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Apply for a primary school reception place

Information about making Reception applications for children with dates of birth between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018.

Apply online

Last year 98% of applicants applied online.

We recommend that you apply online via this link:

Apply online on the eAdmissions website

Please read the guidance below and on the other pages in this section before applying.

Information you will be asked for when applying online

You may be asked some additional questions depending on the school preferences you name.

Parent or carer's details

  • You will need to provide your name and address. The person applying on behalf of the child should be the person with parental responsibility for them.
  • Your contact details are vital; please ensure you include an up-to-date telephone number and email address. If you have already used eAdmissions to make an application for this child or a sibling, please ensure that you have checked that your details are correct.

Your child

  • We need your child's full name, date of birth and gender.
  • The address on the application must be your child's permanent place of residence. The child's home address excludes any business, relative's or childminder's address and must be the applicant's normal place of residence. If there is a genuine equal share custody arrangement between the two parents, the address that will be used will normally be the address of the parent who is claiming Child Benefit for the child, however all available evidence will be considered. Please also note that:
    • Applicants in short term rented accommodation may be asked to provide evidence of their current and former housing arrangements.
    • Where an applicant has ownership of a property, that should be used for the purposes of school admission, and the applicant must provide evidence and reasons for the use of any other address.
    • Where an applicant rents a property and has ownership of an alternative property, the rented property will only be used for admission purposes if the child has been resident away from the owned property for a period of 3 years or more at the closing date for applications.
  • You need to state whether or not your child is, or has previously been, in the care of a Local Authority - Looked After Children / Children in public care. If the child meets the criteria to be classified as a child in public care you must enclose either a letter from the relevant Local Authority confirming the legal status of the child, a copy of the care order, or a copy of the special guardianship order.
  • Indicate if your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). If 'yes' you should contact your SEN caseworker to follow a different application process.
  • Please select your child's current school or education provision from the menu.

Your primary school preferences

  • You may name up to six schools on the form. The schools do not have to be in Merton, they can be in any borough.
  • Limiting the number of schools you name will not improve your chance of securing a place at your first preference school, but please do not name schools unless you are happy for your child to attend.
  • Please think carefully about your preference order. If you receive an offer at a preference school it may not be possible to offer a place at a lower preference school later on if you change your mind.
  • Please name any sibling(s). You should check the admissions criteria for the school concerned as sibling rules may not be the same for each school, and not all schools give sibling priority. For most schools in Merton that give priority for siblings, sibling is defined as brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, or step brother or sister, and, in every case, who is living as part of the same family unit at the same address. Dundonald and Wimbledon Chase operate a sibling policy that differs from other Merton schools - please read the relevant section of the guide carefully.
  • You may state a reason for your preference if you wish.
  • If you are attaching supporting documents to be considered under medical or social criteria, you should tick the box to confirm this. Medical or social reasons will not be considered unless supported by professionally written evidence which should either be attached to the online application or emailed to admissions@merton.gov.uk
  • Your online form will inform you if any of the schools you name require a supplementary form and where these are available from.

Declaration and form submission

  • Please read the declaration carefully then submit the application.
  • If you move home or your circumstances change after completing your application, you must inform us via admissions@merton.gov.uk 

Closings dates

The closing date is 15 January 2022  which falls on a Saturday. Please note that there will be no technical support from School Admissions or eAdmissions after close of business on 14 January 2022. Please do not leave your application to the last minute in case you need technical support and this delays submission of your application.

If your circumstances change after the closing date but before 10 February 2022 your application can be updated or a late application treated as on time if you are able to provide supporting evidence. Please note that change of address details will only be accepted upon receipt of a new Council Tax bill or a new tenancy agreement. Other documents may also be requested to support a change of address. If you move after the form is submitted, but before 10 February 2022, please contact School Admissions at admissions@merton.gov.uk as soon as possible.

