Questions and answers - Starting secondary school

Can I apply for a school place online?

An online application form is available. When you submit your application, you will receive an acknowledgement email. Supplementary forms for applicants applying for Blue Coat Church of England School and the Seva School can also be downloaded from the above website. However, these must be returned to the preferred school directly in paper format. Advice is available from Admissions staff in making your application. It is your responsibility to contact us if you do not receive an acknowledgement.

Can I make changes to my online application?

You can check and change your application up to the closing date 31 October 2023. However, it is important that you make sure you resubmit your application every time you view or make any changes as this will not be sent to the admissions team if you do not.

What if my child is currently being educated outside of their normal age group?

If your child was not born between 1/9/2012 and 31/8/2013 then you will be unable to apply for secondary school entry in 2024 using the online portal. Please contact the Admissions Team on 024 7697 5445 to request a paper application form and to discuss your application. Where requests are made for children to attend school outside their normal age group these will be considered on the circumstances of each case and in the child’s best interests. Each secondary school governing body will need to make an individual decision. There are no guarantees that such applications will be agreed. However, where the application is not agreed a letter setting out the decision and reasons for it will be provided along with any rights to appeal.

For a summer born child that started in reception a year later than is usual, they would need to apply for a secondary school place as an out of year group place when they are in year 5 rather than year 6. If you have missed this deadline please speak to the Admissions Team. More general advice about summer born children from GOV.UK.

We went through the secondary admissions process three years ago with our older child. Has anything changed?

There have been some changes to the admissions policies for some schools in respect of admissions oversubscription criteria and appeals. Please check the information in this booklet to see how the process will work in 2024. There has been an increasing demand for secondary school spaces due to the increasing birth rate. September 2024 entry has one of the highest birth rates and therefore we would advise you to read through the criteria and the past years allocation details as stated on the individual schools’ details listed in Section 2 of the Secondary Admissions Booklet. If you don’t understand the process, you can also contact Admissions by emailing

What happens if I miss the 31 October 2023 deadline?

If your application is late it will not be dealt with until after 1 March 2024. You will not receive a letter regarding the outcome of your application until April 2024, and it is very unlikely you would get a place in any of the popular, oversubscribed schools. Please be aware that the high birth year for September 2024 will mean more demand for places in the city. Due to the increased demand for spaces there may be only a limited number of schools within the city with spaces available after the initial allocation has taken place on 1 March 2024. All applications which are received before or on 31 October 2023 will be considered as on time.

What happens if I move after the deadline for receiving applications?

If you have submitted your application by the closing date of 31 October 2023 and move to a new house before 31 December 2023 you must contact admissions by email on with your new address, we will then consider your preferences from your new address. We will only consider a new address when you are actually living there, and it is the child’s permanent or main residence. If you originally put down 3 preferences for that address, you may also wish to change them to take into account your new address. If you move after the deadline of 31 December 2023, it will not be possible to take your new address into account for the school offered on 1 March 2024. We will only be able to use your new address for allocating a place from April 2024. You should be aware that there may not be places available in oversubscribed schools at that time.

How can I find out more about a particular secondary school?

You will find some basic information in this booklet. You can also;

  • visit the school website for the school which you are interested in to view a copy of their prospectus, which will give you more details about the school. School contact details can be found via the link; school contact details
  • attend the open evenings. See School Admissions for latest details, in Section 2 of the Secondary Admissions Booklet or ask to visit the school and talk to the headteacher
  • Government Organisations shows details of OFSTED inspections for all schools in the UK.

How can I find out which secondary school my primary school is linked to?

There is a feeder school link between the Catholic primary schools and the Catholic secondary schools in the city. There is also a link between Sidney Stringer Primary Academy and Sidney Stringer Academy for 2024 entry. You can find out more about which schools are linked and the level of priority this will give your application by checking the individual schools’ details listed in Section 2 of the Secondary Admissions Booklet or by checking the admissions policies for the schools via the school contact details.

Apart from the schools listed above the remaining primary schools within Coventry City have no link with any of the secondary schools in the city giving priority for admission in September 2024.

If my child attends Seva Primary School must we apply for a place for Year 7 at Seva Secondary?

The Seva School is an all through school. If your child currently attends the primary school and you wish your child to continue at Seva Secondary then you do not need to make an application. If you wish for your child to attend a different Secondary School you will need to make an application by the 31 October 2023 deadline. If you child does not attend Seva Primary and you wish for a place at Seva Secondary, you will need to make an application by the deadline.

