Parents across Bath and North East Somerset, whose children are currently in Year 6, are being reminded that the deadline for applying for a secondary school place for September 2019 is fast approaching.

In addition, Bath & North East Somerset (BANES) Council is urging parents to fill in all five preferences available to them to avoid being offered a place at a school some distance away.

The Schools Adjudicator, in a report to the council, highlights the fact that many children currently starting Year 7, who are travelling from South West Bath across the city to a school they didn’t name on their application form, could have secured a place at a closer school this year if only parents had used the five preferences available to them.

Parents and carers are being advised to use all five preferences in order to ensure that in a highly competitive school admissions process, they are able to ensure their child gains a place at a school within a reasonable travelling distance.

Councillor Paul May, cabinet member for Children and Young People, said, “You could think of it as naming your top three schools but then adding in two reserves just in case, or make yourself a list of all 11 mainstream secondary schools across Bath and North East Somerset and put them in your order of preference, then tell us the top five. This will give your child the best chance by making use of your five preferences.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council must receive all applications by 31 October. Late applications will not be considered until the second round of allocations next May.

Applications can be made via the Admissions Online link on the council’s website www.bathnes.gov.uk/admissions

BANES added that this year 81.3% of parents across Bath and North East Somerset obtained their first preference school, with 93% offered one of their first three preferences.

Each preference is considered equally against the school’s admissions criteria, regardless of whether it is listed as the first, second, third, fourth or fifth preference.

Your highest preference school is always given first consideration, if you do not qualify for a place your second preference will then be considered. Again if you do not qualify, your third preference will be considered and this continues down to your fifth preference. Offers of places will be made on the 1 March 2019.