Admission to secondary school

Applying to start at secondary school in September 2021.

Choosing your secondary school

Make an application to secondary school

Parents of children born between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2010 (inclusive) need to apply for a secondary school place for September 2021. Applications open on 4 September 2020.

Visit the transferring or moving school page if you want to move your child to another school (in-year transfers).

Consider schools in your catchment area

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

If there are more applications than places, priority is given to children by following 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. 

Details of catchment areas can be found for schools that use them on our list of schools page.

Please note that attending your catchment school does not guarantee that your child is eligible for free home to school transport. The catchment area school is not always the nearest available school.

Consider how your child will get to school

Secondary school children are eligible for free home to school transport where they attend their nearest available school if that school is over three miles from their home address. However, transport can also be provided where the distance to the nearest available school is less than three miles and the route is currently listed as dangerous by the council. Please see the Travelling to school page for further details and the full transport policy.

You should consider how your child will get to school if you apply for a place at a school that is further away than your nearest available school.

To find out where your nearest school is, contact us.

Please note that the catchment area school is not always the nearest available school; and where a new school is built, this can affect a child’s eligibility to school transport.

List of (existing) schools

Find details for every existing state-funded Oxfordshire school on our list of schools page. You can find each school's location, contact details, catchment area (where it has one), admissions rules and history of allocation data.

How places were allocated in previous years

The 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.

Find the admission rules for all state-funded secondary schools, and how places were allocated on the individual school pages.

Further advice

For further advice on the secondary school application process, please see the Moving On booklet (pdf format, 536Kb)