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. There are supplementary forms for applicants applying for Blue Coat Church of England School and the Seva School. 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 2022. 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 1/9/2011 and 31/8/2012 then you will be unable to apply for secondary school entry in 2023 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 settling 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.

What happens if I miss the 31 October 2022 deadline?

If your application is late it will not be dealt with until after 1 March 2023. You will not receive a letter regarding the outcome of your application until April 2023, 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 2023 will mean more demand for places in the city as a whole. 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 2023. All applications which are received before or on 31 October 2022 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 2022 and move to a new house before 31 December 2022 you must contact admissions by email on 11plus@coventry.gov.uk with your new address, we will then consider your preferences from your new address. We will only take into account 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 2022, it will not be possible to take your new address into account for the school offered on 1 March 2023. We will only be able to use your new address for allocating a place from April 2023. 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 the Secondary 2023 booklet. You can also;

If my child attends Seva Primary School do we have to 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.

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

Have a look at the information regarding catchment areas (which is not always your nearest school). If you require details about the distance from your address to a school, please e-mail secondaryadmissions@coventry.gov.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. 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 in Section 2 of this booklet or by checking the admissions policies for the schools via www.coventry.gov.uk/schoolcontactdetails 

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 2023.

My nephew 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 policy for details.

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?

You should use your current permanent address (where you are living at the time you complete your application), and include the council tax property number for that address. Please make sure that the address and postcode you give us is correct, because we may use them to see whether you qualify under a particular admissions criterion. We regularly check addresses, including arranging visits from children and family support workers, and if details are not correct we will withdraw the offer of a school place. For example, it is not valid to state the address of a childminder, grandparent or any other relation.

A pupil’s home address is considered to be a residential property that is the child’s only or main residence. At the time places are allocated, proof of permanent residence at the property concerned may be required. Where documentary evidence can substantiate to the satisfaction of the Local Authority that care is split equally between parents at two homes, school admission policies will detail how they will access which address will be considered.

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 2022 entry, 175 pupils did not get a requested school on 1 March 2022 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 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 Secondary 2023 booklet has further information on the school and the process for applications. The closing date for applications for the WMG Academy for Young Engineers is 31 January 2023.

What can I do if I don’t get the place 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. 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 2023 allocation will be offered by applying the oversubscription criteria to everyone on the waiting list. For the September 2022 admissions process, oversubscribed schools offered on average 7 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 2022 entry, 102 appeals were heard with 13 appeals allowed which is just over 13%.

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 end of December 2023. 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 admissions 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. 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 2023 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
  • Eden Girls School
  • Sidney Stringer Academy

View schools' admissions policies.

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 school at which places are available is in excess of three miles, or two miles under low income rules. In each case this is measured by the nearest available walking route between the home address and the school.

More information can be found in the Secondary Admissions booklet in Section 4 or on our school bus passes page.

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 2023.  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.

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.

Admissions team - Secondary

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

Telephone: 024 7697 5445