Starting school or moving up to junior school
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 we can offer your child. This means that when we are making decisions, we don’t take consider the order (1 to 6) that you have put the schools in on your application. We list all children according to the admission rules for each school. It is as though you’ve made up to six separate applications.
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. Details of previous year’s offers are available on our Statistics page and in each school’s entry in Find my child a school place Make sure you also understand the School Transport rules.
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 (but not a guarantee) of being offered a place at your catchment school if you have included it as a preference. You should list your preferences in the order you would like them to be considered.
It is important that you tell us if your child has a brother or sister at any of the schools you have put on your application. If you have more than one child at a school already, always tell us about the younger child. There is space on the application for you to do this.
Some schools also consider siblings at a linked school. Make sure you check the rules of the schools you apply for.
Some schools have a medical or social rule that applications can be considered under. You can see from the admission rules if a school has this rule and the priority it is given.
Here are some examples which show what might happen if you don’t include your catchment school or if you do not fill out the application form correctly
We don’t tell schools where you ranked them on your application before we offer places.
Other things to remember
- Make sure we receive your application by the deadline of 15 January 2021. 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 29 January 2021 and you have included evidence which we agree shows why you could not apply on time.
- Each school has an Admission Number (AN) which is the number of places that we can offer. You can see the AN for the schools you are interested in by checking the school directory.
- If your preferred school, or schools, has more applications than there are places available, then we may not be able to offer your child a place. This will be because other children had a 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.
- If we can’t offer any of your preferences, and your child lives in Buckinghamshire, we offer a place at the nearest Buckinghamshire school that has a place available. This may not be your catchment school.
- Remember that we cannot guarantee that your child will be offered a place at your catchment school, or any of your preferred schools.
Last updated: 12 April 2021