Skip to content

Live chat is available Monday to Friday between 8.45am and 4.45pm (except public holidays)


School admissions

How we make decisions

Phase 1 process

This applies to all schools and all applications.

  • we'll process all applications to the preferred catchment school
  • we'll grant places where possible to this school
  • if we get more catchment applications than places we'll grant places using our priority criteria

Priority criteria

Priority Group



Parent or carer (who the child lives with) stays in the school catchment area


Roman Catholic schools - parent or carer of child stays in the school catchment area and child has a

Roman Catholic baptism certificate.


ERC resident where child has a medical condition only the catchment school can support (with evidence from a medical professional).


Secondary schools - children who have been at the named cluster primary school. Children who've been there the longest have higher priority.


Child currently has a sibling attending the school applied for and will continue to attend the school on the day which the applicant would commence school.


ERC residents who are single parents or carers and can show how it will benefit child's care to go to the catchment school.


All other ERC residents who don't fall into another priority group.

We'll apply the criteria in the above order.

For each category we have more requests than the number of places we'll move to the next category in order.

We'll do this until we've applied all criteria.

We'll then hold a ballot for any requests left.  A senior education officer will carry out the ballot.

Phase 2 process

This only applies to catchment applications where we can't offer a place at the preferred catchment school.

Roman Catholic schools

  • If you apply to a Roman Catholic school and have a Roman Catholic baptism certificate, we'll redirect you to an alternative Roman Catholic school.
  • If you apply to a Roman Catholic school and don't have a baptism certificate, you'll be included in phase 2 for the non-denominational catchment school. This is as long as places are still available at this school. We'll allocate places using our priority criteria.
  • If there isn't a place at the non-denominational catchment school you'll be redirected to a non-denominational school in another catchment area.

Non-denominational schools

  • You'll be redirected to a non-denominational school in another catchment area.

Redirected children

We offer places as they become available at the catchment school. This is in line with the school admissions policy.

Preferred alternative school

You have the choice to choose a preferred alternative school when you apply. If we can't offer you a place at the catchment school, we'll look at your alternative school.

Find out more about redirection and preferred alternative school

Key decision dates


Decision date

By deadline for P1 and S1

31 March

Preferred alternative school application

30 April

Help improve this webpage

Was this page helpful?

Please use the official complaints channel if your comment is about service provision:

Complaints, feedback and having your say

(Include if you would like a response to your feedback)