Many schools use home to school distance as a tie-break if a school is oversubscribed within a certain criteria.

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Fox Primary School in Kensington and Chelsea is well known for consistently being one of the best, and toughest, schools in the whole UK to secure a place at.

In 20 you needed to live within just 100 metres of the school to get in (unless you already had a brother or sister attending).

If there are less applicants that places then all children would automatically be eligible for a place.

If applications exceed the PAN then each school has a predetermined set of criteria with a sequential priority order.

As with catchment areas, living inside this nearest school area does not guarantee you a place at the school.

Always look at the criteria of each school you wish to apply for and make sure you apply on time.

Children who live outside of a catchment area but have a brother or sister already at the school may get priority over children without a sibling at the school, even if they live in the catchment area.

Schools that use faith as part of their selection process can often give priority for practicing members of that faith – often requiring validation and a sign off by a relevant religious leader. Each year, schools must publish their admission number (PAN) stating how many places are available for entry for the following September.

A popular technique from ambitious parents is to rent a property close to their preferred school – a potentially expensive gamble when some school cut-offs have, In the past, been as low as 50 metres.