Most pupils receive their first choice secondary school on National Offer Day

Today (1 March), 87 per cent of Swindon pupils due to start secondary school in September were offered a place at their first choice school.

Published: Monday, 1st March 2021

School admissions secondary school offer day graphic

Swindon Borough Council's School Admissions team received 2,831 applications on time this year, up from 2,742 applications in the year previous.

Following changes made to the timing of the 11+ grammar school exams last year, the Council allowed secondary school applicants to choose four school preferences rather than three, in line with Department of Education guidelines. This gave applicants the opportunity to choose both selective and non-selective schools.

Despite the Council’s School Admissions team having to process more preferences than in previous years, 98 per cent of pupils in Swindon have been successfully offered one of their top four preferences.

This year the Council received a high volume of applicants listing the same Swindon schools as their first choice secondary school preference. One local school received almost double the amount of applicants comparative to the number it was able to admit. In previous years, first preferences have been much more evenly split among schools in the area.

The timings of the 11+ grammar school exams last year also impacted the number of applicants who were offered their first choice school this year.

Parents will start to receive emails today confirming where their child has been offered a place, providing they applied by the national deadline last October.

Councillor Russell Holland, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Commercialisation, Education and Skills, said: “I am very pleased that our School Admissions team have been able to successfully allocate 87 per cent of pupils their first choice secondary school for September.

“We have a fantastic range of schools here in Swindon and I’d like to wish all our Year 6 students who are moving up to secondary school, the best of luck for their next step.

“My thanks also goes out to our Admissions team for all their hard work processing the huge number of applications that were received this year.”

Offers for primary school places will be sent via email on 16 April, providing parents applied by the national deadline in January. Parents do not need to contact the Council’s Admissions team before this time unless they need help making changes to their application.

If parents have any queries regarding secondary school places for this September, they should email School Admissions at or contact the school directly.

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