Applying for a secondary school place

Before applying for a secondary school place for your child to start in Year 7 in September 2021, you should research all the schools that you and your child are interested in. You can find information here:

If you're a Southwark resident, you must apply online for a secondary school place. You can find further information on completing an online school admissions application here:

If you do not live in Southwark, you must complete the admission application for the borough in which you live even if you'd like to apply for a school in Southwark.

When applying for a school place you can express a preference for up to six schools whether they're in Southwark or in another borough.

If you are going to apply to a school under their medical/social criterion, it’s important that you visit the school first before naming it as a preference on your application. This is to ensure that the school is suitable to meet your child’s needs. Please view school open days and evenings  for further information.

If you are applying to a secondary school that uses banding within its criteria, your child will be required to take a test. Please contact the school for further details on their banding test arrangements as this may be subject to change at short notice.

Ability/aptitude admission tests - Due to recent circumstances relating to COVID-19, many schools which test for a child’s ability or aptitude have postponed their admission tests until later in the autumn term. If you're thinking of applying to such schools, you must ensure that you register your child for the ability/aptitude admission test before each school’s published deadline and you must also submit your child’s online admissions application by 31 October 2020. We strongly recommend that families also check each school’s website or contact the school directly for further information about their revised test date and arrangements. The schools affected in this local authority are:

  • Kingsdale Foundation School (aptitude places)
  • The City of London Academy (Southwark) (aptitude places)
  • St Saviour’s & St Olave’s School (ability places)

If you are a Southwark resident, once you receive your child’s ability/aptitude based test results you may make changes to your application preferences (such as to add or remove a selective school). You must notify our school admissions team by email by 10 December 2020. Changes to application preferences after this date will only be considered after the initial offer of places on 1 March 2021. We will similarly accommodate changes to preferences relating to late test results for selective schools in other local authority areas.

If you are not a Southwark resident, you must contact your home local authority should you wish to make changes to your child’s school admissions application after you have received their ability/aptitude based test results.

Some schools need to collect information that is not included on the admission application. They request this information using a supplementary information form (SIF). The school will use the information you provide by comparing it against their published admissions criteria. For example, a faith school will require evidence of church attendance. You must complete a SIF if the school you have listed as one of your preferences requires this. The SIF will be available from the school and must be completed, signed and returned directly to the school. Please check the individual deadline date for returning the SIF with each school.

Where a SIF is required alongside an admission application, your application may be invalid or your chances of a place reduced unless both have been completed, signed and received at the correct addresses by the closing dates for each.

You must ensure that the online application is fully completed and that all details are entered correctly. Failure to tick certain boxes such as the sibling box or the social/medical box will mean that your application will not be considered under these criteria.

If you're providing additional documents to support your application you must upload this as an attachment with your online application before 11.59pm on 31 October 2020. Please do not post or email supporting documentation as we will not be able to accept these.

If you have ticked the ‘social/medical’ box, you must upload additional supporting documents as an attachment with your online application, this includes a recent medical or social report and/or a letter from a professional.

If you have ticked the ‘looked after child’ box you must upload the following supporting documents as attachments with your online application:

1. A letter on headed paper from the local authority in England where the child is currently/previously ‘looked after’. The letter must confirm that at the time of making the admissions application, the child is either currently ‘looked after’ or was previously 'looked after’ (but ceased to be so because they were adopted, subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order immediately following having been looked after); and

2. If the child was previously 'looked after', a relevant court order under English law such as an adoption order, a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order.

Please note, 'looked after' or previously 'looked after' children will only be given highest priority if they are currently or were previously in the care of a local authority in England.

Submitting your online application

When you've completed your online application, you must submit it by the closing date of 31 October 2020 by 11.59pm. The online application will not be deemed as on time unless it's submitted by this time and date.

To submit your online application, you must click on the ‘submit application’ button. Once you've submitted your online application, you should receive an email confirming that your application has been submitted successfully alongside a unique application reference number. 

If you do not receive this email and an application reference number it means that your application was not submitted successfully and you must log in and click on the ‘submit application’ button again.

Page last updated: 28 August 2020

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