Schools & Education

all you need for relocation to scotland: edinburgh

Schools & Education: Edinburgh Secondary Schools 

Finding your nearest secondary school in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Council has published online maps of secondary school catchment areas to help you find both non-denominational and Roman Catholic secondary schools.

Applying to and registering for Secondary 1 (S1) in Edinburgh

All parents of P7 pupils (last year of primary school) who attend a primary school in Edinburgh will automatically receive confirmation of the catchment secondary school serving their home address in mid-November. (No further action is normally required if you wish your child to attend the catchment secondary school). 

Should the catchment school being oversubscribed, the Council will contact you in February and will ask you to complete a Catchment Enrolment form. The Council will also advise you of the outcome of your catchment request by 30 April. 

If you would prefer that your child start S1 in a school outwith your catchment area, you have to make a placing request. You can get an application form at any primary school in Edinburgh from mid-November. Forms must be completed and returned to the Council’s Grants, Awards and Placements department by 24 December.

If you apply for a place after this date your request will be considered, but if you apply after 15 March, it is possible that places in your chosen school may no longer be available.

Grants, Awards and Placements
City of Edinburgh Council
Children and Families
Waverley Court, Level 1/14
East Market Street
Eh8 8BG [MAP]


Telephone: (0044) (0)131 469 3032

Registration after the start of the new school session

School starts in mid-August each year following the summer break. If you arrive in Scotland after that date, you should contact in writing the school in your catchment area (closest to where you live) to enquire whether a space is available for your child. Do mention the group year (i.e. S1, S2…) your child falls under, his/her date of birth as well as your full address in Edinburgh including phone number and email.

To help you find your nearest secondary school visit the Education Scotland website

How good is the school in my catchment area?

This is a very legitimate question to ask and there are 3 easy ways to find out how good the school in your area is.

1. Ask other parents in your area who have children at the school and not at the school. Each experience is unique but you should gather enough information to make a balanced view.

2. Visit the school’s website and ask to meet with the head teacher or deputy head. 

3. Visit Scottish Schools Online website which has information on every secondary school in Scotland. Simply select your local school to find out the total number of pupils, exam results, free meal entitlement, absence record, teacher ratio plus the inspection reports from HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE).

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HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) inspects schools in order to let parents, children and the local community know whether their school provides a good education. Inspectors also discuss with school staff how they can improve the quality of education.

To find out about school term dates for 2016/17 for Edinburgh and the Lothians visit the school term dates page.

Guide to exams

If you want to understand how the Scottish exams system works, I would recommend reading the Exam guide published on the Scottish Schools Online website. 

Standard Grades are generally taken over two years of study in third and fourth year at secondary school.

Students often take seven or eight subjects including Maths and English. The courses are made up of different parts called ‘elements’, with an exam at the end. The coursework for most Standard Grade subjects involves assessments, projects or folios. It is important to put as much effort into these as possible as they often count towards the final mark. 

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Schools & Education

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