Shortlisting – Gender, Age, Religion & Selective

After creating a list of schools defined by location, you can narrow down your list further using other criteria – Gender, Age, Religion and Selective.

In the Gov site on the Selection view, click on the Secondary link (below).

Gov Secondary link

Which gives you the screen below. I have just included a few York area schools to highlight the options below.

Gov Secondary list

At the top you’ll see three areas (tabs and links) where you can select the different types of data available. On this ‘Topline’ default screen there isn’t a third area, but there is on others.


You can see on the Schools Results view, above, that The Minster School doesn’t have any data available. This means that the school doesn’t offer GCSEs or equivalents, because of its age range. Clicking on 2014/15 School Characteristics tab, then School Characteristics tab shows the Lowest and Highest age for entry.

Gov Characteristics

Some schools don’t have a sixth form. Some Independent schools go up to 13 only. Some are prep schools for the 13-18 age group. We can filter the list further by using age range as a criteria. It may be better for your child to attend a straight-through school, i.e. 11-18 to include A-levels, but this would rule out a number of schools which don’t have sixth forms, and may be suitable. At this point I would include all schools in the required age range. However, a school upto age 13, for example, won’t have Performance data on the Gov site, but its Senior school, if it has one, will be the one to include for this purpose.

If you decide to exclude a school at this point, then tick all the schools you’re still interested in, click Compare (above the list of schools) to go back to the Selection view, then click back on the Secondary link (as above) to get back to the School Results view. This process can be repeated for each school or group of schools which need to be excluded.


This mainly applies to Independent schools, but obviously a boy can’t go to a Girls school and vice versa. You may also have a requirement for your child to go to a single sex school.

Using the same data page as for Age shows the ‘Gender of Entry’ of each school. Some schools have different genders at different age groups, so it’s advisable to validate what you’re about to exclude with the school’s own website.


Unless you have a strong preference regarding religion, then still include religious schools. A lot of them will take a quota of non-religious pupils from the area.

Using the same data page as for Age shows the ‘School denomination’ of each school. Checking the school’s own website will confirm their admissions criteria regarding religion.


Some schools have a selective admissions process, i.e. they expect pupils to be of a certain ability to gain a place at the school. This is usually defined as an entrance exam or test.

Using the same data page as for Age shows the ‘Current admission policy’ of each school.

You can also see the ‘School type’ on this data page, if you want to exclude Independent schools.


At this point you should have a shorter list of schools – for example, excluded Girls schools, schools which don’t offer GCSE’s (Age), some religious schools and Selective schools.

Next we will look at narrowing down the shortlist using Performance data as the measure.


Please see the Resources page for links to websites which should help the search.




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