What is Choice Advice?
Choice Advice is a free and impartial service for parents and carers who would like some help with making sense of the school admission process and with finding schools.
What help can Choice Advisers offer?
You can talk to Choice Advisers about:
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
Contacting the Choice Advice service
This service is provided to families who live in the City of London only, if you live outside of the City you should contact the local authority where you live for support and advice. If you live in the City of London, contact the Choice Advice Service at:
Choice Advice Service, Family and Young People's Information Service
Community and Children’s Services
Guildhall, PO Box 270
London EC2P 2EJ
T: 020 7332 1002
School Admissions - Gov UK
School Finder website - Gov UK
Family Information Service Directory
Children must enter primary school in the academic year they become five years old, so you will need to submit a completed application form a full academic year before they turn five to make sure your child can get a school place.
How and when to apply
If you live in the City of London and your child was born between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009, they will move on to primary school in September 2013. You will need to submit a completed common application form to us by 15 January 2013.
The process for applying for a primary school place is joined up across all 33 London local authorities. This means that you only use one application form to apply for up to six schools regardless of where the schools are located.
You can apply online by using the eAdmissions website, which opens for applications in September and is accessible right up until midnight on 15 January. You can also apply in writing by requesting a paper copy of the common application form from the School Admissions Team.
Your address details will be checked with the City of London’s council tax records. You will be contacted by the School Admissions Service if your address details cannot be matched. You must explain your current residential status either by telephone or in writing. You will need to provide additional documentation to verify your address. Your application will not be processed unless your details are verified.
You are also required to provide proof of child residence. This can be in the form of your latest child benefit letter or other official Government documentation such as your latest Tax Credits notification.
We prefer that you make your application online as this is the safest, quickest and easiest way to make an application. If you would like to apply online but don't have access to a computer either at home or at your local library, please contact the Choice Advice Service.
To request a paper copy contact the School Admissions Service on 020 7332 1750
To find out more about the primary school admissions process, including tips on how to select schools and make your preferences, please read our 'Starting Primary School in 2013' Brochure (3.71 MB)
Finding the right school for your child takes time and will require lots of research. Starting early will give you enough time to make informed and realistic choices about the school that will be right for your child.
Take time to visit as many of the schools you're interested in.
Parents looking for a primary school place can also apply for schools in other local authorities. To find schools near your home visit the Schools Finder website which lets you look at school information including Ofsted reports, performance data and a profile of the school.
Children start secondary schooling in year 7; therefore you must begin the process of applying for a secondary school place when they are in year 6.
If your child was born between 1 September 2001 and 31 August 2002, your child will move on to Secondary school in September 2013.
The deadline for online applications was 31 October 2012. If you missed the deadline you will need to complete a paper application, which can be obtained by contacting the School Admissions Service on 020 7332 1750.
All details about how to apply, the admissions process and lots more can be found in the brochure
Moving on to Secondary School in September 2013 (2.4MB)
For advice and support on how to choose a school or make your application, please contact the Choice Adviser on 020 7332 1002.
Secondary schools and City of London academies
There are no maintained Secondary schools in the City of London. However the City of London Corporation sponsors three academies in neighbouring boroughs, for which City children have priority admission places.
For more information see the 'City of London Schools' page
Schools in other areas
Pupils transferring to Secondary school can also apply for schools in neighbouring boroughs. Go to the Schools Finder website to look at school information including performance data.
Go to our City of London schools page to view a full list.
School admissions normally take place when children start reception class or when they transfer from primary to secondary school at the age of 11. In-year admission is the process that allows families to make applications outside the normal admissions round.
Please download the List of in-year admissions FAQs (123KB) for further information on the application process.
For further information call 020 7332 1002 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This process is supported for transition from an early years setting (nursery) into a reception class in primary school. This should apply for children who are assessed at early years action or early years action plus or have a statement of special educational needs.
The transition process should begin with a Transition Meeting at your child's "nursery" in the term before they transfer to school. It will help with the meeting if you and the staff from the school where you are transferring are involved. Sometimes an Educational Psychologist and other staff may also attend.
Choosing a secondary school can be a daunting and difficult decision for any parent or carer, for those who have children with special education needs it can be even more stressful.
If your child has special educational needs, the move from primary to secondary school should always be supported by the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child’s junior or primary school and the SENCO at the secondary school working together to make sure the move goes as smoothly as possible. The City of London provides families who live in the City a dedicated transition support service for children with statements, this is provided through our Educational Psychologist who will support you throughout the process to make sure you understand the process which can be complicated and challenging at times.
Most families with children with SEN or a statement will already be in contact with the City's Educational Psychologist and will have a relationship with the SENCO within your child's school. They will work with you to identify the schools that are most likely to meet the needs of your child,
In addition Tower Hamlets Parents Advice Centre supports parents and carers of children with SEN living in the City who are currently on School Action or School Action Plus. They offer impartial advice and support can discuss options for children moving on to secondary education. Their contact details are:
Tower Hamlets Parents Advice Centre
30 Greatorex Street
T: 020 7364 6489
School Admissions Service
Community and Children's Services
City of London
North Wing, Guildhall
PO Box 270
London EC2P 2EJ
T: 020 7332 1002 /1750