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Timeline for entry in 2018

1. Timeline for entry in 2018

Children born between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007 will be moving up to secondary school in September 2018. Use this timeline to give you all the important dates for your diary.

2017


September-October 2017 – Open Events – visit schools

It’s important you find out about the schools you are interested in before you decide to put them on your application. You can name up to six schools when you apply.

Find my child a school place

Use our school directory to find out when a school’s next open event is. This is the easiest way to see a school first hand. You may need to make an appointment.


12 September – Applications open

The online portal opens for secondary school applications.  Please ensure you have read our Guide for applying online before making your application.

Apply for a secondary school place


12 September – Preparation Test

 Children take the Preparation Test.


14 September – Secondary Transfer Test

 Children take the Secondary Transfer Test



13 October – Secondary Transfer Test results

 Parents receive their child’s Secondary Transfer Test results.


19 October

We recommend you apply online, or with a paper form, by this date to give us time to acknowledge that we have received your application.


20 October – last date to hand in application

This is the latest date for parents of children who go to a Buckinghamshire LA primary school to hand their paper form into their child’s school (Buckinghamshire residents).


31 October, 3pm – DEADLINE Applications close

This is the latest date for you to make and submit an online application – you have until 3pm. If you are posting a paper application, it must reach us no later than 3pm on this date. All applicants must submit address evidence to accompany their application.

Submit your address evidence

31 October – DEADLINE Last date for moving into Buckinghamshire

The latest date for moving into Buckinghamshire (and providing evidence) for us to use this address when we consider your school preferences for the first round of allocations. Please note that some Academies, as well as Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided schools, may have different deadlines – check their rules.

2018


1 March – National Offer Day

After 2pm, parents who applied online will be able to log in and view their offer. They will also be sent an email.

View your offer online

If you applied by post we will send your offer by first class post.

What to do after you get your offer


29 June – Last date for late testing

This is the latest date we can receive evidence to agree to register a child for the Secondary Transfer Test if they have very recently moved into the area. Testing will take place in July


3 & 4 July – School transition days

Children go to Transition Day at their new secondary school.


September 2018 – Start of new school year

The new school year starts and children attend their new school.

Term dates in Buckinghamshire

2. How to decide which schools to apply for

It is essential that you make your application correctly, and on time, as this can significantly affect your chances of being offered a place at the school you are interested in. Check our timeline to get all the important dates for your diary.

  • Find the schools near you            

Use our ‘Find my child a school place’ service to find information about the schools you are interested in including catchment areas, OFSTED report, admission numbers and the admission rules used for entry in the previous year.

  • Visit the schools you are interested in

Schools have open events to give you the chance to look around and learn more about them. It is best to visit a number of schools, including your nearest/catchment schools. Even if you are not sure if a school might be right for your child, it is helpful to learn more about the school and to visit it in person.

Use our school directory to find out when their next open event is.

  • Think about how to get to school 

Think about how your child will get to school each day. Make sure you read and understand the School Transport rules. You can check whether you are eligible for free school transport. If being able to walk to school is important to you, ask whether the school has a School Travel Plan.

  • Decide on your preferences

You cannot choose a school for your child, but you can make preferences. You can put up to six schools on your application. Make sure you understand how we allocate school places.

  • Apply for a place

Make and submit your secondary school application by 3pm on 31 October 2017 at the very latest. At the same time, send us evidence of where you live.

Some schools have a Supplementary Form they would like you to fill in to give them more information to help them decide who can be offered a place.

3. Types of secondary schools

Secondary schools in Buckinghamshire are for children aged 11 to 18, and include the following types of school:

  • Upper/all-ability schools – for children of all abilities
  • Grammar schools - for children who qualify through the Secondary Transfer Testing process
  • Special schools - for children with an Education, Health & Care Plan (formerly a Statement of Special Educational Needs).

Each secondary school is classed as an Academy or a Community, Foundation or Voluntary-Aided school. There are also two Free schools in Buckinghamshire.

Academies are independent state schools and are established by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups, or as a result of schools converting in line with Government legislation. Places are offered on behalf of the governing body or trust, which sets and applies the admission rules.

Community schools are managed by the Local Authority (LA).

For Foundation schools the governing body sets and applies the admission rules. We will offer places on behalf of the governing body.

Free schools are set up by local groups and have greater control of the curriculum, selection of staff and school conditions. They are funded directly from Central Government. Free schools are not selective and are free for children to attend. Places are offered on behalf of the trust which sets and applies the admission rules.

Voluntary-Aided schools are managed by the Church of England or Roman Catholic diocese. The governing body of the school sets and applies the admission rules and we will offer school places on behalf of the governing body.

All schools have Admission Rules (criteria) which are used to decide which children should be offered places if there are more applications than places available.

You can use the school directory to see which type each school is classed as, and which rules apply to each school. Schools do have different rules, and possibly deadlines, so you must check these before making your application. 

When we talk about an Admission Authority, this is who is responsible for admissions for a particular school.

For Community schools, the Admission Authority is Buckinghamshire LA. For Academies, Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided schools, this is the school itself.

4. Getting the order of your preferences right

If you live in Buckinghamshire, you can put up to six schools on your application. Make sure you complete your application carefully because this will give us the information we need to work out where your child will be on the list for each of the schools you have put down.

