My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

A guide to applying for a September 2019 school place in Cardiff

Starting primary school or going on to secondary school can be an exciting time for children and parents, but it can also be a stressful time as decisions need to be made on which schools to apply for, and then waiting to find out if the application has been successful.

A few key things that can be done to help to make the process as smooth as possible:

  • Visiting schools before applying to get as much information as possible – a full list of schools in Cardiff can be found online via www.cardiff.gov.uk/schools
  • Submitting applications by the relevant closing dates (Secondary schools: 19th November 2018, Primary schools:7th January 2019). Almost half of our schools are filled in the first round. Late applications are considered in the second, third and fourth rounds.
  • Making full use of the number of schools that can be applied for (five secondary schools, three primary schools)

[aoa id=”1″]The school admissions arrangements in Cardiff are slightly different to other local authorities, after Cardiff Council became the first in Wales to pilot a co-ordinated system last year. This means that Corpus Christi, St Teilo’s and Whitchurch High School can be included on the one form. In the past, those applications had to be made separately, direct to the schools.[/aoa]

More information on the application process for the different types of schools (community schools, faith schools and foundation schools) is available online at www.cardiff.gov.uk/schooladmissions

Key dates and tips for making an application

September and October 2018

  • 24th September 2018 – the date online applications for secondary schools open in Cardiff  (www.cardiff.gov.uk/schooladmissions)
  • Ask for information about schools of interest and go to open days – some schools don’t have open days, but it might be possible to ring and make an appointment to visit
  • Decide on the schools to apply to and put them in order of preference

November 2018

  • 12th November 2018 – date online applications for primary schools open
  • 19th November 2018- closing date for secondary schools online applications

January 2019

  • 7th January 2019 – closing date for primary schools online applications

March 2019

  • 1st March 2019 – secondary school offers made

April 2019

  • 16th April 2019 – primary school offers made

Some important things to bear in mind when applying

  • A school place won’t be offered if an application is not made
  • Listing the same school more than once does not increase the chances of getting a place there
  • A place at the catchment school is not guaranteed, but it is best to include it in thelist of preferences, evenif it is not the number one choice
  • Accepting an offer of a place at a lower preference school does not jeopardise the chances of getting an offer at a higher preference school – an offer from the preferred school will still be made if a place becomes available at a later date
  • An older brother or sister already in a school does not guarantee a place there, but it is considered, so it is important to include their details on the application
  • Going to the nursery attached to a school does not mean an automatic Reception class place – an application still needs to be made

A late application can seriously affect the chances of getting a place, so it is important to make a note of the closing dates:

  • Secondary Schools: Monday 19th November 2018
  • Primary Schools: Monday7th January 2019

Did you know?

  • Corpus Christi, St Teilo’s and Whitchurch High School are part of Cardiff’s coordinated admissions, making applying to them easier than ever.
  • You do not need to be a Welsh speaker to apply to a Welsh-medium school
  • Last year, 98% of parents who put their catchment primary school as their first preference got a place there. In secondary, 96% of parents received an offer for their catchment school when it was their first preference.
  • All community schools in Cardiff share the same oversubscription criteria – the rules we apply when there are more applicants than there are places available.

More details about how the school admissions process works in Cardiff and online applications can be accessed via: www.cardiff.gov.uk/schooladmissions