In 2016 approximately 80% of applicants for a secondary school place who applied on time were allocated their first preference. A further 15% were allocated either their second or third preference.
Where your child is ranked in the individual school’s oversubscription criteria is more important when allocating places than where you have placed the schools in your preference list.
Remember, if you live in a school’s linked area and want to be considered for a place at that school, you must include it as one of your preferences. If you do not include your linked school in your preferences and it is oversubscribed, your child may be allocated a place at another school which may be quite far from your home.
In a very small number of cases we may not be able to offer applicants any of their three preferences. We will then offer a place at the nearest school to the child's home address with places available at the time of allocation. Please note this may not be your local school.
This may be due to the preferences that were made. For example if you live in the centre of Northampton Town NN1 and place the following schools as your preferred schools: Caroline Chisholm, Moulton and Guilsborough, the chances of gaining any one of the three schools is unlikely, because these schools are generally oversubscribed and you would be placed in the lowest criterion of ‘other children’.
Many schools receive more applications than places available. When this happens, places are allocated according to that school’s oversubscription admission criteria.
Different schools use different oversubscription admission criteria, for example:
- Many schools’ oversubscription admission criteria give priority to children living in their linked area – this is an area around a school, usually in rural areas.
- The oversubscription admission criteria for faith schools may give priority to applicants who can show practicing or regular attendance to church.