Choosing your secondary school
Make an application to secondary school
Consider schools in your catchment area
Many, but not all, secondary schools have catchment (or designated) areas.
Where your child has a catchment area school, they are more likely to get a place, but it isn't guaranteed. If there are more applications than places, we follow the school's published admission rules to decide priority. We advise that you list your catchment school as one of your preferences if there is one for your address.
You can find details of catchment areas for schools that use them on our list of schools page.
Think about how your child will get to school
Free home to school transport
We provide free home to school transport in limited circumstances as detailed in our policy.
Secondary school children are eligible for free home to school transport where:
- they attend their nearest available school (not always their catchment school) and
- the school is over three miles from their home address.
We may provide transport where the distance to the nearest available school is less than three miles, and we have listed the route as dangerous. Visit the Travelling to school pages for more information and the transport policy.
Nearest available school
When assessing for free transport, we do not measure the distance to the nearest school in the same way as the catchment school. So, the nearest school may not be your child's catchment school.
Think about how your child will get to school if you apply to a school that's further than your nearest available school.
To find out where your nearest school is, contact us.
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.
If your child is going to attend an independent school, you must tell us the school name in writing as soon as possible.
If you are leaving the area and no longer require a school place in Oxfordshire, contact us as soon as possible.
For further advice on the secondary school application process, please see the Moving On booklet (pdf format, 536Kb)