Advantages of applying online

Applying on line is quick and easy and comes with the following benefits:

  • your forms will not get lost in the post
  • quick, simple and no paper involved
  • safe and secure password operated system
  • the data validation system prevents you from giving incorrect school names or numbers
  • you will receive an instant email confirmation of your submitted application
  • you can change or amend your application right up to the closing date
  • no risk of data input errors once the online form has been completed
  • you will receive earlier notification of the result of your application
  • save on paper and postage costs
  • you can accept an offer online

Once you have registered to apply online, please keep a note of your user name and password. You will then be able to return to your application to make amendments until the statutory closing date of 15 January 2022, and to view the outcome on the evening of 19 April 2022.

If you apply using the online system it is important that you do not submit a paper form. Applying online and on paper will, at the very least, delay your application form being processed. If more than one application is completed for a child, the one with the later date on it will normally be accepted and the earlier one withdrawn.

All applications received by the closing date are treated equally. There is no priority for people who get their forms in early, so please take your time and only submit your application when you have carefully considered your options.

Children born 1 April 2017 to 31 August 2017 with agreed summer born delayed entry to Reception

If you applied for delayed entry to Reception and you are now making a Reception application for a child with a date of birth between 1 April 2017 and 31 August 2017 it is not possible to make an online application. Please complete a paper application and return to School Admissions or, if your child attends a School Nursery, to the school.

If you have not agreed the delayed entry with the school and have not completed the Delayed Entry form,  we cannot guarantee that all the schools you wish to apply for will accept a Reception application for your child. Please find further information and the request form on the Summer Born Delayed Entry page of our website.

Summer born delayed entry to Reception for children born 1 April 2018 to 31 August 2018

Late summer born children can request to delay their entry to reception by a year - starting the September after their 5th birthday. This is not automatic and an application must be made to have the request agreed. Please find further information and the request form on the Summer Born Delayed Entry page of our website.

Applying on a paper form

If you are completing a paper form rather than applying online, your form should be returned by 15 January 2022. If your child attends a Merton school nursery, please return your form to the school by the closing date. The school will keep a register of applications received in case any go missing before being processed. If your child does not attend a Merton school nursery, your form should be either hand delivered or posted to School Admissions Team, London Borough of Merton, Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX. Forms must be received by 15 January 2022.

No responsibility can be taken for forms lost in the post. Wherever possible we recommend completing your application using the online system to avoid any potential postal problems. Online applicants will automatically receive email confirmation that their application has been submitted.

Please note that if you send a paper form in an A4 envelope, postage will be in excess of a single first class stamp. If insufficient postage is paid, the form may not reach our office and your application will be jeopardised.

Frequently asked questions

What is an order of preference?

This is the order in which you name the schools you are applying for. You should name the school that you want your child to attend the most as your first preference. So, if more than one of the schools you have named are able to offer places, you will be allocated the school you want the most. Please think about the order in which you name your schools very carefully. If you change your mind at a later date it may not be possible to offer a place at a lower preference school. Schools are not told your order of preference.

Are first preference applications considered before all others?

No. All applications for places are considered at the same time; this is called an equal preference scheme. Once all applications for schools have been ranked, if a place can be offered at more than one preference, an offer will be made for the school named as the highest preference out of those that can be offered.

How are places allocated?

If the school is oversubscribed, that is there are more applicants than places available, all applications will be ranked in the order described in the admissions criteria. Once all applications have been ranked we can see if a child's name is high enough on a ranking list to be offered a place. If a child can be offered a place at more than one school we will offer a place at whichever of these schools is the higher preference.

My partner and I are separated but have joint access or responsibility. Which address should we use?

If you have joint access the parent who looks after the child for most of the school week should make the application and give their address. This address is always checked for oversubscribed schools and documentary proof may be requested.

If there is proof of genuine equal share custody arrangement between the two parents, the address that will be used will normally be the address of the parent who is claiming Child Benefit or the address that the child has been associated with longest. All available evidence will be considered and decisions made for each individual case but if you are unsure, please contact the School Admissions Team at admissions@merton.gov.uk for advice.

My family or childminder looks after my child during the week. Can I put their address?

