Information about making an application to transfer from primary to secondary school. For children with dates of birth between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013.

Apply online

Last year 99% of applicants applied online.

We recommend that you apply online via the link below:

Apply now on the eAdmissions website

Closing dates

The closing date is 31 October 2023. If you have recently moved or your circumstances have changed an on-time application can be accepted up until 12 December 2023 if evidence is provided. Any application received after the closing date without an explanation or evidence will be processed as a late application and will not be considered until after all on-time applications.

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 case 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. Please note that children adopted from overseas are not classified as children in public care.
  • 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 secondary 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.
  • 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 .
  • 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

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 31 October 2023, and to view the outcome on the evening of 1 March 2024.

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.

Frequently asked questions for Merton residents

What is the role of local councils and schools?

All school admissions applications for state funded schools (Community schools, Voluntary Aided Schools and Academies are all state funded) should be made to the local council that you are resident. The council has a coordinating role to ensure you are offered one state funded school place on national offer day. This is to your highest preference possible, whether the school is within your resident borough or not.

For Community Schools the council also sets the admissions policy to prioritise admissions applications. For Voluntary Aided Schools and Academies this is undertaken by the schools. All School Admissions authorities must abide by a nationally set School Admissions Code of Practice.

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. If more than one of the schools you have named is able to offer a place, 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.

Am I entitled to apply only for single sex schools?

You may express a preference for single sex schools, however by law, the authority is under no obligation to consider only single sex schools for any applicant. All places are considered according to the published criteria which cannot, by law, give priority to parents who only name single sex schools.

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 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 Team for advice.

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

If you change your permanent address after 12 December 2023, 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 12 December 2023, please contact School Admissions at 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.

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 National Offer Day. Appeals are likely to be heard during May and June. 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.

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

If you definitely do not wish to send your child to a state funded secondary school (Community schools, Voluntary Aided 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 March.

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 his or her education.

If my child starts secondary school, 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.

I live in Merton. Is my child entitled to free school travel?

Children can travel free on the buses and trams provided that they have a child photo Oyster card. An information leaflet and application form can be obtained from the Post Office or online via the Transport for London website. Some families who have a low income may qualify for assistance if it is essential that their child travels by train or underground, the school is a long distance from home, and no placement can be provided locally. More information can be found on the Free School Travel page on our website.

I don't live in Merton. Is my child entitled to free school travel?

You will need to contact the local authority in the borough where you live for further information, as each borough is responsible for the travel arrangements of its own residents.

Contact us

School Admissions Team
Civic Centre