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Cardiff secondary school applications for September 2024 now open

Eastern High School

Applications for secondary school places to start in September 2024 opened this week (Monday 25, September 2023) and families are reminded that applying on time and by providing five school preferences, can increase their chances of getting a place at one of their preferred schools.

Cardiff Council’s Admissions Team have provided simple step-by-step advice and guidance in the form of 7 tips, to help families who are applying for a school place in Cardiff.

The information is available online and through an animation aimed at children and families, helping to explain how the admissions process works and the importance of using all five preferences available.

Should a family choose to only put one school option for example, they are greatly limiting their chances of securing a preferred school.

It also covers things like;

  • the importance of applying on time, by the published application deadline
  • the benefits of exploring all the schools in the child’s area by visiting their websites and reading their Estyn reports
  • making sure the application form includes essential information such as if the child has a sibling at the school or any additional learning, medical or social needs.

Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “It continues to be our intention that every family in Cardiff has the information, support and understanding to help make sure that they are not at a disadvantage when applying for a school place.

“Families are reminded that putting down only one school on their application form does not increase their chance of being accepted to that school. Instead, if they don’t take advantage of using all five choices, there is a greater chance that places will be allocated, and they may miss out on one of their preferred schools.

“To help make applying for a school place as fair and straightforward as possible a series of initiatives are in place to promote a more equitable system of allocating school places in Cardiff. This includes our ongoing 7 tips admissions campaign which provides guidance and support to families, making the admissions process simple and transparent so that everyone has the same chance of securing one of their preferred schools.”

Following public consultation on Cardiff Council’s School Admission Arrangements for 2024/25, there are changes to the admissions applications process in the city. This year Mary Immaculate High School joins 16 other secondary schools in Cardiff’s coordinated school admissions process.

Cardiff Council has successfully co-ordinated its admissions arrangements since the 2018/2019 intake year. Now, all 12 of the city’s community high schools and five partner schools, Whitchurch High School, St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School, Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Mary Immaculate and The Bishop of Llandaff High School have joined the scheme which enables parents to submit their preferred schools all on one online application.

Cllr Merry added: “Now in its seventh year, Cardiff’s coordinated admissions helps to simplify the process of applying for a school place by allowing parents to state their order of preferred schools on one application. This provides a better chance of securing a preferred school in the first round of admissions.

“The system also prevents parents from receiving multiple offers, which would otherwise stop other children being offered these places, helping to eliminate unnecessary stress for the families that otherwise would not secure a place.

“We have been working closely with the Catholic Archdiocese and the Church in Wales Diocese to expand the coordinated arrangements and I am pleased that Mary Immaculate is the latest secondary school to join the process, helping to ensure a fairer and easier way of applying for school places.”

The 7 tips School Admissions campaign supports Cardiff’s commitment to becoming the UK’s first UNICEF UK Child Friendly City, placing the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of Cardiff’s policies, strategies and services.

If any families are in doubt about any aspect of the process, they can access support from our staff based at Council Hubs across the city or by calling C2C on 029 20872087.

The information is available in several languages including Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Czech, Mandarin, Polish, Portugese, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Ukrainian and Welsh of course.

Applications for applying for a secondary place in September 2024 close on Monday 20th November 2023.

To apply for a school place please go to: https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/resident/Schools-and-learning/Schools/Applying-for-a-school-place/Secondary-school/Pages/default.aspx