Step 3: Choose the schools to apply for

Summary of this step

You must choose which school(s) to apply for.

You can find schools in your area by searching on our school map.

Our directory of Surrey schools contains details of each school in Surrey.

When choosing a school:

  • Find out as much information about the school as you can. Read the school's brochure and visit the school's website for detailed information on things such as its policies, achievements and exam results.
  • Look at the school's admission arrangements. These will help you assess the likelihood of your child being offered a place if there are more applicants than places available or if the school has a waiting list.
  • Many schools prioritise applicants according to the distance between the child's home address and the school. Check the distance from your home to a school on our school map.
  • Visit the Ofsted website to see a school's Ofsted results.
  • See how Ofsted inspects and reports on schools and how this may affect you.
  • Think about how your child will get to school and if they will qualify for travel assistance. If your child is not eligible for travel assistance it will be your responsibility as a parent to get your child to and from school.

You should also consider which schools have vacancies. You can find this out by contacting the local authority or the schools. Please note vacancy information is subject to change.

Contact schools directly if you want to visit them – you'll find their details in our directory of Surrey schools,

Schools in Surrey

Children in Surrey can go to:

  • an infant school (between the ages of four and seven)
  • a junior school (between seven and 11)
  • a primary school (between four and 11).
  • a secondary school (between age 11 and 18).

There are different types of school available:

  • Academies - independent of the local authority and funded directly by the Department for Education. An academy can set its own curriculum.
  • Community - maintained by the local authority.
  • Foundation - state funded school run by its own governing body.
  • Free school - a type of academy set up by a group, such as parents, teachers, charities, community groups and businesses.
  • Trust - a type of foundation school, which forms a charitable trust with an outside partner.
  • Voluntary aided - maintained by the local authority but strongly supported by the church authorities (usually Church of England or Catholic)
  • Voluntary controlled - maintained by the local authority but with close links with the church authorities. Some of the governing body is appointed by the religious foundation.

Our directory of Surrey schools will tell you each school's type.

Boarding schools

The Royal Alexandra and Albert School in Reigate has junior and secondary boarding facilities and Gordon's School in Woking has secondary boarding facilities. Contact the schools directly for details of their fees.

Admission authorities

Each school has an admission authority, The admission authority is responsible for setting the admission arrangements and for allocating places.

  • For community and voluntary controlled schools in Surrey: Surrey County Council is the admission authority
  • For academies, foundation, free, trust and voluntary aided schools: the school's governing body is the admission authority

Check what type a school is by using our directory of Surrey schools.

See the admission arrangements and how places were allocated in previous years.

Continue to step 4: Complete the application form

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