How to find a school catchment area

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Some parents specifically choose an area to purchase a property that is in the catchment area of a good 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 post code 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:

Application deadlines for public school places:

  • You must apply by 15 January for a primary school place.
  • You must apply by 31 October for a secondary school place.

Application deadlines for private school places:

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

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 log in and password.

Follow this simple guide:

  1. Register on the eAdmissions portal.

2. You will then receive an email with log in 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. In time you will receive 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 contact the school direct that you wish your child to attend to see if they are able to help.