School admissions explained

We are a mostly 2 tier system of primary and secondary schools. 

Children can go to lower/primary school in the school year after they become 4 years of age. This is the 'reception year'.

Many schools also have nursery units or nursery classes for younger children.

Most children will transfer at 11+ (end of year 6) to a secondary school

Some children will transfer at 9+ (the end of Year 4) to a local middle school and then at 13+ (end of Year 8) to a local upper school.

Most secondary/upper schools have a 6th form and pupils may remain at the school up to the age of 18 or 19 years.

Parents can request a school outside their catchment area. Places are only offered if space is available. Schools use their admissions criteria to allocate if demand is higher than places.

If you move into the area during the school year, or you wish to change your child's school, you will need to submit an In-year application.

Moving into the area from abroad

If you have moved from abroad it is the responsibility of parents with foreign national children to check that their children have a right under their UK visa entry conditions, to study at a school. You must do this before applying for a school place.


Find a school Ofsted inspection report.

View the education inspection framework (EIF) for Ofsted.

Contact the School Admissions Service

Tel: 01234 718120

School Admissions Service
Borough Hall
Cauldwell Street
Bedford MK42 9AP