Starting secondary/upper school in September 2023

The Citizens Portal for making an application for moving up to secondary school in September 2023 closed on 31 October 2022. If you made an application by this date you will receive a school place offer on 1 March 2023 (national offer day) and will be able to log on to the portal to view your offer.

APPLY ONLINE HERE - The portal is now closed

The online portal to make an application closed on 31 October 2022.  Applications can now only be made on the late application form for moving up to secondary school.  Completed applications must be returned by email to

Before applying

It is VERY important that you read the guide for parents and carers which gives you all the information you need about the application and allocation process.

Research the schools that you are interested in applying to:

  • Visit schools you are interested in, most have open days you can go to.  Check each school’s website for details.  
  • Find your catchment area school.  There is no guarantee that your child will be offered a place at your local school.  This will depend on how many applications are received for the places available
  • Understand the admission criteria for your preferred schools (read section D of the guide for parents and carers or visit the schools website for details).  This information should give you an indication of how likely your child is to be offered a place, especially for those schools that are oversubscribed
  • Read the schools Ofsted reports, or visit school websites for information
  • Check the school league tables

Choosing school preferences

Once you have done your research you are ready to decide your preferred schools.  There is no right to a particular school place.  You can state four preferences for schools on your application. 

The school preferences you make are treated equally.  This means that no matter where you place a school in your list of preferences, it will be treated the same way as all other applicants who also chose that school, regardless of where they have placed the school in their list. 

The reason it is so important to list the schools in the order of preference is that if a place can be offered at more than one of your preferences, you will be offered the highest preference from the list you provided. 

Naming other schools will not affect your chance of being offered a place at a higher preference school.  If there are no places available at any of your preferences, a school place will be offered at the nearest school to your home address with a place still available.

Applying for a school place

Applications are made online via the Citizen Portal and need to be completed by midnight on 31 October 2022.  Important things to remember when applying:

  • Your are advised to use all four preferences.  Listing a school more than once or only listing one school will not increase your chances of receiving an offer
  • Ensure all information has been completed correctly and no information missed.  Any mistakes could affect your application
  • You are advised to choose your catchment school as one of your preferences, should higher preferences not be available
  • Ensure your school preferences include a school(s) that your child is most likely to meet the admission criteria
  • If you apply after the closing date you are far less likely to get a place at one of your preferred schools
  • If you are moving house during the application process, refer to the Applying for a school place whilst moving home section of the parents guide
  • If your preference is to attend a school outside of Milton Keynes, you are still required to apply via Milton Keynes Council
  • If you are unable to apply online, contact the Education Access team at for a paper application form

Applying after the closing date

The closing date for applications is 31 October 2022.  Applying after this date means your preferences will be considered after all the preferences received on time have been allocated, reducing the possibility that you may get one of your preferences.

The online application process is not available after 31 October 2022.  If your application is late you will need to complete a late application form for moving up to secondary school and return it to

It is recommended that paper forms are sent by recorded delivery.  The Education Access team is not responsible for forms lost in the post and is unable to acknowledge receipt.

Processing of applications

Between November 2022 and February 2023 the council will be processing applications.  Your child’s information is passed to all schools that you have applied to.  Foundation schools, Catholic schools and academies will then rank all applicants in order of the oversubscription criteria to enable us to allocate places in readiness for national offer day on 1 March 2023.

If you have applied for a school place outside of Milton Keynes, we will pass your child’s details onto the relevant local authority that will then apply their procedures and advise us if a place can be offered.

School place offer dates

For applications received by 31 October 2022, national offer day is 1 March 2023.

If you applied online, you can log onto the Citizen Portal to find out the school place that has been offered.  An email will be sent to you confirming the details (please note, emails will be sent throughout the day).  If you made a paper application you will be sent a letter by second class post. 

If you applied late the offer days are:

Applications received between

Offer day

1 November 2022 to 10 March 2023

5 May 2023

11 March 2023 to 16 April 2023

2 June 2023

17 April 2023 to 26 May 2023

7 July 2023

27 May 2023 to 16 June 2023

19 July 2023

Applications submitted thereafter will receive an outcome in August 2023

What happens next?

If you are happy with the school place offered you do not need to do anything else.  The school you have been allocated is now responsible for sending joining instructions to you.

What are your options if you are not happy with your child’s allocation?

If a place is declined at a school of preference, your child’s name will automatically be placed on the waiting list for that school.  If a place has not been offered at any of your preference schools, a place will be offered at the nearest school to your home address that had places available at the end of the process.

If you are not happy with the school place offer, find out how to appeal.  If you are going to appeal we advise you NOT to decline the place you have been offered, in case the appeal is not successful.

If you applied late, your application will automatically be added to the waiting list for the schools which declined to offer a place.

If you applied for a school in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire or Northamptonshire and have not been offered your choice

You need to contact the relevant local authority to enquire about waiting lists and appeals.



Bedford Borough:

Central Bedfordshire:

Information relating to attending schools

Home to school transport

Parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their children attend school regularly and for arranging their safe arrival at school and journey home at the end of the day.  See if your child is eligible for assistance in getting to and from school and how to apply.

Free school meals

Parents and carers who receive certain benefits may be eligible for either pupil premium funding or free school meals.  Enquiries about free school meals should be made direct to individual schools.

Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

If you have any queries about your child’s special needs or wish to request a leaflet explaining the transfer process, please contact the SEN casework team.






Education Access Team (Secondary/Upper Schools)

Education Access Team contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