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When to apply for a school in London for September 2023

If you are looking to relocate to London for the September 2023 school start, 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 2023: 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:

Schools for blog 5

  • 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 (unless you apply for reception or for Year 7, in which case you can apply in advance within a specific deadline)
  • 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, unless you apply for Reception or Year 7).

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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Guide to State and Private Schools in London

A practical guide to state and private schools in London: where the best schools are in London; school years and curriculum; applications process and timelines; application requirements; Special Education Needs, glossary of school terms.

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Guide to Private Schools in London

All the information you need to find the right London Private school for your child, and apply successfully: top private schools, cheapest private schools, boarding schools, international schools, British schools, school fees, bursaries, how and when to apply.

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Guide to State Schools in London

All the information you need to find the right London State School for your child, and apply successfully: top state schools; when and how to apply; catchment areas; admission criteria; waiting lists; appeals; application websites for all London Boroughs.

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