School admissions

Choosing schools 

If you live in England contact your local council to find: 

  • state-funded schools in your area 

  • admission criteria for the schools you are interested in 

You can also contact your local council to apply for places at state schools in other areas. You can search online to find schools in England

Private schools or homeschooling  

If you are looking for a place at a private school (also called ‘independent schools’), contact the school directly. 

You can also choose to teach your child at home, known as homeschooling. 

Children with special educational needs (SEN)  

If your child has SEN, their Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan will name a school for them. The school must give your child a place. 

You can ask your local council to carry out an assessment if you think your child needs additional support with their educational, health and social needs. 

Find out about a primary or secondary school 

You can find out more by: 

  • visiting the school - most schools have open days 

  • reading the school’s most recent Ofsted reports 

  • checking school performance tables 

  • talking to other parents about what they think of the school 

What schools must publish on their website 

Schools’ websites must include: 

  • admission arrangements, including how to apply 

  • details of the curriculum 

  • behaviour policy 

  • links to Ofsted reports 

  • links to performance data 

  • the school’s latest key stage two and four attainment and progress measures 

  • their policies for children with special educational needs and disabilities 

  • the amount of money they get for taking underprivileged children (the ‘pupil premium’), what they do with it and the effect it has had 

You can also get advice about choosing state-funded schools from your local council

See also: 

For further information: