Toggle menu

Applying for Secondary School Places

Find out how to apply for a Year 7 secondary school place

Applications for Year 7 secondary school places are managed to a national timetable. The admission process is known as the 'Normal Admissions Round' and is co-ordinated between local authorities across England.

The Admissions Guide

We produce an Icon for pdf admissions guide [14MB] for parents each year which details how to apply for a secondary school place, and explains how each school will prioritise each application using the oversubscription criteria.



You must apply for a school place using the application form for the local authority where you live, even if you are applying for schools in a different local authority area. (For example: if you live in West Berkshire, use our online application form, even if you are applying for schools in, for example, Hampshire).

If you're applying mid-way through a school year, there's a separate process that needs to be followed.

Before applying you should:

  1. Icon for pdf read the parent's guide [14MB]  for the new school year
  2. attend school open days/evenings to help make your decision
  3. check whether you need to provide supplementary information to meet certain oversubscription criteria
  4. read the relevant guide if you are applying for schools outside of West Berkshire
  5. consider how your child will get to school. Free school transport is only available to your nearest school which may not be in your catchment area. There are other eligibility criteria and low income families may be entitled to receive free transport to one of their closest 3 schools. Full details are available in the Free Home to School Transport Policy.

You can apply from 1 September using our online application form:

Apply online for a school place

Applying online is the best route to take, as you'll get a receipt when you submit your application and you'll find out which school has been offered on the offer day, instead of waiting for the post. 

The deadline to submit applications is 31 October.


When are school places offered?

Emails and letters offering places are sent out on 1 March and emails should be received by 5pm.

Our Icon for doc Secondary admissions information sheet [89KB]  includes numbers on waiting lists, the number of spaces available, and answers to frequently asked questions.

You can also log into your online account to view the outcome of your application or to accept or decline a school place. We also provide more detailed information about the allocation of places to each school on our allocation information page.


What happens after school places are offered?

School waiting lists

In West Berkshire schools, where a child is not offered the first preference, they are placed on the waiting list for the first and any other higher preference school that was not offered. Waiting lists are always ranked using the oversubscription rules and not the date the application was received.

If your child has been refused a place in a school outside of West Berkshire, you need to check with the admission team of the relevant local authority to see if your child has been placed on a waiting list.

Making a late application

If you have missed the closing date or would like to apply for a different school (or schools) after the closing date, you can submit an Icon for doc application form [108KB] . The timetable for processing late applications is explained in the admissions guide.

Making an appeal for a school place

If your child is refused a place, you may decide to appeal against an admission decision for a school place.


Oversubscription criteria

Oversubscription criteria are used where there are more applications than there are places available. The criteria help to decide which applications are offered places by giving each application a priority. The priorities are based on a number of different things, such as School Catchment Areas and whether a child is a 'child in care' (or had been in care until adoption or child arrangements order/special guardianship order).

The oversubscription criteria are explained in the parent/carer's guide for each school.

It's important to make sensible and realistic decisions when choosing which schools to apply for. You should of course apply for schools that you prefer, but we advise that one of your preferences should be for a school that you have a reasonable chance of being offered a place in.

We provide detailed allocation information about the number of applications received for schools in previous years and the children that were offered places.


Apply online for a school place


Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email