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Secondary 2024 applications

On-time applicants who submitted an online application will receive an email during the evening of 1 March 2024, those who applied on a paper form will be sent a letter on 1 March that should arrive from 2 March onwards. Outcomes for late applications and waiting list offers will be posted to the application address following the second round of offers.

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).

You can check your waiting list position online.

Please note that the waiting list will not be updated again until after the second round of allocations has taken place. The waiting list will show results for Raynes Park High School, Ricards Lodge High School for Girls and Rutlish School 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:

Harris Academy Merton020 8623 1000
Harris Academy Morden020 8687 1157
Harris Academy Wimbledon020 8253 7777
St Mark's CofE Academy020 8648 6627
Ursuline School020 8255 2688
Wimbledon College020 8946 2533

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 remain open until 31 December 2024 (the end of the autumn term). If you wish to remain on the list after this date, you must renew your place on the waiting list.

Second round of offers

A second round of takes place around the beginning of April. All late applications and those on waiting lists are reconsidered against the vacancies available.

Applications are ranked against the same criteria as in the first round of allocations with late applications slotted in with the on-time ones.

There is no set date for the second round of allocations and we will only contact late applicants and those who can be offered a place. Those who made an on-time application and received an outcome on 1 March, will only receive an outcome if we are able to make an offer.

Following the second round of offers places will be offered from the waiting list as they become 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 voluntary aided, academies and free schools, appeals should be lodged directly with the governing body of the particular school. Appeals are likely to be heard during May and June.

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

In 2023 Merton received over 30 appeals for Ricards Lodge High School and Rutlish School but none of them were successful. A strong desire for a particular school, a desire for a single sex school, working/travel arrangements or an aptitude in certain subjects are not normally considered as reason for an appeal to be upheld.

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


Understanding your outcome

Why wasn’t I offered a higher preference?

When a school is oversubscribed and there are more applications than places available, applications are ranked and places allocated according to the admissions criteria.

The criteria for Merton Community and Voluntary Controlled schools are:

  1. Looked-after and previously looked-after children
  2. Medical/social – children with a professionally supported need
  3. Siblings – children with a sibling or siblings already attending the school
  4. Staff – children of permanent staff employed for two years or more
  5. Distance – all other children measured by straight line

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

You will find a breakdown of how places were offered on the allocation data page of our website. This table will show how far from the school we were able to offer.

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 school you 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.

I have been offered 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?

All available spaces in Merton schools were allocated in the first round of allocations however, we expect places to become available at Raynes Park High School and St Mark’s Church of England Academy before for the second round of allocations.

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

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. 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. For more information see Home Education.

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

If you wish to accept the place in private school, please decline the place you have been offered online or using the reply slip if you have one. Please ensure that you tell us which school you have accepted as we cannot withdraw the offer without it.

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 as soon as you can. 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. Please ensure that you provide the name of the school you have accepted the place at as we cannot withdraw the offer without it.

If you do not advise us that you have secured a place in private school, your child will expected to start at a school in September. If they do not arrive, an Education Welfare Officer will visit you to find out what arrangements you have made for their 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. 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
Email: admissions@merton.gov.uk