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Researching your school preferences

Your catchment school

  • It is strongly recommended that you choose your catchment school as one of your three school preferences, even if there are currently no places available.  See frequently asked questions below for more details.
  • In a small number of cases your child’s address may be in the catchment area for a school that falls under a neighbouring local authority. If this is the case for your child’s home address, you should make your application to that local authority.

Andy - Assistant Admissions Officer

"Make sure you understand the implications of not selecting your catchment school as one of your three preferences."

Cambridgeshire schools with places available

Information on which schools in Cambridgeshire have places remaining. Last updated 24 May 2019.

Size: 75.08 KB File format: xlsx

Other sources of information 

Frequently asked questions

It is our policy to admit children to the year group appropriate to their date of birth. In exceptional circumstances, your child may be able to start school a year earlier or later. For further information please see our accelerations and deferrals page.

Coming from an educational system abroad, or a child who does not speak English as their first language, will not normally be considered as an exceptional circumstance. Support is available in all our schools within the correct year group for these children.

The application can only be considered from your child’s home address. This is the address where your child will be living when they are allocated a place. If your child lives at more than one address:

  • their main residence will be where they spend the majority of their school nights (Sunday to Thursday)
  • if they divide their time equally between two addresses further evidence may be required to identify the child's home address.

The geographical area served by a school is called its catchment area. In Cambridgeshire, your home address will usually be in the catchment area of one primary school and one secondary school. You can find details of the catchment schools for your home address at My Cambridgeshire.

  • Living within the catchment area of a school does not guarantee your child a place at that school if the school is oversubscribed.
    The School Admissions Code ensures places are allocated in a fair and transparent way.
  • If you choose to apply to a school which is not your catchment school, you will be responsible for getting your child to and from school. For more information see our school transport page and policies.
  • You will only be eligible for transport to a non-catchment school, if you have applied for and been refused a place at both the catchment school, and nearest school*. You will then be offered transport assistance to the next nearest school with a place available (see processing your application and offer of a place page)
    *In most instances your catchment school will also be your nearest school, but in some areas your catchment school may not be your closest school.

The following schools do not have a designated catchment area, and you will need to contact the schools concerned for further information:

Some church schools admit children from a wider area than their defined catchment area on religious grounds. Please see individual schools' admissions policies for further details.

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