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14th of January, 2016

Top tips for school admissions from FindASchool by 192.com

  1. Apply on time and fill in all the necessary forms.
    • Applying on time is by far the most important piece of advice. Lots of people every year apply late. These applications are only considered after all on time applications. Therefore, if the school is oversubscribed by people who applied on time, you are very unlikely to get a place.
    • Apply online if you can. If you do not have access to the internet, then call your local authority to get a copy of the application forms, and for advice on how to proceed.
    • You must apply to the local authority where you live - even if the school is in a different local authority.
    • Local authorities now recommend you apply online. This way they can give you email updates, and there is no chance of and pieces of paper getting lost.
    • Some schools, including all faith schools, require that you complete a supplementary information form. These will be available to download from the local authority website or directly from the school.
  2. Do your research
    In particular, find out the admission criteria of the school and whether the school has been oversubscribed in recent years. If a school was oversubscribed last year, the chances are it will be oversubscribed again. If you want to apply such a school:
    • Find out the admission criteria, and check that meet them.
    • If the school allocates places according to where you live, then use FindASchool to see if you would have got a place last year. The website displays what we call Successful Admission Areas making it easy to check.
    • FindASchool will give you a summary of all admission criteria, but for faith schools which tend to be more complicated, we recommend you follow up with the school directly to find out the precise requirements for that school.
    • Local authorities now recommend you apply online. This way they can give you email updates, and there is no chance of and pieces of paper getting lost.
    However, you should also note that if a school is not oversubscribed, then it will offer a place to everyone who applies regardless of whether they meet the admission criteria.

  3. Try to visit the schools you are considering, and don't be afraid to phone them if you have any questions.
    Statistics are all very well, but it is much better to see the school for yourself.

  4. Don't pin your hopes on a single school.
    If you live in an urban area, it is highly likely that many of your local schools will be oversubscribed. Even if you live very close to the school you should not assume that you will necessarily get a place. Research some other schools in the area and have some backup options in case you do not get a place at your preferred school.

  5. You get between 3 and 6 preferences. Use them all - and use them wisely.
    • If you are unlucky and do not get a place at one of your top choices, the local authority will simply allocate you a place at the nearest school with a vacancy. Therefore, better to use more preferences and at least have some say in which school your child ends up going to.
    • Don't use all your preferences on schools where you don't meet the admission criteria. You may want to try your luck and see if you get a place at a very popular school, even if it doesn't look likely. However, don't use all your preferences on schools like this. Try to make sure there is at least one where you think you have a good chance of getting a place.
  6. If you are moving house, or planning to move house later in the year, then speak to the Local Authority.
    The LA will be able to advise exactly what will happen and how your application will be treated. It may be that you have to apply from your new address

  7. Don't try to cheat the system.
    An obvious point, but if you are tempted to rent a small flat / pretend to live at grandparent's house / etc, don't do it. You will most likely get caught, lose your place at the school.

About FindASchool by 192.com

FindASchool is the latest service from 192.com, the UK's leading online directory. Launched in November 2015, FindASchool is a tool to help parents research and understand their chances of getting a place at the school of their choice - the definitive guide to school admissions and more. It is designed to help parents make decisions on school applications by presenting all the information they need in one place, and by showing where they would have needed to live to get in to a school in previous years.