Choosing where to be educated

Every mainstream primary and secondary school has a catchment area that is determined by the Education Authority and every child that lives within the catchment area of a primary and secondary school will be automatically allocated a place at that local school before the child is due to begin primary or secondary education.

However, there may be situations when parents or young people prefer a mainstream school which is not their local school. In these situations parents and young people have the right to make a placing request for the school or schools of their choice. For more information on making mainstream placing requests please email

We operate a number of specialist provisions which do not have a catchment area.

Parents of children with additional support needs, or a young person with additional support needs (and deemed to have capacity), may make a placing request to the Local Authority for admission to a Specialist Educational Provision managed by the Council, or an independent special school not managed by the Council. A placing request for an independent special school can only be made if the managers of the school are willing to admit the child or young person.