Introduction

A school place for your child in September 2022

Transferring to secondary school is an important and exciting time in a child’s life. It can be a time when both children and their parents / carers need support, advice, and information about the school admissions process.

The information in the following pages will help you make an application for a secondary school place and understand how the process works. It provides profiles of all the secondary schools in Brighton & Hove, as well as information about admission arrangements.

The easiest way to make your application is through the Brighton & Hove City Council website. It automatically acknowledges receipt of your application. You will also receive immediate notification of the decision on your application by e-mail on National Offer Day – 1 March 2022.

Please note that parents / carers cannot actually choose a school. They have the right to express preferences for up to three schools.

In instances where there are more applications for a school than there are places available, we use the admission priorities described in sections 4 and 5 of our admissions information to decide who gets offered places.

Your first, second and third school preferences will be considered together alongside everyone else’s preferences. Your child will be offered a place at the highest ranked preference available.

If we cannot offer you a place at any of your preferred schools, we will offer a place at the nearest school with places available.

We would generally advise you to include your catchment area school or schools in your three preferences. This is because it gives you have the best chance of being offered a school that’s near to where you live.

But please note that we cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer your child a place at a school or schools within your local catchment area.

We therefore strongly advise you to also look carefully at schools outside your catchment area, and include one or two of them in your preferences as well.

This means that if we can’t offer you a school in your catchment area, you have the best chance of getting one of your preferred alternatives.

All secondary schools in Brighton & Hove are currently rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. So whichever school your child goes to, you can expect them to get a good education.

We believe all children should have the opportunity, encouragement, and guidance to thrive and fulfil their true potential. The quality and diversity of our schools is something we are very proud of.  

In addition to their educational offer, the city’s schools offer a wide range of activities. These include the chance to participate in musical and sporting activities, as well as opportunities to make new friends.

Whichever school you decide to apply for, please make your application through the Brighton & Hove City Council website.

Apply for a school place

If you have more questions when you have read the information in this guidance, our school admissions team can help. Send an email to schooladmissions@brighton-hove.gov.uk or phone on 01273 293 653.

The closing date for applications is 31 October 2021.

We very much look forward to welcoming your child to one of the city’s secondary schools in September 2022.

by Deb Austin

(Director Families, Children & Learning) & Cllr Hannah Clare (Chair of Children, Young People and Skills Committee)

Closing date for applications

The closing date for applications is 31 October 2021.

Contact information

If you want more information about the school admissions process, or if you want to comment about this guide or the admission arrangements, please write to:

School Admissions Team Brighton & Hove City Council, Hove Town Hall, Norton Road, Hove, BN3 3BQ.

If you need a translated, large print, or audio copy of this booklet, or if you have difficulty reading and writing, please send an email to schooladmissions@brighton-hove.gov.uk or phone the school admissions team on 01273 293 653.

Phone opening hours

The admissions team will be available on the phone between 9:30am to 1:30pm, Monday to Friday from 20 September 2021.

Important dates in the admissions process

September 2021 - Application process for transfer to year 7 begins. Opportunity for parents/carers to visit individual schools (details on the school’s websites). Prospectuses available from schools.

31 October 2021 - Closing date for completed online applications or paper forms to be received by the school admissions team. We strongly recommend that you do not delay your application until the last minute in case of technical problems. If you choose to apply on a paper form it is your responsibility to ensure that the form arrives at its destination on time.

22 January 2022 - Applications received late with good reason up to this date will be considered as on time. You must provide independent supporting evidence of the good reason or your application will be treated as late.

January / February - Applications analysed.

1 March 2022 - National Offer Day - parents who applied online or provided an email address on their application form will be notified by email of the outcome of their application. Letters will be sent by first class post on this day to notify other parents of the outcome of their application. No decisions will be given by telephone.

March 2022 - Waiting lists established.

16 March 2022 - Closing date for parents to either accept or refuse the school place offered. If the parent does not reply, the offer may be withdrawn.

29 March 2022 – deadline for the submission of appeals

April 2022 onwards - Independent appeal panels meet to consider appeals from parents/carers who are unhappy with their school allocation.

September 2022 - Children start their new school.

Section 1 - Before you make you application

Visit schools

Ensure that you are entirely happy with your school preferences before making an application. Visit the school’s website or call the school for details about opportunities to visit.

Look at the school’s prospectus

You can get this information from the school. It will give you an idea of the school’s ethos and character, national curriculum test results and public exam results.

Look to see how many places each school has available

This is called the published admission number or PAN. This number is set to take into account the number of pupils each school site can accommodate and how many places are needed in the local area.  The admission number for each school is listed against each school’s entry below.

Think about how likely it is that your child will be offered a place at your preferred schools

Read the admissions criteria for each school and look to see which criteria apply to your child. The admissions criteria for Brighton & Hove schools are listed in sections 4 and 5.

Compare this to the allocation information from previous years.

Think about how your child will travel to and from school

How do you travel to school?

Read Ofsted reports

View reports on the Ofsted website

Apply for a school place

There are 2 ways to make your application for a school place if you are a Brighton & Hove resident and your child is due to start secondary school in September 2022.

You can apply:

Apply on time

The closing date is 31 October 2021

Any applications received after this will be processed after the majority of places have been allocated unless there is a good reason for it being late such as a house move.  A late application means you are much less likely to get what you want. 

Notifications of the places offered will be made on 1 March 2022 (unless your application is late).

Use all 3 preferences

You could disadvantage yourself if you don’t use your opportunity to express a preference for 3 schools. Each preference is considered in its own right, so give yourself 3 separate chances. 

Do not list the same school 3 times because it will only be considered once. We only look at your order of preference (first, second or third) if we are able to offer you a place at more than one of your selected schools.

Select your schools wisely

Think about the school’s admission priorities as this is how places will be allocated if the school is oversubscribed and has more applications than places. Check carefully which catchment area you live in. Don’t assume you will be allocated a place at your catchment area school even if you state it as one of your preference. Visit as many schools as possible including those outside your immediate area.

