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Applying for Primary and Secondary school places for September 2020



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


· Submitting applications by the relevant closing dates (Secondary schools: 25th

November 2019, Primary schools: 13th 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)


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.

More information on the application process for the different types of schools (community schools, faith schools and foundation schools) is available online at:


· 30th September 2019 - the date online applications for secondary schools open in

Cardiff (


· 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


· 18th November 2019 - date online applications for primary schools open


· 25th November 2019 - closing date for secondary schools online applications



· 13th January 2020 - closing date for primary schools online applications



· 2nd March 2020 - secondary school offers made



· 16th April 2020 - primary school offers made




· 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 the list of preferences, even if 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 25th November 2019

· Primary Schools: Monday 13th January 2020




· 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:


Thank you.