The council's admissions priorities

school admissions

The following information will help you to decide whether your child has a good chance of being offered a place at your preferred school. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee your child a place at one of your preferred schools.

Where there are more applications received for a community school, BACA or PACA than there are places available we will use the following five admissions priorities to decide who will be given a place.

Children with Statements of Special Educational Needs will be entitled to a place at the school named in the statement. Please tick the box on the form or the online application to indicate that this is the case.

Allocation priorities

We don't take into account your child’s current school place, your childminding arrangements or workplace address. All allocations are based on the following five priorities:

  1. Children in the care of a local authority (children in care) and previously looked after children. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order). In order to be offered a place under this priority you will need to supply proof of the child's status.  This could be a copy of the order or adoption certificate. If you are not sure what to provide, please contact the School Admissions team.
  2. Compelling medical or other exceptional reasons for attending the school
  3. Sibling link providing the family home is within the catchment area for the school in question.
  4. Catchment area
  5. Other children (if none of the previous priorities apply to your child, he/she will be placed in this category)

Tie break

If a school is oversubscribed with children in any of the above priorities, the council will use an electronic random allocation system to decide which of the children within that priority should be offered the available places.


  • These admission priorities do not apply to Cardinal Newman or Kings School, which have their own admissions priorities. Nor do they apply to schools in other local authority areas.
  • The council uses an equal preference system which means that all the preferences for each school are considered at the same time. If you put a school down as a third preference, you are just as likely to be allocated a place there as someone who has put it as a first preference, assuming both of you fall into the same admissions priority for that school. 
  • List your preferred schools in order of preference as we will only offer you a place at one school. If we are able to offer you a place at more than one school, we will choose the one that is highest on your list of preferences 
  • Checks are made on information provided by parents/carers. If a parent/carer is found to have supplied false or misleading information to gain a place at a particular school, the council reserves the right to withdraw the place, even if the child has started at the school. An example of false information would be the use of an address that is not the child’s normal residence

Please note: it is an offence to give false information to obtain a place at a school. The council will investigate allegations about false information, and will consider further action in any such case.