How do I find out which my catchment area school is and how far away I live from my preferred school?

Information regarding catchment areas (which is not always your nearest school) can be found via catchment areas. If you require details about the distance from your address to a school, please email

My child didn’t get a place at Finham Park 2 even though he lives less than a mile from the school. Why is this?

In the admissions policy for Finham Park 2 they only allow for a limited number of applicants who live under a mile from the school so that they can ensure that the school contains a mix of children from a wider geographical area. Please check the admissions policy for details.

If I register my child at a school, does this guarantee them a place there?

No. You will only be considered for a place at a Coventry secondary school if you complete an application and include that school as a preference.

Can I write to support my application?

Yes. You have the legal right to explain your reasons for wanting a particular school, including philosophical or religious reasons. However, these reasons will only be taken into account if they are directly linked to the admissions criteria for the schools you have listed on your application. If you are applying for Eden Girls School, Coventry under exceptional medical/social grounds, you should provide supporting evidence direct to the school.

What address should I use on my application form?

See page 14 of this booklet - "Accurate addresses"

I know which school I want my child to go to. Why should I request other schools?

If you only list one school, you cannot be certain that your child will be offered a place there. If you are unsuccessful, we then allocate the nearest school with a place available. This may not be your catchment area school. If other local schools have more applicants than they have places, you run the risk of being allocated a school some distance away. You are strongly recommended therefore to use all your preferences and to include your catchment area school; doing so does not reduce your chance of getting your first preference school. For the September 2023 entry, 291 pupils did not get a requested school on 1 March 2023 and in most cases, this was because they did not request other schools.

If you intend to apply for an independent school, it is also recommended that you apply for 1 or more of the schools discussed in this booklet and request the school on that form.

How do I make an application for Year 10 at WMG Academy?

The WMG Academy admits pupils aged 14 -19 (transfer at year 10). All parent(s)/carer(s), whether they live in Coventry or elsewhere, should apply for a place at the Academy by making an application via Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. The closing date for applications for the WMG Academy for Young Engineers is 31 January 2024. All applications received by this date will be classified as "on time" and will be considered first. Parent(s)/carer(s) will be notified of the outcome of their child's application on National Offer Day 1 March 2024. Please see section 2 of the Secondary Admissions Booklet. for more information on the school and section 6 for more details on the process.

What if I do not live in Coventry but want my child to go to a Coventry school?

We treat all applications equally, no matter where you live. However, you must complete an application to the Local Authority you pay your council tax to. Your Local Authority will then contact Coventry who will in turn inform them if they are able to meet your request. Your Local Authority will then inform you on 1 March 2024 of the outcome of your application. However, if you do not qualify for a Coventry school, your Local Authority will be responsible for making sure your child has a school place. Please make sure you read the admissions policies of Coventry schools in this booklet. Many have policies which include priorities based on catchment areas and distance.

What can I do if I don’t get the places I want?

Your allocation letter will explain the reasons why it was not possible to offer you a place at your preferred school and the process for appealing against this decision. Your child’s name will also be included on a waiting list(s), which means that we will consider your child for any places that become available after the initial allocation on 1 March 2024. There is no guarantee however, that a place will become available or that you will get one if it does.

Being on a waiting list for one school does not prevent you from visiting others. We would strongly recommend you visit any preferred school. You can decide to accept our offer of a place at another school and still go on a waiting list for any school you have received a refusal for. For all schools in Coventry, places that become available after 1 March 2024 allocation will be offered by applying the oversubscription criteria to everyone on the waiting list. For the September 2023 admissions process, oversubscribed schools offered on average 11 places to those on waiting lists. You have the right to appeal against all refusals in regard to secondary school admissions. This means that you have a chance to put your case to an independent appeal panel made up of people who have had no connection at all with the original decision. Going through the appeals process does not guarantee you a place at the school you are appealing for and does not affect your position on any waiting lists for other schools. For the 2023 entry, 412 appeals were heard for all secondary schools with 74 appeals allowed which is just over 18%.

How do I get onto the waiting list for a school?

If you are not offered a place at a school you placed as a higher preference to one you have been allocated, then you will automatically be placed on a waiting list for that school/those schools. This will continue until a place can be offered to you, or until the 31 December 2024. After this date, if you wish to remain on the waiting list you may need to re-register your interest in your preferred school with the Admissions Team or the school. Please check the individual school's details in Section 2 of the Admissions booklet and/or the school's policies for details of their respective arrangements.