If you are applying for a church voluntary aided school, Academy or Free School, they may require additional information or completion of a supplementary information form (SIF). This enables governors to rank applications correctly against the school’s admissions criteria. Remember to send the SIF and any other required documents to the school by the closing date.

If you are applying to a community school but are providing supporting documents, those documents should be submitted with your application or sent to the school admissions team (see section 4).

Admission outside a normal age group

If you are applying for your child to have a decelerated entry to school, such as to start later than other children in their chronological age group, you should initially apply for a school place in accordance with the deadlines that apply for your child’s actual age.

If you are applying for your child to have an accelerated entry to school, ie to start earlier than other children in their chronological age group, you must initially apply for a school place at the same time that other families are applying for the cohort you are requesting.

You should provide with your application the reasons why your child should be educated out of year group and any evidence to support your case. Evidence could include information about your child’s personal, social, emotional development and academic development; If relevant, medical history and views of a medical professional; whether your child has previously been educated out of year group and whether your child was born prematurely.

The admission authority will consider each case on its merits taking into account your child’s best interests and either agree or refuse the request on that basis. Where the council is the admission authority, the views of the headteacher of each preferred school will be sought before a decision is taken. If there is good reason why the request could not be made by the closing date for applications, late requests will be considered up until 22 January. Requests made after this date will not be considered. Parents will be made aware of the outcome of the request for admission out of year group before national offer day and reasons for the decision will be shared with you.

List of secondary schools in Brighton & Hove

This is a list of all Secondary schools in the city (excluding private schools)

Details of opportunities to visit the schools are available on the school’s website or you can call the school for details of arrangements.

Blatchington Mill School

Nevill Avenue, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 7NB.  

Go to Blatchington Mill School's website.

Phone 01273 736 244.

Headteacher - Mr A Harold

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

1,564

  1. 400
  2. 320
  3. 278

SEN 5

Priority 1: 1

Priority  2: 0

Priority  3: 85

Priority  4: 239

Priority  5: 0

330

This school does not have a Sixth form.

Brighton Aldridge Community Academy

Lewes Road, Brighton, BN1 9PW.

Go to Brighton Aldridge Community Academy's website

Phone 01273 691 191.

Headteacher - Mr R Speight.

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

859 (including  Sixth Form)

  1. 116
  2. 46
  3. 49

All preferences allocated unless offered a higher preference.

180

This Academy has a sixth form. For details of how to apply go to their website

Cardinal Newman Catholic School

The Upper Drive, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6ND.     

Go to Cardinal Newman Catholic School's website.

Phone 01273 558 551.

Headteacher - Ms C Jarman.

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

2,444 (including  Sixth Form)

  1. 414
  2. 226
  3. 321

Information available from the school governors

360

This School has a sixth form. For details of how to apply go to their website

Dorothy Stringer School

Loder Road, Brighton BN1 6PZ .

Go to Dorothy Stringer School's website

Phone 01273 852 222.

Headteacher - Mr Hillier

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

1,669

  • 386
  • 493
  • 227

SEN 8

Priority 1: 2

Priority 2: 2

Priority 3: 88

Priority 4: 230

Priority 5: 0


There were 62 children in the Dorothy Stringer/Varndean Catchment area who couldn’t be offered a catchment area school or a higher preference. 

Of these 62 children, 44 expressed preferences for both catchment area schools.

330

This school does not have a Sixth From. 

Hove Park School

Hove Park School Valley Campus (Years 7 to 8 and years 12 to 13). 

Hangleton Way, Hove, BN3 8AA. 

Hove Park School Nevill Campus (Years 9 to  11)

Nevill Road, Hove, BN3 7BN.  

Go to Hove Park School's website

Phone:

  • Nevill Campus 01273 295 000
  • Valley Campus 01273 295 003

Headteacher - Mr J Roberts.

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

1,227

  • 116
  • 310
  • 249

All preferences allocated unless offered a higher preference.

180

This School has a sixth form. For details of how to apply go to their website

Kings School

Hangleton Way, Hove, BN3 8BN.

Go to Kings School's website

Phone 01273 840 004.

Headteacher - Ms S Price

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

659

  1. 235
  2. 258
  3. 280

Information available from the school governors.

165

This school does not have a Sixth Form.

Longhill High School

Falmer Road, Rottingdean, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 7FR.    

Go to Longhill High School's website.

Phone 01273 304 086.

Headteacher - Miss K E Williams.

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

906

  1. 145
  2. 35
  3. 46

All preferences allocated unless offered a higher preference.

270

This school does not have a Sixth Form.

Patcham High School

Ladies Mile Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 8PB.   

Go to Patcham High School's website.

Phone 01273 503 908.

Headteacher - Mr J Mckee

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

1,081

  1. 211
  2. 83
  3. 252

SEN 6

Priority 1: 6

Priority 2: 0

Priority 3: 60

Priority 4: 137

Priority 5: 16

225

This school does not have a Sixth Form.

Portslade Aldridge Community Academy

Chalky Road, Portslade, Brighton BN41 2WS.

Go to Portslade Aldridge Community Academy's website.

Phone 01273 416 300.

Headteacher - Mr M Poston.

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

878

  1. 165
  2. 90
  3. 102

All preferences allocated unless offered a higher preference.

220

This school does not have a Sixth Form.

Varndean School

Balfour Road, Brighton, BN1 6NP.   

Go to Varndean School's website

Phone 01273 561 281.

Headteacher Mrs S Baker.

Number on roll (May 2021)

Number of Preferences 2021 to 2022

How many places offered in each Priority 2021 to 2022

Published Admission Number

1,416

  1. 386
  2. 492
  3. 208

SEN 9

Priority 1: 14

Priority 2: 3

Priority 3: 73

Priority 4: 201

Priority 5: 0

There were 62 children in the Dorothy Stringer/Varndean Catchment area who couldn’t be offered a catchment area school or a higher preference. 

