Secondary school application process
Last updated 10 November 2023
Step 1: Eligibility
Children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 are due to start secondary school in September 2024.
You need to make your school place application to your local council. If you live in Stockport you need to make your application to us, even if the schools you're applying for are not in Stockport.
If you live outside of Stockport and want to apply for a Stockport school, you should submit your application to your council.
You must apply before 31 October 2023.
Step 2: Find your catchment school
You should consider applying for your catchment school. Whilst there are never any guarantees, you're more likely to get a place at your catchment school rather than a school outside of your catchment area.
You can find your catchment school online using your postcode:
If you choose not to send your child to your catchment school, any younger children who follow this child may not secure a place at the same school. You may end up with 2 children at different schools.
Step 3: Choose which schools you want to apply for
You can apply for up to 6 schools. If you only apply for one school, it's not guaranteed that your child will get a place at that school. The more schools you apply for, the more likely it is your child will get a place at one of your preferred schools.
Applications are assessed based on the statutory equal preference scheme. This means:
- each school that you apply for is initially looked at individually, regardless of the order that you rank the schools on your application
- the order that you rank the schools becomes important when we're able to offer more than one school - you'll then be offered the school you rank the highest
For more information, visit our admissions explained web page.
If we cannot offer a place at any of the schools you've applied for, then we'll offer the nearest school with places available.
Step 4: Admissions criteria
You should consider the admissions criteria of the schools you want to apply for as the criteria may be different for each school.
You can find the admissions criteria in our applying for a secondary school booklet 2023 to 2024, on our document page.
You can also find more information about admissions on our admissions explained web pages.
Catholic schools prioritise children baptised Catholic over non-Catholic children when deciding who should be allocated a school place.
If your child is baptised Catholic, you can upload a baptism certificate in your application.
Step 5: Think about transport
When you're applying for a school place, think about how your child will travel to and from school.
The free school transport policy has changed and will affect children starting school from September 2020. This will mostly affect children going to faith based schools that have to travel a long way.
Visit our travelling to school web pages for more information.
Step 6: Apply for a school place
Use our online education portal to apply for a secondary school place.
You'll find out which school your child has been allocated on National Offer Day on 1 March 2024.