Frequently asked questions about secondary school admissions

Select a question to reveal the answer.

  • Co-ordinated admissions:

    • ensure that, as far as possible parents and carers applying for a school place for their child receive an offer of one (and only one) school place on the same day
    • remove the problem of some parents and carers holding multiple offers of places whilst others have none.

    To ensure that the system is effective, there is a common application form on which six preferences can be expressed in rank order. The schools can be within Royal Greenwich or in other local authorities. We will co-ordinate applications from Royal Greenwich residents, irrespective of which schools they apply for.

    We will inform other admission authorities if anyone has applied for a place at their school or schools. For example, if you have applied to a voluntary aided school in Royal Greenwich or a school outside London, we will tell that school or the appropriate local authority. If you have applied to a school in London but outside Royal Greenwich (for example, in Bexley, Bromley or Lewisham), we will inform those boroughs. We will upload the information onto a central database managed on behalf of all London authorities.

    Each admission authority considers all the applications for its school or schools in accordance with its own admission criteria. If more than one offer can be made from your list of preferred schools, we will check your application form to see which one is ranked highest and offer you that place.

    If only one offer can be made from your list, that of course is the one you will be offered. We will hold only the offer that is the highest preference on your application form and all lower preference schools will be withdrawn so that these places may be offered to other applicants.

  • You should register your child for testing with the admission authority that the selective school is in. Registration, testing and the publication of results will all take place before the national closing date on 31 October 2018. The results will be published by the admission authority running the test.

  • If your child is still being assessed, you should continue to apply through this process as well. The Special Needs Service will inform the Admission Service if your child is to be issued with an EHCP with details of the named school.

    If your child already has an EHCP the Special Needs Service will lead on the transition to secondary school and you need not apply through Royal Greenwich Admission Service.

  • No, but you are strongly encouraged to list as many as possible - up to six - as this will increase your chances of being offered a place on 1 March 2019.

    As any of your preferences may be offered, it is recommended you do not name any school you do not wish to be offered.

    Your preferences cannot be changed after the closing date, unless you are able to provide evidence that confirms there has been a significant change in your family's circumstances.

  • You can list any community, foundation, free or voluntary aided school (usually Church of England or Catholic), or academy.

    Schools in the independent sector (fee-paying) do not fall within the scheme.

    Although it is for you to decide on your preference schools, we recommend that you do not 'waste' a preference by naming a school at which your child is unlikely to be offered a place. It is important that you consider each school's admissions criteria before making your application.

    Royal Greenwich does not have grammar (selective) schools. In the case of selective schools in other areas, there are additional requirements and you will need to contact the borough or council which maintains the school or schools for details of their procedures and timetables.

  • If you experience any technical difficulties or forget your password, please contact the London Grid for Learning, which administers the eAdmissions portal (Option 1).

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  • If you will be applying for a place as a foundation (faith) entrant at the schools listed below you will need to complete a supplementary information form - in addition to the application form:

    • St Mary Magdalene Church of England
    • St Paul's Academy
    • St Thomas More Catholic School
    • St Ursula's Convent School

    If you are applying for a place at St Mary Magdalene Church of England School you must complete the school's supplementary information form specifying which site you would like your child to attend.

    Supplementary information forms are available on this website or from the school.

    The supplementary information form must be returned to the school by 31 October 2018.

  • If you feel that there is an acute medical or social reason why your child should be offered a particular school, please make this clear on your application and remember to attach supporting evidence, including a professional medical diagnosis. It is expected that a professional, such as a GP or consultant, will write any supporting statements.

    These reasons must be stated at the application stage so that full consideration may be given before all the places are filled.

    Sometimes parents and carers describe a particular medical or social need that can in fact be met in most schools. You should therefore state why the school is the most suitable for your child and the implications if your application is not successful.

    Please bear in mind that work commitments and childcare arrangements do not fall under the category of an acute medical or social need.

    Please also note that we do not normally consider moderate learning difficulties, such as delayed speech and language or dyslexia, as being an acute medical or social need. We can only consider a request for a place in a school's designated specialist provision (DSP) if it is supported by our Special Needs Service.

