Map FAQs

by admin

How does the school catchment map work?

The map covers London, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire primary schools. We provide data for 2020 and 2019 admissions years, where available. Simply enter your postcode, choose the year, and the nearby schools will come up. Click on each school and, if available, the catchment area radius will come up. To remove the radius, click on the school again. You can click on as many schools as you like.

If I’m in the catchment area, does this mean my child will get in?

Oh we wish. Unfortunately, school catchments change every year so there’s no guarantee that you’ll get in, unless you buy a tent, pitch it outside the school gates and the council agrees to let you call it home. It can depend on a number of factors – how many families apply, how many siblings there are that year etc, all of which change each year. For more info on this, check out our article all about school catchment areas.

We hope you enjoy our map but please use it as an interesting guide only.

Why don’t all schools show catchment data?

We get our data from local authorities, who very generously provide this information for the public’s viewing pleasure. There are 33 local authorities in London and they all do things differently. Lack of consistency in our government? Who da thunk it?

Some councils provide all the data for their schools – whether they were undersubscribed, oversubscribed, faith schools, academies or community schools. Others ONLY provide this data for oversubscribed community schools. So the information on the map will vary depending on where you live. We’re sorry. Blame the council. They’re used to it.

Here are the main reasons why not all schools show catchment data:

1/ The school was undersubscribed or demand for places was met – this means that everyone who applied for a place got one, so no decision was made based on distance and therefore catchment data wasn’t provided by your particular council.

2/ It’s a faith school – some faith schools have their own admissions criteria and the local authorities don’t publish their catchment data. For the lowdown, contact the school directly.

3/ It’s a private school – private schools don’t publish their admissions data. They are too busy darling. Also, they don’t make their decisions based on distance.   

What about previous years?

We currently only provide data for the 2020 and 2019 admissions years but will be adding future data each year so watch this space, the data MIGHT be available for your grandkids.

Does the data include children who got places after national offer day?

Nope, sorry. Our data is taken from offers made on national offer day. That’s because the vast majority of councils don’t publish information about how many children were offered places after this date and how far they lived.

Why do you only cover London, Herts and Bucks?

Sorry about this. School catchment data, while publicly available, isn’t stored in one place so it involves gathering it from each individual council. We’re working parents and don’t have the resources to source and input all the nationwide data just yet. We hope to do so in future. We promise.

How accurate is your map?

This map should be used as a guide only. Repeat, as a guide only. Do not take it as gospel. We are not the admissions gods. A few things to know:

1/ We use Google Maps and measurement is taken from a particular point on the school grounds to your home. This point might be different to what your local authority uses which could make the distance slightly off. Also, some local authorities use straight line distances and others use walking distances. So, only your local authority can tell you for sure what the exact distance is between your home and the school you like. Ask them.

2/ Catchment areas change every year depending on lots of factors. This handy article about catchment areas explains this in more detail. So don’t assume that what happened in a previous year will happen again. A lot can change. This map is intended to give you a rough idea of how your local schools roll only.

3/ The data doesn’t include any children who were offered places at a school after National Offer Day because the council doesn’t provide this.

I have some feedback!

Great! Smashing! Super! We love feedback. Especially if it’s good. Feel free to get in touch by emailing

Who are you people anyway?

We’re parents who have been through the maze of primary school applications and thought it would be rather nice if there was one, free website which provided a range of resources and information about this process. Quite handily, one of us is a techie and the other is a writer and former journalist. So Primary School Catchment was born. We’ve only had one row so far.

Our about us page gives you the lowdown.

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