Can I apply to state schools outside my London borough?
A common question comes up when people enter the London rental market: can I apply for state schools outside the London borough I live in? The answer is simple: Yes – but the process may vary depending on the specific policies and procedures of the schools and the local education authority.
There are two options available when applying for a place at a state school outside your borough of residence:
Applying through your borough of residence
In England, local authorities – in this case, London boroughs – are responsible for coordinating the admissions process for state-funded schools in their area. When applying for a state school place, you typically apply through your local borough via an online application form, which will then consider your preferences and allocate places based on their admissions criteria and on the availability of places in each school that has been listed.
Some boroughs refuse to handle applications for schools outside their borders. Once you know which borough you will be living in, contact their school admissions team to ascertain if they handle applications for other local authorities. If they do, you can then indicate this preference on your application form.
You should also ask them for specific guidance on how to apply for state schools outside your borough and to understand the criteria that will be used to allocate places. Additionally, contact the schools you’re interested in to inquire about their admissions policies and whether there is a chance that an application from outside their local area can lead to a place being offered.
It’s important to note that there is no guarantee of being offered a place at a school outside your local authority. Priority for places is typically given to children who live within the school’s catchment area or have other specific criteria, such as siblings already attending the school.
Applying through another borough
Alternatively, you can apply directly with the other borough the school is located in. To give yourself the best chance of being successful, contact the borough for details of its admissions process and contact the school to understand its admissions criteria. This will prevent you from applying for a school your child has little or no chance of obtaining a place at.
Whether you choose to apply through your borough of residence or the borough the school’s located in, do your research first to give your child the best chance of being successful.