Common Application Form can cause some issues for parents and it would be unlucky if a child is deprived of a school place due to their parents stating their school preferences in the wrong order on the form based on mistaken advice from other.

This a guide for you to try and avoid the most unfortunate event happening.

As a golden rule- always put the schools in the real order of preference that you actually want.

However, there are other important points to consider-

  1. All your preferences must be possible in reality. If the grammar school you are desperate for your child to attend to is 20 miles away, but the school has never allocated a place to a child living further than 6 miles away, this would indicate that there is no point in listing it on your CAF, regardless of whether it is your first preference and your child’s dream to go there.
  2. If you live 8 or 9 miles away from that same school, it is worth taking the risk. It is possible that there could be less children applying or fewer children who qualify living nearer? If this occurs, then it is possible your child will be granted an admission regardless of your distance away from the school. It is worth a go.
  3. If your child is taking the 11 plus, your chosen grammar schools must be listed before any other type of school. If your child does not qualify for any of the grammar schools, those schools will then be “erased” and the first non-grammar school you have given will become your new “first preference”.
  4. The further down the form you go, the more likely your chances are you will receive a place at the school. Your last preference should always be a school that will be acceptable to you and your child and one at which your child is certain to get a place.
  5. If you do not obtain a place at any of your listed preferences, you will be given a school chosen through your home local authority, at a school that has not reached its capacity. The rules will be published on their admissions website, as it is likely they will differ between local authorities.