A Parents' and Children's Guide to Choosing Your Secondary School

                           Year fives and sixes...

  • Do you run ahead to avoid getting a big sloppy kiss and your nose wiped before you go into school?
  • Do the infant toilets seem tiny? 
  • Are you growing a beard? (Maybe not quite...)
  • ...well it's nearly time for secondary school!


If you live in a small town you might be choosing between two or three schools.

If you live in a city there could be twenty or more possibilities.

This website is designed to help you and your family choose the right school for you.

                                 Don't panic!

Choosing schools can be stressful for adults as they want to make the right choice for you. You might have already overheard conversations about it so it's useful for you to understand what's going on.

We'll explain:

  • What different types of school there are
  • Who chooses where you go and how they decide
  • Which schools you should go and visit
  • What to look out for and what to ask while you're there
  • What to do if you're disappointed with the school you're given           



This website has been prepared with the help of the senior management and Year 7 induction staff of a secondary school. Everyone involved has been through the  secondary transfer process as a parent and understands how stressful it can be.

Use the site and its links to gain a fuller understanding of the schools you're considering (or considering selling your house to avoid) and try to keep an open mind - hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised.  

There are also links to free help and advice if you don't get what you want.

Finally... school is important of course but don't underestimate the importance of home life in a child's development. Every school has its success stories and with you behind them your child will be one of them. 

                                      Good Luck!      

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(If you find big sloppy kisses, nose wiping and asking if you've remembered to change your pants embarrassing now there's bad news. Your parents will continue to find ways to show you up in front of your friends until you're well into your twenties. If anything they get better at it).                   Back to business


How to Use this Site

This site tells you all you and your family need to know about moving to secondary school.

Grownups...sections explain the more complicated stuff.



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National Offer Day

Did you get what you want? Get help if you didn't

Go to Ofsted's New Data Dashboard for detailed information about the school you've got.

GCSE Reform

Find out about Michael Gove's most recent plans for reform of Secondary Education

League tables

25th Jan 2013

The newest league tables are out. Find out how your schools are doing.

More stories on league tables:

BBC News - Education and Family Guardian Education telegraph.co.uk                                                     


Academies could 'fuel social segregation' - new report out.

Applications for September 2013...

If you've had a sudden change of heart don't panic - some LAs will allow you to alter your form, particularly if it's been done on-line.

The office staff want you to make the right choice - they're generally very approachable.

Good Luck!

Useful Links




List of Local Education Authorities:



Advisory Centre for Education:

Tel: 0808 8005793




For useful conversation threads:




For general advice and resources to support learning:



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