Academic year 2020/21

Secondary and primary school applications and offers

Data guidance



This document describes the data included in the ‘Secondary and primary school applications and offers: March and April 2020’ Official Statistics release’s underlying data file. This data is released under the terms of the Open Government License (opens in a new tab) and is intended to meet at least 3 stars for Open Data (opens in a new tab).

The methodology document for this subject should be referenced alongside this release. It provides information on the data sources, their coverage and quality and how the data is produced.

A guide for the 2020 data collection can be found at School preference data collections: guide to submitting data - GOV.UK ( (opens in a new tab)


This release provides information on the number of applications made, the preferences listed and the number and preference level of offers for entries into:

  • the main entry point for state-funded secondary school (usually year 7)
  • state-funded primary school (reception year)

It includes national, regional and local authority level information on:

  • the number of places available
  • the number of applications received
  • the number and percentage of first, second, non-preferred etc preference offers made
  • the number and proportion of offers within and outside the home local authority

The information is based on the separate secondary and primary application and offer (preference) data collections returned by the local authorities.

File formats and conventions

Primary and secondary suppression was applied in the 2014 dataset. No suppression has been applied from 2015 onwards

The following conventions are used throughout the underlying data.

‘c’         Suppressed (2014 only) 

‘:’         Not applicable.

Data files

All data files associated with this releases are listed below with guidance on their content. To download any of these files, please visit our data catalogue.

Secondary and primary schools applications and offers

Geographic levels
Local authority; National; Regional
Time period
2014/15 to 2020/21

Number of places and applications;   number and proportion of offers by preference rank; number and proportion of offers inside and outside home local authority

Variable names and descriptions

Variable names and descriptions for this file are provided below:

Variable nameVariable description
admission_numbersNumber of admission places available
applications_receivedNumber of applications received
first_preference_offersa. Number of first preference offers
first_preference_offers_percentb. First preference rate
NC_year_admissionYear of admission
no_of_preferencesNumber of preferences allowed
no_offerm. Number made no offer
no_offer_percentn. No offer rate
non_preferred_offerk. Number of non preferred offers
non_preferred_offer_percentl. Non preferred offer rate
offers_to_nonapplicantsTotal number of offers to non applicants
one_of_the_three_preference_offersg. Number of top three preference offers
one_of_the_three_preference_offers_percenth. Top three preference rate
online_applicationsNumber of applications submitted online
online_apps_percentPercentage of applications submitted online
preferred_school_offeri. Number of preferred offers
preferred_school_offer_percentj. Preferred offer rate
school_phaseSchool phase - collection phase
schools_in_another_la_offerq. Number of offers in another LA
schools_in_another_la_offer_percentr. Other LA offer rate
schools_in_la_offero. Number of offers in home LA
schools_in_la_offer_percentp. Home LA offer rate
second_preference_offersc. Number of second preference offers
second_preference_offers_percentd. Second preference rate
third_preference_offerse. Number of third preference offers
third_preference_offers_percentf. Third preference rate