Of these 62 children, 44 expressed preferences for both catchment area schools.

300

This school does not have a Sixth Form

Section 2 - Making an application

Always use our online form or download an application form provided by Brighton & Hove City Council if you are a resident of Brighton & Hove. If you live anywhere else, you must use the application form or the online admissions system provided by your local council, even if you would like your child to attend a school in Brighton & Hove.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 31 October 2021 and online applications can be changed and resubmitted up until this date. The last application submitted, or form received by the closing date will be taken as your final selection of preferences.

Decide which schools you prefer

You should decide which schools you would prefer your child to attend and then complete the online application or the paper form listing up to 3 different preferences.

You do not have to express 3 preferences. However, if you only give one preference, and are not offered a place at that school, you will be offered a place at the nearest school with a place remaining after everyone else’s 3 preferences have been looked at. This may mean that by the time we look at allocating a place for your child, your local schools may be full, and your child may have to travel some distance to get to school.

Please remember that each of your preferences will be considered equally and separately. This means some places may be allocated to second and third preference applicants, while first preferences are refused because they fall into a lower priority or were unsuccessful in the random allocation tie-break.

Listing second and third preferences will not affect your chance of being offered your first preference. Your first preference will only be considered above your second or third preference if we can offer you more than one school place. In that case we will offer you the highest ranked school we can. Please make sure you like your first preference more than your second preference and your second preference more than your third.

The following examples are provided to show what may happen.

Please note: these are only made-up examples. They are in no way a guide to oversubscription levels. Please do not assume that if your situation is the same as one of these examples, your application will have the same outcome.

Example 1

Tariq lives in the catchment area for Dorothy Stringer and Varndean. His parents want him to go to Varndean, but they know that last year there were not enough places at Dorothy Stringer and Varndean for all the pupils living in the catchment area. So, they also express a third preference for Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA):

  1. Varndean
  2. Dorothy Stringer
  3. BACA

Tariq is entered into the random allocation process for Dorothy Stringer and Varndean but is unsuccessful for both schools. BACA has enough spaces for all pupils wanting to go to this school, so Tariq is allocated a place there.

Example 2

Geraint lives in the catchment area for Longhill. His parents want him to attend Cardinal Newman Catholic School because he currently attends a church school, but he is not a Catholic.

They list the following preferences:

  1. Peacehaven Community School
  2. Cardinal Newman Catholic School
  3. Longhill High School

Geraint’s application is shared with East Sussex County Council who consider Geraint for a place at Peacehaven, but they are not able to offer him a place as he does not fit their admissions criteria. The governors of Cardinal Newman Catholic School are notified that Geraint’s parents have listed their school as a preference. They are able to offer Geraint a place even though he is not Catholic. He is also entered into the random allocation process for Longhill as he lives within the catchment area and it would be possible to offer a place there. Geraint is allocated a place at Cardinal Newman Catholic School as this is the higher preference.

Example 3

Samantha lives in the catchment area for Dorothy Stringer and Varndean. However, her parents would like her to attend Blatchington Mill.

They list the following preferences:

  1. Blatchington Mill
  2. Dorothy Stringer
  3. Varndean

It is not possible to offer Samantha a place at Blatchington Mill because it is filled up with children who live within the catchment area. Samantha’s name is entered in the random allocation process for both Dorothy Stringer and Varndean because both of these schools are oversubscribed with children within the catchment area. Samantha is successful in the random allocation for both Dorothy Stringer and Varndean.

The council offers her a place at Dorothy Stringer because it was higher on her list than Varndean.

Example 4

Jacqui lives in the catchment area for Hove Park and Blatchington Mill. Her parents would like her to go to Blatchington Mill and they feel that she is more likely to get in if they list this as their only preference. They list the following preferences:

  1. Blatchington Mill
  2. Blatchington Mill
  3. Blatchington Mill

Jacqui is entered into the random allocation process for Blatchington Mill. She only has one entry even though her parents have listed the school 3 times. The random process does not offer her a place at Blatchington Mill. As her parents have not applied for a place at Hove Park, she cannot be offered a place at this school as they all have to be offered to children whose parents did apply for places there. This means that Jacqui has to be offered a place at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy, which is the nearest school with vacancies after everyone’s preferences have been considered.

Example 5

Bradley lives in the catchment area for Patcham. However, his parents prefer Dorothy Stringer as it is closer to the family home. Their second preference is King’s School as the family are church attenders.

They list the following preferences:

  1. Dorothy Stringer 
  2. King’s School
  3. Patcham High

Bradley cannot be entered into the random allocation process for Dorothy Stringer as it is oversubscribed from within the catchment area and he lives outside it. However, Patcham High has enough places for all pupils in that catchment area so he can be offered a place. The governors of King’s School are able to offer Bradley a place as he fulfils their religious criteria and so Bradley’s family receive a letter offering Bradley a place at King’s School, as they placed this school higher on their list than Patcham High.

Types of secondary schools in Brighton & Hove

The council co-ordinates applications for all schools. Brief definitions of the types of schools in Brighton & Hove are given below along with information about how the admission arrangements are set and applied for each school.

Community school

Brighton & Hove City Council sets and applies the admission arrangements for the following community schools.

The admission arrangements are in Section 4.

  • Blatchington Mill
  • Dorothy Stringer
  • Hove Park
  • Longhill High
  • Patcham High
  • Varndean

Free school

A free school is a state school that is funded directly by the Department for Education (DfE). Like academies, free schools are independent from local authority control. The governors of the free school set their own admission arrangements. T

hese admission arrangements are set out in Section 5.

  • King’s School

Academy

Academies are publicly funded independently run schools. The governors of the school set and apply the admission arrangements which can be found in Section 5.

  • Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA)
  • Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA)

Voluntary aided school

Voluntary aided schools are schools with a religious character. They are their own admission authority. Their admission arrangements are likely to reflect the school’s religious character.

