Secondary school admissions

Transferring to secondary school September 2024

If you live in Trafford and your child will start in Year 7 in September 2024, you must apply to Trafford for your school place. 

You need to include all your preferred schools on the application to Trafford, including schools in other local authority areas. We work with other areas to make sure each child is only offered one place.

The closing date for secondary school applications is 31 October 2023.

Some schools may ask you to complete a supplementary form and return it to the school. This is often for faith schools or grammar schools. You must still also include that school in your application to Trafford. Please check the school website to see if one is required. If you only apply directly to a school, your application will not be considered.

Before you submit your application, please read the secondary application guidance.

Important advice for Altrincham and Sale residents

All secondary schools in the Altrincham and Sale areas are significantly oversubscribed. It is frequently the case that some catchment area children do not achieve places in their preferred schools. If you live in one of these areas we strongly advise you carefully read the additional advice and follow it. 

All applications are to be made through the Trafford application portal:

Apply for a school place

Information about schools

These are the secondary schools in Trafford where you do not need to sit a test to be considered for a place:

Grammar schools (selective schools)

If you want to be considered for a grammar school place, you must first pass the entrance test for that school. You should contact your preferred grammar school/s directly to register to sit the test. 

5 of the 7 grammar schools in Trafford are in the Trafford Consortium and share the same entrance test. You register to sit the test at one of these schools on the test date of 5 September 2023. The outcome of this test can be considered by any of the 5 schools if you have chosen this option on the entrance test application form.

The other 2 grammar schools have a different test, scheduled for 22 September 2023:

Key dates

  • 31 October 2023 - Closing date for applications
  • 1 March 2024 - National offer day where all applicants receive their offer of a place
  • April 2024 - Review of allocation of vacancies

Allocation of places

All available places will be offered in the initial allocation process on 1 March 2024. No places are held in reserve for late applicants. Any vacancies which arise after this are filled through the review process. You will have the option to join the waiting list for any school as part of the review process. 

Each school has a set number of places to allocate. If more people apply than the number of places available, it is oversubscribed. When this happens, the school uses the oversubscription criteria to decide who gets a place. This is the case for places in the initial allocation and also in the review process. You can find the oversubscription criteria for each school in their admission policies.

Your right to appeal

The only reason your application can be refused is if all of the available places are offered to applicants with a higher priority than your child. If this happens, you have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel. Get more detailed information about secondary school admission appeals.

Special educational needs

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) there is a different process for transferring to secondary school. You should receive information about this process from your school in the autumn term. If you have not received this, you can contact Trafford’s EHC Assessment Team at

Trafford admission arrangements 2024

Each year we consult on our admission arrangements and formally agree them. See our agreed admission arrangements

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