Applying for school places

School catchment areas

Most Trafford schools and academies have a catchment area. These schools give priority to the children that live in their catchment area. Faith schools may also have a catchment area, usually based on the local parish, but catchment area priority is only usually given to children that meet the faith criteria.

You can apply for any schools you wish but your catchment area school is the school where you will have the highest priority. It is important that you know what catchment area you live in and include that school (or schools) in your application.

Details of the catchment areas for faith schools and secondary schools are available direct from the schools.

If your child lives in another local authority you can still apply for Trafford schools, but you must apply via your own home local authority (where you pay your Council Tax).

Applications for September 2022- Primary schools: What happens next?

On Tuesday 19 April 2022 applicants will have received an email with the outcome of your primary school application. The email will contain a link to log in to your portal account to accept your offer or apply for the waiting lists.

Accepting or declining the offer

You are strongly advised to accept the offer you received on 19 April. This means that you can always be sure that you have a school place. Even if you do accept the offer you can still join a waiting list or lodge an appeal for another school without prejudice. If you want to decline the offer because you have made other arrangements such as attending an independent school or to home educate you can submit this information via the portal.  

Waiting Lists

If you have been refused admission to a preferred school you can add your child’s name to the waiting lists via the portal. If you want to add a school that you have not previously applied for or that was listed as a lower preference than your allocated school you should email school.admissions@trafford.gov.uk.

Waiting lists are not run on a first come first served basis. Waiting lists must be run until the end of the autumn term at least, that is until Christmas. Places must be allocated using the same criteria as in the first round.

Your Right to Appeal

Although admission authorities must offer the parent’s preferred school whenever possible, this can only be done when there are enough places for everyone. Where the number of applications received are more than the number places available at a school, then the oversubscription criteria must be applied.

This may mean that all of the available places are offered to applicants with a higher priority than your child. This is the only reason your application can be refused. If this happens, you have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel. If you wish to exercise your right to appeal, information on the timetable for appeals is available at the link below or from the relevant school’s website.

Applications for September 2022- Secondary schools: What happens next?

Waiting Lists

Waiting lists are not run on a first come first served basis. Waiting lists must be run until the end of the autumn term at least, that is until Christmas. Places must be allocated using the same criteria as in the first round. For information on waiting lists please contact the school direct.

Your Right to Appeal

Although admission authorities must offer the parent’s preferred school whenever possible, this can only be done when there are enough places for everyone. Where the number of applications received are more than the number places available at a school, then the oversubscription criteria must be applied.

This may mean that all of the available places are offered to applicants with a higher priority than your child. This is the only reason your application can be refused. If this happens, you have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel. If you wish to exercise your right to appeal, information on the timetable for appeals is available at the link below or from the relevant school’s website.

School admission appeals

In-year applications

An ‘in-year’ application is when a child transfers from one school to another, during the academic year.

Trafford is the admission authority for all Trafford community and voluntary controlled schools and will deal with all applications for these schools.

Applications for faith schools and academies in Trafford will be dealt with by the schools. Any applications submitted to Trafford will be forwarded to those schools.

Guidance for Ukrainian families and their sponsors

To apply please visit Trafford’s portal and make an application for a place in primary or secondary school as soon as the family’s arrival is confirmed, using the link below.

Apply for a school place

The School Admissions Team will start to process your application right away. In the first instance you should just apply for whichever schools you want and don’t worry about looking for schools with vacancies.

We will collate all the information and let you know whether or not a place is available at one of your preferred schools. If no places are available we can help you with the appeals process and advise where places are available.

Other information

For further advice and information please email school.admissions@trafford.gov.uk

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