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The 5 steps to finding a (good) state school in London

This is probably the most frequent question from expatriate families, before coming to London: how do I find a good state school in London for my children?

The 5 steps to finding a (good) state school in London

The answer we always give is to first ask the family what they define as a good school. Some families will favour the academic results, other families the environment provided to the children, as an example.
Whatever the answer is though, there is a method to assessing and selecting schools, ahead of the applications:

  1. Contact your local Borough to find out what schools are in your area and the admissions criteria
  2. Find out more about a school by visiting if you can (most have Open Days, Summer Fairs and Christmas Fairs)
  3. Check the school league tables
  4. Read the school’s Ofsted report– you are looking for Ofsted ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’
  5. Meet the School Head if you can, and talk to parents, if you can too!

Steps 2 and 5 are great if you already live in London.
But if you don’t, then you will have to rely on reports and league tables (steps 3 and 4), as well as the knowledge and advice of a Schools Expert, which we can provide.

Schools for blog 10

Remember that families cannot apply for a state school without a permanent residence address in the Borough (London area) where the children want to enter school.

Also remember that the academic level is not everything: there is a mine of information about other aspects of a school, which can be just as important, in the Ofsted reports.

Lastly, flexibility is usually best for state schools: if you can have several acceptable school options in mind, you will avoid disappointment, as many very good schools are simply oversubscribed.

Use the Simply London School Finder Tool

Simply London have developed a unique school finder tool to help you select the right state school for you.

Use the map to filter London state schools by:

  • Nearby rental prices
  • Ofsted rating
  • Primary / secondary / all-through
  • Mixed gender / boys / girls
  • Religious character
  • and more!

Try it now!

If the state school selection and application process sounds daunting to you, feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help.

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

Browse all the Guides

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.

Only £ 14.99

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.

Only £ 14.99

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.

Only £ 14.99
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