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In-year school admissions and transfers

School admissions for children new to the area or without a school.

On this page

Choosing a school

Information about primary schools with possible vacancies can be found using our vacancy checker:
Primary School Vacancy Checker (71kB)
If you are unable to view this file you will need to install Excel Viewer on your computer.

To find your nearest school you can use our interactive Find your Nearest School page or the Directgov Schools Finder, however please note that the distances quoted are not as accurate as those used by the School Admissions team and are for guidance only.

Alternatively, you can download a PDF map from these pages:

Primary schools

Secondary schools

Application form

Before submitting your application we advise you to visit the schools you are interested in. If schools are full they will not be able to offer you a place immediately. We encourage you to name schools with possible vacancies to ensure your child can access a school place quickly.

To make an application, please download and print this form: In Year School Application Form (0.1MB)

Alternatively, an application form can be obtained by contacting School Admissions or attending the Civic Centre.

Please note:

  • You should only make an application when you know your child will be able to take up the offer of a place at a school as places cannot be reserved.
  • You can only name schools in Merton on your form. If you wish to apply for schools outside Merton, you will need to contact those boroughs for an application form.
  • Some schools may require you to complete a supplementary form to support your application. You are advised to contact the schools to see if this will be necessary.
  • If you are new to the area, and not yet registered for Council Tax purposes, we may need to see evidence of your new address and evidence that you have left your former address.
  • If you are arriving in the UK from overseas, you will need to provide passports, and visas if applicable, for both you and your child.
  • If your child is living abroad and is moving to the area, please contact School Admissions for advice, as different rules apply to different types of school.
  • You cannot make an in-year application online.
  • If you have not yet moved to the area we are unable to process the application, however there is part of the form that must be completed by your current school and you may wish to arrange this before you have moved.

If your child is currently in Year 2 at an infants' school outside Merton you will need to complete a Junior School Application form, please see below for further details about Junior School Applications.

What happens next

If you apply for a school with vacancies, the process will normally take up to two weeks. Applications may take a little longer if you name schools which are full. Secondary school applications often take longer due to the need to consider the impact on timetables and option groups.

You will receive an outcome for each of your applications; this may be in one or more letters. If you are successful, the school will contact you to arrange a meeting to discuss admission dates and any additional needs. This may be by telephone or letter.

How places are allocated

Each school will have a set of criteria by which applicants are ranked and places offered. These are only relevant if the school has more applicants than places at the time of application, or the school is already full. Where a school has no vacancies, the admissions criteria for the school are used to place children on the waiting list.

If a child is only eligible for one school within the listed preferences, this will be the offer made. Under certain circumstances, it may be that you will receive more than one offer. If this is the case, you will be asked to quickly choose which offer to take so as not to block a place for another child.

We will process your application as quickly as possible to ensure your child is not out of school for a lengthy period of time. However, if your child has significant support needs to enable them to access education, it may delay the application process. We may need to contact your child’s previous school to ascertain if this may be the case.

If we are unable to offer you place at a higher preference school, you will be given the opportunity to go on the waiting list. Waiting lists for Merton Community Schools are held termly and you will be informed of the closing date when we confirm your place on list. Please contact the admission authority responsible for the school if you have named a VA school as they may manage their waiting lists differently.

Waiting lists

Your child’s name will normally only be added to a waiting list if no school can be offered. The letter giving the outcome of your applications will give you more details of this based on the particular circumstances of your case. We do not encourage further changes of school without good reason.


The letter giving the outcome of your application will give you more details on the appeals process if you are not offered your first preference school.



If your child is already in a local school you can ask to transfer to an alternative school. However, transfers are not processed immediately. The reasons driving the request will be considered and, in most cases, we will write to you to recommend a course of action with the existing school. Only once these routes have been exhausted, or there is evidence to support an immediate transfer, will an application normally be processed.

You should seek advice from the School Admissions Team before submitting an application to talk through your individual circumstances and to discuss how best to proceed.

Forms can only be obtained through discussion with School Admissions and cannot be downloaded or collected.

The transfer process is not quick and, if a transfer is approved, the importing school can delay the start date until the next full school term. Background information is normally sought from the current school to determine if the transfer process should apply and to support panel decisions around appropriate types of provision.

Please note that applications made to avoid exclusion from an existing school or to give a fresh start elsewhere will not normally be considered immediately.

Junior school applications

Merton does not have any junior schools. However, some Merton resident children may be attending infants' schools in other boroughs. If your child is in Year 2 at an infants' school, you will need to complete a Junior School Application form (0.4MB) to apply for a linked Junior school or an alternative primary school.

If you are applying for a Junior school, you must submit your application by 15 January 2015. We will pass the application details to the relevant borough to consider your application. Offers will be made on 16 April 2015.

University technical college (UTC) or studio school applications

Merton does not have any UTCs or studio schools. However if your child is in Year 8 and you are wish to apply for a UTC or a studio school, please contact School Admissions for further information on the application process.

If you are applying for a UTC or studio school, you must submit your application by 31 October 2014. We will pass the application details to the relevant borough to consider your application. Offers will be made on 2 March 2015.

Children with special educational needs

If you child has a statement of special educational needs you will not need to complete an application as your school will be named on the statement. For further information please contact SEN Team.

Information leaflet

Some of the information on this page is also available in this leaflet:

Applying for a school place - children new to the area or without a school (0.2MB)

See also

Contact us

School Admissions Team
Civic Centre


This page was last updated on Friday 27 March 2015