Secondary school applications | Oxfordshire County Council

Secondary school applications

Information for parents and carers of children due to transfer to secondary school

Children born between 1 September 2005 and 31 August 2006 (inclusive) need to apply for a secondary school place for their children.

How to apply

Register and apply online using our admissions website. Make sure you understand the admissions process before applying.

To apply for a school place:

  1. Use our schools list to find nearby schools or view our secondary map (pdf format, 2.5Mb)
  2. Register and apply for a place online

Note: It takes about 15-20 minutes to complete the application (but you can save and complete it later).

If you cannot apply online please contact us.

After you apply

Everyone who applies online will receive an email on 1 March 2017 detailing which school they have been offered a place for. All applicants will also be sent a letter on 1 March 2017.

Important things to remember when applying

  • you can list three different schools in order of preference. We strongly advise you to use all three preferences
  • it is the responsibility of parents/carers to apply for a school place
  • we advise you to enter your catchment (or designated) school as one of your preferences
  • if your application is late, you are far less likely to get a place at one of your preferred schools

Key dates

  • 8 September 2016 - parents can start to apply  
  • 31 October 2016 - closing date for on-time applications
  • 1 March 2017 - letters (sent by second class post) and emails sent detailing the offer of a school place
  • September 2017 – start of the school year

New Secondary School in Didcot - The Aureus School

The Aureus School is a new 11 to 16 secondary school which is being built as part of the Great Western Park development in Oxfordshire. For further details see the Aureus School website.

Applications for places in Year 7 at the Aureus School should be made through the normal secondary application process.

Parents guide

Information about the secondary school application process and general information about Oxfordshire secondary schools can be found in our secondary school guide Moving on (pdf format, 367Kb).

Catchment areas

Many, but not all, secondary schools have catchment (or designated) areas.

If there are more applications than places, priority is given to children in accordance with the school's published admission rules. We advise you to list your catchment school, if there is one for your address,  as one of your preferences. Find out what your catchment school is.

Alternatively contact and address details can be found using the Oxfordshire schools search.

Transport to school

Read our school travel page to find out whether your child is eligible for free or concessionary transport.

Will my child get a place?

Catchment area is one of the ways that places at schools are decided. There are other factors, such as whether a child has a brother or sister at the school or whether they have special educational needs. Religious or faith schools could use the religion of your child or family as a deciding factor.

You can find the admission rules in our guide Moving on (pdf format, 367Kb). This gives more detail about how places are decided. Voluntary aided and foundation schools have their own admission rules.

What if I don’t get the place I want?

You can put your child's name down on the waiting (or continued interest) list at up to three schools where a place could not be offered.


You have the right to appeal for a place at any school where a place could not be offered. The information sent out to you in the post will explain more about who is responsible for organising your appeal.

Moving/transferring schools

Visit the apply to change schools page if you want to change your child's current school.

How places were allocated

Information on how places were allocated in a particular school is available on the individual school pages 

Help and advice

For advice and information about applying for a secondary school place, please contact our School Admissions Team.

Last reviewed
07 September 2016
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