Moving to secondary school

Starting in Year 7 - September 2024

For children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013, their parents or carers must apply for them to start a secondary-phase school in September 2024. The closing date is 31 October 2023.

For information about applying for any other year groups in secondary school, go to our In year admissions page.

Starting year 7 in a secondary school

Every family must apply to their home borough.  This means if a family live in Newham they must apply through Newham Council even if their child attends a junior or primary school outside of Newham or they only want to apply for secondary school in another borough. Since 2004, the 33 London boroughs and some of the Home Counties work together to make the application process easier for parents. The Pan London coordinated scheme 2024/25 scheme will be available soon.

Remember, parents/carers must apply for a place, even if:

  • They want their child to go to the local school.


  • Their child has an older brother or sister at the school.

The law does not allow us to reserve secondary school places.

What you need to do

  • Read and make sure you understand the admissions process. This information is available in our e-booklet 'We are going to secondary school 2024'.
  • Go to open evenings and open days for as many schools as possible, not just the schools you are thinking about.
  • Read all the information about all the schools you are thinking about as well as your local schools. Don’t focus on Ofsted reports and league tables as these can be out of date.
  • Make sure you read each schools admission criteria.  The admission criteria are the rules that schools use to decide which applications to accept and which to turn down if they are over-subscribed (that is, when they receive more applications than there are spaces at the school).
  • Practice the journey to each of the schools you  are considering and think about what it will be like in the winter when it gets dark early.
  • Find out about the cost of travel, remembering ZIP Oyster cards only provide free travel on buses and trams.
  • Find out if there are any extra forms called supplementary information forms (SIF) that your preferred schools need.  If so, send these forms and documents they ask for direct to the schools or local authorities before the closing date.
  • Use all your 6 preferences and list (rank) the schools in the order you prefer.  School number 1 is the one you want the most, then school 2, then school 3 and so on.
  • Fill in and submit the online common application form by the closing date. Do not leave it until the last day to apply.
  • If your application is late, you are less likely to get a place at the school you prefer.