Applying for a primary school place

Schools, education and learning

Applying for a reception place for September 2021

The information on this page relates to those children born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017 who need to apply for a place in reception class at a primary school in September 2021.

For primary school places in other year groups please visit our in year admissions page to make an application.

You must apply for a reception class place for your child even if they attend a school nursery or have an older brother or sister at your preferred school. If your child currently attends a nursery attached to a school this does not give them any priority for a place in reception class at that school.

If you and your child live in Waltham Forest, you must apply through us. If you and your child live outside Waltham Forest, you must apply to the local authority in which you live, even if you are applying for schools in other areas.

How to apply

The brochure Starting Primary School 2021 (3MB PDF) contains all the information you need to know about applying for a reception class place.   Please check the latest admissions information below for updates to this brochure.

Download Starting Primary School 2021

The best way to apply is online, through the eAdmissions website. This is a secure way to apply for your child’s school place.

The eAdmissions website opened on 1 September 2020.  The closing date was 15 January 2021.  If you are applying after this date, your application will be considered as late.

You can download a guide explaining how to apply for your child's school place online (140KB PDF).

Download application guide

There are FAQs and guidance sheets to help you complete your online application on the eAdmissions website. If you are having a technical problem completing your application please email

If you are unable to apply online you can download the primary common application form (70KB PDF). Instructions for how to submit your paper application are on the back of the application form.

Changing your preferences

If you wish to change your preferences after you have submitted your application for a reception place in September 2021, you will need to complete the Change of Preference form.

Fraudulent applications

The London Borough of Waltham Forest takes very seriously any attempt to gain an advantage in the admissions process by giving false information.

It is really important that the admissions system is fair for everybody. Nobody should be allowed to cheat by using a friend or relative’s address, a business address or by temporarily renting a property near to a popular school. Each year a number of parents try to get a school place by providing false information, which could result in them taking a place that should have gone to another child.

The Local Authority will investigate all instances where a parent is thought to have provided false or misleading information in order to gain admission to a school. Your address will be checked by reference to various records and, if necessary, by a council officer visiting the application address.

A false application may, in addition to possible prosecution, lead to the withdrawal of your child’s place in the school applied for, even if the child has already started school.

For details on how we use your information for fraud prevention, including sharing with fraud prevention agencies, please see our updated Anti-Fraud Fair Processing Notice.

If you suspect someone has provided false information on a school application form please report fraud online. Alternatively, you can call the fraud hotline anonymously, 24 hours a day on 0300 003 1099 or you can email us at

Parental responsibility

If one parent has parental responsibility (as evidenced by documentation) that parents’ application is the one that will be accepted.  If parents are separated and both have parental responsibility, then they must determine between them who will make the application and if they cannot agree then either parent may seek to have that determined by a Court.    In the event of a dispute between parents who do not have this matter resolved by the Court we will accept the application by the parent with whom the child resides the majority of the school week and where that is equal we will determine whose application is progressed with reference to the parent who is in receipt of Child Benefit, and if no one is in receipt of child benefit then we will consider all of the circumstances and make a determination as to the application which will be accepted and provide our reasons for doing so.  This will ensure the child has an active application for a school place.

We have to make a decision of where the child’s home address is because the allocation of school places under the Admissions Policy, where the criteria of distance is used, is determined by reference to the child’s ‘home address’.    Where a child lives with each of their separated parents for different parts of the week, we will treat the child’s home address on any application to be where the child sleeps for most of the school week.  Where this is an equal time this will be determined by reference to the parents’ address who receives the Child Benefit.   In cases where the recipient of child benefit is clearly not a main carer of the child, or no one receives Child Benefit, we will consider all of the circumstances and make a determination as to the ‘home’ address which will be used and provide our reasons for doing so.

PLEASE NOTE: We are only able to speak to the applicant regarding their admissions application, so please do not ask a family member or a friend to contact us on your behalf.  We will not be able to discuss an application with a family member or friend unless the applicant has given us their permission to do so in writing.

National Offer Day

National Offer Day was 16 April 2021.  This is the day  that applicants who made an on time application received the results of their reception application.

If you applied online by the closing date, an email with the outcome of your application was sent to you in the evening on 16 April 2021. For paper applications received by the closing date, a letter was posted to you first class on 16 April 2021.

The document how school places were offered 2021 provides a breakdown of numbers of places offered under each criteria on National Offer Day for on time applicants for entry to reception in September 2021

All updates for entry to primary school for can be found here.

Some schools need extra information, which we do not collect on our application form. Emmanuel Community School, St Mary's Catholic Primary School, St Mary's Church of England Primary School, St Joseph's Infant School, Our Lady and St. George's Primary School, St Patrick's Catholic Primary School and St. Saviour's Church of England Primary School will ask you to complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) or Certificate of Catholic Practice (CCP).

