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Starting school

Date updated: 9/13/2021
Contact the Family Information Service

2022/2023 Application deadlines

Primary School/Reception (age four)

Applications for primary school should have been made before 15 January 2022. Watch how to apply for primary school video.

Secondary School/Year seven (age 11)

Applications for secondary school should have been made before 31 October 2021. Watch how to apply for secondary school application video.

In-year admissions 

If you have moved into the City, or simply want to move your child to another school, you will need to complete an in year admission application. Read Changing schools during the academic year page for more details. Watch how to make an in-year application video.

If you need further information about how to apply for schools, please contact the School Admissions Team who can provide help and advice.

If you would like general information about specific schools, you should contact the schools directly or look at their websites.

Contact the School Admissions Service

Based in the Education and Early Years Service, we offer free advice about the school admission process and can help you choose the right school for your child.

For information about school admissions, see the starting school guides below, call 020 7332 1002 or write to:

Education and Early Years Service
Community and Children's Services
Guildhall
PO Box 270
London EC2P 2EJ
Email the Education and Early Years Service

Get in touch to talk 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
  • How to complete the application form
  • How to make an appeal if your child is not offered a place at your preferred school
2022 Secondary School Admissions Booklet PDF (1.5MB)
Date submitted: 9/03/20
2022 Primary School Admissions Booklet PDF (2MB)
Date submitted: 9/04/20
If you live outside of the City of London you should contact the local authority where you live.

Before applying

Before applying, read the School Admissions and School Finder pages from the Government for more information.

How to apply

To apply, you need to submit a completed common application.

If your child was born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018 you need to apply before 15 January 2022.

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 form from the City of London Schools Admissions Service on 020 7332 1002.

The address details you provide on your application form will be checked with the City of London Corporation’s council tax records so that we can be sure you live in the City of London. If we can't match your address we will contact you and ask you for evidence of where you are living. Your application will not be processed until your address has been 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 us.

Further information

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 Guide (above).

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 School Finder website which lets you look at school information including Ofsted reports, performance data and a profile of the school.

Children start secondary school in year seven. You must begin the process of applying for a secondary school place when your child is in year six.

How to apply

To apply, you need to submit a completed common application form.

your child was born between 1 September 2010 and 31 August 2011 you need to apply before 31 October 2021.

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 1002.

You can apply online by using the eAdmissions website, which opens for applications in September and is accessible right up until midnight on 31 October. You can also apply in writing by requesting a paper form from the City of London Schools Admissions Service by calling 020 7332 1002.

Further information

To find out more about the secondary school admissions process, including tips on how to select schools and make your preferences, please read our Starting Secondary School Guide (above).

Secondary schools and City of London academies

Children living in the City of London have priority admission places for three academies in neighbouring boroughs. There are no maintained secondary schools in the City of London.

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 School Finder website to look at school information.

Independent schools

Go to our City of London schools page to view a full list.

Moving from nursery to primary school

If your child has been assessed as having SEND or has an Education, Health and Care Plan the transition process should begin with a Transition Meeting at your child's nursery in the term before they transfer to school. Ideally this meeting should be attended by staff from your new school. Sometimes an Educational Psychologist and other staff may also attend.

Moving from primary to secondary school

If your child has SEND, the move from primary to secondary school should always be supported by the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child’s 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 a dedicated transition support service for children living in the City who have education, health and care plans. This is provided by members of our SEND team who will support you through the transition process.

In addition, you can access support from a dedicated Family Partnership Officer within the Tower Hamlets SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS).

They offer impartial advice and support and can discuss options for children moving on to secondary education. Their contact details are:

Tower Hamlets & City of London
Family Information, Advice and Support Service
30 Greatorex St
Whitechapel
London E1 5NPT
Telephone: 020 7364 6489 (Monday to Friday, 9am- 5pm)
Email: Family Information, Advice and Support Service

​With the new Education Inspection Framework coming into force in September 2019. Ofsted have written a short 'explainer text' for parents on how these changes will affect you.

Please read more information from Ofsted.