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When to start applying for a school place in September 2024?

When to start applying for a school place in September?

Private schools have more autonomy in setting their term times and holiday lengths than their state contemporaries, but both have something in common: they begin the academic year in September. Where they differ in this respect is their application deadlines for admissions at the start of this autumn term. Let us guide you through both systems and their timelines.

Private schools

Private school admissions can be highly competitive for a limited number of spaces due to factors like their prestigious reputation, excellent exam results, small class sizes, and first-class facilities. By applying a few months prior to the September start, or even more than a year before, you can increase your chances by demonstrating your interest and commitment to the school – a proactive approach may be viewed favourably by the admissions committee. Moreover, applying early allows your child more time to prepare for any entrance exams or interviews that may be required as part of the admissions process.

Private schools create their own admissions criteria, meaning they will typically accept an application before you secure a permanent UK address. This flexibility allows you to apply early and increase your chances of being successful.

State schools

State schools must comply with a more rigid admissions process that’s overseen by the Department for Education (DfE). However, local authorities are responsible for coordinating admissions for community and voluntary-controlled schools. Academies, free schools, and voluntary-aided schools manage their own admissions.

To apply for a state-funded school place for your child, you must provide proof of your permanent UK address. This helps ensure that your child meets the residency criteria for attending a state school in the UK. It is a criminal offence to use a false address in your application. This information might also be required to establish that you reside within the catchment area of the school you are applying for.

To ensure your child is considered for the September intake, we recommend applying by the end of June/early July, unless applying for reception (the first year of school in the UK). You can apply throughout the summer, but processing might be delayed until admissions teams return from school holidays (late August/early September).

Consult with Simply London

Consulting with Simply London empowers you with personalised guidance on school admissions and deadlines based on individual circumstances – so you can make your application at the right time and provide the correct supporting documents.  Contact us today to ensure you make informed decisions for your child’s education journey.

At Simply London our fantastic team of School Experts are on hand to assist you you throughout the entire school finding process, find out why our school search service is the best choice for finding and applying to the best schools in London!

Want to learn about the school options in London? Buy and download our Guide to state and private schools in London!

This guide gives you all the detailed information to help you understand schooling in London, including:

  • Overview of the British education system
  • Where are the best schools in London?
  • Which school grade for which age?
  • The school day and the academic year
  • State schools
  • Private schools
  • International schools
  • Boarding schools
  • The applications process for state and private schools
  • GCSEs, A levels and the International Baccalaureaute
  • How to select a school for children with Special Education Needs
  • Glossary of school terms used in the UK
  • Links to essential websites and resources
  • Note: This guide covers primary and secondary schools, for children between 4 and 16 years old.

Click below for a preview of this fantastic guide:

Guide to Schools in London
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