We use an ‘Equal Preference Scheme’ to decide which school can be offered to your child. This means that when we are making decisions, we don’t take into account the order (1 to 6) that you have put the schools in on your application; we will just list all children according to the admission rules for each school. It is as though you’ve made up to six separate applications to your preferred schools.

We can only offer a child one school place at any one time. When we are allocating places, if we can offer your child more than one school, we will always offer your child a place at the school you have put higher on your application. This is why the order you put the schools in is so important and why you should always put them in the order you really want them. Make sure you also understand the School Transport rules.

Make sure you enter your school preferences carefully – some schools have similar names.  We will not question preferences as parents may have a strong preference for a school that is a significant distance from their home as they work close by or are moving to that area.

You do not have to include a catchment school but it is a good idea if you want a local school. You have a greater chance of being offered a place at your catchment school if you have included it as a preference but we cannot guarantee that your child will be offered a place at your catchment school, or any of your preferred schools. You should list your preferences in the order you would like them to be considered.

If your child is taking the Secondary Transfer Test, you will be informed of the results before the application deadline - see the timeline.

You should list grammar schools on your application if your child qualifies for a grammar school and your preference is for a grammar school.

If your child qualifies for a grammar school but you nevertheless put an upper/all-ability school above a grammar school on your application, we will, if we can, offer a place at the upper / all-ability school, instead of the grammar school.

If your child does not qualify for a grammar school in the Secondary Transfer Test and your preferred school is a Buckinghamshire upper / all-ability school or a school in another area, then you need not include a Buckinghamshire grammar school on your application.

If your child does not qualify for a grammar school but your preferred school is still a grammar school then in order to continue pursuing this option, you must include a grammar school preference on your application. You may then request a Selection Review or, from 1 March 2018 (National Offer Day) onwards, an admission appeal. When completing your application, it is best to put any grammar school preference above any upper/all-ability school preference.

At the time secondary school places are allocated on 1 March 2018, if your child has not qualified for a grammar school and you have included grammar school preferences on your application, we will automatically refuse them. However, you will be entitled to appeal this refusal. If you have not included a grammar school preference on your application then you will not be able to appeal, as it is the refusal of a (grammar) school allocation on 1 March that will trigger the right to an appeal.

More information on appeals

Even if you think your child will qualify for a grammar school through the review or appeal process, it is always sensible to list an upper/all-ability school somewhere on your application.

We won’t tell any school where you ranked it on your application before we offer places.

5. How we allocate school places

Once you have submitted your application we start the process of finding your child a school place according to our Scheme and each school’s admission rules.

Step 1 - We look at the preferences made by our parents including grammar schools if your child is qualified.

Step 2 - We tell other LAs about applications for their schools made by our parents and other LAs tell us about applications for Buckinghamshire schools made by their parents.

Step 3 - We put your child on the list for the schools on your application, in admission rules order.

Step 4 - We allocate places up to the Admission Number for each of our schools.

Step 5 - We tell other LAs which of their children can be offered places at our schools and other LAs tell us which of our children can be offered places at their schools.

Step 6 - It will be possible to allocate more than one place to many children, so we keep the allocation for the school you listed higher on your application. Any other places are freed up for other children. 

Step 7 - Steps 4, 5 and 6 are repeated over and over again until we have allocated everyone the highest preference that we can.

Step 8 - On 1 March 2018 we let our parents know which school has been offered for their child. Other LAs will write to their parents. Where we cannot offer a place that preference will be refused.

For Buckinghamshire residents, if we can’t offer any of your preferences, we normally offer a place at the nearest Buckinghamshire school that has a place available. This may not be your catchment school. If your child is qualified for grammar school, we normally offer a place at the nearest Buckinghamshire grammar school with places. If your child is not qualified, we will not automatically allocate a Buckinghamshire upper/all-ability school unless you have listed one on your application. We do not assume that you want an upper/all-ability school, as you may be sending your child to an independent school if they do not qualify.

6. Admission rules

Admission rules are used when we have more applications for a school than there are places available.

We use the information from your application (and Supplementary Form if the school you are applying for wanted you to fill one in) to work out which rule to list your child under. Once we have listed all children in admission rules order we can then see who can be offered a place.

Check the School Directory to see if any of the Buckinghamshire schools you are interested in have a Supplementary Form for you to fill in. Supplementary Forms, if completed, should be sent back to the schools by 31 October 2017.

For each of the schools you would like to put on your application, you must read their admission rules carefully.  It is important to do this because some schools use different rules to decide who will be allocated a place.

Make sure you include all the information the school will need to look at when your application is considered. 

Some schools give priority to children entitled to Free School Meals. You can check their rules in the School Directory to see if this is the case, what evidence you need and where to send it.

Some schools have an exceptional medical or social needs rule that applications can be considered under, which you can check in the School Directory. If you would like to apply under this rule, you will need to submit some evidence and you can read more about this here.

Make sure you also check the admission rules for schools in other areas. They may also like you to fill in a Supplementary Form

Information about how places have been allocated at Buckinghamshire secondary schools in previous years, including details of the rules those places were offered under can be found on our policy pages as well as by using our ‘Find my child a school place’ service.

