Guide to moving up to secondary school

Last updated: 7 August 2023

Admission rules

Often, there will be more applicants for a school than there are places available. Where this is the case, we use admission rules to work out which children should be offered places.

Each school’s admission rules are set out in their admissions policy, and you will be able to download a copy from each school’s website.

Common admission rules may include: children with a sibling attending the school; children living in the school’s catchment area; children with exceptional medical or social needs; children living closest to the school.

For each of the schools you would like to include in your application (including any schools outside of Buckinghamshire), you must read their admission rules carefully so you know how your child’s application will be treated.

We use the information you provide in your child’s application (and Supplementary Information Form if applicable) to work out which admission rule is correct for your child.

We put all children applying for a particular school in an ordered list, with those children who best meet the admission rules in highest priority. We then use this list to work out which children should receive an offer.

Supplementary Information Forms (SIF)

Some schools ask applicants to complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) in addition to submitting your application. The information you give in the SIF will help to determine which admission rule is right for your child’s application.

The School Directory will tell you if any of your preferred schools have a SIF. If your preferred school has a SIF, make sure you complete it and return it directly to the school by Monday 31 October.

Free school meals and pupil premium

Some grammar schools give higher priority to children in receipt of free school meals/Pupil Premium. You should check your preferred grammar school’s admissions policy to see if this criteria is included. If it is, and you think you qualify, you should provide evidence of FSM/PP eligibility directly to your preferred grammar school by Monday 31 October.

You must provide evidence for your child to be considered under this rule.

Exceptional medical or social needs

Some schools have an exceptional medical or social needs rule that applications can be considered under. If you need to apply under this rule, you will need to submit independent evidence for exceptional medical or social needs rule.

Information about how places have been allocated at Buckinghamshire secondary schools in previous years can be found on our policy pages as well as by using our ‘Find my child a school place’ service.