Moving up to secondary school
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 get information about the schools you are interested in, including catchment areas, OFSTED reports, admission numbers and details of the allocation of school places for entry in the previous year.
Learn about 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, if possible, visit it in person.
Use our school directory to find open event dates for the schools you are interested in. These might be virtual, or you might need to make an appointment to visit a school.
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 your child would be 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 midnight on 31 October 2020 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.
Last updated: 12 April 2021