The admission arrangements are in Section 5.

  • Cardinal Newman Catholic School

Co-ordinated admissions

Own-admission-authority schools

The council co-ordinates admission arrangements with BACA, PACA, Cardinal Newman and King’s by using the same application process for all secondary schools.

If you live in Brighton & Hove, you should apply for these schools using the Brighton & Hove online admissions facility or the Brighton & Hove paper application form. Cardinal Newman and King’s also have supplementary information forms, which you will need to complete when applying for a place. These forms should be returned directly to the school by the closing date.

The governors of BACA, PACA, Cardinal Newman and King’s are still responsible for offering places at their schools. Please see Section 5 for details of how this is done. The council will let parents know the school’s decisions.

If your child is not offered a place at BACA, PACA, Cardinal Newman or King’s, the council will offer an alternative place, where possible using your other listed preferences.

This joint working means that all parents will receive one offer of a school place because information about applications is shared.

How do I apply for a school place in another local authority area?

We share admissions information with neighbouring local authorities (LA). If you live in the city, any applications for schools in the area of another LA should be made using the Brighton & Hove online system or application form. We will then contact that LA on your behalf. You can apply to different own-admission-authority, community schools and schools in other LAs, but you must do this through Brighton & Hove City Council if you live in Brighton & Hove.

We will let you know the decision along with all the other parents who have applied for Brighton & Hove schools.

If you apply to an ‘out-of-city’ school that has been oversubscribed, the further away you live the less likely you are to obtain a place, even if it is your first preference. Check this with the relevant admission authority before applying.

If you are resident in the city and do not apply online to Brighton & Hove or return a Brighton & Hove City Council application form you will not be given a place at a city school. If you are not sure whether you live within the boundary of Brighton & Hove City Council, please email the school admissions team to check.

The addresses of the local authorities next to Brighton & Hove are:

West Sussex County Council County Hall, West Street Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1RF.

Phone 033 301 42903.

East Sussex County Council Admissions and Transport team County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1UE.

Phone 030 033 09472.

Special educational needs or Disability (SEND)

A child or young person has SEND if they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

In most cases support for special educational needs can be met in mainstream schools. Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to this approach wherever it is practical. Many children have difficulties at some stage in their school career, and often the problem is temporary and can be dealt with by the school.

If you think your child may have special educational needs, please speak with your child’s current school/nursery and the schools you are considering.

Get information about support for children with a special educational need or disability on our SEND Local Offer.

If you need to contact someone in the Local Authority about special educational needs, please contact the council’s special educational needs team:

What do I do with my completed application for Year 7?

Apply online or return a paper application form to your child’s current school by midnight on 31 October 2021.

If your child is not currently attending a Brighton & Hove school, please apply online or return your form to the school admissions team by the same deadline.

If you live within the area of another Local Authority but wish to apply for a Brighton & Hove school, please make sure that you apply through your home local authority for this school by the same deadline.

It is your responsibility to make sure that your application arrives on time. Please remember that proof of posting is not proof of delivery. In all cases, if you return the form to the school, please hand it to a member of staff. If you need a receipt, please ask for one at the time.  If paper forms are returned by post to schools or the admissions team and received after the closing date they will be regarded as late applications.

We strongly recommend that applications are completed online, returned to schools, or delivered by hand to Hove Town Hall wherever possible.

What happens if my application is late?

If your online application or paper preference form is returned after the closing date without good reason, it will be considered after the on-time preferences have been dealt with, and places allocated to them.

This means there is a much greater chance that you will not get a place at your preferred school. It will also mean our response to you is delayed.

If you have a good reason for your application being late, e.g. you have just moved to Brighton & Hove, your application will be considered if it is received by 22 January 2022. You must supply independent supporting evidence of the reason why it is late (e.g. solicitor’s letter confirming exchange of contracts or tenancy agreement signed by both parties). This evidence must also be received by 22 January 2022.

If we agree that your application is late with good reason, it will be treated as if it were submitted on time. If we do not agree, it will be treated as a late application. If we receive no independent supporting evidence with the application, we will assume that you do not have a good reason and your application will be treated as late.

If you are moving within Brighton & Hove, you must still make your application by the deadline and then provide your revised application and proof of your new address by 22 January 2022.

Not knowing about the closing date, forgetting to hand the form in or leaving it in the wrong place are not good reasons for an application being late. Even if your child has a sibling at the school you need to complete an application in the usual way.

Please note that other admission authorities may not treat these applications as on time. Please check with the school or council in question.

Late applications received for oversubscribed schools will be added to the reallocation pool for that school as soon as possible after the initial school allocations have been made. In the meantime, children will be allocated to schools where places are available.

Late applications and reallocation pool places will start to be processed from mid-April onwards.

Repeat applications

Applications submitted after the closing date listing revised preferences will only be considered from July 2022 onwards unless there has been a house move into a different catchment area. This is to make sure that parents and carers who do this do not gain an unfair advantage over others by having the opportunity to list more than three preferences.

When repeat applications are considered, they will be taken as replacing the first application and the first set of preferences will be withdrawn.

Section 3 - How your application is processed

Preferences considered equally

Places are allocated according to the admission criteria (either in section 4 or 5). On-time preferences are processed first. Late applications with good reason received by 22 January 2022 will be treated in the same way.

Late applications without a good reason will be dealt with after on-time preferences have been processed.

If we receive more than one application for the same child before the closing date, we will use the one which was submitted most recently. If they appear to have been submitted by different people, we will check which one is correct before deciding which one to use.

All preferences will be considered equally regardless of whether you have listed them as first, second or third. If we can offer you a place at more than one of your preferred schools, we will offer a place at the one which features highest in your list of preferences.

Sometimes we will not be able to offer a place at any of your preferred schools. If this happens, we will offer a place at the nearest school to your home that has a place available.

Priority for on time applications will cease after the initial allocation of school places has been made, and late applications for schools which are full will be added to the reallocation pools.

If you are unhappy with your allocated school or with the preferences you listed on your original application, you do have the option to submit a revised application listing different preferences. Revised applications will only be considered from July 2022 onwards unless there has been a house move into a different catchment area. This is to ensure that parents who change their minds are not given an unfair advantage by being allowed to list more than three preferences.

School Admissions computer allocation process

People have rights about automated decision making under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The use of a random allocation tie break and computer allocation could be considered to be an example of automated decision making as school allocation decisions are made using a computer algorithm.

Below is an explanation about how this process works:

Applications are submitted online, or paper forms are received and imported into the admissions computer system. While being imported the computer identifies whether the pupil’s address falls within catchment area for any of the three preference schools. Admission officers then manually assess the applications and set the correct admission priority for each pupil based upon the council’s admission arrangements (section 4).

For schools that have their own admission arrangements (section 5), it is the school governors who list the pupils according to that school’s admission arrangements and this is replicated on the council’s admissions computer system.

Where the random allocation tie break is used, every preference for a school is assigned a unique random number by the computer between +/- 10 billion.

The computer lists all of the pupils for each school in admission priority order and within each priority it uses the random number (smallest to largest) to order the list of pupils.

  1. The allocation algorithm works down every school list simultaneously, offering places until the admission number for each school is met or there are no more un-allocated preferences.
  2. The computer then finds every pupil with more than one school offer and withdraws the offer for the lower ranked preference.
  3. Processes 1 and 2 are repeated until every pupil who could be offered a school of preference has only one school place allocated.

The final part of the automated allocation process involves pupils who couldn’t be offered any of their school preferences. For these pupils, the computer calculates the distance from each address to all of the schools that still have available space. The computer then allocates the nearest pupils to each of these schools until all pupils have been given a school place.

Following this automated process; admission officers perform a number of checks on a random sample of pupils to ensure that school places have been allocated correctly.

Section 4 - Admission priorities and catchment areas

Admission priorities for community schools

Please read the following information carefully. It 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 or at a catchment area school within the catchment area where you live.

Where there are more applications received for a community school, than there are places available we will use the following 5 admission priorities to decide who will be given a place.

Children with education, health and care plans (EHCPs) will be entitled to a place at the school named in the EHCP. If the child for whom you are responsible has an EHCP, please ensure that you indicate on your application that this is the case.

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

Priority 1. Looked after children and all previously looked after children, including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.

Previously looked after children are such children who were adopted (or subject to child arrangements orders or special guardianship orders) immediately following having been looked after and those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.  A child is regarded as having been in state care outside of England if they were in the care of or were accommodated by a public authority, a religious organisation, or any other provider of care whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society.

You will need to supply proof of your child’s status. This could be a copy of the original adoption certificate or order. A letter from the local authority, agency or department that last looked after the child confirming the he or she was looked after immediately prior to the adoption or order being made. If you are not sure what to provide, please contact the school admissions team.

Priority 2. Compelling medical or other exceptional reasons to attend the school

This priority applies to pupils with a specific need that can only be met by one school rather than any other. If there are medical reasons or other diagnosed conditions that make it essential for your child to attend a particular school, you must provide supporting information from a doctor or other professional together with any other supporting information when you make your application. This must make a compelling case as to why your child’s needs can only be met at the preferred school.

A medical condition or diagnosis in itself will not automatically result in priority being given. If you want a place at a specific school for other exceptional reasons, you must provide independent evidence from a professional who is supporting your family. This should also demonstrate that it is essential for your child to attend the preferred school and no other.

For this reason, allocations against this priority are rare. It is not essential for the supporting information to name the school in question, but the evidence should explain exactly what your child’s needs are and what specialist support and/or facilities your child requires. Advice may be sought from the community consultant paediatrician or other relevant professionals where necessary to determine whether or not the evidence you have provided is sufficiently compelling to qualify under this category.

The supporting evidence you provide needs to set out the particular reasons why the school in question is the most suitable, and the difficulties that would be caused if your child had to attend another school. It is not essential for the professionals supporting your family to have in depth knowledge of your preferred school, but the evidence should explain exactly what your child needs and what specialist support and/or facilities your child requires.

It is vital that you supply any supporting evidence for compelling medical or other exceptional reasons for admission by the closing date. It is up to you to provide this evidence.

The school admissions team will not seek information about your child or telephone people on your behalf. The decision will be based solely on the information you send in.

Online applicants can upload supporting documents through the online admissions system. Alternatively email documents to the school admissions team giving your child’s full name and date of birth. You could also attach supporting documents to your paper application.

If we do not receive this information by the closing date, we will not be able to consider your child under this priority, unless it relates to a change of circumstances (such as a new diagnosis) which has occurred since the closing date.

If the evidence you supply is not considered compelling enough to be included in this priority, your application will be considered under priority 3, 4 or 5 as appropriate.

All correspondence will be treated as private and confidential.

Please note: none of the maintained schools in Brighton & Hove select children on ability. A child’s aptitude or ability in a particular subject will not be considered as an exceptional reason for admission.

Priority 3. Sibling link

This will apply where a child living in the same household will be attending the school when your child is due to start, providing your home is in the catchment area for the school in question.

A sibling link is only taken into account if children live at the same main address and the sibling has already been allocated a place at the school by 22 January. Twins or multiple births do not qualify for the sibling link unless one child has already been offered a place.

Where a sibling attends a nursery class or a sixth form on the same school site, it will not be counted as a link for admissions purposes.

The sibling link does not apply for children who do not live in the catchment area. If this applies to your child, they will be placed in priority 5.

You may be asked to supply proof that your child has a sibling at the same address who attends the school.

If you are in any doubt as to whether your child qualifies for the sibling link, please contact the school admissions team.

