How to find a school catchment area

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How to find a school catchment area

Some parents specifically choose an area to purchase a property that is in the catchment area of an excellent local school.

This part of parenthood can be quite daunting but hopefully, you will find this guide helpful.

Catchment distances vary from school to school and year to year.  Your best bet is to contact the school you wish your child to attend, they will be able to give you a radius to work from.

Please note, one of our members chose a house that she was advised by the school would be in the catchment area only to find that that particular year, the school had reduced the catchment area.

To work out the catchment area for your preferred school:

  1. To find a local school in England click here.

2. Enter your postcode, then fill in the drop-down menu.

3. You will then find all the local schools nearest to your postcode in map form. Under each school listed it will show you approximately how many miles you are away from the school.  Make a note of that information.

4. Contact the school that you wish your child to attend, the school will advise you of their catchment area.

To find out more information about your local schools click here.

How to apply for a school place:

Private schools:

  • Private schools have their own admissions procedures so you would need to check with them directly.

Public schools:

  • You must apply by 15 January for a Primary school place.
  • You must apply by 31 October for a Secondary school place.

For a public school place, you can register at any time on the eAdmissions portal even if your child has a few years to go before starting school.  This portal gives information and guidance on how to apply online, finding your nearest school and local authority details.

When applying online you will need to fill in a form and you will be given a login and password.

Follow our guide:

  1. Register on the eAdmissions portal.

2. You will then receive an email with login and password.

3. Register your child’s details on the portal.

4. When applications are due, you will receive an email advising you it is time to apply.

5. Go onto the portal, log in.

6. Select your preferences (some schools allow you to choose up to 6 schools).  Click apply.

7. When places have been allocated, you will receive either a written confirmation or an email from the portal with your child’s school place.

If you are offered a place at a school that you do not wish your child attend, you have a few options:

  • When your child has been allocated a space at a school, write to the admissions department of your local authority setting out your reasons as to why you want your child to attend a different school.
  • You can also contact the school that you would like your child to attend to see if they can help.  The school will be able to tell if you if there are any spaces available, if there is a waiting list or whether they are fully subscribed with no waiting list.
  • School places can be fluid, ie they change daily even through the term times so don’t lose hope if you don’t get the school you wanted.  Ensure that you are on the schools waiting list as quickly as possible.