Making a realistic application - Before you apply

  • Look at the oversubscription criteria for your preferred schools to work out which priority would be given to your application. Policy details can be found by school.
  • Read the individual school pages in Section 2 of the Secondary Admissions 2024 booklet for definitions that can help you understand the words used within the oversubscription criteria.
  • Check your distance from the school. The Admissions team can confirm this for you, please email: stating ‘distance query’ in the subject box

Comparing your priority and distance with how places have been offered in previous years will give you an indication of how successful your application might be. There are further details on how places were allocated for each individual school in the Secondary Admissions 2024 booklet.

Making a realistic application example

This is an example and does not imply the outcome of an application.

Imagine you are applying for School A - find out your priority by checking your circumstances against the oversubscription criteria like this:

Priority by circumstances against the oversubscription criteria example
Priority Circumstances Response

1 Children who, at the time of admission, are in the care of a local authority or are provided with accommodation by the authority (looked after children) and all previously looked after children who were looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted, or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order. Including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.

Is your child or has your child ever been in foster care or adopted after being in foster care with a local authority or state care outside England?


2 Children who live in the catchment area served by the school, who have a brother or sister attending the school provided that the brother or sister will continue to attend that school the following year


3 Children living in the catchment area for School A


4 Children living outside the catchment area with a brother or sister who currently attends the school, provided that the brother or sister will continue to attend that school the following year

Do you have an older child attending in year 7-10 at the time of applying and will they still be attending this school next September?


5 Children of staff employed by the school for more than 2 years (this does not apply to all schools)

Are you a member of school staff at School A?


6 Children living outside the catchment area

How far do you live from School A?

1.6 miles

For School A your application has priority 6 and you live 1.6 miles from the school. Check in Section 2 the school page and compare to the last person offered a place at School A for last September, this could have been a child in priority 6 at 1.194 miles from the school.

This then means that your child would not have been offered a place because you live too far away. However, this is only a guide and does not mean your application would be unsuccessful every year.

The number of places available in priority 6 will change depending on how many applications are made for each school and how many children live in the catchment area. There is no guarantee that a similar situation will occur for admission in September 2024. A high birth year is predicted for Year 7 September 2024 entry.

The distance of the last person offered a place could also change, for example, it will not always be 1.194 miles for School A. You can still apply for this school and if it is the school you want the most you should put it first on your application, but you should include other schools where you may have a better chance of being offered a place.

You should find out your priority and distance for all of your preferences. If you have a higher priority or the same priority and live closer to the school you have a good chance of being offered a place. If you have the same priority and live further away your chance of being offered a place is not as good.

Many people will choose to make applications for schools that have been judged by Ofsted as outstanding schools. This means that the schools will be very popular and have far more applications than places. For these schools they are often/usually unable to make offers to children who are lower than priority 3 or 4 in their policies. If you only apply for schools like this, where your application would be classed as under priority 6 then you will not be offered a place at any of your preferred schools.

Please note: The local authority legally must make sure that your child is offered a school place, this means that you will be given a place at the nearest school with a space available. This may not be your catchment area school, especially if all places are allocated to applicants who asked for the school and if other local schools have more applicants than they have places, you run the risk of being allocated a school some distance away.

To prevent this from happening we would ask you to always include a school where your application will have a higher priority, even if you put this as your third preference. For example, apply for your catchment area school (as you may not get this later on), or a school where you have a higher priority because of your faith, or you have an older child already attending that school. Some schools do consider 6th form pupils as siblings (check the school policies for details)

If the school you want to apply for is a Catholic school, they will give priority to children who are baptised Catholic and/or those who live in the parish. Coventry Catholic schools require you to send the baptismal certificate for your child as well as include the school name on your application. Blue Coat School and Seva School require a supplementary form to be completed and returned to the school by the deadline date as additional documentation.

Coventry application forms have three choices for you to complete, If your three choices of schools are all outside Coventry, we would strongly advise that at least one of these choices should be your catchment area school - this will give you a higher chance of receiving a suitable school place offer on 1 March 2024.

There will be a high number of children applying for places in 2024 so there will be more competition for places.

Please note: All schools outside of Coventry will give you the final criteria of the distance you live from the school, unless you have a sibling already attending the school. Please make sure that you check the admission policies of the schools outside of Coventry by visiting their individual school website or contacting the Local Authority in which the school resides.


  • If we can allocate a place at more than one of your preferred schools, we will offer you the school you ranked the highest.
  • You must include your catchment area school if you want to apply for a place at that school as there is no guarantee you will get this later in the process.

Admissions team - Primary

Monday to Thursday: 8.30am – 5pm, Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm Telephone line available 10am - 3.30pm.

Telephone: 024 7697 5445

Admissions team - Secondary

Monday to Thursday: 8.30am – 5pm, Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm Telephone line available 10am - 3.30pm.

Telephone: 024 7697 5445