Priority 4. Catchment area

This will apply if your child’s home address is within the catchment area for the school in question. You will only be regarded as living in a catchment area if your main residence is in the area. Ownership of a property in the catchment area is not sufficient. To qualify under this priority, the address at which your child is normally resident must be within the catchment area.

Use our interactive map to find details of catchment areas.

Download a PDF map to find a full list of postcodes.

If you are in any doubt as to the catchment area in which you live, please contact the school admissions team.

Priority 5. Other children

If none of the above priorities applies to your child, they 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.

Remember…

These admission priorities do not apply to BACA, PACA, Cardinal Newman Catholic School or King’s School, which have their own admission priorities. These are listed in section 5. Neither do they apply to schools in other local authority areas.

The national School Admissions Code requires the council to use an ‘equal preference’ system which means that all the preferences for each school are considered at the same time. However, you do need to list your preferred schools in order of preference as we will only offer you a place at one school. If it is possible to offer you a place at more than one school, we will allocate 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.  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.

Catchment areas

The council cannot guarantee that you will be offered a place at your catchment area school, even if you express a preference for the school or schools.

Living in a catchment area gives applicants a higher priority for admission to a school over applicants who live outside a catchment area. There is no guarantee of a place for applicants living within a catchment area or for applicants who subsequently move in later.

If you live in a catchment area for two schools and you only list one of your catchment area schools on your application, you will only be entered into the random allocation process for that school. However, if you cannot be offered a place there, or at one of your other preferences, you will not be entered into the random allocation process for the other school in your catchment area. This means that you may be offered a school you are less happy with, which is further from your home.

Parents and carers can apply for any of the schools in Brighton & Hove, regardless of whether they live in the catchment area. However, please bear in mind that children who live within the catchment area will have priority over children who live outside it.

Catchment areas are also used to decide priority in the reallocation pool (which is how we allocate places which become available later in the process). Children are prioritised in the reallocation pool based on the council’s admission priorities.

Twins / multiple births (or siblings within the same year group applying for the same school)

No special priority is given for the admission of these children.

Please indicate clearly on each child’s application if they have a twin or other same year sibling also applying if you would like them to be allocated places at the same school. In order to ensure both (or all) children are given the same school using random allocation, each child is considered separately in the random allocation tie break but with the same random number assigned to both (or all) children.

If it is possible to offer the last place at the preferred school to one child, then both (or all) children will be allocated a place.

Children who live on boats / Traveller children

If you and your child live on a boat or a Traveller site, you will be treated as a resident of the catchment area within which the marina or site is situated.

Brighton Marina falls within the catchment area for Longhill. If you are unsure which catchment area applies to your site, please contact the school admissions team.

Children of Crown Servants and Service personnel

No special priority is given to these children however families of service personnel with a confirmed posting, or for crown servants returning from overseas, the council will use a future address and allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area.  This is provided that the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date and some evidence of the intended address.

Home addresses

The school admissions team will allocate school places using the address at which a child lives on the closing date for applications 31 October 2021, although late changes of address will be considered if we receive proof of address by 22 January 2022.

The admissions team can only use one address for admission purposes. If your child regularly stays with another parent or relative and therefore has more than one address, the school place will be allocated based on the address at which your child is registered with a doctor – so this is the address that you should use on your application. We may ask for evidence to confirm the address given.

It is an offence to give a false address. If we offer your child a school place based on information which then turns out to be false or misleading, we reserve the right to withdraw the offer and your application will then be reconsidered based on the correct facts. This may apply even if your child has started at the school offered.

Proof of address

To ensure that offers of school places are made fairly, the council is committed to following strict address verification procedures.

The address given on your application will be checked against council tax records.

After the closing date, if the school that you have applied for is oversubscribed, and you have given a home address in the catchment area, you may be asked for further proof of address.

If you have recently moved into Brighton & Hove from overseas or another part of the UK and have not yet registered for council tax in Brighton & Hove, you will need to supply one of the following:

  • a copy of a current tenancy agreement signed by all parties and arranged through a letting / estate agency or solicitor’s letter showing exchange of contracts, if you have just moved to a new house.
  • a copy of a recent utility bill for your home address, showing usage – gas, electricity, water, telephone (not mobile phones)
  • a copy of your driving licence
  • a copy of your house insurance policy
  • HMRC tax notification documentation
  • TV licence (valid for the current year) with your name and address

We will also require proof that the child you are applying for lives with you. Therefore, please provide a letter from your child’s GP, dentist, hospital, optician; NHS medical card; child trust fund document or family tax credit letter which clearly states your child’s name and address.

If you do not provide the above proofs by the date asked, we will assume your child does not live in the catchment area. Even if you prove that you live at the address yourself, we still need proof that your child lives there as well.

Section 5 - Admission priorities for own-admission-authority schools

This section sets out the list of priorities for BACA, PACA, Cardinal Newman Catholic School and Kings School which have been adopted by the governors of each of these secondary school in Brighton & Hove.

Cardinal Newman Catholic school and Kings school have a supplementary information form which their governors use to assess applications against the school’s admission priorities.

Get details of these schools admission priorities and supplementary information forms.

Section 6 - What to do when you receive the decision

How do I accept my child’s school place?

You will receive an email (or a letter) from the school admissions team informing you which school your child has been allocated. If you want to accept the place you have been offered, you should complete and return the pupil registration form (a link is provided in the decision email) to the school at which your child has been offered a place. The school will give you clear information about arrangements for starting school. If your child does not take up their school place on the agreed day and you have not informed the school of any special reason for the delay, the school admissions team may give the place to another child.

What happens if I am not happy with the school my child has been offered?

You may ask the school admissions team about places at other schools.

Your child’s name will automatically be entered in the reallocation pool for your first preference school (this applies to community schools only).

You may appeal.

Reallocation pools

This is how the school admissions team allocates places that become available at oversubscribed schools. The team holds reallocation pools for community schools only. The governors of BACA, PACA, Cardinal Newman, King’s and the admission authorities for schools in other areas may operate reallocation pools or waiting lists. You should contact the school or council concerned to find out about their procedures.

