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Admissions arrangements for our schools

Sometimes schools don't have enough places for everyone that applies. Where this is the case, all applications are assessed and ranked according to certain criteria. Places are then offered in ranking order.

Different types of school will have different criteria. Community schools and voluntary controlled schools use the community/voluntary controlled schools admissions policies. However, voluntary aided, foundation and academy schools can have their own admission policies.

Community/Voluntary controlled schools admissions policies
2019/20 2020/21

Primary oversubscription criteria (PDF, 94 KB) 


Secondary oversubscription criteria (PDF, 99 KB)

Primary oversubscription criteria (PDF, 272 KB)


Secondary oversubscription criteria (PDF, 111 KB)

In year admission arrangements (PDF, 513 KB) In year admission arrangements (PDF, 753 KB)
Primary and secondary PANs 2019-20 (PDF, 558 KB) Primary and secondary school PANs 2020/21 (PDF, 301 KB)

2020 School entry consultation (PDF, 46 KB)

Coordinated admissions schemes

All local authorities must have in place a scheme for coordinating admission arrangements for schools in their area. Coordinated schemes allow parents to make a single application for a school place and to receive a single offer (in accordance with the Education Act 2002).

As well as being responsible for coordinated admissions, We are the admissions authority for all community and voluntary controlled schools within the county. Admission authorities must set and determine their admission arrangements annually. If there is no change from the previous year, there is no need for further consultation.

Coordinated admission schemes
Coordinated admission schemes Entry
Secondary admission arrangements (PDF, 545 KB) 2019/20
Primary admission arrangements (PDF, 584 KB) 2019/20
Primary admission arrangements (PDF, 804 KB) 2020/21
Secondary admission arrangements and coordinated scheme (PDF, 504 KB) 2020/21
Primary admission arrangements (PDF, 608 KB) 2021/22
Secondary admission arrangements (PDF, 543 KB) 2021/22

Order of priority for admissions to community and local authority schools: Academic Year - 2020/21

Infant and primary schools

(Schools with Reception to Year 2 or Reception to Year 6)

  1. Children in the care of, or housed by, a local authority and children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
  2. Children living in the priority area who have a brother or sister at the school at the time of admission.
  3. Children living in the priority area who have a brother or sister at the partner junior school (or primary school) at the time of admission.
  4. Other children living in the priority area.
  5. Children from outside the priority area who have a brother or sister at the school at the time of admission.
  6. Children from outside the priority area who have a brother or sister at the partner junior school (or primary school) at the time of admission.
  7. other children from outside the priority area

There is more information on what defines a brother or sister, below.

Process when children are given the same criteria

Junior schools

(Schools with Year 3 to Year 6)

  1. Children in the care of, or housed by, a local authority and children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
  2. Children living in the priority area who have a brother or sister at the school at the time of admission.
  3. Children living in the priority area who have a brother or sister at the partner infant school at the time of admission.
  4. Other children living in the priority area.
  5. Children from outside the priority area who have a brother or sister at the school at the time of admission.
  6. Children from outside the priority area who attended the partner infant school immediately prior to transfer.
  7. Children living outside the priority area who have a brother or sister at the partner infant school at the time of admission.
  8. other children from outside the priority area

There is more information on what defines a brother or sister, below.

Secondary schools

(Schools with Year 7 to Year 11, they may also have sixth forms)

  1. Children in the care of, or housed by, a local authority and children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
  2. Children living in the priority area who will have a brother or sister at the school at the time of admission.
  3. other pupils living in the priority area
  4. Children living outside the priority area who will have a brother or sister at the school at the time of admission.
  5. other children living outside the priority area

There is more information on what defines a brother or sister, below.

When children are given the same criteria

Within each criterion, priority is given in order of the distance between the child’s home and the school. The shortest distance is given the highest priority.

Home to school distance measurement

Distance will be calculated by the straight line distance from the child’s home address location to the centre point of the preferred school. These measurements are subject to slight change due to updates of mapping data.

Flats/apartments

Where applications are made from the same multiple dwelling sharing a single address point, such applications will be considered initially by the distance between the address point and the school in the normal way.

Where there are insufficient places to admit all of those applicants, the individual priority for each applicant will be set by random allocation (lottery).

The draw will be carried out by two officers from the admissions service in the presence of the senior solicitor from the Legal Services, Performance and Development Directorate. The order of draw will be recorded and countersigned at the time.

Any further offers made at a later time from the waiting list will be freshly drawn in the same manner.

Definition of a sibling/brother or sister

A sibling is defined as:

  • a brother or sister
  • a half brother or sister
  • an adopted brother or sister
  • a step-brother or sister
  • The child of the parents’ partner where the child for whom the school place is sought is living in the same family unit and at the same address as that sibling.

A sibling connection will not be accepted if the original place was obtained using fraudulent or false information.