Geographical priority area (GPA) mapping

Within Lancashire, the area in which a child has priority for a school place is known as a geographical priority area (GPA). Residency within the GPA does not guarantee a place within a particular school - but offers a degree of 'priority'.

Community and voluntary controlled schools in Lancashire

Within Lancashire, places within community and voluntary controlled schools which are subject to a GPA, are allocated in this priority order:~

  1. Looked after children and those who have been previously looked after, including those from overseas, then
  2. Children for whom the Local Authority accepts that there are exceptional medical social or welfare reasons which are directly relevant to the school concerned, then
  3. Children living within the school's geographical priority area with older brothers and sisters attending the school when the younger child will start.
  4. Children living within the school's geographical priority area, then  
  5. Children living outside the school's geographical priority area with older brothers or sisters still attending the school when the younger child will start, then 
  6. Children living outside the school's geographical priority area.

Tie-breaker

If there is an oversubscription within any of the admission criteria, the distance criterion will be used as the tie-breaker. The distance measure is a straight line (radial) measure from centre of building to centre of building.

If the Local Authority is unable to distinguish between applicants using the published criteria (for example twins or the same block of flats), places will be offered via a random draw.

Own admission authority schools in Lancashire

Voluntary aided, foundation, free school and academy schools have their own admission authority.

To find out the priority order in which places are allocated for own authority schools which are subject to a GPA, see the school's admission policy.

A summary of the admission policy for each school is provided in the area supplement booklet. The detailed policy for each of these is described on the school's website.

GPA maps

Choosing your school preferences

As you can see, the pupils living within the GPA are allocated places before anyone living outside it.

The number of pupils resident within a GPA varies from year to year. But previous year's data can offer valuable information as to the likelihood of obtaining a place next year. You can apply to any school but we advise that you look at the admission policies very carefully for each school to avoid disappointment and assess the likelihood of being offered a place.

We strongly suggest that you include your GPA school as one of your preferences. You will be higher in the oversubscription criteria for your GPA school and it may prevent home to school transport difficulties later in the process.

Whilst every effort will be made to place your child in one of the preferred schools, places cannot be guaranteed at any school, regardless of where you live.

Further information

If you have any questions please contact your area education office.