THE application process for secondary school admissions is now open and parents across the Dudley borough are advised to apply now.

Applications for Year 7 intake should be made online by midnight on October 31 and for those making paper submissions - the deadline is 5pm on October 31.

Parents can express up to six school preferences on the application form including schools outside the Dudley local authority area. Parents are encouraged to use all six preferences and must complete an application form to ensure a place.

Some secondary schools are hosting open evenings during the autumn term to give parents and prospective students information about individual schools, but parents are urged to contact schools directly for further information.

Decision emails will be sent to parents after 2pm on March 1, 2021. Decision letters for people who made a paper application will be sent out by second class post on March 1. Any appeals will be heard in May/June, 2021.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, Dudley Council's cabinet member for children and young people, said: "The online application process is really quick and simple and allows parents to select up to six schools for their child. We advise parents to take advantage of this and use all six preferences.

"We recommend parents submit their application online rather than on paper as this way it’s safe, secure and they can be certain it has been received as we confirm every application via email. It also means they’ll hear the outcome more quickly as we issue all email decisions on the afternoon of March 1, 2021."

Full details of how to apply and a link to the portal can be found on Dudley Council's website

Parents with no internet access can use facilities at borough libraries or a paper form can be requested by calling Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.

Parents returning a paper form are advised to return the form by recorded delivery to ensure it is received.

Applications for primary school reception intake will open on October 1 and details will be on the council's website.