Moving up to secondary school

4/12/2021 6:17:02 PM

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.

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


School types


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

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

Foundation schools

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

Free schools

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

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.


Admission rules

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.


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Last updated: 12 April 2021

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