How do I get my child’s name into a reallocation pool?

If you have applied for your child to start year 7, and you do not get your first preference school, your child’s name will be entered in the reallocation pool for that school.

Your child’s name will remain in the pool until the 31 December 2022 or until a place becomes available if this happens sooner. If you would like to be in the reallocation pool for any of your other preferences, please inform us in writing or by email.

How does the council manage reallocation pools?

Children will be entered in a reallocation pool for community schools, according to the admission priorities listed in section 4. Within each priority children will be ranked by computer in a random order.

Late applicants will be added to the pool asap after they are received. Late applications and reallocation pool offers will start to be made from April onwards.

Where, after the closing date, parents / carers change preferences without changing address, new applications will be added to the reallocation pool from July 2022 onwards.

What happens if a place becomes available at a school with a waiting list or reallocation pool?

Each time the council is able to offer a place, or places at a school with a reallocation pool, a new randomised list will be generated, and the place or places allocated to the child(ren) at the top of the list.

Parents notified that their child has been offered a place from a reallocation pool will have seven days to reply before the place is offered to another child.

Details about how BACA, PACA, Cardinal Newman and Kings schools operate their waiting lists are given in Section 5.

How to appeal for a place at your preferred school

If you are unhappy with the school place your child has been offered, you can appeal to the independent appeal panel. You should act quickly to register an appeal, normally within 20 school days of receiving an email or letter informing you of the decision about your allocation.

If your appeal is unsuccessful the authority will not normally consider a further appeal for the same school for entry in the same academic year.

You can only appeal for a place at a school for which you have expressed a preference. If you wish to appeal it is a good idea to accept the place at the school you have been offered, as this will have no effect on the outcome of your appeal and will prevent you from missing out on a school altogether.

How the the appeal process works

The appeal panel will consider your appeal. This is an independent body that is not bound by the council’s admission priorities or the published admission numbers. You have the right to appeal for any of your preferred schools, but you may only appeal once for each school. The appeal panel’s decision is binding on the council the school and on parents/carers.

Appeal online and find more information about appeals.

If you need to find out more about appeal arrangements, please contact:

The Clerk to the Appeal Panel

Democratic Services

Brighton & Hove City Council

Hove Town Hall, Norton Road

Hove, BN3 3BQ

Send an email to schoolappeals@brighton-hove.gov.uk or phone 01273 291 228.

The governors of Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA), Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA), Cardinal Newman Catholic School and King’s School are responsible for organising their own appeals. However, this is done via the contact details above.

Can I appeal if my child has an EHCP?

If your child has an education, health and care plan and you want to appeal against the school named in the plan, or against the fact that no school has been named, an appeal should be made to the special educational needs tribunal, not an appeal panel (telephone 01273 293552 for more information).

Section 7 - Moving house

If you change address during the admissions process, you will need to supply proof of your new address by 22 January 2022 if you want us to base your school allocation on your new home address.

If you change address during the admissions process, before the closing date for applications, you must notify the school admissions team. If you do not, and we offer your child a place at your preferred school based on an address where you no longer live, this place will be taken away.

You should also notify the team of changes of address that happen after the closing date. If you do not, you may not receive any information from your child’s new school.

You must provide proof of all changes of address. Until we see proof of a change of address, we will allocate a school place based on your existing address.

If your application is received after the closing date and we do not receive proof of a house move (or other independent supporting information explaining why the application is late), we will treat this application as late. It is up to you to provide us with reasons to accept it as late with good reason.

If you are due to move to a new house within Brighton & Hove, you must still apply by the deadline and then provide your revised application and proof by 22 January 2022.

Please note: these arrangements refer to community schools. Church voluntary aided schools, free schools and academies have their own admission arrangements that are controlled by the school governors. Contact the relevant school for further details.

What happens if I am temporarily absent from the city?

If a family has a residence in Brighton & Hove and temporarily lives elsewhere (for example, a temporary job out-of-area, or abroad), the school admissions team may seek evidence of residence at both addresses, and evidence that you will be returning to the area.

Please email the school admissions team if you need any advice about filling in your application if this applies to you.

Section 8 - School transport

How council provides transport from home to school

The council has a duty to provide free transport between home and school for children of secondary school age who live over 3 miles from the appropriate school (this is termed the statutory walking distance). The appropriate school will be the designated catchment area school (or schools) for your home address provided it has a place available – distances are measured by the shortest safe walking route. This will be measured by computer. If you are unable to obtain a place at your catchment area school, then free transport will be provided if the council is unable to offer you an alternative school within 3 miles of your home.

If you choose not to apply for the appropriate school and apply for a school beyond the statutory walking distance from your home, you will not be entitled to free transport unless you have a low income.

Most children living in Brighton & Hove do not qualify for free transport as they will live within the statutory walking distance.

Children attending schools outside Brighton & Hove will only qualify for help with transport if that school is regarded as the appropriate school.

Help will not be given with transport to independent schools.

Families with a low income

Children entitled to free school meals or whose parents are in receipt of their maximum level of working tax credit (WTC) have a greater entitlement to free transport. If any of their 3 nearest schools is more than 2 miles but not more than 6 miles from their home, they will be entitled to free transport to that school if they obtain a place there. However, they will not be entitled to free transport to any of their 3 nearest schools which is less than 2 miles from their home.

When a person is first awarded tax credits, or following a change in their household circumstances, HM Revenue and Customs issue a ‘tax credit awards notice’ detailing the breakdown and amount of the award. Part 2 of the award notice gives details of ‘How we work out your tax credits’ including details of the full WTC elements. This is the maximum amount a customer can receive in WTC in any year. It then lists ‘any reduction due to your income’ and shows the net amount payable. It is therefore readily apparent from the award notice whether a person is receiving maximum WTC or a reduced sum due to income. Only those with the maximum WTC will be entitled to the greater entitlement to free school transport.

