How we offer places

School waiting lists

All schools in Newham hold waiting lists if they have more applications than places available.

Children are automatically added to the waiting list when their parents/carers have a current live school application for the school and that school is listed as a higher preference than a school they have been offered.

For schools that are a lower preference on a live application, than the school offered, children can still be added to the waiting list but their parents/carers must email to request this.

Waiting lists do not apply to special educational needs resource provisions, these places are offered by the 0-25 SEND Services.

How waiting lists work

Waiting lists do not work on a first come, first served basis. By law they are organised and maintained according to the school's admissions arrangements which includes their oversubscription criteria.

This means a child will not automatically be added to the bottom of the waiting list and they can move up and down the list on a daily basis as other children join and leave the list. 

When a school has an available place, it will be automatically offered to the child who is at the number one position on the day it becomes available.

If a child is happy at their current school and a place is offered at another school where they are number one on the waiting list they do not have to take up the place, they can just advise to withdraw the offer.

A child will stay on a school waiting list until:

  • They are offered a place at a school ranked higher;  


  • They are offered a place at a school and their parents/carers refuse it


  • Their parents/carers request in writing that they are removed from the list,


  • Their parents/carers submit a fresh application and do not name the school as a preference on the new form;


  • The application is found to be fraudulent or completed to deliberately mislead.

In-year applications

School waiting lists open on the first day of term and are closed and cleared on the last day of each term unless a school in Newham has published a different process on their website. Where an application is received from the first day of the month in which the term ends and the child cannot be offered their 1st preference, they are automatically added to the waiting list(s) for the higher preference schools then the school offered for the current and new term.

Reception and Year 7 applications

Waiting lists for the new academic year open after national offer day – this is normally 2 March for year 7 and 17 April for reception and junior.  These are closed and cleared on the last day of school in December following offer day.

A child will stay on a school waiting list until:

  • They are offered a place at a school ranked higher; or
  • They are offered a place at a school and you turn it down

Find out your child’s waiting list position

If parents/carers provided us with their current email address when they submitted their school application we use this to keep the family updated with their application

For the majority of schools including academies and free schools, Pupil Services organise and manage the waiting lists.  On a weekly basis we provide an email that provide the current waiting list position and legal information about waiting lists. 

Where Pupil Services does not manage waiting lists, the email advises the parents/carers to contact the school for their current position.

It is the parents/carers responsibility to tell Pupil Services or the school if they hold their own waiting lists of any circumstances that may change their child’s priority for example if another of their children starts at the school.

If you have not supplied us with your email address or your email address has changed please tell us by completing the information in the link below.

Sign up to receive weekly waiting list updates or update your email address