Apply for a Secondary school place (September intake)

Admission criteria

Each school that you name as a preference will consider your child’s application against its admissions criteria only and not according to the order in which you list them in your application. Schools are not told your order of preference as this is confidential.

For example, an application from a parent who has listed the school as a fourth preference is treated in the same way as an application where the school is listed as a first preference.

Criteria for community schools

If a community school is over-subscribed (the only community secondary school is Chessington Community College), we will use the following criteria (rules) to work out which children can be offered places:

  1. Looked after children - these are children currently looked after by the local authority, or previously looked after children who were looked after immediately prior to being adopted, or who became subject to a child arrangements order under the Children and Families Act 2014 (previously known as a residence order) or a special guardianship order. Please note: children adopted from overseas are not classified as children in public care and will not be considered under this criterion. 
  2. Children with a brother or sister - including an adopted, foster half or step-brother or sister living at the same address and attending the same school at the time of admission.
  3. Exceptional needs cases - like family, social or medical needs. You should describe these on your application in as much detail as possible, and they should be professionally verified, saying why the school concerned is the most suitable. Please note: if your child has special educational needs or if your child may need additional support in school but does not have an education, health and care place (EHCP) it is not possible to consider their application for a higher priority under this criterion. 
  4. Children of school staff – including an adopted, foster half or step brother or sister living at the same address. Staff should be directly employed by the school for two years or more at the time of application and continue to be employed at the school when the child is admitted in September or the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post where there is a skill shortage.
  5. Children who live nearest to the school - as measured in a straight line to the nearest or named school gate.

The distance from home to school is calculated using the School Admissions' computerised geographical information system and data supplied by Ordnance Survey. 

Criteria for academy, church and free schools

These schools often have different admissions criteria (rules). This will be included in their prospectus and on their website. If you live near a church school which you would like to apply for but do not attend the connected church, or your family are of another religious faith, make sure you understand under which criterion your application is likely to be considered. Make enquiries at the school to see if any children have previously been offered places under that criterion.