7. What to do if you are moving house

If you move after you have applied, you must give us evidence of this.

For the first round of allocations you need to provide evidence to show that you have moved and are already living in your new home by 31 October 2017 so we can use your new address when we consider your school preferences. 

 

Academies, together with Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided schools, and schools in other areas may have different deadlines so check their rules carefully. At the moment, the only school in Buckinghamshire with different moving deadlines is Dr Challoner's Grammar School.

If you are living abroad and are returning to a property in the UK, we will need to use the address that you are currently living at, unless you can provide evidence to show that you will be resident in our area by 31 October 2017.

If you move after the date given above, we will use your new address for later rounds of allocations, once we have accepted it. Please see evidence deadlines if you move after these dates. 

We use the address where you are living on 31 October 2017 for the first round of allocations on 1 March 2018. If you have only recently moved to this address you will need to provide the evidence before we will accept your new address.

If you move from the address on your application after 31 October 2017, you must tell us and provide evidence to confirm your move. However, we will use your old address for the first round.

Please see the later information if you are a Service Family or a family of other Crown Servants.

Evidence of moving

You will need to provide the following evidence of your move:

Type of house move

 Evidence we need 

Property sale

  • A solicitor’s letter confirming the date that you have completed the purchase of your new home. 
  • Evidence to show that you have disposed of your previous property or that it is no longer available for you and your family to live in (e.g. a solicitor’s letter confirming you have completed on the sale or a signed formal lease agreement to show you have leased it).
  • Copies of two of the following documents showing your new address; current Council Tax bill, driving licence, utility bill (showing usage), bank statement, or doctor’s registration letter for your child.

Property rental

  • A formal lease agreement, provided through an approved letting agency, confirming that your lease has started and showing that you will be living at the address for at least six months after 1 September 2018.
  • Evidence to show that you have disposed of your previous property or that it is no longer available for you and your family to live in (e.g. if you were previously leasing a different property, a letter from the letting agent to confirm the date you vacated that property or a solicitor’s letter confirming you completed on the sale of the property you owned).
  • Copies of two of the following documents showing your new address; current Council Tax bill, driving licence, utility bill (showing usage), bank statement, or doctor’s registration letter for your child.

Moving back from abroad to a property you already own

  • Proof that you own the property (e.g. Land Registry document). If the property is currently being leased, we need a copy of the written notice you have given the tenants that you will be returning.
  • Copies of both flight details for your return and passports.
  • A copy of the current Council Tax bill and a utility bill showing usage.

Child permanently moving from one parent/carer to live with another

  • Written confirmation from both parents of the new arrangements.
  •  A copy of the current Council Tax bill from the parent with whom the child is moving to live with.
  • Proof that Child Benefit is being paid to the parent with whom the child is going to be living with, or if Child Benefit is not received, a letter from the child’s GP confirming the address at which the child is registered.
  • We may also contact your child’s current school for confirmation and/or ask you to provide other further evidence.

Refuge (domestic abuse)

  • Written confirmation from the refuge that you are currently residing there.

Any other type of house move 

Service/Crown Servant Families

It is your responsibility to make sure we know you are a Service or Crown Servant family.

Where Service families, or families of other Crown Servants, who often move within the UK and from abroad, are posted to the area, we will allocate school places in advance of the family move, if you provide an official government letter declaring a relocation date and an intended address. A Unit postal address, or quartering area address, will be sufficient if there is not a new home address. Where Service or Crown Servant families are returning to live in a property they already own, evidence of ownership will be needed. You will need to provide evidence by 31 January 2018, to be included in the first allocation round. 

Moving out of Buckinghamshire

If you are planning to move away from Buckinghamshire before September 2018, you should still apply to us by our deadline. If you are sure of your move you can include schools for your new address and we will pass on your preferences to your new home LA. If you think your move might be delayed or fall through you might like to still apply for a Buckinghamshire school. Once your move is confirmed, please tell us your new address and whether your child will be going to the school that has been offered, or a different school. You should then contact the Admissions Team for the area you have moved to.

Moving into Buckinghamshire 

If you plan to move into Buckinghamshire and will not have completed your move by the deadline of 31 October 2017, you must make your application to your current home LA. You can choose to put Buckinghamshire schools on your application ready for your new address and your home LA will tell us about your preferences.

If you currently live abroad and you will be moving to Buckinghamshire, then you should apply online providing evidence of your move and your Normal Home Address.

The Secondary Transfer Testing registration deadline is now passed. We will only accept late applications for testing if you can provide evidence to show that your child has very recently moved into the area or there are supported exceptional reasons for the lateness of your application.

8. Understanding the terms we use

These are some of the terms we use for the admission rules and policies for Community schools. Many Academies, Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided schools, use the same terms as us.

The Community schools in Buckinghamshire are:

  • The Buckingham School
  • The Mandeville School
  • The Misbourne

Parent

The person who is the child’s ‘parent’ should make the application.

  • A parent is defined in law (the Education Act 1996) as ‘Any person who has ‘parental responsibility’ (defined in the Children Act 1989) for the child or young person.’

Or

  • Any person who has care of the child or young person.

If two parents with parental responsibility live at different addresses, the parent to whom the Child Benefit is paid should make the application with the full knowledge and consent of the non-resident parent.

