Applying for a secondary school place

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Applying for a secondary place for September 2021

The information on this page relates to those children born between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2010 who need to apply to start secondary school in September 2021.

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

If your child is currently in Year 6, they are due to start secondary school in September 2021.

You must apply for a secondary school place for your child even if they have an older brother or sister at your preferred school. If your child attends an All Through school and you wish them to automatically transfer to year 7, please contact the school who will advise you what you need to do.

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 Secondary School 2021 (10.4MB PDF) contains all the information you need to know about applying for a secondary school place. Please check the latest admissions information below for updates to this brochure.

Starting Secondary School 2021 brochure

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 for online applications on 1 September 2020. The closing date was 31 October 2020. If you are applying after this date, your application will be considered as late.

The eAdmissions guide explains how to apply for your child's school place online:

Download the eAdmissions guide

There are also 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 support@eadmissions.org.uk.

If you are unable to apply online you can download the secondary 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 year 7 place in September 2021, you will need to complete the Change of Preference form (37.8 KB PDF)

Please note that any change of preference forms received will be processed after National Offer Day, 1 March 2021.

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 fraud@walthamforest.gov.uk

National Offer Day

National Offer Day is on 1 March 2021. This is the day you will receive the results of your application if you applied by the closing date of 31 October 2020.

If you applied online by the closing date, an email with the outcome of your application will be sent to you in the evening on 1 March 2021. For paper applications received by the closing date, a letter will be posted first class on 1 March 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 year 7 in September 2021.

Parental responsibility

If one parent has parental responsibility (as evidenced by documentation) that parent's 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.

Where a child lives with each of their separated parents for different parts of the week, we will consider the child’s home address on any application to be where the child sleeps for most of the school week. The allocation of school places is determined in accordance with the Admissions Policy and where the criteria of distance is used this will be determined by reference to the child’s ‘home address’ which is determined with reference to where they reside the majority of the time. Where this is an equal time this will be determined by reference to the parent who is in receipt of Child Benefit. In the event the recipient of child benefit is clearly not a main carer of the child, or no Child Benefit is received, we will consider all of the circumstances and make a determination as to the ‘home’ address which will be used.

You will not be able to change to the other parent’s address mid-year unless the current arrangements as set out in any Court Order have changed. You must also provide a copy of any custody or residence order.

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.

Expand / collapse all

All updates for entry to secondary school 2021 can be found here:

  • Norlington School and Sixth Form will now be admitting 162 pupils into year 7 for entry in September 2021
  • Chingford Foundation School will now be admitting 270 pupils into year 7 for entry in September 2021
  • Heathcote School and Science College will now be admitting 180 pupils into year 7 for entry in September 2021

Some schools need extra information, which we do not collect on our application form. The following schools will ask you to complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) and/or a Certificate of Catholic Practice (CCP):

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 and/or CCP.

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

School open evenings Click to get info

Open evenings were held virtually in September and October 2020.  However, you may still be able to access the virtual open evenings on individual school websites.  Please visit the school websites for further information.

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 https://www.gov.uk/right-of-abode/apply-for-a-certificate-of-entitlement.

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.

In 2017 the Government made it a legal requirement that all Local Authorities must write to parents and carers of all pupils in Year 9 to tell them about schools in or within traveling distance of the Local Authority area that admit pupils at the beginning of Year 10.

The Government wishes to ensure that parents and carers are well informed about all the options available for children of this age.

This does not mean that you must move your child to another school. For the great majority of children, the school they are already attending will remain the most appropriate place for them to continue their education. Therefore, if this is of no interest to you, please disregard this information.

Schools which admit pupils in Year 10 are called University Technical Colleges (UTCs) or Studio Schools.

UTCs are set up by universities and business and specialise in one or two technical subjects. In Years 10 and 11, they offer a similar GCSE curriculum to a typical secondary school, including English and Maths, as well as their specialist subject. You can find out more at www.utcolleges.org

Studio schools are like UTCs in that they have employer involvement in the curriculum and focus on developing skills needed for employment, involving personal coaching and work experience. They have a similar curriculum to a typical secondary school. 

Please see a list of all schools in the London area which admit pupils into Year 10 together with contact details.

The application process is set out on the website for each school.

The document how school places were offered 2020 (68KB PDF) provides a breakdown of the numbers of places offered under each criteria on National Allocation Day for on time applicants for the September 2020 intake

The document how school places were offered 2019 (161KB PDF) provides a breakdown of the numbers of places offered under each criteria on National Allocation Day for on time applicants for the September 2019 intake.

The document how school places were offered 2018 (85KB PDF) provides a breakdown of the numbers of places offered under each criteria on National Allocation Day for on time applicants for the September 2018 intake.

Key dates Click to get info

Key dates What happens?
31 October 2020 Application deadline
1 March 2021 Offer day
15 March 2021 Acceptance deadline
30 March 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 
London 
E17 4JF 
Telephone: 020 8496 3000

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

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