The information on this page is for parents and carers applying for a Reception place to start in September 2023. If your child already attends school and you need to know how to submit an application, please visit in-year school admissions and transfers.

Before completing your primary school application there are a few things to consider.

Merton Council co-ordinates applications for primary schools, academies, community, voluntary aided, out-borough and free schools. If you are applying for any of the voluntary aided (Church affiliated) schools, or wish to apply for any schools outside Merton, you must include them in your application or they will be unable to consider your child for admission.

You may also need to complete supplementary forms for some schools that require additional information. The information contained in the admissions criteria section will tell you which Merton schools need these. If you apply online, the system will automatically inform you if a supplementary form is required. 

How places are allocated

We will always try to offer a place at the school you have named as the highest preference.

Our admission process operates an equal preference scheme, which means that each admissions authority will consider applications without referring to the order of preference on your application. This means that, if your child is unsuccessful at your first preference school, they will not get overlooked by schools lower down your order of preference.

If the school is oversubscribed and has more applicants than places available, all applications will be ranked in the order described in the admissions criteria. This will show if a child's name is high enough on the ranking list to be offered a place.

If a place at more than one school can be offered your child's place will be made for the highest preference school.

How places were allocated for September 2022

To see how places were allocated in 2022 and other previous years, please see our webpage: How school places were allocated in recent years

The way places are allocated at each school will vary each year according to the number of applications the school receives and where those applicants live. Living within a shown allocated distance for a school will not guarantee a place in this or future years. Please be realistic in your preferences and use as many as you can. Consider schools both in and outside of Merton if these are local to you.

Late applications or changes made to applications after the closing date

If your application is made after the closing date of 15 January 2023 or you change your existing preferences after this date, your application will be treated as late. A late application will not be considered until after all those that were received on time and may jeopardise the possibility of your child being offered a place at one of your preferred schools.

If the application is late, or preferences are changed for 'good reason', such as a change of address, these will be considered as 'on time' providing the evidence the change has taken place is received by 10 February 2023. Any applications or changes from this date will not be considered until after 17 April 2023.

To help us decide whether cases are late for 'good reason', parents must submit written evidence giving details of their case. A copy of their new Council Tax bill together with a solicitor's letter regarding contract completion or a copy of their new tenancy agreement, must accompany changes of address. If you are unsure whether your circumstances would be regarded as 'good reason', please contact the School Admissions Team for advice at

Please note that forms that go missing in the postal system can only be reconsidered if there is proof of postage. Lost forms, where there is no proof of postage, are the responsibility of the applicant. For this reason we advise applying online wherever possible.

Children with special educational, health or care needs

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan and you live in Merton, you will need to call the SEN Team on 020 8545 4811 as your application process is different from that described here.

Please do not submit an application if your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan.

If you have applied for an Education, Health and Care Plan but have not been advised of the outcome you should submit a Reception application in the normal way and by the closing date of 15 January 2023.

Compulsory or statutory school age

The law states that your child must attend school full-time from the beginning of the term after they reach the age of five. This is called compulsory or statutory school age. However, children will normally start full-time school in the September after they are four.

Deferring a school place

If you are offered a place at a school you can opt to defer your child's start date until the term after they are five, but must take up the place within the same academic year. If you wish to do this, or would like your child to start on a part-time basis it will need to be agreed with the Headteacher of the school. However, deferring a start date is not recommended, as the child will be starting school after their peers, and will be behind others socially and educationally. If you defer entry, your child will not be able to remain in a community school nursery.

You cannot defer entry until the following school year; in order to start the following September an in-year application must be made for a Year 1 place or if your child is eligible, you can apply for delayed entry for summer born pupils.

Delayed entry for summer born pupils

Children who are born in the summer months may, in some cases, delay their entry to Reception by one year. Please see our page about delayed entry for summer born pupils for further information about when and how to apply and for a downloadable registration form.

Applying outside a child's normal year group

Parents wishing to apply for places outside the child's normal year group will have their application considered by each admissions authority they are applying for based on the circumstances of each case and the professional evidence recommending this for the child. Parents are encouraged to seek advice from the local authority in these circumstances before applications are submitted.


School Admissions Team
Civic Centre