If Child Benefit is not received, then the parent living at the address at which the child is registered with a GP should make the application, or failing that, then the parent with whom the child spends the greater proportion of the school week from Sunday evening to Thursday evening.

We may ask for evidence if circumstances have changed in the past 18 months. Please see the information about shared or joint residence that we cover below.

Normal Home Address

This is your child’s home address; it is where you and your child live together, unless you can show that they live elsewhere with someone with legal care and control of your child. For admission purposes, this must be a residential property that is your child’s only or main residence. It cannot be an address at which your child may sometimes stay or sleep due to your domestic arrangements.

The property must be owned, leased or rented by the child’s parent(s) or person with legal responsibility for the child. A child’s Normal Home Address is where he or she spends most of the week, unless it is accommodation at a boarding school.

Please make sure you tell us if you move house after you have made your application.

In deciding which is your Normal Home Address we would not usually accept an address if:

  • You or your family has a second home elsewhere as a main residence. We expect that you have sold, or leased, through an agency, your previous property or that a lease agreement on a property you previously rented has expired and that you have no other residence.
  • Only part of a family has moved out of the Normal Home Address unless this was part of a divorce or permanent separation arrangement. If this is the case we will ask for evidence.
  • Two or more families claim to be living together in a property which is not suitable for the number of adults and children present and for which there is no formal record of this arrangement.
  • A child moves to a home other than with their parent, unless this is part of a formal fostering or care arrangement. We may check this information.
  • The address is that of a holiday home. A family living at a known holiday home address will be asked to provide leasing evidence and if there is a limitation on the tenancy then it will not be accepted.

We can refuse to accept where you say your child lives if we have any doubts, in which case we will continue to ask for evidence to show that you and your family actually live where you say you live. We may ask our legal team to investigate or ask that you provide legal confirmation of your address. We may check the evidence you have provided with other agencies, including your child’s current school.

If we offer a place at a school and then discover that the offer was made on the basis of fraudulent or misleading information (for example, a false claim to living in a catchment area), and this denied a place to another child, the offer of that place will be withdrawn by the admission authority for the school. This has happened in previous years.

Shared or joint residence

To avoid doubt, where a child lives with parents/carers (with or without parental responsibility) whether for part of a week, or month, the address where the child lives for admission purposes will be determined by confirmation of the registered address to which Child Benefit is currently being paid.

If Child Benefit is not received, we will require evidence to show the address at which a child is registered with a GP.

Where a child is not registered with a GP then we will use the address at which the child spends the greater proportion of the school week from Sunday evening to Thursday evening, evidence will be required.

You must therefore send us a copy of your latest benefit entitlement notice or your child’s medical card. We may ask for further evidence.

Looked After Child

For admission purposes, a ‘Looked After Child’ is a child:

  • in the care of a local authority or who is being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions.  This covers accommodated children and those who are in care under a Care Order or Interim Care Order. This can include living with family or friends, in foster care, in a children’s home, residential school, special school or in supported lodgings.

Or

  • who was previously looked after and immediately after being looked after became the subject of an adoption, child arrangements order or special guardianship order. A child arrangements order is an order setting the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under the Children and Families Act 2014.

A Residence Order sets out the arrangements as to the person with whom the child is to live under Section 8 of the Children’s Act 1989.

A Special Guardianship Order appoints a child’s special guardian(s) under Section 14A of the Children’s Act 1989.

For applications under this rule, please provide a letter from your child’s Social Worker  or other documentary evidence confirming this situation.

Sibling

A sibling is a brother or sister – for admission purposes, we mean one of two (or more) individuals who have one or more parents in common or any other child (including an adopted or fostered child) who lives at the same address and for whom the parent also has parental responsibility, or, (in the case of a fostered child) delegated authority.

We will only consider a pupil in a secondary school as a sibling if they are at the school in Years 7 to 10 at the time the allocations are made (March 2018). The child must also be expected to still be at the school at the time the younger child would start (September 2018).

When we are allocating places, if we have one place left and the next child on the list is a twin, triplet or of another multiple birth group, we will offer to both twins (or all siblings in the case of other multiple births) even if this goes above the admission number for the school.

Some schools also consider siblings at a linked school, or siblings of pupils who attended the school in the past, so make sure you check the rules for the schools you are applying for.

Exceptional medical or social needs

If you would like your application for your highest preference school to be considered under this rule, you must have a very strong reason for your child attending this particular school.

We would not normally expect a parent to apply under this rule for more than one school. Exceptional reasons for attending a particular school should not normally apply to a number of schools.

Not all schools have this rule so make sure you check their admission rules before applying. Should you be applying for a school in another area that has a similar rule please send your independent evidence to us and we will forward it to the Local Authority in whose area the school is situated.

You must tell us that you would like us to look at your application under this rule and send us some supporting evidence. This supporting evidence should be from an independent professional person (this might be a doctor, health visitor or Education Welfare Officer, for example) who knows about your situation and supports your case. It must clearly show why the school is the most suitable for your child and what difficulties there would be if your child went to a different school.

There is more information about applying under the Exceptional Medical or Social Needs rule here.

We will not collect information for you. You must indicate that you are applying under this rule against your preference on your application and then submit your evidence using our contact us form. Both the application and evidence must be submitted by the deadline of 31 October 2017.

