Secondary school applications

Information for parents and carers of children due to transfer to secondary school in September 2019

Children born between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008 (inclusive) need to apply for a secondary school place for their children.

1 March 2019 - National Allocation Day

On 1 March 2019 emails will be sent to all parents and carers who applied online for a secondary school place by the deadline of 31 October 2018. Emails should be sent by 2pm, but this may take longer.

Everyone who applied on time, whether they applied online or on paper, will be sent an allocation letter and all relevant forms by second class post on 1 March. Please allow two to three working days for letters to be delivered.

Information regarding the outcome of applications will not be discussed over the phone, so please do not call about this.  All relevant information will be sent to you in the post.

The deadline for responding to school offers and transport offers, or to add your child's name to a Continued Interest List (CIL), or to submit a new application or a change of preference request is 21 March 2019. 

More information is available about CILs and changing preferences at:

If you missed the deadline to submit a secondary school application, or want to change the application you made, you need to submit a paper application form by 21 March 2019.

Where applications have been received late, between 1 November 2018 and 21 March 2019, they will be processed on 8 May 2019.  Notification will be sent by second class post on 8 May 2019 and will not be sent by email.

Applications received after 21 March will be considered later in the year.

The Swan School, Oxford

What is The Swan School?

The Swan School is a new free school for secondary age children expected to open in Oxford in September 2019, dependent on the River Learning Trust and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) signing its Funding Agreement.

Planning permission has been granted for the new permanent site in Marston, Oxford where building work has now begun and a temporary site for one year on land adjacent to The Cherwell School – South Site.   Until the Funding Agreement has been signed, it cannot be guaranteed that The Swan School will admit students in September 2019.

When the Funding Agreement has been signed, the Council will be able to contact successful applicants (see below) and unsuccessful applicants who have requested for their child to continue to be considered for a place at The Swan School (see below) to confirm that it will open and to give details of the next steps.

At this time, it is hoped the Funding Agreement will be signed in time for The Swan School to be part of the allocation process on 8 May 2019 (the second allocation round) when a single school offer will be made.

 Applications for The Swan School

Applicants who applied for a place at The Swan School by 31 October 2018 will be sent outcome letters by second class post on 1 March 2019.  Notification will not be sent by email.  Notification about the outcome of applications for The Swan School cannot be provided by telephone.  Please do not call about this.

Successful applications for The Swan School

Where The Swan School has confirmed that a place can be offered to a child, subject to the school opening in September 2019, the child will initially be sent two letters offering a place at two schools. One will be an offer at The Swan School conditional on it being approved to open in September 2019; and one will be an offer at an existing school so that parents/carers have assurance of a secure school offer in case The Swan School does not open in September 2019.

Parents/carers are strongly encouraged to accept the offer of the place at both schools by 21 March 2019.  The offer of the place at The Swan School cannot be recorded online, so the response form sent with the letter must be used.  Accepting both offers will not affect either offer until after the Funding Agreement has been signed.  After this date, the Council will write to parents/carers who have accepted a place at The Swan School and another school to tell them that The Swan School will open in September 2019 and to ask them to make a final decision within 10 school days which secondary school offer to accept for their child.  The other school will then be marked as not needed.

The River Learning Trust will assume that parents/carers who do not accept the place reserved for their child at The Swan School by 21 March 2019 are no longer interested in a possible place at the school.  The Council will send a reminder notification to these parents/carers requesting a formal response.

After the Funding Agreement has been signed, the River Learning Trust will assume that parents/carers who do not respond with a final decision accepting or declining the place at The Swan School within 10 school days are no longer interested in a place at the school.  The Council will send a reminder notification to these parents/carers requesting a formal response.  The available place at The Swan School will be available to be re-offered to another child.  The place at the other school will remain secure.

How places were reserved at The Swan School (pdf format, 89Kb)

Unsuccessful applications for The Swan School

Where The Swan School confirms that a place cannot be offered on 1 March, the parent/carer will have the option to add their child’s name to the Continued Interest List and/or lodge an appeal.  See these links for more information:

A place will still be offered at an alternative existing school in Oxfordshire; either originally requested as a preference or as the nearest available school.

Parents/carers are strongly encouraged to accept the offer of the alternative school and add their child’s name to The Continued Interest List for The Swan School if they still want a place at the school.

After the Funding Agreement has been signed, the Council will write to parents/carers who requested their child’s name to be added to the Continued Interest List for The Swan School to ask them whether The Swan School should be added to their list of existing preferences as a first, second, third or fourth preference.

The second allocation round will take place on 8 May 2019, and if any places have become available by this date, they will be reallocated in accordance with the school’s published Admissions Rules.

Please note that the River Learning Trust will assume that parents/carers who do not return the Continued Interest List request form for The Swan School by 21 March are no longer interested in a possible place.  The Council will not write to these families after the Funding Agreement has been signed.

