Skip to main content

Researching secondary schools and catchment area


It is important to be realistic about how likely you are to be offered a place at a school before applying. Get as much information as possible about your preferred schools. Our online directory provides information about Cambridgeshire secondary schools.

What's in the directory

Each school listing in the directory provides: 

  • published admissions number (PAN). This is the number of pupils who can be admitted to each year group 
  • over-subscription criteria. This is how we offer places if a school gets more applications than there are places available. It sets out how applications are placed in order depending on which over-subscription criteria you meet
  • school contact details including link to school website
  • catchment area information. Children who live in a school's catchment area are usually a priority within the over-subscription criteria
  • supplementary information form (SIF) if applicable (additional information required for application to certain schools)
  • link to the latest Ofsted report and performance data
  • link to the previous years' allocation information. This shows how places were offered against the over-subscription criteria, including in previous years

Your child's home address is important when making decisions about home to school distance, or catchments. It is also important that you understand how distance is measured and calculated.

We strongly recommend that you name your catchment school as one of your three preferences. Your catchment school is the school most likely to offer your child a place.

It is also important to think about how you will get your child to and from school every day. The order of your preferences can affect eligibility for free school travel assistance.

If your application is incomplete, or incorrect, it will be delayed. It could also be cancelled. You will need to confirm you have read and understood all three secondary admissions webpages when submitting your application form.