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Making a realistic application: Examples of how the secondary transfer process works | Apply for Secondary School (year 7) place | Birmingham City Council

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Making a realistic application: Examples of how the secondary transfer process works

The examples here highlight some of the issues that you need to consider when making your preferences. Please check the admission criteria for each school you list on your preference form and use the other information available in the Secondary School Admissions Arrangements 2020 document to consider how successful your application might be. Children’s Services (0121 303 1888) will be happy to discuss your particular preferences and provide any advice to help you make an informed decision.

Ross

The closest secondary school to Ross’s home (School G) is a school where, based on previous admission patterns, Ross would have been offered a place for each of the last three years.

Ross’s parents decide to apply for a secondary school (School A) that is further away from their home because Ross’s cousin attends there. The family also apply for other schools further away from their home hoping that Ross will be offered a place, rather than looking at each school’s admissions criteria and previous admissions patterns which would have indicated that it would be unlikely that Ross would be offered a place at any of his six preferences. This includes two Catholic schools.

Schools A, B, C and E give priority to children who live closest to the school after siblings of children already attending the school. Schools D and F are Catholic schools that give priority to children who are baptised, practising Catholics and who attend a Catholic feeder primary school.

The preferences submitted for Ross were:

  1. School A
  2. School B
  3. School C
  4. Catholic School D
  5. School E
  6. Catholic School F

Ross was not offered a place at any of the family’s preferred schools.

Ross was not offered a place at Schools A, B, C and E as they all filled with children who lived closer to the schools than Ross. The fact Ross’s cousin attends School A did not give him priority as cousins are not part of the school’s oversubscription criteria.

Ross was not offered a place at School D or School F as he is not a baptised, practising Catholic and does not attend a Catholic feeder primary school. Both schools filled with children who met one of these criteria.

As none of the preferences submitted for him could be met, Ross was offered a place at one of the nearest schools to his home with places available at the time of the offer of places (School H). This school is 3,500 metres from his home.

Ross was not offered a place at School G (500m from the family’s home address) as the family did not list is as one of their preferences and it offered all its places to children whose parents ranked it as one of their six preferences. Ross would have been offered a place at School G if the family had listed it as one of their preferences.

Myla

Myla lives close to two secondary schools (Schools A and C) and would have been offered a place there for each of the last three years. Her parents know that they live a long way from School B but they want to see if they will be offered a place there.

Myla’s parents would really like her to go to a Birmingham grammar school but they think they should rank other schools higher in case she does not achieve a high enough score to be offered a place at a Birmingham grammar school.

Myla’s parents submit their application as soon as the application process opens and before they receive the results of the Birmingham grammar schools selective test as they think that they are more likely to be offered one of their preferences if they apply sooner.

Their preferences are:

  1. School A
  2. School B
  3. School C
  4. Birmingham Grammar School D
  5. Birmingham Grammar School E
  6. Birmingham Grammar School F

Myla lives too far from School B to be offered a place there. She qualifies for places at the two secondary schools closest to the family’s home (School A and School C).

Myla achieved a high enough score in the tests to be offered a place at Birmingham Grammar School D and lives in the catchment area which is part of that grammar school’s oversubscription criteria. She did not meet the criteria for Birmingham Grammar Schools E and F as even though she scored well in the selective test she does not live in their catchment areas.

Myla is offered a place at School A, the highest ranked school for which she met the admission criteria.

If the family wanted Myla to attend a Birmingham grammar school, they should have submitted their application after they received the result of the test and listed the Birmingham grammar schools at the top of their application.

Alice

Alice lives close to three secondary schools (Schools D, E and F) and her brother attends School C. Her parents have also applied for Alice to sit the selective test for the Birmingham grammar schools and would prefer her to attend a Birmingham grammar school than the school with her brother if she scores highly enough.

Alice’s parents wait until they have received Alice’s grammar school test results for the Birmingham grammar schools before they submit their preferences for her as these results for the Birmingham grammar schools are available before the deadline for applications.

Their preferences are:

  1. Birmingham Grammar School A
  2. Birmingham Grammar School B
  3. School C
  4. School D
  5. School E
  6. School F

Alice achieved a high enough score in the Birmingham grammar schools selective test to be offered a place at Birmingham Grammar School A and lives in the school’s catchment area. She also scored well enough to be offered a place at Birmingham Grammar School B and this grammar school does not have a catchment area.

Alice qualified for a place at Schools C, D, E and F because she has a sibling at School C and lives close enough to Schools D, E and F to be offered a place under the distance criterion.

Because Alice met the admission criteria for all six preferences, she is offered a place at the school the family ranked highest, Birmingham Grammar School A.

Muhammad

Muhammad lives 155 metres from his local secondary school (School F), but his parents would prefer him to attend another school if possible. Muhammad’s parents would like him to attend a Catholic secondary school (School A) as he currently attends a Catholic primary school but he is not a baptised, practising Catholic. The other schools the family listed on their application are far away from the family’s home but the family hope Muhammad will be offered a place there. The family use their last preference for School F as it is very close to their home and Muhammad would have been offered a place there for the last three years. The family know that Muhammad will only be offered a place at School F if he does not meet the admission criteria for any of their other preferences. 

Their preferences are:

  1. Catholic School A
  2. School B
  3. School C
  4. School D
  5. School E
  6. School F

Catholic School A fills with children who are baptised practising Catholics so Muhammad is not offered a place there. He lives too far from Schools B, C, D and E to qualify for a place.

As none of the family’s first five preferences could be offered, Muhammad was offered a place at School F where he met the admission criteria due to how close he lives to the school.

If the family had not listed School F as a preference, Muhammad would have been offered a place at one of the nearest schools available with places. This school would have been much further from the family’s home than School F.