Admissions to primary and secondary schools

The School Admissions Service offers free advice to families living in the City of London about the school admission process and how to choose the right school for your child.

You can contact us about anything to do with education and school, for example:

  • how the school system works in the UK
  • how to find your local schools
  • what to look for in a school
  • how and when to apply
  • what to do if you don’t get a place
  • Help with completing the common application form
  • Help and support with making an appeal if your child is not offered a place at your preferred school
  • Eligibility for free school meals, clothing grants and travel allowances

Primary school admissions

City of London children may be admitted to primary schools at the beginning of the school year after their fourth birthday provided they have reached the age of four by the 31 August. However, children must start school at the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday.

Deciding which school you would prefer is one of the most important decisions parents and children have to make. We want to make sure that the first step is as smooth as possible for your family. It is important to have all of the information available to enable you, with your child, to take a considered view of the school you would prefer them to attend.

We can help you with the what to look for in a school, the common application process, completing the common application form and the appeals process if you do not accept the school you've been offered.

Our admissions policy

We aim to make sure that you have the best chance of securing a place at the school you want. Many schools, however, receive more applications than there are places available.

We have created a short video that explains the process for applying for primary schools. As a parent or guardian, you want your child to get the best education. That means securing the right primary school place a priority.

Secondary school admissions

Deciding which secondary school to choose is one of the most important decisions carers/parents and young people have to make. We want to make sure that the move from primary to secondary is as smooth as possible.

We aim to make sure that you have the best chance of securing a place at the school you want. Many schools, however, receive more applications than there are places available. All schools must have admissions criteria set out within their admissions policies to help determine how the available places are allocated. These arrangements must be fair and unbiased and follow the requirements of the Government's School Admissions Code.

We have created a short video that explains the process for applying for secondary schools. As a parent or guardian, you want your child to get the best education. That means securing the right primary school place a priority.

In-Year school admissions

In-year admissions is the process of applying to a school at any time outside the normal admissions rounds. Normal admissions rounds are those that take place during September of the year a child starts either Reception or secondary school. You must complete an in-year application if:

  • you have moved home or newly arrived to the UK and are looking for a school place
  • your child has been educated at home and now you wish to apply for a school place, or
  • you simply want your child to move your child from one school to another, please speak to your child’s Headteacher prior to making this decision

We have produced a video to help explain the process.

A guide to changing schools during the academic year