Apply for a secondary school place

Visiting schools

We recommend that you visit secondary schools to get an idea of their strengths and character. Here are some questions you may wish to ask yourself and the staff at the schools.

  • General atmosphere
    Is the school welcoming? Does it give you the impression that the pupils and staff are hard working? Are there examples of pupils’ work on show?
  • Academic success
    What subjects does the school teach? How many pupils are entered for public exams? Are they encouraged to do well and do they get good grades? How does the school recognise and celebrate the achievements of all pupils, regardless of their abilities?
  • Behaviour
    What is the school’s policy on behaviour? Do pupils behave well? What action does the school take if a child behaves badly? Does the school tell parents straight away if their child behaves badly?
  • Extra-curricular activities and study support
    Are there plenty of activities at lunchtime and after school? For example, do they have homework, creative arts and sports clubs? What does the school do for study support?
  • Involving parents
    Successful schools encourage and expect you to be fully involved in your child’s education. How does the school do this? Is there an active parent/ teacher group or association?
  • Support for educational and learning needs
    How well does the school cater for children with additional educational and learning needs?

Other tips on choosing the right school for your child

  • Talk to your child – involve them as much as you can.
  • Think about what is right for your child – don’t rely on what others tell you or what you read on parenting websites.
  • Check the school website.
  • Think about the journey – how easy will it be to get to the school? Some schools may be further away but are easier to get to.
  • Check the admission criteria and cut-off distance in our secondary school admissions guide.
  • Use all six preferences – make sure you include at least one local school. Don’t choose only one school – your application will not be treated more favourably and you could lose out on another school you like.

Hackney secondary schools admissions guide

Find out more about all the secondary schools in Hackney:


Admissions and Pupil Benefits Team

020 8820 7000 (option 3)
This page was last modified on: 20 Jun 2019