2. Admission criteria

All schools have admission criteria to decide which children get places.

Admission criteria are different for each school. For example, schools may give priority to children:

  • who have a brother or sister at the school already
  • who live close to the school
  • from a particular religion (for faith schools)
  • who do well in an entrance exam (for selective schools, eg grammar schools or stage schools)
  • who went to a particular primary school (a ‘feeder school’)
  • in care or being looked after (all schools must have this as a top priority)

Your local council can give you a booklet about schools’ criteria and how to apply.

Contact the council if you’re applying for a school place after the start of the school year (eg changing schools).

Complain about unfair criteria

Contact the Schools Adjudicator if you think a school has unlawful admission criteria.

You must do this by 30 June, before places are allocated.