All schools have admission criteria to decide which children get places. The school or local council usually set these.
Admission criteria are different for each school. They may give priority to children:
- who live close to the school
- who have a brother or sister at the school already
- from a particular religion (for faith schools)
- who pass an entrance exam (for selective schools, for example grammar schools)
- who went to a particular primary school (a ‘feeder school’)
- who are eligible for the pupil premium or the service pupil premium
- whose parent has worked at the school for 2 years or more
Your local council can give you information about schools’ criteria and how to apply.
Children in care
All state-funded schools must give top priority to admitting children who:
- are in care or being looked after
- have been in care
Complain about unfair admission arrangements
Contact the Schools Adjudicator if you think a school has unlawful or unfair admission arrangements.
You need to complain by 15 May of the year before you’re applying for a place. For example, to complain about admission arrangements for September 2021 the deadline is 15 May 2020.