Applying for a nursery school place

Schools, education and learning

In Waltham Forest there are forty nursery classes attached to infant or primary schools and three Nursery Schools.

Early years entitlement

For information about Free Early Education Entitlement (FEEE)

Please note that entry into a school’s nursery class does not guarantee your child a place at that school’s reception class. Under ‘open enrolment’ regulations you will have to apply at the same time as other parents/guardians for a place.

Visits and applications Click to get info

To apply for a place in a nursery, you need to contact the school directly and arrange a visit.

Nurseries welcome visits. They give parents or guardians a chance to find out about school policies and nursery education by talking to staff and reading policy statements and information booklets. The nursery will also be able to explain the application process to you.


Admission criteria Click to get info

Admission Criteria for nursery schools and nursery classes attached to community Voluntary Controlled infant and primary schools.

Waltham Forest has established a policy governing admission to Nursery Schools and Classes. The implementation of the policy has been delegated to the governors of the school.

The headteacher will consider the following admission criteria that have equal importance in the allocation of part-time places. If necessary decisions will take account of advice given from other professional sources. This also applies to requests for full-time placements.

A. Individual needs of children and their families:

This will cover special educational need, physical, medical, social and emotional concerns that affect the child’s progress. The needs of the parent may also be considered.

The following categories of child will receive higher priority for admission.

  • those children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs
  • children in public care
  • children, or the parent/carer, with a medical condition affecting mobility and this is the closest setting to the family home or place of long-term medical treatment.

For some children, there will be strong educational reasons why a full-time place may be offered, subject to approval by the LA.

B Children with a sibling attending the school, linked school or other local infant or primary school which does not have a nursery class attached to it:

The headteacher should consider the implications for both the family and for the school of sibling connections.

C. Nearness to the school:

The headteacher will consider the home address and may also take into account the childminding arrangements.

D. Continuity and progression:

nursery schools:

Consideration will be given to the importance of family links with the nursery school and other local infant and primary schools.

nursery classes:

Consideration will be given if a sister/brother is already on roll in the nursery class, linked infant, junior of primary school.

A place for every child:

Waltham Forest Council cannot guarantee a nursery place for every child at the school preferred by a parent.

Places in nursery schools and classes are primarily for residents of the London Borough of Waltham Forest. However applications cannot be refused if received from residents of other boroughs. The basis for refusal of an out-borough request is that the nursery is full or that places have all been offered to children living closer to the school and there are no remaining places to offer.

Voluntary aided schools:

Voluntary Aided Schools control their own admissions to attached nursery classes. Individual schools will provide information on their admission policies.

Despite regular increases of nursery places in Waltham Forest, we are not able to guarantee a nursery place for every child.

If you are unsuccessful in obtaining a place for your child at a nursery school or class there are numerous other childcare providers that can provide your child with free early education, information on these providers can be found on: the Waltham Forest Children and Young People's Directory  

Complaints Click to get info

There is no formal appeal for refusal to offer a part-time place at a nursery school or class.

A parental request for a review of a decision not to offer a part-time place should be managed as a complaint, the response should be according to the school’s published complaints procedure.