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 in line with 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 email us to withdraw the offer 

A child will stay on a school waiting list for one term at a time 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 first preference, they are automatically added to the waiting lists for the higher preference schools than the school offered for the current and new term.

Reception and Year-7 applications

Waiting lists for the new school year open after national offer day – this is normally 1 March for Year-7 places and 16 April for reception and junior places. 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 give us their current email address on their school application form, we will email you your child’s current waiting list position every Tuesday for the schools we manage.

For the majority of schools including academies and free schools, the School Admissions and Appeals Team organise and manage the waiting lists.

If we do not manage a school’s waiting lists, parents/carers must contact the relevant school directly to find out their child’s waiting list position number.

It is the parents/carers responsibility to tell the School Admissions and Appeals Team or the school if they hold their own waiting lists of any circumstances that may change their child’s priority. For example if a brother or sister starts at the school.

If you did not give us your email address or if you have changed your email address, please use the link below to tell us.

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