For purposes of selection, public secondary schools are classified as national, extra-county, county and sub-county.
National schools are centres of education excellence established for purposes of stimulating education standards and fostering national unity and social cohesion.
These are boarding schools whose catchment is 100 per cent national. Currently, there are 103 national schools grouped into four clusters.
Cluster one has 30 schools while cluster two has 25 national schools. Cluster three has 18 national schools while cluster four has 30.
Candidates are expected to chose at most one from each of the four clusters.
Extra-county schools are boarding schools that are the second-tier national centres of education excellence. Currently, there are 328 extra-county schools.
The schools complement national schools in promoting integration and benchmarking educational standards in their regions.
During selection, candidates choose three extra-county schools; one of the choices must be from outside the host county of their primary school in order to promote national cohesion and integration.
Candidates not placed in national schools will be considered for placement in extra-county schools by order of their choice.
County schools are boarding secondary schools in the county other than national and extra-county schools.
They include some day schools in cities and major urban centres. Their catchment is the host county. Currently, there are 993 county schools.
Candidates who may not have been selected into national or extra-county schools will be considered for placement in any of their three county school choices.
Sub-county schools are basically day schools, all new boarding schools and boarding schools with day wings.
They draw their students solely from the host sub-county.
Currently, there are 6,982 sub-county schools.
Special Needs Education (SNE) secondary schools are boarding schools that cater for students with special education needs. There are 25 SNE secondary schools. Their catchment is national and selection is done based on merit, candidate’s choice and type of impairment.
Integrated secondary schools are regular secondary schools that also admit students with special education needs. There are 70 integrated secondary schools that cater for specific impairments. Selection to these schools is based on merit, candidate’s choice and type of impairment.