  • The following are considered valid reasons for not being able to provide the required proof of address:

    • the applicant has recently moved to Royal Greenwich from another borough or from abroad
    • the Council Tax is paid by a private landlord or is included in the rent
    • the applicant is not entitled to public funds
    • the applicant is in the UK armed forces or is a Crown Servant
    • exceptional circumstances, that is, the applicant is fleeing domestic violence, house fire and so on.

    If you are not liable for Council Tax or have recently moved, you will need to provide alternative proof of address, such as:

    • opening or closing accounts for Council Tax and utility accounts
    • a tenancy agreement via a commercial letting agency (the tenancy period must extend beyond the start of the academic year in which your child starts secondary school)
    • proof of payment of rent to a landlord on a regular basis
    • evidence of completion of the purchase of a new property
    • for members of the UK armed forces, an official letter confirming the address of your quarters
    • Crown Servants will need to provide evidence that they will be residing in Royal Greenwich.

    If you are unable to provide any of the above, at least two of the following types of documentation may be accepted:

    • a tenancy agreement
    • benefit letters
    • wage slips or P45
    • bank statements
    • utility bills
    • Home Office letter
    • medical card or GP letter
    • driving licence.

    If you are unable to provide any of the documentation listed above, please seek advice from the Admissions Service about what other documentation could be considered as being acceptable proof. The easiest way to do this is by emailing us at school-admissions@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

  • A Crown Servant is employed by the Crown, such a member of the armed forces a civil servant or a diplomat. If a Crown Servant who is oversees provides an official letter or an official posting notice with a relocation date, UK base address and UK home address, Royal Greenwich will be able to accept, process and allocate a place from the UK home address.

  • The Families Information Service (FIS) offers support to parents and carers who may need support with the school admissions process. The service is available to everyone and provides:

    • a wide range of information on local secondary schools
    • support in making informed and realistic preferences
    • help in completing the relevant forms
    • information about the appeals process.

    If you have questions about which schools will best meet your child's academic and developmental needs, or require support in making your application, please contact FIS at fis@royalgreenwich.gov.uk.

  • No, this cannot be guaranteed. Much depends on:

    • how many people apply for places at each school
    • whether applicants have brothers or sisters already there
    • and other factors.

    These things can vary from year to year. The more schools you list, the better your chances of getting a place for your child at one of them.

    Admission authorities publish information on the number of applications to schools in previous years and how far away schools have tended to recruit from. This can give you some idea of how likely it is you will obtain a place - but it is only a guide, not a prediction. It can help you make a more realistic choice, but you are entitled to express a preference for any school you wish.

    Information on the previous year's application rates is available in the Secondary Schools in Royal Greenwich booklet.

    You can also use our distance measuring tool and interactive maps showing the geographical areas schools recruited from.

  • No, we will not pass on details to the school of where the school is ranked within your preferences. No school will be told about other schools you have applied for.

    The order of preference is only used where it is possible to offer you a place at more than one school. For example, if you list four schools and you could be offered a place at Numbers 2 and 4, you will be offered School 2 - the highest ranked on your list.

  • No, an 'equal preference' system is used. This means that each preference will be considered on its merits, using the admission criteria for the particular school. For example, someone might list a school first, but live a long way from it. They might be less likely to be offered a place than someone who listed that school as a second (or even lower) preference, yet live closer to the school.

    You should put all schools genuinely in the order you prefer them. There is no need for 'guessing games', as all the preferences are treated equally. But do bear in mind the admission criteria for each school, for example the distance from your home.

    Remember it is your responsibility to make sure you have ranked your preferences in the order you want them to be considered.

  • If you have applied online, you can make changes to your application at any time up until the closing date. The online system is open from 1 September to 31 October 2018 and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Remember that you will need your password.

    If you have submitted a paper application form, you will need to advise us in writing of any changes. The best way to do this by email at school-admissions@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

  • Late applications, submitted with 'good cause' after the closing date but before 11 December 2018 will be treated in the same way as applications submitted by the closing date. An application may be treated as being late with good cause if it can be demonstrated that family or other circumstances made it impossible to apply by the closing date.

