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Reception 2024 applications

On-time applicants who submitted an online application are sent an email during the evening of 16 April 2024, those who applied on a paper form are sent a letter on 16 April.

Outcomes for late applications and waiting list offers will be posted to the application address following the second round of offers.

The online outcome and the letter will give instructions on how to accept or decline any place you have been offered.

Waiting lists

Where a school is oversubscribed and has more applicants than places available, offers are made according to their admissions criteria. Those who cannot be offered a place will be added to a waiting list, providing they are not offered one of their higher preference schools. Waiting lists are kept in the same order as the admissions criteria of the school.

All applicants will be automatically held on waiting lists for higher preference schools than the one offered. If the schools are outside Merton, we will pass the child's information to the relevant borough to add to its waiting lists, providing the child is eligible. If you want to know if your child is on a waiting list for a school in another borough you should contact its admission authority (local authority or school).

Check your waiting list position

Please note: The waiting list will show results for Merton Community Schools only. If you are not on the waiting list for one of these schools you will receive notification that the application reference number cannot be found as we do not hold waiting list information for Church schools, Academies and schools in other boroughs.

To find out waiting list information for a school outside the London Borough of Merton, or for a school in Merton that is its own admission authority, you will need to contact them directly:

All Saints' CofE School020 8540 3004
Aragon Primary School020 8337 0505
Beecholme Primary School020 8640 4795
Benedict Academy020 8648 4726
Bishop Gilpin CofE School020 8946 6666
Harris Primary School Merton020 8679 3707
Holy Trinity CofE School020 8542 1591
Park Academy020 8542 3365
Sacred Heart Catholic School020 8942 0215
SS Peter & Paul RC Primary School020 8648 1459
St John Fisher RC Primary School020 8540 2637
St Mary's Catholic School020 8542 4580
St Matthew's CofE Primary School020 8947 7227
St Teresa's RC Primary School020 8648 1846
St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School020 8648 0869
Stanford Primary School020 8764 3892
The Priory CofE Primary School020 8540 8059
Local AuthorityTelephone
London Borough Croydon020 8726 6400
Royal Borough Kingston-upon-Thames020 8547 4610
London Borough Lambeth020 7926 9503
London Borough Sutton020 8770 5000
London Borough Wandsworth020 8871 6622
Surrey County Council03456 009 009

Waiting lists will remain open until 31 December 2024 (end of the autumn term). If you wish to remain on the list after this date, you must renew your interest via the website in December.

Further details about staying on lists longer can be found on the waiting list page.

Second round of offers

Approximately a month after National Offer Day a second round of offers takes place. This is when we look at all the places available and re-run the allocations to also include late applications.

You will automatically be considered for your current preferred schools along with any additional preferences you may choose to name. There is no set date for the second round but we will do it after all responses have been processed and we have a full idea of what places are available.


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 online appeals page. For church schools, academies and free schools, they should be lodged directly with the governing body of the particular school. Appeals are likely to be heard during June and July.

There are only very limited circumstances in which an appeal for a Reception class place can be upheld. In 2023 only one of the Reception appeals was successful out of 22 lodged with Merton.

Appeal panels must follow the law when considering an appeal. In particular the law says the size of an infant class must not be more than 30 pupils per teacher, with very limited exceptions. In infant class size appeals, the rules say the panel must consider whether:

  • admitting another child would breach the class size limit;
  • the admission arrangements comply with the law, and were properly applied to the case;
  • the decision to refuse a place was one which a reasonable authority would have made in the circumstances.

What is 'reasonable' is a high test. To uphold an appeal on this ground the panel would need to be sure that the decision to refuse a place was "perverse" or "outrageous". For that reason, panels in infant class appeals rarely find an admission authority's decision to be unreasonable.

Most parents who have been refused a place at their preferred school consider this refusal to be perverse. But the word has a stronger meaning in its legal sense. It means 'beyond the range of responses open to a reasonable decision maker', or 'a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question could have arrived at it'. A decision that makes it impossible for you to transport all your family to school on time, or even impossible for you to continue working, is very unlikely to be perverse. The courts have established this.

Please note, you can only appeal for places in schools you have applied for. For more information on appeals, please visit the appeals page on our website.

If you wish to discuss options available to you, rather than appeal, such as naming alternative schools or discussing availability of schools you had not previously considered, please contact School Admissions.

Frequently asked questions

Why wasn’t I offered a place in a higher preference school?

When a school is oversubscribed, places are ranked according to the admissions criteria for the school. Unfortunately, more applicants ranked higher than your child, so a place could not be offered.

