There are 50 places at The Oaks, the best grammar school in Letchbury, and 1,000 children applying. Competition is fierce and parents are prepared to do everything and anything to get their child one of the coveted spaces.
Close friends Lily, Julie, Karen and househusband Paul aren't overly concerned. After all, aren't their children are bright and sociable enough? But they're quickly shaken out of their complacency when enrolment time approaches and turns out to be little more than a rigged lottery, where only the most ruthless hold the cards. Marriages and friendships crumble under the pressure, fake addresses abound and tutors rates soar.
As measures get more and more extreme, the four quickly rally their troops and throw themselves into the battle for big school. Initially wary to be in competition with each other, they realise that the only way of out-smarting the rest of the pack is by coming up with a plan. Because getting their kids into The Oaks will demand determination and strategy akin to Mission Impossible ...