If places become available and there are more children on the waiting list than places, how are the available places allocated?

If there are more children on the list than there are places available we will allocate the places to those who best meet the school's oversubscription criteria. This will include any late applications. We will use the individual school's criteria as highlighted in their school admissions policies.

Can I find out where I am on the waiting list for a particular school?

Yes. By contacting the admissions team, staff will be able to inform you of the position you hold on the list. It is important to remember that you can move up or down this list depending on whether other children come onto or go off the list. After the initial allocation on 1 March 2024 you can request to go on to any schools waiting list. This will then be looked at in the second round of allocation in April 2024 along with any late applications received. As this is open to all applicants there can be a considerable amount of change to the waiting lists at the second round of allocation. You can come off or go on the list at any stage in the process. For this reason, we can only guarantee the position of your child on the list on the date of communication.

My child already attends the school I want my younger child to go to but they will be in year 12 in September (sixth form) will they still count as a sibling at the school?

Some schools' admissions policies only take account of siblings of compulsory school age i.e. 16, so older siblings who will attend years 12 or 13 from September 2024 will not be counted. Schools that accept sibling links with Sixth form are as follows;

  • Barr’s Hill School
  • Bishop Ullathorne Catholic School
  • Cardinal Newman Catholic School
  • Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School
  • Coventry Blue Coat School and Music College
  • Sidney Stringer Academy

Policies can be found on school contact details.

How do I find out if I am eligible for help with transport?

The Local Authority can offer assistance for travelling to school, but only for those fitting the qualifying distance and other entitlement criteria. Pupils applying for assistance with travel must live within the Coventry boundary and be of statutory school age i.e. 5–16 years of age. Secondary pupils may be eligible for a bus pass if the distance from their home address to their nearest qualifying school at which places are available is in excess of three miles, or between two to six miles under low income rules. In each case this is the shortest walking route between the home address and the school measured by which a child, accompanied as necessary, may walk safely. More information can be found in the Secondary Admissions booklet in Section 4 or on our school bus passes page.

You can apply online via Apply for a travel pass

Can I apply for a place at a secondary school in another Local Authority area?

Yes. If you are a Coventry resident you can apply for a school place in another authority by completing Coventry’s application. You do not need to complete an application form in that authority as well. However, if your 3 preferences of schools are all outside Coventry, we would strongly advise that at least one of these preferences is a Coventry school in your local area or your catchment area school - this will give you a higher chance of receiving a suitable school place offer on 1 March 2024. You should make sure that you check the admission policies of schools outside of Coventry by asking other authorities for a copy of their information booklets.

Can I apply for a grammar school?

Yes, you can apply for any grammar schools within your Coventry application for them to be considered. However, you MUST ensure that you have already registered to sit the 11+ test with the Local Authority in which the Grammar school is situated as the deadline date to register is usually at the end of June the year before your child starts secondary school. Coventry School Admissions do not administer the 11+ test.

What do I do if I am a member of UK armed forces or a crown servant returning to the UK from a posting abroad?

The School Admissions Code requires that for families of UK armed forces or Crown servants returning from overseas to live in Coventry, admission authorities must allocate a school place in advance of the family arriving in the area, provided their application is accompanied by an official letter declaring a relocation date. Children of UK service personnel and other Crown Servants will be treated as meeting the residency criteria for a catchment area once proof of posting has been provided. Applications must be made by 31 October 2023 national closing date for secondary applications. If there are any difficulties in providing the information required, please contact the admissions team on

I want to apply for a place at a Catholic School. Do I need to attach any extra information?

Yes. If you apply to a Catholic school and your child is a baptised Catholic then you can receive a higher priority on the basis of your faith if you provide a copy of your child’s Baptism certificate directly to the school you are requesting by 31st October 2023.

Can I refuse to accept a school offer if it’s not one of the schools I wanted/selected?

Unfortunately, we are unable to remove a school your child has been offered unless we can offer an alternative school with places available. You can discuss availability with the school admissions team. There is no guarantee by requesting one of the alternative schools that a place will be offered as this will depend on how many other requests we receive for these spaces.

Can I have a friend ring on my behalf to talk about my application form?

Due to GDPR regulations the Admissions team can only speak to the parent who made the application unless they provided details of an alternative contact within the application details.

Admissions team - Secondary

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

Telephone: 024 7697 5445