Applications made under this rule for later allocation rounds should be submitted by the deadlines in this table. We would only expect later applications under this rule where you had not made a secondary school application previously or circumstances have changed/new evidence has come to light since your original application. We will not reconsider an application under this rule where relevant information was known at the time of the original application that you chose not to share with us.

A panel comprising of education professionals other than admissions officers will decide which children can be considered under this rule before we make each round of allocations.

Catchment Areas

Most Buckinghamshire secondary schools have a catchment area, which is a geographical area that can give priority for admission to children who live there. Whilst living in a catchment area can help your child’s chances of being offered a place, there is no guarantee that this will be possible. You can work out which catchment areas you live in and which schools are near to you by using the Find my child a school place service.

There are four Buckinghamshire schools that do not have a catchment area:

  • The Highcrest Academy
  • Khalsa Secondary Academy
  • St Michael’s Catholic School
  • Sir Thomas Fremantle School

Home to School Distance

We use straight line distance for admission purposes. This is the distance from your child’s Normal Home Address, as set out by Ordnance Survey, to the nearest open school gate available for pupils to use. We use a computerised system to measure straight line distance.

The point we measure to at your child’s address is determined by the Ordnance Survey AddressBase which is an Ordnance Survey data product that provides a National Grid coordinate and a unique reference for each postal address in Great Britain that is on the Royal Mail’s Post Office Address File.

This is different to the shortest walking route which is used for transport purposes – more information is in the School Transport Policy and Guidance.

Where Service families or families of other Crown Servants are posted to the area, we will allocate school places in advance of the move if an official government letter declaring the relocation date and intended address is provided.

Make sure you look at each school’s admission rules to see in which situations distance from home to school is used.

Supplementary forms

Some schools ask you to fill in a Supplementary Form to help them gather extra information about your child. This will help them decide where they would come in the admission rules. The four Buckinghamshire schools that use a Supplementary Form are:

For Year 7 admission in September 2018, the deadline for you to return the form to the school is 31 October 2017. Supplementary forms for these Buckinghamshire schools are also available through the online application portal.

Children with Special Educational Needs

Many children with Special Educational Needs go to a local school and are provided with extra support. There are also Special Schools which support children with particular needs. If your child has (or you expect them to have) an Education, Health & Care Plan (formerly a Statement of Special Educational Needs), you should contact the Special Educational Needs Team by emailing sen@buckscc.gov.uk or calling 01296 382269. Most parents of children with an EHCP or Statement will know about their child’s secondary school place before March 2018.

School Admissions Code and Scheme

The School Admissions Code is provided by the Department for Education (DfE) to guide Admission Authorities when dealing with school admission.  Please visit the Department for Education website for more information.

The Education Act 2002 also requires all LAs to have a ‘Scheme’ to show the arrangements for admission to secondary schools in their area.

The Scheme is in place to make sure that every parent of a child living in the LA area who has applied for a school place in the ‘normal admission round’ receives the offer of one school place. You can read our Scheme on our policies page.

It covers how we allocate school places; we will put your child on the lists for the schools you have on your application. If your child is qualified for grammar school, this will include any Buckinghamshire grammar schools. If your preferred school, or schools, has more applications than there are places available, then whether we can offer a place will depend on where on the school’s rules your child is listed and how many other children had higher priority for the places available. We use the admission rules to put children into order and then offer the number of places we have available.

Full details of all the Buckinghamshire secondary schools are available in our school directory. You can use our ‘Find my child a school place’ service to show schools near you and to check whether your child would be entitled to free school transport.

Admission rules for schools in other areas 

If you are interested in a school located in another LA area, you should contact the LA or school direct for more information about their admission rules. 

If you want to apply for a Year 7 place at one of the following out of county schools, you will not be able to do this online or on the paper form:

  • Fulbrook Middle School
  • Leighton Middle School
  • Linslade Academy Trust
  • The Windsor Boys’ School
  • Windsor Girls’ School

This is because September 2018 is not the normal time to start at these schools. We have explained the arrangements for making an In–Year application for a Year 7 place at one of these schools on the Find my child a school place service.

9. What if I miss the application deadline?

Date we receive your application

Do you think you have exceptional reasons for your late application?

Will your application be treated as on time?

When will you know which school your child has been offered?

By 31 Oct 2017

N/A

Yes

1 March 2018

By 21 Nov 2017

Yes - Evidence included and agreed *

Yes

1 March 2018

By 21 Nov 2017

Yes - Evidence included and not agreed

No

1 March 2018

By 21 Nov 2017

No

No

1 March 2018

By 31 Dec 2017

N/A

No

1 March 2018

From Jan 2018

See Secondary Offers

* For example, you may have been ill for a long time, or there may have been a family bereavement, which prevented you from applying by the deadline. Moving into the area is not an exceptional reason for applying late.

If you have missed the application deadline and still need to apply for a secondary school place for Year 7 in September 2018, please download and print the application form and return it to us as soon as possible, either by attaching it to our Contact Us form or posting it to us. Information about deadlines is available on our later allocation rounds page.

If an application is late we will not look at it until after all those that we received on time. The only exception would be if we received your application by 21 November 2017 and you have included independent professional evidence which we agree shows why you could not apply on time.

