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Year 6-7 Admissions

The transfer from Primary to Secondary School is co-ordinated by Torbay Local Authority. You can find all the information you need on Torbay Council's website, which you can access using the following link:

If your child attends a primary school in Torbay, you will receive a letter directly from Torbay Council with login information that will enable you to complete an online application. The local authority distributes a booklet, known as TIPS1, via Torbay primary schools towards the end of Year 5 which contains information about all of the secondary schools in Torbay and a paper version of the application form. The TIPS1 booklet is also available on Torbay Council’s website.

You will be able to apply for a secondary school place between 1 September and 31 October of the year that your child is in Year 6.  Applications received after 31 October will not be considered until places have been allocated to children whose applications were received on time.  This may mean that your child does not get a place at a school that would have been able to offer a place if the application was received on time, so it is very important that you keep to the deadline.  The online system is the best way to ensure that your application is submitted as you will receive emailed confirmation of your application.  Once you have registered with the online system you can log in and change your application until the application deadline.  You can apply for a place at up to three schools; these choices are referred to as ‘preferences’.


The Spires College is one of only five Bilateral Schools in the UK.  Bilateral schools have a limited number of places for students who have achieved selective standard when taking the 11+ exam, alongside the majority of the student population who take up mainstream (non-selective) places.  Generally, we are able to offer selective places to students from a wider geographical area than our non-selective students.  This is because the number of students reaching selective standard and therefore gaining a selective place, is less than those who apply for a non-selective place.  If you wish to apply for a selective place at any of the selective schools in Torbay, please ensure that you register for the 11+ test by the deadline, as the test papers are prepared in advance.

More information about the 11+ is available via by clicking here.

If you wish one of your choices to be for a selective place at The Spires College, you will need to indicate this on the application that you submit to Torbay Council.  Unfortunately, there are no software packages available that cater for applications to bilateral schools, because there are so few.  The ICT department at Torbay Council have adjusted their application package so that applicants can indicate that they would like to be considered for a selective place at The Spires College, but you may need to pay close attention to ensure that you have done so.  You do not need to put The Spires College as two of your three choices as, if your child is unsuccessful in gaining a selective place following the 11+ test, we will automatically treat your application as one for a non-selective place.


If you apply online you will receive an email from Torbay Council on national allocation day (1 March or, if it falls on a weekend, the first working day after 1 March) to tell you which school your child has been allocated.  This is followed the next day by a letter from Torbay Council and then a letter or email from the school to which your child has been allocated.  This notification from The Spires College is sent by email.

Because of the software issues explained above, the initial emails and letters from Torbay Council will not specify if an allocation at The Spires College is for a selective or non-selective place; the software package simply will not allow for two different kinds of application at one school.  Unfortunately, this issue cannot be overridden for the email notification.  However, The Spires College works closely with the School Admissions team to ensure that parents/carers of children who have been allocated a selective place are advised of this as soon as possible. 

The initial email from the college will be followed shortly by another with details of how to access the online registration form, which must be completed and returned by the specified deadline in order to accept the offered place.  We usually allow about two weeks for the registration forms to be completed, as we need to begin preparations for the children to transfer, such as liaison with their primary schools, etc.

Any queries can be made by email to or via the main school telephone number: 01803 400660.


This information is relevant for both Primary to Secondary and in-year transfers.

If we are oversubscribed in a year group and we cannot offer a place upon receipt of an application, we keep a waiting list of children who would like to attend the college.  Any vacancies that arise due to students leaving the school, or deciding not to take a place offered, are filled from the top of the waiting list.  The order of priority for our waiting lists can be found in our Admissions Policy, which is published on the Policies page of the college website and can be viewed by clicking here. The Admission Policy has many pages so please consider this before printing.

If we cannot offer a place there is an appeal process for parents or carers of children on the waiting list to follow, should they wish to.  Appeals for school places are arranged by the Governance Support team at Torbay Council and are heard by an independent panel.  Details of the appeals process can be found on Torbay Council's website via the following link:


For more information about School Admission arrangements please visit the following page: