Application process

How to apply for a year 7 place

All applications for transfer to state funded secondary schools must be made to your home Local Authority (LA) that is the LA where you live, regardless of where the school of your choice is located. All Trafford residents must apply to transfer to ANY secondary school, wherever it is, to Trafford. At the end of August, all Trafford residents are sent information about how to apply. Applications must be received by 31 October. If you live outside Trafford LA you will receive information from your own LA.

Trafford LA will collate applications for all Trafford residents and will co-ordinate with other LAs as required.

All parents who submit an application to the Local Authority are regarded as having made valid applications. An additional or supplementary application may also have to be completed for applicants considered under faith criteria of faith schools and for selective schools.

If you only apply direct to a school your application will not be considered. If you do not submit your application by 31 October, your application will only be considered after all on time applications have been processed.

Submitting your application

You must include all your preferences even if you are applying for a place in a school outside Trafford.

Some schools, particularly faith schools, might still ask you to complete a supplementary form and return it to them but you must remember to still include that school in your application so that your application can be processed.

Any application received, or alteration made, after 31 October is late and will only be considered after all the applications received on time have been processed. Late applications will be considered in line with the published admission arrangements and with regard to the number of available places.

Children will only receive an offer of a place at ONE school.

This is how the admissions scheme works: All Local Authorities use an equal preference or “blind preference” system. This means that schools will never know whether you have put them first, second, third or even last, and cannot say “put us first or we will not give you a place”. So, you can tell the LA what you really want without worrying that it will affect your child’s chance of achieving a place at any other school.

If, for example, you have applied for places at Ashton-on-Mersey, Blessed Thomas Holford and Sale Grammar your child’s name will be placed on each of the three schools’ lists. The lists will be sorted into order according to each school’s admissions criteria. If you are applying for a place at a school outside Trafford you should find out what their admissions criteria are before you apply.

Trafford will look at all the lists and see which of your chosen schools can offer you a place. If all three can offer a place, Trafford will allocate a place at the preference you have ranked highest on your form. Similarly, if only two can offer a place, you highest preference of the two will be allocated.

If none of your chosen schools can offer a place, Trafford will allocate a place at the nearest school in Trafford with a vacancy.

All children are eligible to apply for a place in a high school without the need to sit any entrance examination. If you want to apply for a place at one of the grammar schools your child must have taken part in the appropriate entrance examination. If your child has taken part in any of these tests you may not know the results or the outcome of any review process, before 31 October. It is important, if you want your child to be considered for a place in a grammar school, to put this preference on the form by 31 October.


Look at the schools listed and think which ones you wish to apply for. Select the one you really want first. Don’t be put off just because you don’t live in the catchment area.

You can apply for any school you like and in any order regardless of where you live. However, you must remember that applicants that live within a catchment area will often be given a higher priority than you.

You are advised to use one of your choices for your catchment area school or your nearest local school even if that is only your last choice. If you live in the catchment area for more than one school, you are advised to consider including all these schools in your list of preferences.

This will not stop you being offered another school that you have listed higher but it will mean you will have a good chance of being offered a place locally if you cannot be offered any of your other choices.

All your choices are considered equally and a place will offered at your highest choice possible, where places allow. For example, imagine that you live in Sale, your first choice is Sale Grammar School, your second choice is Sale High School and your third choice is Ashton-on-Mersey School.

If your child qualifies for grammar school entry to Sale Grammar School you could be allocated a place at Sale Grammar School. If your child does not qualify for entry Trafford will not be able to consider your first choice of Sale Grammar so will move on to look at your next choice.

If you live too far from Sale High School you may not be able to be offered a place at that school so Trafford will move on to look at your third choice. If you live near enough to Ashton-on-Mersey School you could be offered a place at that school.


Parents are invited to submit reasons for their preferences. However, admission authorities can only allocate places on the basis of the published over-subscription criteria,  your reasons should relate to the criteria published by your preferred school.

Closing date

Applications received after 31 October are late and will only be considered once all the applications received on time have been processed. It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is received on time

Confirmation email

Once you have submitted your online application you will receive an email to confirm that your application has been received. If you do not receive this email, your application has not been received and you should email the School Admissions team at 

Special educational needs and Education Health Care Plans

If your child has an Education Health Care Plan (EHC Plan), their transfer to secondary school will be dealt with by Trafford’s EHC Assessment Team and you should contact the Team at if you have not received information from them.

The Trafford SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) provides free, confidential, impartial advice and support to parent carers, children and young people aged 0 - 25 in relation to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

Further information on Trafford’s support for children and young people with special educational needs or who are disabled is available on the Trafford SEND Local Offer

Amending your application

If you wish to change your application at any time up to 31 October you can do so by logging into your online account. Any change made after this date will only be considered after all on time applications/changes have been considered. The last application submitted is the application which will be considered.

Change of address

You must inform the school admissions team immediately if you change your address as this may change your child’s priority for a particular school. If you move home your application will be reviewed and as a result, any offer may be withdrawn.

If you change address after the 31 October your application will be considered from your previous address until the initial allocation of places is completed on 1 March. If you are not offered a place for your child at your preferred school you can then apply for vacancies in the review process which takes place after 1 March. This will be subject  to satisfactory proof of residency and the effective disposal of your previous property. Please note that other admission authorities may specify different deadlines and requirements for removal into the area and you should read the relevant admissions policy for further information.

Next: Allocation of places