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Step 1: Research and choose secondary schools to apply for

Summary of this step

You must decide which schools you want to apply for (up to a maximum of six schools).

You should research the schools that you are interested in before you apply.

Children in Surrey go to secondary school between age 11 and 18. Surrey secondary schools are comprehensives and cater for all abilities.

When choosing a school:

  • Find schools in your area with our directory of Surrey schools or our school map.
  • Check a school's approximate distance to your home on our school map.
  • See basic details for each school including contact details, links to the school's website and Ofsted results, as well as admissions and appeals information in our directory of Surrey schools.
  • See how Ofsted are changing the way they inspect and report on schools and how this may affect you.
  • Find details of their policies, achievements and exam results by visiting the school's own website or by reading their brochure.
  • Check how many places they are offering (this is known as the published admissions number or PAN) and also how many people applied and were offered a place last year in our booklet, Information on secondary schools for 2020 or on the school's own website. This will give you an idea of how oversubscribed the school is.
  • Check their admission criteria in our booklet, Information on secondary schools for 2020 (PDF) or on the school's own website. Consider how these may affect your chances of being offered a place.
  • Check if you will be eligible for free home to school transport.
  • Visit schools that you are considering - please see details of each secondary school's open day / evening arrangements (PDF).

Continue to step 2: Complete the application form

Further information to help you choose a school

School admission criteria

Each school has admission criteria which set out how they allocate places. You should read the criteria for your chosen schools and consider how likely it is that your child will be offered a place. Many schools put their admission criteria on their websites. Our booklet, Information on secondary schools for 2020 (available on 4 September 2019), includes:

  • a summary of admission criteria.
  • the number of pupils each school intends to offer a place to for the next school year (the published admission number or PAN).
  • information on how places were allocated for the previous year.
  • the furthest distance each Surrey school offered places to last year under their last offered criterion (where this was applicable). These distances are provided as a guide only. There is no guarantee that a school will offer to the same distance as in the previous year because each year it depends on the number of applications, where the applicants live and how many places are available.

School transport

Check if your child will qualify for free home to school transport. Eligibility for free transport is not linked to the admission criteria of a school. For example, some schools give priority for a school place to children who are attending a feeder school, but this does not confer an automatic right to free transport. You should also not assume that existing transport will be operating or available in the future, including local and school buses. If your child is not eligible for free home to school transport, you should think carefully about how your child will get to school.

Types of secondary school in Surrey

  • Academy - 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.
  • Voluntary aided - maintained by the local authority but strongly supported by the church authorities (usually Church of England or Catholic).

Admission authorities

Admission authorities are responsible for setting and applying admission arrangements.

  • The local authority is the admission authority for community schools.
  • A school's academy trust or governing body is the admission authority for academies and foundation, free and voluntary aided schools.

Applying to University Technical Colleges (UTCs) or studio schools at Year 10

UTCs and studio schools admit children at Year 10. The application process for applying to a UTC or studio school at Year 10 is the same as the process for applying for a place at a secondary school, which is described above. Applications must be submitted online or on a paper form by 31 October 2019.

Currently, there are no UTCs or studio schools in Surrey, but if you live in Surrey and wish to apply for one in another local authority area you should return your application to us.

Continue to step 2: Complete the application form

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