The following are frequently asked questions about School admissions
You can't choose your child's secondary school, but you can let the Admissions Service know which schools you prefer. You should put down three choices of schools, in order of preference, with number 1 as your most preferred school.
It is important that you look around and consider several schools in your area in case you don't get your first choice. Make sure you are happy for your child to attend your second and third choices of school. Only putting down one school will limit the chances of your child getting a place you and they want.
Each family is provided with one application form to apply for a place in any maintained secondary school, whether it is in the Manchester Local Authority (LA) or another LA. Manchester Admissions Service will work with neighbouring authorities to allocate places when parents apply for schools outside of Manchester.
You need only apply separately to independent fee-charging schools - you need to contact these schools individually.
Every school has a set of rules, known as the admissions or oversubscription 'criteria'. Schools that are oversubscribed (more pupils applying than there are places) will follow these rules when allocating places. The criteria state the order in which places are given out to pupils.
Admissions criteria are set by the school's admissions authority. Having an admissions policy with set criteria means that places are given out in a fair and objective way.
Many schools regularly have more applicants than places. When there are more places than applicants, a school's admissions rules are applied, so you need to consider how your application fits the school's admissions policy. If other pupils match these criteria better than your child, they will be given a place before your child. If you do not receive a place at your top school because it is over-subscribed, you will be offered a place elsewhere.
The Choice Advisers can give you realistic advice about the schools you want to apply for. Choice Advice Hotline: 0800 083 7921
This means that each of your three preferences will be considered in the same way. So when a school receives more applications than it has places available; each application will be considered on an equal footing with all the others, whether or not you named the school as your first, second or third choice.
For example, if your first school has enough places, you will get your first preference. But if it is over-subscribed (full) and your second is not, it will make no difference to how your application for your first school is assessed, according to the admissions criteria. So if your child fits the first school's admissions criteria, you will still get a place.
In other words, if a pupil can be offered more than one place according to admissions criteria, you will be offered a place at your highest ranked school, whether the school is in Manchester or another authority.
No - the rules vary with the type of school and their Admissions Authority.
Government information for parents explaining the different types of school.
Check the "Manchester Secondary School Admissions 2008" brochure for information about individual schools.
Community Secondary Schools:
The Admissions Service processes all the applications for the community secondary schools in Manchester, on behalf of the schools. Parents of children going from primary school to secondary school can state a preference for any community secondary school in the city. If there are enough places for every child who wants to go to a community secondary school, then they all get a place. If there are not enough places the same admissions criteria are applied for all community schools:
Children in public care, children with exceptional medical or social needs, and any child with a sibling living at the same address attending the school in question are given a place first, in that order. All the children left who attend a Manchester-maintained primary school are put into order, with those living nearest the school at the top, and places are given out until the set number of places for the school is reached. If there are still places left, children who do not attend a Manchester primary school are considered.
Faith schools have their own admissions policies agreed by each school's governing body. Supporting documents such as references from a religious leader may be requested.
For example Roman Catholic Schools prioritise Catholic families. Families who live in the parishes near school or whose children attend the local Catholic primary schools are given priority. Roman Catholic schools will usually ask to see a Baptismal Certificate and a proof of the child's permanent address. Spare places may be given to non-Catholic applicants.
Look carefully at the admissions criteria in the "Manchester Secondary School Admissions" brochure, or ask the school directly, before you apply. Choice Advisers can give you up to date admissions criteria for particular schools.
William Hulme's Grammar School Academy specialises in Modern Foreign Languages so 10% of all places are offered to children with a language specialism. The school asks that extra forms be completed (since children are asked to sit a Non-verbal Reasoning Assessment in December). All applicants are then banded by ability so that pupils with a broad range of abilities get a place.
The United Learning Trust (ULT) sponsors Manchester Academy. ULT academies welcome diverse pupils of all abilities. If demand exceeds places available, looked after children, students with significant specific medical, social or special educational needs who are not covered in a Statement of Special Educational Needs, students with a sibling or siblings currently attending the Academy, and students who live closest to the Academy are prioritised, in that order.
Applications for places at the Manchester Enterprise Academy (formerly Parklands High School) will be assessed in the same way as community secondary schools in Manchester.
Many schools make sure children get a place if their older sibling/s attends the same school on the day of admission.
If an older sibling attends a secondary school already, and the younger child does not get a place, this could be because the elder child is in the sixth form, or because they do not live at the same permanent address.
Because schools prioritise younger siblings, you should think about whether the school is suitable for your younger children too when applying for a place. How important is it that they all go to the same school? Would it matter if they have different days off for school holidays or teacher training? Is it a problem if the schools have different start and finish times?
Any child currently living in the UK between the ages of 5 and 16 can access education by law, so your child would be able to get a secondary school place whether you have legal status in the UK or not. You may not be able to access public funds however, for example for free school travel or free school meals. This would depend on your immigration status.
If you are in the UK on a short-term basis (three months or less) only, then the Admissions Team would not process your application.
Waiting Lists and Appeals:
If all the places at your preferred school are taken and your child does not get a place, the Admissions Service will try to give them a place at your second or third choice school, and failing that you will be offered a list of schools that have vacancies at the time. Your child's name will also be placed on a waiting list for your first choice school and when a place comes up the Admissions Service will let you know, though this cannot be guaranteed.
You may also submit an appeal if your child does not get the place you prefer and you feel you have a good case. Appeal forms for Manchester Community and Roman Catholic schools will be enclosed with your letter, or alternatively contact the Admissions Service for an appeals form (0161 234 7150/51) or (new link not available yet).
If you make an appeal for a 2009 place by 31st March 2009, you are guaranteed a hearing in the first round of hearings. If you make an appeal later than 31st March, your hearing may not be until the summer.
An Independent Appeals Panel will consider all your points and make a decision. You can only make one appeal for each school that does not offer a place. There is no limit to the number of appeals per school, and each case is considered individually.
The Choice Advice Service can advise you about the Appeals Process and support you through it, though we can't deliver your appeal case on your behalf.
How do I go about putting my childs name down for a place at the school nursery for when he/she is 3?
You do need to register your child with a nursery in order to get a place. When you do this is up to you but if the nursery of your choice is a popular nursery then the earlier you do so the better. You should contact your preferred choice(s) to ask them about their admissions criteria.
You should also know that if your child attends a nursery that is attached to a school this gives no guarantee that the child will be given a place in the reception class of that school when they reach the statutory school age (Age 5).