SIFs or CCPs are available from the relevant schools on their websites. To go to the school website, please click on the school name above.

If you are applying for a school outside Waltham Forest you will need to check with the local authority where the school is located to find out if you need to complete a SIF or CCP.

If you do not complete a SIF or CCP this may result in your child not being offered a place at the school.

Infant to Junior transfer Click to get info

If your child is currently in Year 2 at a Chapel End Infant School or St Joseph’s Infant School and lives in Waltham Forest, you will need to apply for a transfer to junior school.  You will also need to apply if your child is currently attending an infant school outside of Waltham Forest, but you live in Waltham Forest.

You can apply online through the eAdmissions website.  The closing date for applications was 15 January 2021.  If you made an on time application, the outcome of your application will be released on 16 April 2021.  

If you cannot apply online or you are applying late, please download the form (50KB PDF file) to make your application.  If you apply after 15 January 2021 your application will be considered as late and will be processed after all the on time applications.

In most cases, children arriving from overseas have the right to attend schools in England. School admissions will not refuse to admit a child on the basis of their nationality or immigration status nor remove them from roll on this basis. It is the responsibility of parents to check that they have a right of abode and that their children have a right, under any visa entry conditions, to study at a school. Having right of abode means you are allowed to live or work in the UK without any immigration restrictions, which means:

  • you will not need a visa to come to the UK
  • there is no limit on the length of time you can spend in the country

If you are moving to the UK, you must check that you have a right of abode or that the conditions of your immigration status otherwise permit you to access a state-funded school.  You can prove you have right of abode if you have a UK passport describing you as a British citizen or British subject with right of abode.  Otherwise you need to apply for a Certificate of Entitlement. For more information please visit the GOV.UK website.

Applications from UK crown servants or military families

As set out in paragraph 2.18 of the School Admissions Code 2014, admission authorities and local authorities must process applications from UK crown servants or UK military families with evidence from their employers or commanding officers that they are returning to the area ahead of any move. We will accept any posting or quartering address as a ‘home’ address in the absence of any actual home address

The document how school places were offered 2020 provides a breakdown of the numbers of places offered under each criteria on National Offer Day for on time applicants for entry to reception in September 2020.

The document how school places were offered 2019 provides a breakdown of the numbers of places offered under each criteria on National Allocation Day for on time applicants for entry to reception in September 2019.

The document how school places were offered 2018 provides a breakdown of the numbers of places offered under each criteria on National Allocation Day for on time applicants for 2018.

A child reaches compulsory school age the term after their 5th birthday. Some parents will feel their child is simply not ready to start school in the September following their fourth birthday and there is flexibility in the Admissions Code to allow for this.

Parents can request that:

  1. Their child attends part-time until they reach compulsory school age. This must be requested directly with the school once a school place has been offered.
  2. The date their child is admitted is deferred until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which it was made. 
  3. For summer born children, their child is admitted outside of their normal age group. See next section for more details on the process.

Waltham Forest’s policy is that in general, children should be educated in their normal age group, with the curriculum differentiated as appropriate, and that they should only be educated out of their normal age group in very limited circumstances.

Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child has experienced problems such as ill health.

It is the parent’s responsibility to provide any supporting evidence they wish to be considered in respect of their application.

A decision will be made on the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned.  This will include taking account of the parent’s views; information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; where relevant their medical history and the views of a medical professional; whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group; and whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely.  The views of the head teacher of the school(s) concerned must also be taken into account.

The governing body of schools responsible for their own admissions (academies, voluntary-aided, foundation and free schools) is ultimately responsible for making this decision for applications made to their school. 

The internal management and organisation of a school, including the placement of pupils in classes, is a matter for the Headteacher and senior leadership of individual schools.

There is no guarantee that an application will be accepted. If the application is not accepted this does not constitute a refusal of a school place and there is no right to an independent statutory appeal. Similarly, there is no right of appeal for a place in a specific year group at the school


Key dates Click to get info

Key dates What happens
15 January 2021 Application closing date
16 April 2021 Offer day
30 April 2021 Acceptance deadline
17 May 2021 Appeal deadline

If you don't have access to a computer, you can visit a Library Plus branch where you can use a self-service pc to log your request/report.  Staff are available to support you if you need it.​​​​​​​ 

Contact Click to get info

School Admission - Postal Address Only
Waltham Forest Town Hall
Forest Road 
E17 4JF 
Telephone: 020 8496 3000

School Admissions - Appointment Service
Sycamore House
Town Hall Campus
Forest Road 
E17 4JF

Please note that due to the Covid-19 pandemic Sycamore House is currently closed.  We will keep this page updated to reflect the current situation.