Nearest school criteria explained

Catchment areas, nearest schools and other terminology make school admissions a jargon minefield. Here, we try to explain it as simply as possible.

Nearest school criteria

Several local authorities allocate places at oversubscribed schools by giving priority to children who apply to their nearest relevant school.

This effectively creates a catchment – an area around each school with priority for applicants living within that nearest area. As with catchment areas, living inside this nearest school area does not guarantee you a place at the school.

Always look at the criteria of each school you wish to apply for and make sure you apply on time.
Check out findaschool to find out your chances of getting into your nearest school.