How to respond to offers made on 1 March 2019

Response forms

If you applied online, you can respond to the school offer online and do not need to return a paper response form.

If you applied on paper, you will have to return your paper response form.

The deadline for accepting or declining a school place is 21 March 2019.

Please note that responses for The Swan School can only be sent on paper.

Continued Interest (Waiting) List

Where a child has been refused a place at a preferred school, their name can be added to the relevant Continued Interest List (CIL).

If you applied online, you can add a child’s name to the CIL online (join Waiting List option), and do not have to return a paper continued interest form. 

If you applied on paper, you will have to return your paper Continued Interest List request form to the Admissions Team if you want your child’s name added to a CIL.

The deadline for receipt of continued interest forms is 21 March 2019.

If your child has not been refused a place at a preferred school, you will not be able to add their name to a CIL. 

Please note that you cannot add a child’s name to a CIL for a school listed as lower preference than the school offered. If you do this, we will assume you are requesting to change your preference order and now want this lower preference school more than the school where a place was allocated.

You can read more about CILs and changing preferences on these pages:

Please note that continued interest forms for The Swan School can only be sent on paper.

Free Home to School Transport

If we have determined that your child is eligible for free home to school transport, we will send you a transport response form with your allocation letter.

You cannot respond to a transport offer online.

If you want to accept the offer of free home to school transport, or decline the offer, please complete the paper form and return it to the Admissions Team.  The deadline for receipt of transport forms is 21 March 2019.

You can read more online about free school travel or the spare seats scheme on these pages:

Independent School

If your child has been allocated a place at a state-funded secondary school but you have decided to send your child to an independent school, you must inform the School Admissions Team as soon as possible, and provide the name of the independent school, so that the state-funded school place can be offered to another child.

Leaving Oxfordshire

If your child has been allocated a place at an Oxfordshire state-funded secondary school but you are now leaving the area, you must inform the School Admissions Team as soon as possible so that the place can be offered to another child.

Elective Home Education

If your child has been allocated a place at an Oxfordshire state-funded secondary school but you are going to educate your child at home instead, you must inform the School Admissions Team as soon as possible so that the place can be offered to another child.

Further information about Elective Home Education can be found online at:

https://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/residents/children-education-and-families/education-and-learning/being-educated-home

How to apply

The deadline to submit applications for secondary school was 31 October 2018.

If you missed this deadline, you should complete a paper application form and ensure it reaches the School Admissions Team no later than 21 March 2019.

Applications received by 21 March will be processed on 8 May 2019.

List of schools

Details for every state funded Oxfordshire school can be found on our list of schools page.

On this page you can find each school’s location, contact details, catchment area (where it has one), admissions rules and five-year history of allocation data.

Key dates

  • 10 September 2018 - parents can start to apply 
  • 31 October 2018 - closing date for applications
  • 1 March 2019 - Letters (sent by second class post) and emails sent detailing the offer of a school place
  • 21 March 2019 –  Deadline for late applications and changes of preference to be considered in the second round of the allocation process.
  • 21 March 2019 - Last date for responding to an offer and for placing a child’s name on a Continued Interest (Waiting) List in response to offers made on 1 March
  • 8 May 2019 – Second allocation round: letters (sent by second class post)
  • September 2019 – start of the school year

Allocation day

Everyone who applies online by 31 October 2018 will receive an email on 1 March 2019 advising which school their child has been offered a place at. All on-time applicants will also be sent a letter on 1 March 2019 with all relevant information.

People who applied after 31 October and by 21 March 2019 will be sent a letter on 8 May 2019.

Important things to remember when applying

  • apply on time, ie no later than 31 October 2018
  • 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 area) school as one of your preferences
  • if your application is late, it will be processed later in the year, and you are far less likely to get a place at one of your preferred schools

Parents’ guide

Further information about the secondary school application process and general information about Oxfordshire secondary schools can be found in our secondary school guide.

If you wish to apply for The Swan School, a proposed new secondary school in Oxford, please see the information on page 10 of this guide.

School Transport

Secondary school children are eligible for free home to school transport where they attend their nearest available school, if that school is over 3 miles from their home address. However, transport can also be provided where the distance to the nearest available school is less than 3 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, please contact the Schools Admission Team.

Please note that where a new school is built, this can affect a child’s eligibility to school transport.

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. 

Details of catchments area/designated areas can be found for all schools (where they 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.  Secondary school children are eligible for free home to school transport where they attend their nearest available school, if that school is over 3 miles from the home address. However, transport can also be provided where the route to the nearest available school is less than 3 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.

How places are allocated

Information on how places are allocated at all schools 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.

Transfers

Visit the transferring schools page for information on in-year applications if you want to change your child's current school.

Further Information about the secondary allocation on 1 March 2019

 

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