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Birmingham City Council

How School Places are Offered

Overview
  • Applications to primary school are based on providing three preferences
  • Applications to secondary schools are based on providing six preferences

The process for offering school places

On receipt of your preference form, your preferences for schools in Birmingham are considered equally.

If you applied for any voluntary aided school, foundation school or academies in Birmingham they are not informed of the order you have ranked their schools before the offer of places.

If you applied for any school outside Birmingham, the relevant local authority is informed of the order in which you ranked their school by us.

If there are more applications to a Birmingham community school than places available, the local authority applies the admission criteria to see who can be offered a place. The children offered a place are those who are best able to meet the admission criteria. You can view the admission criteria in either the Primary or Secondary Education Booklets at the bottom of this page.

If your preferences include

the school or local authority will be sent your details, as they are responsible for considering your child’s application against others received in accordance with their own admission criteria and published admission arrangements.

If a school or academy has too many applications for the places available, the school governors or local authority use the school’s criteria to rank applications and return them to School Admissions and Pupil Placements Service for places to be offered. ( See contact detail in the essential information section)

Some of these schools or academies may ask the local authority to rank applications in accordance with their admission criteria on behalf of their Governing Body.

When your applications to individual schools or academies are considered they are compared to your preference form by the local authority. The school that you are offered is the school where you have met the admission criteria better than other applicants and that is ranked the highest on your preference form.

Essential Information
  • Please consider the following carefully before submitting your preference form:

    The order in which you rank schools becomes important if you meet the criteria for more than one school

    • If your child meets the criteria for all schools preferred, you are offered your first preference
    • If your child meets the criteria for fewer of your preferred schools, you are offered the school ranked highest by you on your preference form and where your child has met the admission criteria
    • If you only meet the criteria for your lowest preference, you are offered that school, above other applicants whose children don’t meet the criteria but who have ranked the school higher than you
    • If your child does not meet the criteria for any of your preferred schools it is impossible to offer any of your preferences

    It is important to include at least one school where you think you have a good chance of getting a place, for example, a nearby school where you would have succeeded in getting a place on the distance criteria in the past.

  • We advise you to read the admission criteria for the schools you are interested in, attend school open sessions, and speak to School Admissions and Pupil Placements Service before submitting your preferences (See contact detail in the essential information section).

    Once parent / carers have submitted their preferences they are unable to change them without an exceptional change in circumstances. For example, if the family has recently moved address or an older sibling has changed schools. All requests to change preferences should be made in writing to the Head of School Admissions and Pupil Placements Service (See contact detail in the essential information section).

    You are unable to make an application for further schools at a later date.

    Any parent / carer who submits an application for a change of preference for an over-subscribed school, without an exceptional change in their circumstances, will have that application refused.

    Any request for a change of preference for a school that is under-subscribed (ie: still has places available) will be accepted and a place offered in accordance with the admission criteria for that school.

  • We write to parents / carers of children living in Birmingham informing them which school their child has been offered. Letters are sent by first class post. You can view important dates (see essential information) or refer to the relevant booklet at the bottom of this page .

    You receive only one offer. You do not receive letters from schools that cannot offer a place for your child.

    You must confirm whether you accept the place offered. You risk losing the place if you fail to reply by the specified date, you can view the timetable (see essential information) or refer to the relevant booklet at the bottom of this page.

    Sometimes, we may be unable to offer a place at any school you have asked for. This is because the schools you prefer received more applications than there are places available and children who are more able to meet their criteria are offered those places. If this happens and you live in Birmingham we offer your child a place at one of the nearest schools with available places. If you decide to refuse the place at the school offered it may be that, in the future, we can only offer a school even further away.

  • We can consider applications received after a final closing date only in exceptional circumstances.

    We use our discretion when considering the individual circumstances, for example where:

    • there were exceptional reasons which prevented the parent / carer from applying by the closing date

    Or

    • a child and the person with parental responsibility have moved into the area after the closing date

    Any applications received after the final closing date, without an exceptional reason, is considered for places after other applications received on time. Such applicants may be less likely to be offered one of their preferred schools.

    After Birmingham Local Authority has exchanged provisional offers with other admitting authorities it is unable to consider any late application for an over-subscribed school until after the offer of places.

    Late applications made on or after the start of the Autumn Term (September of each year) should be made on an ‘Application for a Change of School’ Form which you can download and either e-mail or post to the School Admissions and Pupil Placements Service (See contact detail in the essential information section)

    View Primary and Secondary School deadlines
  • Children’s Information and Advice Service

    Telephone:
    0121 303 1888 (option 4)

    Post:
    School Admission and Pupil Placement Service
    PO Box 16513
    Birmingham B2 2FF

    Opening Hours:
    Monday to Thursday: 8.45 am to 5.15 pm
    Friday: 8.45 am to 4.15 pm
    Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays: Closed