West Berkshire Council

Secondary School Places

Applying for a year 7 secondary school place

There have been changes to this service due to the coronavirus pandemic. Please see our information for residents webpages for more information.

Applying for a year 7 secondary school place for September

Applications for Year 7 secondary school places are managed to a national timetable. The admission process is known as the 'Normal Admissions Round' and is co-ordinated between local authorities across England. 
This means that parents must apply to the local authority where they live, even if they're applying for schools in another area.

If you're applying mid-way through a school year, there's a separate process that needs to be followed.

The Admissions Guide

We produce an pdf icon admissions guide [18Mb] for parents each year which details how to apply for a secondary school place, and explains how each school will prioritise each application using the over-subscription rules.

Before Applying

  1. You should read the parent's guide for the new school year
  2. You should attend the school open days/evenings to help make your decision
  3. You may have to provide supplementary information to meet certain over-subscription criteria
  4. You should read the relevant guide if you are applying for schools outside of West Berkshire
  5. You should consider how your child will get to school. Free school transport is only available to your closest school which may not be in your catchment area. There are other eligibility criteria and low income families may be entitled to receive free transport to one of their closest 3 schools. Full details are available in the Free Home to School Transport Policy.


Applications can be made from 1 September using our on-line application form  and is the best route to take, as you'll get a receipt when you submit your application, and you'll find out which school has been offered on the offer day instead of waiting for the post. The deadline to submit applications is 31 October.

Over-subscription criteria

These are the criteria used where there are more applications than there are places available. The criteria help to decide which applications are offered places by giving each application a priority. The priorities are based on a number of different things, such as School Catchment Areas and whether a child is a 'looked after child' or had been until adoption or child arrangements order/special guardianship order.

The over-subscription criteria are explained in the parent's guide for each school.

It's important to make sensible and realistic decisions when choosing which schools to apply for. You should of course apply for schools that you prefer, but we advise that one of your preferences should be for a school that you have a reasonable chance of being offered a place in.
We provide detailed allocation information about the number of applications received for schools in previous years and the children that were offered places.

Allocation Information

When school places are offered

Emails and letters offering places are sent out on 1 March; all emails should be received by 5pm.

Our pdf icon information sheet [86kb]  includes numbers on waiting lists, the number of spaces available, and answers to frequently asked questions.

You can also log in to your online account to view the outcome of your application or to accept or decline a school place. We also provide more detailed information about the allocation of places to each school on our allocation information page.

What happens after school places are offered?

Waiting lists

In West Berkshire schools, where a child is not offered the first preference, they are placed on the waiting list for the first and any other higher preference school that was not offered. Waiting lists are always ranked using the over-subscription rules and not the date the application was received. If your child has been refused a place in a school outside of West Berkshire, you need to check with the admission team of the relevant local authority to see if your child has been placed on a waiting list.

Making a late application

You can submit an doc icon application form [106kb] if you have missed the closing date or would like to apply for a different school or schools after the closing date. The timetable for processing late applications is detailed in the admissions guide.

Making an appeal for a school place

You may decide to appeal against an admission decision for a school place.

Who To Contact

Contact details for West Berkshire's School Admissions Team

01635 551111