    If you submit your application form after 11 December 2018, please state the reason or reasons, providing documentary evidence where possible. This will enable us to assess quickly whether your application may be deemed as late with good cause. Examples of what is considered to be 'good cause' include circumstances where:

    • a single parent or carer has been ill for some time
    • a single parent or carer has been dealing with the death of a close relative
    • a family has just moved into the area or is returning from abroad (proof of ownership or tenancy of a property will be required).

    All other late applications will be considered strictly in accordance with the admissions criteria from June onwards. These include:

    • late applications received by 11 December 2018 but not deemed as being late with good cause
    • all applications submitted after 11 December 2018.
  • You must notify us of any change of address no later than four weeks from the date of your move and provide the relevant proof. The best way to do this is by emailing us at school-admissions@royalgreenwich.gov.uk.

    A future move cannot be taken into consideration.

    Under the secondary transfer process:

    • If you move to Royal Greenwich from another area before 11 December 2018, your previous home authority will forward your application to us so that we may take over responsibility for processing your application.
    • If you move into Royal Greenwich after this date, your application will remain the responsibility of the local authority in whose area you lived when you made your application. We will take over responsibility after the offers of places have been made on 1 March 2019.
  • It is the admission authority for the school. In the case of community and voluntary controlled schools, the admission authority is the local council. For foundation, free and voluntary aided schools, and academies, the admission authority is the school's governing body.

    Each admission authority has to publish the criteria it uses to decide who will be given a place at the school if there are more applicants than places available. The school is said to be 'oversubscribed' in such cases.

    The admission criteria for all Royal Greenwich schools are described in the Secondary Schools in Royal Greenwich booklet.

  • If you applied online you will be sent an email informing you of the outcome of your application during the evening of 1 March 2019.

    If you applied using the paper form you will not be able to access the result of your application electronically. We will send you a letter by first class post on 1 March 2019 with the outcome of your application.

    Offer letters are sent out by first class post on 1 March 2019. This means that you will most probably receive your letter on 2 March 2019, but it may arrive the day after.

    If you apply online you will receive your outcome quicker and there is no risk of it getting lost in the post.

  • If your child is offered a place at a preference school, we will assume that you wish to accept this offer. In the unlikely event that you do not wish to accept this offer, you will need to let us know. You can do this by emailing us at school-admissions@royalgreenwich.gov.uk.

    If you have been allocated a school, you will need to let us know if you wish to accept or decline the offer. This may be done in one of the following ways:

    Verbal responses are not accepted. Regardless of which method you choose, you need to respond by 15 March 2019. If you do not respond by this date and it can be demonstrated that every reasonable effort has been made to contact you, the offer will be withdrawn.

    If you don't accept the offer, you will be asked to state what alternative arrangements you are making for your child's education.

  • If you are a Royal Greenwich resident your child will be allocated a place at the appropriate school nearest to your home that has vacancies after offers have been made. Please bear in mind that the allocations process is based solely on distance and so your child may be allocated a place at any school.

    1. Waiting lists

      Your child’s name will automatically be added to the waiting list for any school you listed as a higher preference than the school offered. This also applies if you are not offered any of your preference schools. If you do not want your child's name added to a waiting list, you will need to let us know. You can do this by emailing us at school-admissions@royalgreenwich.gov.uk. Waiting lists are maintained until 31 August 2020.

      If you would like your child's name to remain on the waiting list for the following academic year, you will need to re-apply.

      Information on waiting lists is available in the Secondary Schools in Royal Greenwich booklet.

    2. Appeals

      You have the right to appeal against the decision not to offer your child a place at any of the schools for which you have applied.

      The outcome of your appeal will not be influenced by the acceptance of the place offered. However, you should accept the school offered in the event that your appeal is unsuccessful.

      Find appeal forms, guidance notes and frequently asked questions about the appeals procedure

    Appeal statistics and further information

    Out of XX appeals that were heard for Royal Greenwich community secondary schools for entry in September 2018, only XX appeals were successful. For more information on these limitations, please see the appeal guidance document.

    Find appeal forms, guidance notes and frequently asked questions about the appeals procedure