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When to apply for state schools in London

In a parent’s life, at least two milestones are unavoidable:

  • the first one is the entry into Reception class, which is the first school year at the Primary stage
  • the second one, at the end of Year 6, is called Secondary Transfer into Year 7.

Both of these admissions processes for state schools are subject to paperwork and a precise calendar, which is common at the national scale.

When to apply for state schools in London

Deadlines for Reception and Year 7

The normal process will start during the year ahead of the start of the level, either in Primary or Secondary.

This means that:

  • for a Reception Entry, you will need to start your application at nursery level. Most children start Reception in the September after their fourth birthday. This means they’ll turn 5 during their first school year.
  • for Year 7 Entry, you will have to start the process in Year 6.

Applying online

Each September, and according to your child’s date of birth, an E-admission portal is open for the parents to register. This registration starts in September before your child goes back to school in one of these two classes.

Beware, the deadline to validate this registration differs between Primary and Secondary levels:

  • For Reception, you will have until 15th January to submit your form.
  • For Year 7, the deadline for submission is much shorter, since it closes on 31st October.

When are results announced for Reception and year 7?

  • For Reception, results are communicated by email on 16th April.
  • For Year 7, results are communicated on 1st March.

The announcement of the results is called “National Offer Day“.

What if you miss the reception and year 7 deadline?

Don’t panic if you move to the UK after the closing dates of Admissions, it will always be possible to make what is called a “late application” after these dates.

For the secondary level, we would strongly advise to start your research at least one year before the E-Admissions procedure (that is 2 years before the proper Entry date!).

This way you will have time to familiarize yourself with the admission criteria of each school, and register for their open days if you wish.

How about other school years than reception and Year 7?

Other school years, from primary to secondary, do not follow any particular deadlines.

Applications made throughout the year are called “In-year applications”.

If you want to learn more about school waiting lists, check our school waiting list article.

Need extra help?

If you have any difficulties with applying for schools, our team of London education specialists can help you to manage this stressful process!

Want to be fully prepared to find your next home in London? Buy and download our self-help guides!

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