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Cardiff Council

Secondary school

​​​​​​​Before you start the application process make s​​ure you have read our t​ips on applying for a school place​​.​

The tips on applying for a school place are also available in a number of community languages:


Cardiff School Admissions​ Video

Video id: ZqFFf-qb0HU
If you would like to watch this video with subtitles, click on the Subtitles / Close Caption (CC) button on the video screen.

​​​​​​​There are lots of great schools in Cardiff, but places go quickly. 

The information in this document includes images and has been designed for print. 

You can view a summary of the information on this page.​​​

7 tips to help you apply for a school place​

Look at schools in your area. Go to their website, look at their prospectus and read the Estyn report.

Pay a visit

Just because you have heard about a school, doesn’t mean you know it. Most secondary schools have open evenings. You can also call any school to arrange a visit.

You’re not guaranteed a place at your nearest school but looking at it is a good place to start. Some schools are very popular, so we do check that people live at the address they give us, right up to the admission date.

We hope you get your first preference school but often that’s not possible. Each school has a maximum number they can take. Think about each preference carefully. 

Note: School places fill up quickly, so put down all your preferences to make sure we can give you your highest preference possible. 

Listing all your preferences from the beginning is really important.

If you don’t tell us, we don’t know. We want your child to get the best place possible. You can help by sending in any evidence when you apply. 

Tell us if your child: 

  • ​has siblings at the school 
  • has any additional learning needs  
  • has any medical or social needs that means they need to go to one school and not another

Let us know if anything changes.

There's a closing date. We check applications that come in on time first.

If you miss the closing date, you miss the first round. Then you have to download a form and send it in. That takes longer and you may miss out on a place in a school you want. ​

Don’t be late​

60% of the schools in Cardiff fill up in the first round. ​
You can apply for a school place online.

We handle nursery, primary and secondary school admissions through our online admissions system. ​​

Try to use the same email address each time you contact us.

Some faith schools manage their own school places. Check their website to see if you need to apply straight to them. 

Get help 

If you don’t have a computer or need help, you can make an appointment to visit a hub​ or phone us on 029 2087 2087.​

When you get an offer at a school in Cardiff, you need to tell us if you want the place as soon as possible. You may not get your first preference, but you will remain on that waiting list.

Please tell us if you don’t want the place so we can give it to someone else. 
A group (panel) of independent, unpaid volunteers will listen to your appeal. The panel’s decision is final​.    

Apply for a Secondary School place​

You will be able to apply online for a Secondary School place for 2021/22 between Monday 28 September 2020 and Monday 23 November 2020. Please appl​y on time.​​​

Children start secondary school in the September after their eleventh birthday. Parents of pupils in year 6 at a Cardiff Primary School will receive details of the application process.

Log in to the School Admissions​ system

Guide to using the online admissions system (807kb PDF)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Link opens in a new window

DateStep in application process
28 SeptemberApplications open
23 NovemberApplications close
24 NovemberFrom this date late applications must be completed on paper. 
The online system will not be available. 
1 March 2021
Offer day. An email will be sent out to you after 10am. 
We can give decisions over the phone after 12pm. 

You can apply for all community secondary schools and the following Faith and Foundation schools:

  • Whitchurch High School, 
  • St Teilo’s CiW High School, and 
  • Corpus Christi RC High School. 

Please note that for applications to Corpus Christi RC High School and St Teilo’s CW High School you must also complete a Supplementary Form which you is available direct from each school.