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How we offer places

Equal preference

The School Admissions Code requires that applications are processed under an 'equal preference system'.  This means that all applications received for a school are ranked against the school's oversubscription criteria in their admissions policy. 

How it works

You can name up to three schools on your application, in order of preference (we strongly recommend you use all three preferences).

Your child is added to a list for each of the schools you have named. Each application on the schools list is then ranked in accordance with the published admission criteria in the school's admission policy and this determines where you on the list and whether they can offer you a place.

If only one of your preferred schools can offer a place, you will be offered a place at that school.

If more than one school can offer you a place, you will be offered the school that you ranked highest on your application.

If none of the schools can offer you a place, you will be offered a place at your catchment school or nearest school, depending upon the availability of places.

In most cases you will be offered a place at one of your preferred schools but there are circumstances where this may not be possible as this will depend on the number of applications received for a school.

You must read the admissions policy for all schools you apply to, in order to fully understand the admission criteria and how it will be applied to your application.

Application example 1

You apply for three schools in the following preference order.

1st preference

School A

2nd preference

School B

3rd preference

School C

All three of your preferred schools can offer a place. You are therefore allocated a place at School A. Your second and third preferences are discarded on the basis that you were allocated your highest preference school.

Application example 2

You apply for three schools in the following preference order.

1st preference

School A

2nd preference

School B

3rd preference

School C

School A is unable to offer a place, but School B and School C can offer. You are therefore allocated a place at School B. School C is discarded because you were offered one of your higher preference schools.

You are refused a place at School A and advised of the arrangements for placing your child on the waiting list and your right of appeal.

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