If you are claiming entitlement to school transport on the grounds of low income, you must inform the council’s home to school transport team that you are doing so.

The phone number is 01273 293 501, or you can email the team at hometoschooltransport@brighton-hove.gov.uk    

You will need to say whether your child is entitled to free school meals, which we can check against our records, or that you receive the maximum WTC. In the case of the WTC you will be asked to provide your award notice as proof of receipt. You should contact the home to school transport team as soon as possible after you know which school your child has been allocated.

Special needs and special reasons for transport

If your child is not entitled to free transport because of distance, help may still be given if they are not fit to walk to school or attend a special school.

We will require a letter confirming this from your GP or the consultant working with your child.

Pupils attending special schools will have their transport needs individually assessed in consultation with parents / carers.

Transport to the appropriate school

If a child is entitled to free transport the council will usually meet the full cost of travel on public services, or provide a seat on a hired vehicle, and will issue season tickets or special travel permits as appropriate.

In exceptional circumstances the council may agree to pay a mileage rate to parents / carers who wish to make their own arrangements. This will normally be paid only where there is no public transport to the appropriate school or the appropriate school is outside Brighton & Hove, and special agreement has been given in advance.

Behaviour on transport

Children travelling to school whether on public transport or in hired vehicles will be expected to behave reasonably and treat drivers, other travellers, and members of the public with courtesy and consideration.

Any breach of acceptable behaviour will be dealt with through the school’s disciplinary procedures, and if serious, could result in the council reviewing a child’s transport arrangements. In some cases that could mean the temporary or permanent removal of entitlement to travel on a particular route.

Complaints about school transport

Any complaints from parents / carers about home to school transport will be investigated immediately. Where the complaint is upheld, steps will be taken to rectify the situation by whatever means necessary. If you have a complaint, please phone 01273 293 501.

Enquiries about transport

Please contact the Home to school transport team:

Please note: the council no longer provides discretionary transport assistance to church voluntary aided schools. Free transport will be provided for any children who are eligible under the criteria that apply to all children, ie those who are attending their nearest school but who live more than three miles from the school, or more than two miles if the family has a low income.

Explanation of terms and definitions

Some of the everyday language used in this booklet has a very specific meaning when used to describe the admissions process. This section explains the meanings of some educational terms.

Academy

Academies are publicly funded independent schools, free from local authority and national government control. Other freedoms include setting their own pay and conditions for staff, freedoms concerning the delivery of the curriculum, and the ability to change the length of their terms and school days.

Admission authority

The body responsible for deciding admission priorities and for allocating school places. In the case of community schools this is the council and in the case of church voluntary aided schools, academies, and free schools, it is the school’s governing body.

Admission priorities

The method used by the admission authority to decide which children are offered places when a school has received more applications than it has places.

Church voluntary aided school

A school where the buildings are maintained by the Church of England or the Catholic Church, and the governors are responsible for admissions policy. With the exception of the costs of new buildings and maintaining the buildings, the council meets the running costs.

Community schools

Schools which are maintained entirely from public funds and are managed locally by the headteacher and governors together with the council. Formerly known as county schools.

Free school

Free schools are all-ability government-funded schools set up in response to what local people say they want and need to improve education for children in their community.

Infant school

A school that takes pupils aged between four and seven, who will normally go on to a junior school to complete their primary education.

Junior school

A school that takes pupils aged between seven and eleven. Pupils are normally admitted having previously attended an infant school.

Local authority (LA)

The LA in Brighton & Hove is Brighton & Hove City Council.

Maintained school

State-funded school. In Brighton & Hove these are either community schools or church voluntary aided schools.

Oversubscribed school

A school where there are more applications than available places.

Own-admission-authority school

A school whose governors are responsible for taking decisions about admissions. Academies, Church voluntary aided schools and free schools fall into this category.

Parent / carer

Under the terms of the Children Act 1989, married parents or the unmarried mother of a child have parental responsibilities automatically. Other people, including unmarried fathers, stepparents, grandparents and other relations, foster carers, and others, may acquire parental responsibilities in a variety of ways. If you are uncertain about your parental status, the school admissions team will be happy to discuss it with you. Please contact the school admissions team for information.

Primary school

A school which has pupils aged between four and eleven, that is, both infant and junior age groups.

Published admission number (PAN)

The number of pupils a school can admit in its intake year. The figure is set after consultation between the council and the school governing body.

Reallocation pool

The method the council uses to decide who will be offered any places at an oversubscribed community school that become available after initial decisions have been notified to parents.

Secondary school

A school that takes pupils aged between 11 and 16, or 11 and 18 where there is a sixth form.

Sibling / sibling link

For the purposes of the school admissions process, children are siblings if they share the same main address and live as part of the same household. You may be asked to supply proof of this.

Useful contacts and websites

Brighton & Hove City Council

School admissions team

Send an email to schooladmissions@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Phone 01273 293 653

Go to our webpages.

Home to school transport entitlement

Send an email to hometoschooltransport@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Phone 01273 29 501

Free school meals entitlement

Send an email to FreeSchoolMeals@brighton-hove.gov.uk 

Phone 01273 293497

Family information service

Family Information Service.

Phone 01273 293 545 – childcare information

Special educational needs and pre-school special educational needs,

Send an email to SEN.Team@brighton-hove.gov.uk 

Phone 01273 293 552

Home education officer  

Send an email to eotas@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Phone 01273 291 310

Get information for parents who educate their children at home 

Ethnic minority achievement service (EMAS)

Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS)

Phone 01273 292 521

School travel team

Phone 01273 290 561 – promoting safe and sustainable travel to school.

Other local authorities

East Sussex County Council

Phone 030 033 09472  

West Sussex County Council

Phone 033 301 42903

Central government

Department for Education.

Office for Standards in Education (OfSTED).

Schools performance data

Schools performance website.