Guide to moving up to secondary school

Last updated: 7 August 2023

How to decide which schools to apply for

Make sure you apply on time and with all the information we need to consider your child’s application.

Check our timeline to get all the important dates for your diary.

Find the schools near you

Use our ‘Find my child a school place’ service to get information about the schools you are interested in, including catchment areas, OFSTED reports, admission numbers and details of the allocation in the previous year.

Learn about the schools you are interested in

Schools have open events to give you the chance to look around and learn more about them. It is best to visit a number of schools, including your nearest/catchment schools. Even if you are not sure if a school might be right for your child, it is helpful to learn more about the school and, if possible, visit it in person.

Use our school directory to find open event dates for the schools you are interested in. These might be virtual, or you might need to make an appointment to visit a school.

It is important that you check the Admissions Policy for each of your preferred schools, so that you can understand how the school’s admission rules will be applied to your child’s application.

Think about how to get to school

Think about how your child will get to school each day. Make sure you read and understand the School Transport rules. You can check whether your child would be eligible for free school transport. You must express a preference for your nearest school (anywhere in your list) if consideration is to be given for providing transport to a school further away. If being able to walk to school is important to you, ask whether the school has a School Travel Plan.

Apply for a place

Make and submit your secondary school application by midnight on 31 October at the latest.

Some schools have a Supplementary Form they would like you to fill in to give them more information to help them decide who can be offered a place.