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When to apply for a school in London for September 2021

If you are looking to relocate to London for the September school start this year, you might be wondering: is it too late to apply for a school place? is it too early? When shall I apply for my children?

Applying for Schools in London for September 2021: the deadlines

The answer depends on the type of school you are looking to apply for:

1. For private schools, also called independent schools in London:

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  • You can apply anytime, meaning from up to 2 years (or sometimes even more!) to a few days before the school start.
  • For oversubscribed schools, meaning schools that receive a lot more applications than they have places available, the earlier the better.
  • However we have also seen that, closer to the start date, some places become available, as families having multiple school choices will make their final decision, thereby freeing places that might have been “reserved” until the families have confirmed their choices.
  • The conclusion for private schools is that it makes sense to have several possible options in order to avoid disappointment.
  • Waiting lists are available in all schools, and admission teams are usually able to tell you where your child stands on that list, giving you a sense of your chances of being offered a place.

2. For state schools, called public schools in some other countries:

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  • Applications are not taken in advance.
  • You can only apply once you live in the UK, and you apply for a place immediately.
  • For a September school start, you can apply at the end of the previous school year, or during the summer.
  • Local authorities managing the state school admissions are usually reluctant or unable to provide information of waiting lists or number of applications. This means families are in the dark about their chances of obtaining places at their favourite schools.
  • Here again, it is good and safe to have several options in mind, in order to avoid disappointment.

3. To summarise:

  • For private schools: the earlier, the better.
  • For state schools, once you have secured a permanent home address in London, ideally during the summer for a September start (but not earlier).

We can help with all of the above, just drop us a message or give us a call! We look forward to discussing your schooling requirements.

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