Now's the time to apply for your child's secondary school place in Milton Keynes next year
The deadline for applications is October 31
Parents of children born between September 1 2010 and August 31 2011 have four weeks to apply for a secondary school place for next year.
If they do not make the application by 31 October, they may have limited choice, warns MK Council.
The Citizens Portal is now open 1 for parents and carers to apply online for a secondary school place.
It applies to all children due to start in Year 7 at secondary school in September 2022.
An MK Council spokesman said: "It is VERY important that you read the guide for parents and carers which gives you all the information you need about the application and allocation process.
"Research the schools that you are interested in applying to: Visit schools you are interested in, most have open days you can go to. Check each school’s website for details.
"Find your catchment area school. There is no guarantee that your child will be offered a place at your local school. This will depend on how many applications are received for the places available
"Understand the admission criteria for your preferred schools (read section D of the guide for parents and carers or visit the schools website for details). This information should give you an indication of how likely your child is to be offered a place, especially for those schools that are oversubscribed"
Parents are also advised to read the schools' Ofsted reports, or visit their websites for information, and check the school league tables.
They can list up four preferred schools and the council advises that all four preferences slots should be filled.
"Listing a school more than once or only listing one school will not increase your chances of receiving an offer," said the spokesman.
"There is no right to a particular school place... The school preferences you make are treated equally. This means that no matter where you place a school in your list of preferences, it will be treated the same way as all other applicants who also chose that school, regardless of where they have placed the school in their list.
"The reason it is so important to list the schools in the order of preference is that if a place can be offered at more than one of your preferences, you will be offered the highest preference from the list you provided."
Naming other schools will not affect the chance of being offered a place at a higher preference school. But parents are advised to choose their local catchment school as one of their preferences, should higher preferences not be available.
"If there are no places available at any of your preferences, a school place will be offered at the nearest school to your home address with a place still available," said the spokesman.
"If you apply after the closing date you are far less likely to get a place at one of your preferred schools," he added.
"If your preference is to attend a school outside of Milton Keynes, you are still required to apply via Milton Keynes Council".
Anyone unable to apply online should email the Education Access team at [email protected] for a paper application form. It is recommended these are returned by recorded delivery.
MK Council will be processing applications between November 2021 and February 2022. Parents will be informed of the result on national offer day on March 1 2022.