Starting secondary/upper school in September 2024

The Citizens Portal opens on 1 September 2023 for parents and carers to apply online for a secondary school place. The closing date is 31 October 2023 and all applications must be made before the closing date to receive a school place offer on 1 March 2024 (national offer day). This information only applies if you want to apply for your child to start in Year 7 at secondary school in September 2024 (children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013)

Please note – If your child attends a middle school in a neighbouring area and you live in Milton Keynes you can apply here for an upper school place


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 oversubscription 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 idea 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.

Active Transport
When your child starts at secondary school it is a time when they begin to develop greater independence from their parents. Making the journey to and from school is often part of this transition and all secondary schools in Milton Keynes promote active ways of getting to school so that a greater proportion of students walk or cycle to school. Walking and cycling to school promotes independence, establishes healthy attitudes that can last a lifetime and also helps the environment by reducing car journeys. Walking or cycling to and from school is also a social experience and great opportunity to meet new friends. As your child begins secondary school it is a great time to think about active transport.

Applying for a school place

Applications are made online via the Citizen Portal and must be completed by midnight on 31 October 2023.  Important things to remember when applying:

  • You 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 oversubscription 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 City Council
  • If you are unable to apply online, contact the Access to Education team at for a paper application form.  It is recommended that paper forms are sent by recorded delivery.  The Access to Education team is not responsible for forms lost in the post and is unable to acknowledge receipt.

National offer day

For applications received by 31 October 2023, national offer day is 1 March 2024.

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. 

Applying to schools outside Milton Keynes

If you are a Milton Keynes resident paying your council tax to Milton Keynes and are applying for a school in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire or Northamptonshire or any other local authority area, you must complete a Milton Keynes application.  Please ask the relevant council for a copy of their admission information so you have seen all the information before deciding which schools to apply for.  Make sure you check the oversubscription criteria.

Buckinghamshire Council

North Northamptonshire Council

West Northamptonshire Council

Bedford Borough Council

Central Bedfordshire Council


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