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Secondary Transfer


Please find below information on:

  • how the secondary transfer process works and how to apply

  • a timeline of what you need to do

  • local schools that you may be thinking of applying

  • how the aptitude test and musical aptitude tests take place

  • where you can find more information


How the System Works

School admissions are co-ordinated by local authorities to ensure that children across the country are offered a single school place on the same day.

All applications are considered at the same time. Admission rules are applied equally, regardless of the order in which you ranked the schools that you have applied to.

Your order of preference (rank) is used if it's possible to offer your child a place at more than one of your preferred schools. If this is the case, you will be offered a place at the highest ranked school possible.

The allocation process is automated for all community schools. Officers aren't involved and don't influence decisions. The only exceptions are when deciding whether a child qualifies for a place under medical or social needs or when allocating a school not ranked on your application form.

Schools and academies responsible for their own admissions provide County with a list of pupils they will offer places to. Secondary schools get a list of every application made for their school, but they don't see your order of preference.

The Admissions Team offer all places on behalf of schools in Hertfordshire.


How to apply

You should apply according to where you live, regardless of where the schools are that you are applying to.

If you live in Hertfordshire, you must apply at:

for Hillingdon, apply at:

for Buckingamshire, apply at:


Applications open at the beginning of September and close on 31st October, but we strongly recommend that you apply sooner in case you experience any problems. If you leave your application to the end of October and encounter problems, we will be unable to help as we shall be closed for half term.

You can change your application/decisions right up until the deadline for applications on 31st October.

You should rank as many schools as possible.

In addition, some schools require you to complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF), e.g. Croxley Danes, Rickmansworth, St. Clement Danes and St Joan of Arc). You will need to contact the appropriate school directly for any additional application packs/forms. They are often also available to download from their website or you may be able to pick them up at their open evening.

Often, the SIF will need to be returned before half term. Please make sure that you are aware of arrangements for those schools you are applying to.


Important Notes

Secondary schools get a list of every application made for their school, but they don't see your order of preference. They apply their own admission rules to applications and allocate places.

Some of the criteria applied by schools include: Children with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), Looked after Children, Siblings or Distance.

Other criteria may be found under the individual school pages at:

Be realistic about your chances of getting a particular school. You can list up to 4 (in Hertfordshire) schools in order of preference. We call this "ranking" your schools.


For September 2023, 807 Hertfordshire children were allocated secondary schools they didn't rank. Many of those were cases where parents only listed one school and/or didn't list their nearest school.


94% of Hertfordshire children were offered 1 of their 4 school preferences for September 2023 and 78% got their 1st preference.

Secondary Application for September 2023