Please also see Section 7 if you are a Service or Crown Servant family. If we receive your application and supporting evidence by 31 January 2018, we will treat your application as timely.

10. National Offer Day

Sections 10-15 give you the information you will need when you receive your child's secondary school offer on 1 March 2018.

Make sure you read them carefully as they will explain why we have made the offer we have and what you will need to do next. These sections also tell you about the timeline for accepting the place we have offered and waiting lists.

We also cover how we manage allocation rounds after 1 March.

Even if you have an older child who is already at secondary school, there are things that are likely to be different so it is important that you understand what happens after you have received your child's offer. It is particularly important that you understand how waiting lists work as there are changes for the 2018 admission round. 

This section also has information about how we manage allocation rounds after 1 March.

National Offer Day for all Local Authorities (LAs) for children moving up to secondary school in September 2018 is 1 March 2018. Each LA will let its residents know which school has been offered for their child.

Each LA will have different deadlines and things for you to do. If you don't live in Buckinghamshire, make sure you understand what your home LA needs you to do. You should also contact them if your child does not have a school place for September.

You will be able to see the allocation profile which will show you which schools had more applications than there were places available and the final admission rule under which we were able to offer places on 1 March. This information will also be available in the School Directory, under each secondary school’s entry. 

View your offer online

For information about other LAs and allocations to their schools you must contact them directly.

If you missed the application deadline and still need to apply for a secondary school place for Year 7 in September 2018, print out and complete the application form and return it to us either by attaching it to our contact us form or posting it to us. Information about deadlines is available on our later allocation rounds page.

11. First round of allocations

When will I receive my child's secondary school offer?

If you applied before 31 December 2017, we will post you a letter on 1 March 2018 if you applied using a paper form

All other parents will receive their child's offer by email on 1 March as well as being able to view the outcome of the application online from this date.

If we received your application after this date and by 15 March 2018, we will write to you on 10 April 2018 to let you know which school we are able to offer your child.

At the same time as we tell you which school your child has been offered, we also provide our secondary schools with the details of those children due to join them in September. The school will write to you directly with a welcome pack for your child. Please make sure you return any forms in this pack direct to the school by their deadline. Remember to tell us that you are accepting the place offered as well.

What do I need to do once I know which school my child has been offered?

By 15 March, you need to let us know what you want to do with the offer. You should tell us if you want to:

  • Accept the place offered
  • Decline the place offered
  • Remove your child from a waiting list for a school we could not offer

How can I respond to the offer?

If you applied online, you should log in to the Application Portal and submit your response. You will then receive an automated email to confirm we have received it.

If you applied using a paper form, you should either reply via our Contact Us form (you will receive an automatic reply as confirmation it has successfully reached us), or you can post us the reply slip in your offer letter.

We cannot take your response over the phone. 

If you made your application to another Local Authority, you should respond directly to them, even if your response concerns a Buckinghamshire school: your home Local Authority will share the information with us. You need to respond by no later than 15 March.

What happens if I do not respond to the offer?

If you do not tell us what you would like to do by 15 March, we will contact you again to remind you that we need you to respond. At this time, if you do not reply, we will withdraw the school offer we have made, and offer the place to another child. 

You have not offered my child a place at my preferred school. What can I do?

We understand that it will be disappointing for you and your child if we are not able to offer a place at one of your preferred schools. 

However, it is sensible to accept any place offered. Accepting the place will not affect your child’s position on a waiting list or your chances of success at appeal. As well as accepting the place we have offered, there are other things that you can do at the same time if you wish. These are explained on the following pages. Make sure we receive your reply by 15 March 2018.

You should read the information about how waiting lists are managed and may also like to consider an admission appeal.

Applications made under the exceptional medical or social needs rule

If you applied for a place for your child at your preferred school under the Exceptional medical or social needs rule, education professionals (who are independent of the Admissions and Transport Team and of our secondary schools) looked at your case and the supporting evidence you provided. They decided if it was appropriate to consider your application under this rule.  If it was, this was taken into account when we were allocating places.

Please note that children with agreed exceptional medical or social needs are not necessarily the highest priority children for a place at every school: you should use the School Directory to check the admission rules for the particular school if you are unsure.

Please note that not all schools have an exceptional needs rule and that applications without supporting evidence will not have been considered.

Academies, as well as Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided schools, and schools in other areas, will also have considered applications made under their admission rules.

12. If you do not need or want the place offered to your child

Your child may no longer need a place in a Buckinghamshire secondary school. This might be because you are moving away or have a place for your child at an independent school. You must let us know by 15 March 2018 and confirm which school your child will be going to in September.

You can do this online by using our contact us form. This is also the case if you are responding to an offer that has been made in a later allocation round.

You may decide that you do not want to accept the place we have offered your child. If so, let us know if you have made other arrangements for September. Please bear in mind our advice that it is sensible to accept our offer to make sure that your child has a school place for September 2018.

It is important that you decline our offer of a school place that your child does not need or want so that we can offer it to another child.

During August, if our records show that you have still not secured a secondary school place for your child and you have not told us that you have made other arrangements, we will ask the Education Entitlement Team to contact you.

