Finding a school

You have until 31 October 2017 to carry out your research

To avoid disappointment, we can't emphasise enough how important it is to research the admissions criteria for each school you're interested in. 


Carefully read each school's admissions criteria. Would your child have met the admissions criteria last year, or in the past 3 years? If there are more applications than places available, schools will use set rules (called oversubscription criteria) to decide who should be offered a place.

How close you live to a school is very important. School cut-off distances change each year based on demand. We may ask for proof of your address. 

To avoid disappointment, be realistic with the 6 secondary schools you list as preferences. 

  • Most schools have open days and evenings throughout September so you can look round, or contact the school to arrange a visit to hear about what they offer and how they can support your child.
  • If your child has special educational needs or a disability (SEND) consider whether the schools are suitable for their specific educational needs. Talk to school staff at the open days or evenings. You may also find this Secondary Transfer booklet useful.
  • Think about how your child would travel to the school. It is your responsibility to make sure your child can get to and from school.
  • Faith schools will ask you to complete a supplementary information form in addition to the Local Authority preference form? The supplementary information form is available from the school.
  • You can list up to 6 different schools as preferences which can include schools outside of Birmingham.
  • Read the schools recent Ofsted report.
  • Compare schools performance on the website.

Grammar schools selective test results out on 13 October 2017

  • If you have applied for grammar schools; to avoid disappointment we strongly recommend that you do not submit your Local Authority form until you know the results of your child's grammar schools test.
  • Don't lose the opportunity to list other school preferences before knowing the results from the selective test.
  • Visit our places at grammar schools pages for more details.

Completing your preference form online

  • Sign in or register for an online school admissions account.
  • Read or download this guide to completing the online form
  • Only after completing all of your research in to suitable schools, list up to 6 different secondary schools on your form.
  • List these in your preferred order.
  • You can change your preference form online up to 11:59pm on 31 October 2017, but remember to resubmit your form.
  • You cannot change your preferences after the closing date, except in exceptional circumstances.
  • Remember to give the name and date of birth of brothers or sisters (siblings) who are already attending a school you're applying for, and who will still be there in September 2018.
  • It's important to include at least one school where you think you have a good chance of getting a place, such as a nearby school where your child would have got in under the distance criterion in the past. Listing a local school may also give your child the option to walk there.
  • Do not list the same school more than once; this will not improve your chances of a space at that school.
  • Do not list only schools that are outside of the school cut-off distances to where you live. This will reduce your chances of getting any of your preferred schools.
  • Do not list only grammar schools on your preference form. If you have applied to grammar schools, we strongly recommend that you wait for the results of the selective tests on 13 October 2017 before submitting your form.
  • Do not use this form if you're applying for an independent (private) school. Apply directly to that school. 
  • Remember to complete all sections of the form.
  • If needed for the schools you've listed, send supplementary information directly to the school.
  • Submit your form: Closing date 31 October 2017

Remember: To avoid disappointment, be realistic in the 6 schools you list on your preference form. Listing only schools that are outside the school cut-off distances to where you live will reduce your chances of getting any of your preferred schools.

Online application form

What happens after the closing date?

  • You'll receive an email confirming that we have received your preference form.
  • If you do not receive a confirmation email immediately after you've submitted your form, (please first check your spam folder), if it's not there then please contact us.
  • We will process applications between 1 November 2017 and 28 February 2018.

National Offer Day

  • Offers will be sent by email on 1 March 2018 by 3:30pm.
  • You can also login to your online school admissions account on 1 March 2018 to see your school offer.
  • If you're happy with the school you have been offered, accept this offer by 16 March 2018.
  • Please do not contact Birmingham City Council before you receive the formal notification of your child’s school place. We will be unable to inform you which secondary school place has been offered to your child by phone or other forms of contact until Thursday 2 March. You must be in receipt of your formal notification email before contacting the council.

What to do next?

  • Let us know if you accept the offer: You must tell the school whether you are accepting the offer of a place by 16 March 2018. 
  • Accepting the offer will not affect your child’s waiting list position for any of your higher preference schools, or influence the outcome of any appeal you may submit.
  • You are strongly encouraged to accept the offer so that your child has a guaranteed place for September 2018. By not accepting the offer, you could risk losing the place as this may be given to a child on the waiting list for that school.  
  • If your child has not been offered a place at any of the schools you listed as preferences; this will be because the school(s) received more applications than there were places available and other children more fully met the admission criteria. You do have a right to appeal this decision, but please do check that your child met all of the admissions criteria before submitting an appeal.

School starts

  • Your child’s secondary school will contact you with details and useful information.
  • 4 July 2018 - Year 7 Induction day.
  • School year begins in September.

Online application form