School Enrolment

School admission policy in England

All parents or those legally responsible for a child have the right to express a preference for their child’s school. The Local Authority (LA) caters to those who are living within the school ‘catchment area’ which is a specific geographically marked area following the demographic features. 

The government has issued guidance on school admission policies called the School Admissions Code which is available on

Parents or legal guardians can apply to the LA for a school place for their child. The child will complete Reception to Year 6 in primary education before progressing on to the secondary stage of education. Whilst the child is still in Year 6 the parents/legal guardians of the child are asked by the LA to put down three preferences for their secondary school. This has to be done in the October and school places are announced in the January before the child is due to go to secondary school in the September. The LA usually offers the child a place at the school that has immediate availability and is closest to the child’s home address.  The next or the second available school place is applicable in cases where the nearest school matching the child’s residential address is oversubscribed. In such cases, the child will have to travel further than expected to school. All LAs in England have a ‘Choice Advice Service’ offering child’s parents help and support.

If you arrive in England during the school year, once you have a permanent address your child(ren) are entitled to a place at a local school. If, for any reason the school is deemed by the parent not to be suitable for the particular needs of their child, then parents can apply for admission to another school that does cater for their needs. For example, this may occur if the child has a severe special educational need such as autism.
Schools in England have an inclusion policy; this means that once a school place has been found, the child will be in the classroom along with other children of their age, regardless of their ethnic, national, religious or other background. Most children with special educational needs or a disability (SEND) will also be placed in mainstream school and work alongside other children who are not considered to be SEND, sometimes they will received additional in-class support from a designated teaching assistant, unless their needs are such that they cannot be met by their allocated school. 

If the child is struggling with English as a second language, the school will arrange for them to have additional, specialist appropriate, support. This provision is often coordinated by a designated member of staff or department within the school known as the English as an Additional Language (EAL) coordinator Department.
The standard and quality of education is critically evaluated by OfSTED (The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills). OfSTED, which is part of a non-ministerial department, inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages ( In other words, it is the quality-controlling body in England for education.

last modified: Tue, 10/30/2018 - 11:45