The Education Entitlement Team will have details of the secondary schools in Buckinghamshire that still have places available, and they will discuss your options with you.

We would like to remind the parents of all statutory school age children that it is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child receives a suitable education and that where we believe this may not be the case we will ask the council’s Education Entitlement Team to check this with you.

13. Waiting Lists

After each allocation round we will automatically add the names of the children who have not been offered a place at a preferred Buckinghamshire school to the waiting list for the schools for which they are qualified to attend where we were not able to offer a place. We will do this for all children, not just those for whom we are the Home LA. Children must be qualified to be placed on the waiting list for a grammar school and only children who have taken The Highcrest Academy’s banding test can go on that school’s waiting list. 

We will also automatically add the names of Buckinghamshire children with preferences for schools in other areas to the waiting lists.

How do I remove my child from a waiting list?

If you don’t remove your child from the waiting list, and we are able to offer a place at a school you listed higher on your application than the one offered, we will automatically give the place we allocated originally to another child.

Look at the table for deadline dates for later allocation rounds and make sure we receive your request to remove your child from a waiting list in plenty of time.

If you are happy with the school you have been offered and don’t want to pursue a place at a higher preference school, you must let us know

  • by 15 March 2018 if the school was allocated on National Offer Day. You should do this by contacting us or by returning the form enclosed with your offer letter (where provided).
  • by the deadline in your offer letter/email for later rounds of allocation. You can respond by contacting us Please also see the information about later allocation rounds.

IMPORTANT NOTE - If you want to remove your child from a waiting list at any time, please let us know as soon as you decide this.

Each waiting list is held in admission rules order: this means that children with a high priority in the school’s admission rules will always be near the top of the waiting list, and children with a low priority will be nearer the bottom. Each time a child is added to the list, the child is slotted in the appropriate place according to their priority: waiting lists are never ‘first-come, first-served’.

Waiting lists will be used to offer any places that become available in later allocation rounds. All preferences will be treated equally even if they were late for the first allocation round.

You can also ask for an admission appeal.

Can my child go on the waiting list for a grammar school?

Only qualified children will be placed on the waiting list for a grammar school. ‘Qualified’ children are those who scored 121 or more in the Secondary Transfer Test, or those who were successful at Selection Review.

Your child will also be added to the waiting list for a particular grammar school if they were qualified by the Independent Appeal Panel but a place was not available at that particular school and the appeal for a place was not successful.

Children who qualify at appeal are only added to the waiting list for the particular grammar school once all the appeals for that school have been heard and the decisions advised to the appellants, admission authority and the LA.

See the appeals guide for more information.

What happens if a place becomes available for my child from the waiting list?

If a place becomes available at a school, and your child is at the top of the waiting list, we will automatically offer this place to your child: we will contact you and let you know.

If you have already accepted a place at a lower preference school, we will automatically take that place away and offer it to another child - we will not ask you before we do this, as we will assume you would prefer your child to go to the higher ranked school that they are on the waiting list for.

This is why it is very important for you to let us know immediately if you no longer want your child’s name to be included on a waiting list.

How do I find out my child’s waiting list position?

If your child is on a Buckinghamshire school waiting list (or lists), we will let you know their waiting list position on 10 April and 29 June.

We will not confirm waiting list positions at any other time.

Please bear in mind that your child’s position on a waiting list can go up or down as other children join or leave the list, depending on whether they have a higher priority in the admission rules than your child.

14. Changing your preferences

Think carefully about whether you need to change your school preferences. We would normally only expect parents to change their preferences in exceptional circumstances, a house move for example.  If you do need to change your preferences, be realistic in your expectations.

We will only accept changes of preference and/or changes of preference ranking for the third and later allocation rounds.  You must wait until the second allocation round has taken place before deciding whether or not to change your preferences.  See the deadlines for preference changes for inclusion in the third and later rounds.

You can use the ‘Find my child a school place’ service to check any school details and view allocation information. Other LAs will have information about the allocations for schools in their area on their websites.

If you decide to make changes, you need to send us your new list of preferences using our Contact Us form. New preferences and changes of preference ranking will only be considered from the third allocation round. This list becomes your new preference order and we automatically put your child on the waiting list for each of the schools, as long as your child is eligible.

You can include original preferences amongst any new ones as long as the order is clear. If you list schools in other LA areas, we will let them know.

We can only consider Buckinghamshire grammar school preferences if;

  • your was child qualified in the Secondary Transfer Test or
  • your child was qualified through Selection Review or
  • if they were qualified for admission to a particular grammar school by the Independent Appeal Panel but a place was not available and the appeal for a place at that particular school was not successful.

Only children who have taken The Highcrest Academy’s banding test can go on that school’s waiting list.

Ask for an Admission Appeal

As your child was not offered a place at the school you would like, you can ask for an Admission Appeal.  Your child’s name will already be on the school's waiting list. However, only qualified children will be on grammar school waiting lists. Please read the appeals section for more information.

15. Later allocation rounds

If we are not able to offer your child a place at your preferred school on 1 March 2018 and you still want us to, we will try to do this in a later allocation round if places become available. Places may become available as parents decline them, or as their children are offered higher preference schools. Successful admission appeals for one school may also free up places at another school.