No. We cannot accept the address of childminders or a family who may help you with the care of your child. It must be the child's home address.

We are living at a temporary address. What should we do?

If you are living at a temporary address, changing your address before your child attends the school you choose, or will be returning to this country from an HM Forces posting overseas or temporary employment overseas, please contact the School Admissions Teamat admissions@merton.gov.uk  for advice.

We are hoping to move in the next few weeks. What should we do?

If you change your permanent address after 10 February 2022, but before your child is admitted to the school, you should inform the School Admissions Team in writing. It is not sufficient to tell the school only. Please note that change of address details will only be accepted upon receipt of a new Council Tax bill or a new tenancy agreement. Other documents may also be requested to support a change of address. If you move after the form is submitted, but before 10 February 2022, please contact School Admissions at admissions@merton.gov.uk as soon as possible.

Please note, the offer of a place may be withdrawn if it is discovered that a parent has given an incorrect address or an 'address of convenience', such as a deliberate temporary address, business address, the home of a relative, a childminder's address or the address of a parent whom the child does not live with for most of the school week.

I own a property but live elsewhere. Which address should we use?

If you own a property but are living in another, whether rented or with family/friends we will generally measure to the property you own unless your child has been living away from the property you own for more than three years. If the property you own is further than a child could reasonably be expected to travel (e.g. in another town or country), please contact the School Admissions Team at admissions@merton.gov.uk for advice. School Admissions will ask for supporting evidence for both addresses.

What happens if I do not get the place I want?

You are entitled to reject any place offered. However, if you reject an offer it will then become your responsibility to secure an alternative. If you are offered a place at a school that is not your first preference, you will automatically go on the waiting list for your higher preference schools. Any preferences that are lower than your offered preference are withdrawn. You will also have the right of appeal against any school that does not offer a place, providing it was named as one of your preferences.

If you are offered one of your lower preferences, we recommend that you accept the place while waiting to see if a higher offer can be made. This ensures that your child will have a school to go to in September and does not prejudice your right of appeal or your place on higher preference waiting lists.

I am a Merton resident. What happens if I don't get any of my preferred schools?

All parents have a right of appeal against a decision not to offer a place for a child. For community schools, appeals should be lodged with the local authority. For voluntary aided, academies and free schools, they should be lodged directly with the governing body of the particular school.

For schools in other boroughs, you will need to contact that local authority for further information on their appeal procedures.

Information about how to appeal will be sent to all applicants who do not get offered their first preference school on 19 April 2022. Appeals are likely to be heard during June and July.

Please note that you can only appeal for schools for which you have applied.

If I do not get a school offer that I am happy with, can I educate my child at home?

You may choose to take this option but we do not recommend that you do so. If you decide that this is the best option for you, you must notify the local authority in writing. You must provide a curriculum suitable for a pupil of secondary age and the local authority has a duty to ensure that the education you provide is appropriate. The local authority will ask for full details of your arrangement and advisers will make monitoring visits while you are educating your child at home. We do not provide materials, tutors or funding and cannot support you educating your child at home. Please contact Merton’s Elective Home Education (EHE) Advisor on 0208 545 3974 for a chat about what is required of parents. 

I am thinking of sending my child to a private school. What should I do?

If you definitely do not wish to send your child to a state funded primary school (Community schools, Voluntary Aided Schools, Free Schools and Academies are all state funded) there is no need to make an application to School Admissions. However, if you do not apply on-time and change your mind you will be treated alongside other late applications where places are allocated after the initial offer day in April.

I have been offered a place at a private school. What should I do?

Accept or decline the state funded school place as per your application outcome. If you are accepting a place at a private school and you have already accepted a place at a state funded school, please inform us of this as soon as possible. It is very important that you do this as, if you don't let us know; you may be preventing another child from receiving an offer of a place. Also, if your child is expected to start at a school in September and does not arrive, an Education Welfare Officer will visit you to find out what arrangements you have made for their education.

Contact us

School Admissions Team
Civic Centre
Morden
SM4 5DX

Email: admissions@merton.gov.uk