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  • Starting school

Application deadlines

Year seven, age 11

Applications for secondary school must be made before 31 October 2019 for children starting the following year.

Reception, age four

Applications for primary school must be made before 15 January 2020 for children starting later that year.

Contact the School Admissions Service

We offer free advice about the school admission process and can help you choose the right school for your child.

020 7332 1002
Email Fyi Team.

Or write to:
Education and Early Years Service
Community and Children's Services
PO Box 270

London, EC2P 2EJ

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

If you live outside of the City of London you should contact the local authority where you live.

Before applying

Before applying view the links below for more information.

School Admissions

Schools Finder

Starting primary school

Children are encouraged to start school in September following their fourth birthday, although they are not legally required to be in education until the child has turned five.

How to apply

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

If your child was born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 you need to apply before 15 January 2020.

Parents not wanting their children to start school at four may wait until their child turns five before attending school, but they must still apply for a place in the September intake and discuss this with the school’s headteacher.

The same conditions apply to parents wanting their children to attend school part time before turning five.

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’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 2020 (1.1 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.

Starting secondary 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 enrol, you need to submit a completed common application form.

If your child was born between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009 you need to apply before 31 October 2019.

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.

All details about how to apply, the admissions process and lots more can be found in our brochure Starting Secondary School Guide 2020 (1.1 MB)

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 Schools Finder website to look at school information.

Independent schools

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

Starting a new school during the school year

What is an in-year application?

In-year admission is the process that allows a child to apply for a school outside the normal admissions deadlines. Normal admissions happen when a child starts reception class or secondary year seven from September. An in-year application will need to be completed if a child is transferring into a new school at any other time.

How do I make an in-year application for my child?

The in-year application process varies as you can apply to some schools directly, while with others you'll need to complete the Local Authority's in-year application form. Please contact the Local Authority where the school situated within to find out the application process.

Is there a closing date for in-year admissions?

There is no closing date for in-year applications. However you are advised to make your application as soon as possible.

In-year application to Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School

You can make an in-year application to Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School by visiting the Sir John Cass's Foundation Primary School website.

Children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND)

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:

Denise Galea
Family Partnership and Development Officer (Tower Hamlets & City of London)
Family Information, Advice and Support Service
30 Greatorex St
London E1 5NP
Office 020 7364 7012
Email: Denise Galea

School admission terms and conditions

​Before making an application for a school place, please make sure you have read all the information available on the starting a new school especially the latest primary or secondary school admissions booklet.

You must have parental responsibility for the child whose place you are applying for, and both you and your child must be resident in the City of London.

Proof of child's residence in the City of London

In order to verify your child's address you will be required to provide an official letter dated from no more than one year before the date of your application. Ideally, this should include the child's date of birth. If the child's date of birth is not on the letter you will also need to provide his or her birth certificate or medical card. Documents can be scanned and uploaded online or provided in hard copy.

Documents you could use as proof of your child's address include:

  • Child benefit letter
  • Letter from a GP or other NHS provider
    Letter from a current childcare provider
  • Bank or building society letter or statement

Where parents live apart and share responsibility for a child, we will require a joint declaration from both parents confirming how the child divides their time between the two addresses. This should also state which of the two addresses is to be used for the application. If the child's residence is not split equally between the two addresses we will use the address where the child spends most time during the school week.

Proof of parent's residence in the City of London

The address you provide for yourself on your application will be checked against the City of London's Council Tax Department’s records. If your details are not found, we will investigate further to determine your address, and we will ask you to provide three documents from the following:

  • Mortgage statement issued in the last 12 months
  • Financial statement, eg pension or endowment issued in last 12 months
  • P45 or P60 statement issued in last 12 months
  • Central or local government document issued in last 12 months
  • Bank or building society statement issued in last three months
  • Bank or building society account opening confirmation letter issued in the last three months
  • Credit card statement issued in last three months
  • Utility bill, such as gas or electricity issued in last three months (mobile telephone bills are not acceptable)
  • Benefit statement, eg Child Benefit, Pension issued in last three months
  • Letter from the GP issued in last three months

Your application may not be processed until we verify your details.

Unverified applications

If an investigation into your application is still ongoing when school places are being offered you will be offered a place on a conditional basis.

Once all the information has been gathered, the City of London will write to you about what we have found. You will then have the opportunity to respond, and if necessary submit further information. The City of London will then make a decision as to whether or not your application is genuine. If we decide your application is fraudulent you will be given a period of notice during which you will have a final opportunity to provide evidence.

If we find that your true address is in another local authority, your application will be forwarded to that local authority's school admission service.

If your child has already started school by the time we identify a fraudulent application, we may consider alternatives to withdrawing the place.

Late applications

The City of London will only accept late applications with very good reason. For example when a single parent has been ill for some time, or has been dealing with the death of a close relative; a family has just moved into the City of London area or is returning from abroad. Other circumstances will be considered and each case will be decided on its own merits.

Data Protection

The City of London Corporation is a data controller, and processes personal data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. For full details of how and why the City of London Corporation processes personal data, please refer to the full privacy notice. Alternatively, you can request a hard copy. Please direct all data protection queries to the information compliance team.

Ofsteds new Education Inspection Framework (EIF)

​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