you receive the letter of refusal.

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


As we continue to follow the COVID-19 guidelines from the Scottish Government on home working, please could all placing request forms and appeal letters be emailed to the email addresses below.

For general enquiries you can contact our Learning Estate team:

Learning Estates Team
Aberdeenshire Council
Gordon House
Blackhall Road
AB51 3WA

For appeals you can contact: 

Director of Business Services
Woodhill House
Westburn Road
AB16 5GB