Back to knowledge base

KNOWLEDGE BASE Articles

How to apply for state schools in London

We always get many questions from parents about the timing and formalities to enrol their children in the London public/state primary schools system.

How to apply for a state school in London

To help you organize your school registrations calendar, you will find below a reminder of the fundamentals of the state schools applications in London:

1. Get a UK Address

  • You will need to have an address in the Borough of the school(s) you are planning to apply for.

2. Apply with the Borough

  • Application is to be made with the Borough of your area of ​​residence and not directly with the school(s)(some exceptions can apply, such as for some religious schools).
  • You can apply for several schools at the same time.

3. In-Year applications

Apart from registrations for Reception (4-5 years) and Year 7, applications are not conditioned by any deadlines.

Any application made throughout the school year is called “in-year application”.

  • You must complete an “In-Year Application” form with the Borough.
  • For a September start, it is ideal to apply early July / end of June, except for the deadlines mentioned below.

4. Reception class deadline

For the Reception classes (children between 4 and 5 years old), the deadline is January 15th preceding the September school year you are applying for.

  • After this date, applications are still possible, but the borough will allocate places according to the remaining availabilities (generally in the less oversubscribed schools).
  • The applications will not be processed until after April 16th, when offers have been made to the families which have applied on time.

5. Year 7 class deadline

For the Year 7 classes (fist year of secondary education), the deadline is October preceding the September school year you are applying for.

  • After this date, applications are still possible, but the borough will allocate places according to the remaining availabilities (generally in the less oversubscribed schools).

If you are thinking of applying in advance, meaning before your move to London, check out this article on applying for state schools in advance.

If you want to know when you can expect a response once you have applied, check how quickly schools respond to applications.

Good luck!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated in 2021 for comprehensiveness.

Back to knowledge base

Download the free guide to State Schools in London!