Allocation of places

All available places are offered in the initial allocation process on 1 March, and any vacancies which arise are filled in a review process. No places are held in reserve for later applicants.

Quite often there are not enough places at a school to satisfy every applicant. This is what is meant by the term oversubscribed and why you are encouraged to apply for places at more than one school. Where a school is oversubscribed the admission authority has to apply criteria to decide which children are offered the available places. The over- subscription criteria for all Trafford secondary schools can be found within the school admission policies.

Your home address

The criteria used by Trafford to determine admission refer in every case to the child’s home address. This means the address where the child normally and permanently lives on a full- time basis, not the address of any child-minder, grandparent or any other relative.

If parents are separated and child-care arrangements are shared between two addresses admission authorities must decide how the application will be considered. Where this is not defined in the relevant policy, Trafford's policy will be applied. 

Pupils who move into Trafford during the transfer procedure

Children who move into Trafford, after the 31 October, will be considered in the review of allocation decisions starting in April following the same criteria as used for initial allocations.

Fraudulent or misleading applications

It is always assumed that you will provide Trafford with the correct factual information  when you apply. Trafford takes very seriously any attempt to undermine the fairness of the school admissions system by giving false information and will always investigate possible fraudulent applications.

If a place is offered and it is discovered that the offer was made on the basis of fraudulent or misleading information (for example, a false claim to be living at an address) the place will be withdrawn and may be offered to another child. A place may also be withdrawn even after your child has started school.

Your right of appeal

Decisions are communicated on behalf of the relevant admission authority and are made according to the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code and the policies and procedures agreed and published in this booklet. No discretionary powers can be applied.

Under the terms of the 1998 Education Act you have the right to appeal against the decision of an admission authority and independent appeals panels will be set up specifically for this purpose.

If you wish to exercise your right of appeal, information on the timetable for appeals will be available on Trafford’s website and on the website of each school by 28 February. All appeals for on-time applications (i.e. those relating to decisions sent on national offer day) must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals.

Appeals against a decision relating to an in-year application must be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged. The decisions of an independent appeal panel are binding on the admission authority and the parent/carer.

Review of allocations

Once initial allocations have been decided and advised to parents, a number of vacancies may arise due to changed circumstances.

If you wish your original, unsuccessful application for a Trafford school to be re-considered or you wish to apply for an alternative, the letter which you receive in March will advise you how to apply to have your child’s name added to the waiting lists. Any allocation decisions in the review process must be made following the same criteria as used for the initial allocation.

Waiting lists

It is important to note that unsuccessful applicants are not automatically added to a waiting list.

Waiting lists must be maintained for at least one term in the academic year of admission. Applicants must be ranked in the same order as the published over-subscription criteria and must not be given priority based on the date either their application was received or their name was added to the list. For example, if a child moves to an area and has higher priority against the published over-subscription criteria, they must be ranked above those with lower priority already on the list.

How to find information about schools

You can find information about individual schools on the  Trafford schools directory and in the school admission policies

Performance tables (also known as league tables) for schools in Trafford and those in other Local Authorities are available from the DfE (Department for Education). 

School open days/evenings

Please contact schools direct for information about Open Days or Open Evenings. Contact details are available on the  Trafford schools directory

Admission to Trafford grammar schools

Applicants wishing to be considered for admission to a Grammar School in Trafford must first be successful in the entrance examination for the preferred grammar school. To take part in these examinations applicants must make a separate application, direct to the school, to sit the relevant test.

The Grammar Schools listed below have joined into a consortium called the Trafford Grammar School CEM Consortium. These schools all share the same entrance test. Applicants will sit the test once, at one of the five schools in the Consortium but the outcome of that test can be considered by any of the five schools provided you have chosen this option. If you wish your child to take part in this test you must register to sit  the test at one of the schools in the consortium.

  • Altrincham Grammar School for Boys
  • Altrincham Grammar School for Girls
  • Sale Grammar School
  • Stretford Grammar School
  • Urmston Grammar School

2021 Admissions round outcomes

Find out how many children were offered places for secondary schools in Trafford on National Offer Day 2021.

2021 Secondary Admission Outcomes

Next: Admissions procedures