For your child to be included in a later allocation round, their name must be on the waiting list for your preferred school or schools, and they must be qualified to attend that particular school.

We will only write to you in a later allocation round if:

  • You have asked for a new preference (from the third allocation round - we need to tell you if this can be offered or not)

Or

  • We have been able to make an offer of a place at a school on your original or later application, that you listed higher than the school we have already offered, and your child is on that school’s waiting list.

We will make it clear in your offer letter or email the date by which you should respond.

We will not write to you again to tell you that we still cannot offer a place at a school that you listed on an earlier application.  If you live outside of Buckinghamshire, we will let your home LA know if we can make an offer for your child at one of our schools. They will also let us know about any further offers at their schools for our children.

If your child cannot be offered a preferred school in a later round of allocations, we will let you know where they are on any Buckinghamshire school waiting lists on the dates given in the following table. If your child is on a waiting list for a school outside of Buckinghamshire, you will need to contact that LA direct and ask them how you can find out what your child’s position is.  Also let the LA know if you want to remove your child’s name from a waiting list.

Waiting lists for admission to Year 7 in Buckinghamshire secondary schools will be maintained until 31 December 2018 at which time if you confirm you still want your child to be on the waiting list, your application will convert to an in-year application.

Deadlines

The deadlines by which we need to receive information from you for your child to be included in a later allocation round, and the dates we will write to you are given below.

Second allocation round

For the second round of allocations we will include:

  • applications considered on National Offer Day where a place could not be offered and the child is on a waiting list
  • new applications received between 1 January and 15 March 2018 which may include applications from families who have provided evidence to confirm they have moved into the area by the deadline of 1 March.

We will also change the address for school place application purposes for families that moved after the October deadlines, but by 1 March 2018, and provided sufficient evidence to confirm this.

By 15 March 2018:

  • If you no longer want your child to be considered for a place at a preferred school, make sure you have asked us to remove their name from the waiting list. It is very important that you tell us this as we will have automatically added your child to waiting lists where we could not offer a place on National Offer day.
  • If your circumstances have changed, let us know if you would now like your application for a preferred school considered under the Exceptional Medical or Social Needs rule

On 10 April, we will:

  • post a letter to let you know the outcome of your application.
  • let you know your child’s waiting list position for schools where we have not been able to offer a place.

Third and later allocation rounds

 

By this date we must receive -
-A request to remove your child’s name from a waiting list(s)

-Evidence to support an Exceptional Medical or Social Needs application

-Evidence showing a move to Buckinghamshire that has taken place

-Changes of preference

On this date–

- offer letters will be posted/emails sent

- we will let you know

where we cannot  offer a place at a new preference school

On this date –

- we will send waiting list position emails 

Third round

18 April 2018

10 May 2018

-

Fourth round

21 May 2018

24 May 2018

-

Fifth round

11 June 2018

15 June 2018

-

Sixth round

25 June 2018

29 June 2018

29 June 2018

After 29 June 2018, we will offer any further places as they become available. There are usually very few at this time in the year. 

The nearer we get to the start of September the fewer places we have to offer and the less likely it is that a place will become available at your preferred school. If there have been successful admission appeals for a school we will not be able to offer any places unless the number of children due to join the school in September 2018 falls to below the school’s Admission Number.

If you have not yet applied for your child’s Year 7 place for September 2018 then please do so as soon as possible. You can do this by completing our application form and returning it to us either by attaching it to our contact us form or posting it to us

16. Timeline for entry in 2019

Children born between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008 will be moving up to secondary school in September 2019. The dates set so far for that academic year is as follows -

2018

1 May, 3pm – Secondary Transfer Test registration opens

The registration portal opens, for parents of children who do not attend a Buckinghamshire LA Primary School to register for the Secondary Transfer Test. If your child attends a Buckinghamshire LA school, you will not need to register them for the Secondary Transfer Test, as they are registered automatically. However, if you do not want them to be tested, you should let the school know nearer the time.

June to October 2018 – Open events

28 June, 3pm DEADLINE Secondary Transfer Test registration closes

September to October 2018 – Visit the schools

It’s important you find out about the schools you are interested in before you decide to put them on your application. You can name up to 6 schools when you apply.

Find my child a school place

Open events information will be added to our school directory when it is available. Open events are the easiest way to see a school first hand. You may need to make an appointment.

11 September – Preparation Test

Children take the Preparation Test

12 September – Applications open

The portal opens for secondary school applications

13 September  – Secondary Transfer Test

Children take the Transfer Test

12 October  – Secondary Transfer Test results

Parents receive their child’s Transfer Test results

18 October

We recommend you apply online, or with a paper form, by this date to give us time to acknowledge that we have received your application.

19 October – Last date to hand in paper application

This is the latest date for parents of children who go to a Buckinghamshire LA primary school to hand their paper form into their child’s school

31 October, 3pm DEADLINE secondary school applications close

Buckinghamshire residents have until 3pm on this date to submit their online secondary school application. If you are posting a paper application it must reach us no later than 3pm on this date. All applicants must submit address evidence to accompany their application.

Submit your address evidence

2019

1 March  National Offer Day

Parents who applied online will be able to log in and view their offer. They will also be sent an email. We post letters to parents who applied on a paper form.

More dates will be added to this Timeline as they become available