The criteria for Merton Community schools are as follows:

Merton Community Schools (excluding Dundonald and Wimbledon Chase)

  • Looked After and previously Looked After Children (LAC)
  • Medical/Social – those with a professionally supported need for a specific school
  • Staff – children of teaching staff employed for two years or more
  • Siblings
  • Admissions Priority Area (Wimbledon Park only)
  • Distance

Dundonald and Wimbledon Chase Primary schools only

  • Looked After and previously Looked After Children (LAC)
  • Medical/Social – those with a professionally supported need for a specific school
  • Staff – children of teaching staff employed for two years or more
  • Siblings within APA (and protected siblings allocated before Sept 2016)
  • Distance within APA
  • Siblings outside APA
  • Distance outside APA

Church Schools, Academies and schools in other boroughs may use different criteria and will be able to advise you.

You will find a breakdown of how places were offered on the allocation data page of our website.

We recommend that you accept the place that you have been offered. You will remain on the waiting list for higher preference schools until 31 December or until a higher preference can be offered.

Please note that if you decide to decline this place and we cannot offer one of the schools named in your application, it will be your responsibility to secure a place in an alternative school. If you decline this offer, the place will be given to another child and it may not be available if you subsequently change your mind.

How can I find out why I was ranked lower than other applicants?

For Merton Community schools, most applicants are ranked based on their distance from home to the school. The furthest distances that we have offered are shown on the Admissions and appeals data for recent years page of our website. It is likely that other applicants live closer and all the places offered before we reached your distance.

If you have applied to Dundonald and Wimbledon Chase, do you live within the Admissions Priority Area (APA)? Most children who live outside the APA are not offered a place in the schools, even if they have siblings already attending the school.

If you have a sibling at the school, were they named in the application? Will they still be attending in September? Children who will not be attending in September do not qualify for sibling priority.

If you had a medical or social reason for the school, did you provide supporting evidence? Priority cannot be given without supporting evidence. Where evidence is supplied, it must clearly state why a specific school is the only school that a child can attend.

If you feel your application was ranked incorrectly and you were not offered a place, please contact School Admissions to query this.

I have been offered a lower preference or a school I did not name, what do I need to know and should I accept the offer?

Although you did not name this school in your application, we would recommend that you research or visit the school to see what they can offer before making a decision.

Please note that if you decide to decline this place and we cannot offer one of your preferred schools, it will be your responsibility to secure a place in an alternative school. If you decline this offer, the place will be given to another child and it may not be available if you subsequently change your mind.

Acceptance of this offer does not affect your position on any waiting lists, nor any appeal you may wish to make.

Can I go on the waiting list for other schools?

You can name any additional schools you would like by email or in writing at any time in the process. This includes schools both in Merton or other boroughs.

The following schools have vacancies or short waiting lists:

  • Abbotsbury Primary School
  • All Saints' CofE Primary School
  • Aragon Primary School
  • Beecholme Primary School
  • Benedict Academy
  • Cranmer Primary School
  • Garfield Primary School
  • Haslemere Primary School
  • Hatfeild Primary School
  • Joseph Hood Primary School
  • Liberty Primary School
  • Links Primary School
  • Malmesbury Primary School
  • Merton Abbey Primary School
  • Morden Primary School
  • Park Academy
  • Poplar Primary School
  • Sacred Heart RC Primary School
  • SS Peter & Paul RC Primary School
  • St John Fisher RC Primary School
  • St Mary’s Catholic School
  • St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School
  • West Wimbledon Primary School

Due to the nature of school admissions, this information can change quickly and schools may not have vacancies for very long. You may be on the waiting list for schools that appear on this list, this does not mean that you have been overlooked for a place, simply that you are included in the short waiting list for this school.

Please email admissions@merton.gov.uk to name additional schools. You can name additional schools either within Merton or in other boroughs, but please be clear about your preference order.

What is the Summer Born Policy?

The Government is currently consulting on a new policy for children born in summer months. In some cases this means that younger children can be held back a year. Please see our page about Delayed Entry for Summer Born Children for further information about when and how to apply and for a downloadable registration form.

Can I keep my child at home and teach them myself?

You may choose to take this option but we do not recommend that you do so as part of being in Reception is learning how to be in school. Children who miss the first term in Reception can take longer to settle and make friends as the routine is already established among the existing pupils.

If you decide that this is the best option for you, please notify the local authority in writing, even if your child has not yet reached Statutory School Age. You must provide a curriculum suitable for a pupil of primary 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. Further information about Home Education can be found on the Home Education webpage

What is Statutory School Age?

Statutory School Age is the point at which all children must be registered as in education. Children reach Statutory School Age the term after their 5th birthday.

Child date of birthDate child reaches statutory school age
1 September 2019 to 31 December 20191 January 2025
1 January 2020 to 31 March 20201 April 2025
1 April 2020 to 31 August 20201 September 2025

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

Accept or decline the 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 Merton school, please inform us of this. 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.

If my child starts Reception, can I apply for a move to another school?

We do not recommend a child changes school unless there is a house move involved which makes travel to school particularly difficult. If you wish to consider a change of school, please contact the School Admissions Team for advice and to discuss the options available.

Contact us

If you have any questions please contact:

School Admissions Team
Civic Centre

Email admissions@merton.gov.uk