Filling in the secondary school application form

School viewings are coming to a close and there are fewer than two weeks left to fill in the application form.

Your child will want to have an input into their choice of school. will explain to them how to make a good decision. This should strengthen your bargaining position – they’ll understand why they can’t necessarily go to the same school as their friends.

Tips for filling in the form together:

Each of you write down and honest list of preferences, regardless of what you think you’ll actually get.

Compare your lists. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Now write down which schools you’re actually likely to get. This may well come down to two schools out of six spaces on the form. It’s very important that you put these schools in order of your preference even if it’s a least bad scenario. You might put them 5th and 6th on your form – that’s okay – just make sure at least one guaranteed school is on there or you could end up with nothing.

Now fill up the top of the list with what you really want. Here’s where you may be able to allow your child to express a degree of preference with your guidance. You might end up with something like this:

School No. 1 My child is a genius/maybe I can arrange a brain transplant/I’m the Archbishop of Canterbury
School No. 2 What the heck we might get lucky
School No. 3 A bit far but could get in on the waiting list
School No. 4 Might just have squeezed in last year
School No. 5 Fall back school
School No. 6 Over my dead body I’m just filling up the form

For guidance on using schools data to compare schools visit

Good luck!

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