Manchester City Council

High school open evenings now underway to help parents choose schools

Open evenings are now underway at schools across the city in a bid to help parents and children who are in their last year of primary school decide which secondary schools to apply for.

Decisions must be made before 5pm on 31 October which is the deadline for making an application. 

Dates and times of open evenings at different schools, together with more information on applying for a school place, can be found on the Council's website at or by contacting individual schools.

Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member for Children's Services, Manchester City Council, said: "It's important that parents and children find out more about the schools they're interested in, and if they can, go along to an open evening to see first-hand what the school has to offer. Choosing a high school is a big commitment and a real investment in your child's future, so make sure you find out as much as you can before you apply. And most important of all, once you have decided which schools you're interested in, don't miss the 31 October deadline."

All parents must apply for a secondary school place for their child - a place can't be allocated for a child if an application isn't made.

Once parents have decided which schools they want to apply for, the easiest way to apply is online. All parents of children currently in their last year of primary school should by now have received a letter with a unique PIN number for their child to speed up the online process.

Parents who haven't received a PIN number for their child can still make an online application. The system allows applications without a PIN number - it just takes a few minutes longer to complete.

Parents are encouraged to list at least three preferences when they make their application, and to rank their preferred schools to show which of them would be their first, second, third preference etc, if places were available at those schools.

Manchester operates an equal preference system when considering school admission applications. This means that each of the school preferences given by a parent on their application form will be considered at the same time. If, as a result of this, the system shows that a place could be offered at more than one school, their child will be offered a place at the school ranked highest amongst those named on the application form by parents.

Parents unable to make an on-line application can request a paper application form by ringing 0161 245 7166. Postal applications must also be returned by the same deadline of 5 pm on 31 October.

Letters confirming offers of a school place will be sent out to all applicants to arrive by 1 March which is National Offer Day. On-line applicants will also receive email confirmation of their offer on 1 March. 

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