St Bonaventure's School was founded by the Catholic Church to provide education for boys of Catholic families.  The school is conducted by its governing body as part of the Catholic Church in accordance with its trust deed and instrument of government, and seeks at all times to be a witness to Jesus Christ.

Whenever there are more applications than places available, priority will always be given to Catholic applicants in accordance with the over subscription criteria stated below.  All applicants are required to declare their positive support for the aims and ethos of the school.

The Governors of St Bonaventure’s School intend to admit 186 pupils into Year 7.  

Applications for places at St Bonaventure’s for Year 7 each year total around 600.

Over subscription Criteria

At any time where there are more applications for places than the number of places available, places will be offered according to the following order of priority:

  • ‘Looked after’ children from Catholic Families
  • Practising Catholic boys who are resident in the Deanery of Newham for whom St Bonaventure’s is the nearest Catholic School.
  • Other practising Catholic boys.
  • Other baptised Catholic boys
  • Catechumens: members of the catechumenate of the Catholic Church
  • Any other ‘Looked after’ Children who are not Catholic in Public Care.
  • Members of an Eastern Christian Church whose application is supported by a minister of religion.
  • Christians of other denominations whose parents are in sympathy with the aims and ethos of the school and whose application is supported by a minister of religion. 
  • Children of parents of other faiths whose parents are in sympathy with the aims and ethos of the school and whose application is supported by a religious leader. 
  • Other applicants.

Where the offer of places to all applicants in any of the categories listed above would lead to oversubscription the following provisions will be applied

  • The attendance of a brother at the school who will be on the school roll at St Bonaventure’s in September in Years 8-12 will increase the priority of an application within each category. 
  • Distance from home to the nominated central point of Newham, which has been agreed as the Front Entrance of Our Lady of Compassion Catholic Church, Green Street, London E13 9AX.

The Sixth Form is available for all existing pupils at St Bonaventure's School if pupils fulfil the individual requirements of suitable courses details of which can be found in the Sixth Form Prospectus. Remaining places in the Sixth Form of the school will be distributed in accordance with the school’s oversubscription criteria, subject to applicants fulfilling the individual requirements of suitable courses. The published minimum admission number for external candidates will be 50. 

Application Procedures and Timetable

What you have to do:

  • The Common Application Form (CAF) must be returned to Pupil Services Section.   
  • The St Bonaventure’s School supplementary information form (SIF) (obtained from Newham on completion of the CAF; downloaded from the school’s website:; or collected from the school’s reception) together with a photocopy of the Baptismal Certificate only should be returned to St Bonaventure’s school.
  • A copy of Baptism Certificate must be attached to this supplementary information form..
  • Non-Newham residents must apply through their own Local Authority. They can either obtain the St Bonaventure’s School supplementary information form (SIF) from the school’s reception; downloaded from the school’s website, or contact Newham’s Pupil Service Section to be sent one. Non-Newham residents should return their own borough’s CAF to their local authority and the Yellow St Bonaventure’s School supplementary information form (SIF) together with photocopies of the Baptismal Certificate to St. Bonaventure’s.
  • Catholic applicants will be required to support their application with a Parish Priest Reference Form, which will confirm practice. The Priests Reference Form is obtainable only from the Parish Church/Parish Priest.
  • Non-Catholic applicants must also arrange for their minister/faith leader to send a letter confirming their practice to the school.
  • The Governors require parents to submit proof of residence by attaching a photocopy of their most recent Council Tax Bill, Housing Benefit or Council
  • Tenancy Agreement with their application form together with a recent utility bill. NO OTHER FORMS ARE ACCEPTABLE.
  • Applicants should note that unless both the CAF and the SIF forms described above have been completed and returned on time to the correct addresses, the Governors will be unable to operate their criteria to decide whether a place can be offered at the school and will be placed under Criteria 10: “Other Applicants”. If the Newham Common Application form is not completed and returned as explained above the application will be invalid. 
  • Parents will be advised of the outcome of their application by Pupil Services Section on National Offer Day.  Unsuccessful applicants will be given reasons related to the over subscription criteria listed above and advised of their right of appeal to an independent appeal panel. 
  • Parents wishing to Appeal must do so in writing 14 days after the receipt of the Governors’ decisions.

Appeals Procedure

Parents may appeal against the decision of the Governors to offer their son a place, in the first instance by writing to the Chair of Governors (Admissions Appeals) c/o the school within 14 days, stating the grounds for the appeal.

  • The appeal will be heard by an independent appeal panel, which will be made up of three people, none of whom have any connection with the school and one of whom will be a lay person.  The lay person is someone who is aware of educational issues but is not directly involved with it.
  • The Appeals Panel will accept representation from any interested parties in writing or in person at the appeal hearing.
  • The names of unsuccessful candidates will be placed on a waiting list, which will be organised in accordance with St Bonaventure’s Admissions Criteria.

Waiting Lists

In addition to their right of appeal, unsuccessful candidates will be offered the opportunity to be placed on a waiting list.  The waiting list will be maintained in order of the oversubscription criteria set out above and not in the order in which applications are received or added to the list.  

Pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs

The admission of pupils with a statement of Special Educational Needs is dealt with by a completely separate procedure. This procedure is integral to the making and maintaining statements by the pupil’s home Local Education Authority.  Details of this separate procedure are set out in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice.

Notes (these notes form part of the oversubscription criteria)

  • ‘Looked after child’has the same meaning as in Section 22 of the Children Act 1989 and means any child in the care of a local authority or provided with accommodation by them (e.g. children with foster parents).
  • ‘Catholic’ means a member of the Church in communion with the See of Rome.   This includes the Eastern Catholic Churches.  This will normally be evidenced by a certificate of baptism in a Catholic Church or a certificate of reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
  • ‘Practicing Catholic’ – it is the role of a priest to determine whether applicants meet the criteria for qualification as practicing Catholic families.  The definition of a practicing Catholic is defined by ‘Canon Law’   which states that the faithful are obliged to participate in Sunday Mass and Holy Days. Ref:  It is up to the applicant to identify and approach a priest who will complete the standard diocesan reference which is obtained from your parish priest or your ethnic chaplain.  If you attend mass outside of the Newham Deanery please obtain the Priest reference from a Catholic Church in Newham.
  • “Brother”  - A brother includes a half-brother, or by adoption who is resident at the same address at the school as the child for whom a place is being sought.
  • ‘Catechumen’ means a member of the catechumenate of a Catholic Church preparing for Baptism.  This will normally be evidenced by a certificate of reception into the order of catechumens.
  • ‘Eastern Christian Church’ includes Orthodox Churches, and is normally evidenced by a certificate of baptism or reception from the authorities of that Christian Church.  
  • “Deanery Boundaries” - For the purposes of this policy, deanery boundaries as laid down by the Diocese of Brentwood) are as shown on the map in the school office.