12 Frequently Asked Questions About Senior High School Selection & Placement

November 21, 2021 |



shs school selection

Video for 2021 Senior High School Selection 

Before you dive into the FAQs you may want to watch this helpful explanatory video.

These twelve (12) frequently asked questions and answers are provided here to help teachers, parents/guardians, and BECE candidates to appreciate the senior high school placement system.

At the end of these 12 FAQs, you will find some DOs and DONTs of the school selection as highlighted by the GES.

  1. I missed out on all my five choices. What do I do?

Candidates who miss out on all their choices after the automatic placement system is done still can select a senior high school with vacancies available through the Self-placement process described earlier.

  1. Can a candidate with good grades miss out on their first, second or all their choices?

YES. All spaces in the schools are competitively filled taking into consideration the available spaces in the school (i.e., Preferred residential status and programme of choice). Hence, qualified candidates are ranked from the highest score to the lowest and it will cut off when the spaces are exhausted.

Those who did not get placements are then moved to their next school of choice to compete for space there, and the process continues further down the chain.

  1. Is it possible for someone with aggregate 7 not to get access into a particular school but someone with aggregate 10 can get into that same school?

YES. Programmes selected and residential status may differ from one candidate to the other. Therefore, the competition for slots may differ.

For instance, in most cases, the Science programme of study is highly competitive over other programmes, and so is a Boarding accommodation status over a Day Status.

  1. A candidate with Aggregate 10 got placed on a particular Programme and residential status and yet another with Aggregate 8 did not, even though they chose the same programme and residential statuses. How is this possible?

There is a protocol system of placement that allocates 5% of a school’s declared vacancies for allocation to its stakeholders. It is, therefore, possible for the ward of alumni or a staff member of the school to get admission ahead of another child seeking admission to the same school.

Other stakeholders include the Missions and the Traditional Seats of the relevant senior high school. Talented candidates such as those good in Sports may also be considered by a school for some of its protocol slots.

Similarly, 30% of spaces in the country’s top 55 senior high schools have been reserved for candidates from public Junior High Schools. As such, candidates from Public Basic Schools across the country compete for 30% of the space.

Hence, the competition for the 60% is different from the competition for the 30%.

  1. Is it possible for someone who did not choose a particular senior high school to be placed into that school?

NO. It is not possible during the automatic placement process. However, a candidate can get placed into a school through ‘protocol’ placement procedures.

  1. Can a person change school after enrolment?

No. The Placement process ends once a candidate begins the admission process by going to the school to complete the relevant form(s).

Any movement from one SHS to another after enrolment is considered a transfer. A student can only transfer after one academic year.

  1. Can a student change their residential status or programme of study after placement?

NO. A candidate usually gets placed into a particular school based on their preferred programme and the residential status they chose.

A candidate competes for a slot in a particular school based on the preferences provided. Therefore, neither the residential status nor the programme of study can be changed.

  1. Can I change the school I selected through self-placement?

YES. A candidate who got placed in a school through self-placement can change the school on the portal so long as that candidate has not enrolled in a school.

  1. I was selected and was placed in a school that was on my list of school choices. Can I change to another school?

NO. You cannot change to another school if the school was one of the five schools you chose.

  1. Can I be enrolled into a school when I or a representative of mine is not present?

NO. For enrolment to be successful, the school will need the student’s unique ID, address and details of their parents or guardians, and phone number.

Once a candidate or parent/guardian submits their forms to the school placed, the school uses the information provided on the forms to enrol the candidate. Therefore, it is not possible for a school to get all such personal information of a candidate without the candidate or a representative being present in the school.

  1. I was enrolled in a school, but my name can no longer be found on their system. What can be done?

If indeed a candidate was enrolled in a particular SHS, but the details can no longer be found on the school’s system, the Head of the school will formally report to the appropriate office for redress.

The candidate should not be sent away from the school.

  1. The head of the school I want my child to go to says there is space in the school. Can the child be placed there on this basis?

NO. Schools have established ways of communicating with GES and placement authorities. Placement is done based on the vacancies declared by the schools.

Once those vacancies have been filled by the CSSPS in that school, we are unable to do any further placements in the school.

Was this information useful? If so please share these vital questions and answers with others to help them understand the selection and placement system.


The DOs and DON’Ts of Senior High School Placement – Ghana

The DOs

  1. Ensure you pay close attention to ALL your school choices
  2. Ensure that the schools are in order of preference from your priority to the least priority
  3. Ensure that your compulsory Day option is within your catchment area where you can conveniently commute.
  4. Ensure that as a parent/guardian you take an active interest in your child/ward’s school choices.
  5. Ensure that you consult your child/ward’s teacher to obtain a realistic prospect of the child’s chances of gaining admission to a particular school.
  6. In the case of Technical Programmes, ensure that you consult the school register to verify that the schools you select offer your desired programmes.


  1. Do not outsource school choices to someone without your express involvement.
  2. Do not leave school choices to an internet cafe attendant in the case of self-placement.
  3. Do not assume that you can choose a senior high school as a Day Student and switch to Boarding SHS upon admission.
  4. Do not assume that you can choose a ‘less competitive’ Programme at a school and switch to a ‘more competitive’ one upon admission.
  5. Do not choose schools based on where your friends are going or what programmes they want to read.




Contributor: Admin


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