Parents who are moving house may want to know where they need to live to get their child into a certain school.
If you are considering buying a property, live near a school catchment border or if you have a question about your catchment area, please phone us on 0300 123 2224.
It is a common misunderstanding that a child automatically gets a place at a school if they live in its catchment area. Although every home address has a catchment school, not all schools and academies prioritise children from their catchment area in the over-subscription criteria they use to allocate places at the school. Please check the individual school or academy's criteria which you can find in the primary or secondary admissions booklet on the pages Apply to Start School or Starting at a secondary or upper school in September.
Important notes to consider
Some schools and academies that are their own Admission Authority do not prioritise children living in the catchment area of the school in their over-subscription criteria. If you live in the catchment area of a school or academy and it is not included in the oversubscription criteria, it is recommended that one of the preferences expressed is for the nearest school to your home address. However, please note, this does not guarantee your child a place at this school. Please contact us if you are not sure which school is nearest to your home.
Some schools and academies in Somerset have consulted on expanding their catchment areas causing ‘dual’ or shared catchment areas.
The previous existing catchment areas are not affected, but if you live in these areas your child may have a priority under the catchment criterion for a place at more than one school.
Important transport information.
If a school or academy has changed their catchment area, this does not change the designated transport area. These remain the same as the catchment areas at September 2012. For the designated transport area to change. an appropriate consultation must take place.
If a child is moving into a particular school's catchment area and needs a school place, living in the catchment area does not necessarily guarantee a place at that school if all places have already been allocated. This is particularly true in urban areas where it is very likely an alternative school with places will be available within the Statutory Walking Distance of your new address.
The Statutory Walking Distance is defined by the Department for Education (DfE) as up to 2 miles for children under 8 years old and up to 3 miles for children aged 8 years old and over. This is the distance the local authority has to work to in considering whether another school can provide a place. How a child actually gets to and from school is the responsibility of the parent. Children living more than this distance from their transport area or nearest school may be entitled to transport assistance.