Primary school admissions

Starting reception in 2017/18

Closing date for making applications: 15 January 2017

Pupils usually start primary school in the year of their fifth birthday. If your child was born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 this will be from September 2017. You can apply via the eadmissions portal.

Before you apply

The Starting School in Tower Hamlets brochure is available online and contains all the  information you need on applying for your child's reception place. You can also get a copy from nurseries and primary schools in Tower Hamlets or by contacting the Pupil Services team on 020 7364 5006. For more information on catchment areas and the tie-break criterion please see our 'Equal Chance' page.

How to apply

To apply online, please visit the eadmissions portal. You can apply online from 1 September 2016 and until 15 January 2017. Applying online for your child's reception place is a simple process and you can easily make changes to your application up until the closing date.

Alternatively you can apply using a paper application form. Application forms are available from nurseries and primary schools in Tower Hamlets.

National Offer Day

All parents that applied for a reception school place before January 2017 will be sent a letter with the outcome of their application on 18 April 2017.

Both online applicants and those who have completed paper applications will be sent a letter. Parents who applied online will also be able to access the outcome of their application on the evening of 18 April 2017 by visiting the eadmissions portal. Parents will receive an email to inform them when this information will be available on the website.

Deferring school entry

All children are expected to start school in the reception year in September, if they will be five in that school year. Deferring school entry means that a child begins school later than September, but still joins their own age-peer group. Please refer to the guidance on Deferring School Entry for more information and apply using the Deferring School Entry Form.  Alternatively please contact Pupil Services on 020 7364 5006 and a form can be sent to you.


If your child is not offered a place at a school of your preference you can appeal against that decision. The appeal panel is independent of the council and schools in the borough.

Infant class size legislation applies to appeals for children starting reception. This means that a class must not contain more than 30 pupils with a single school teacher. Parents should note that there are only very limited circumstances where reception appeals are successful.

If you wish to appeal you can download an admission appeals form or call Pupil Services. Please include any evidence or supporting material with your appeal form and you must give the grounds for your appeal at the time the appeal is lodged. You may appeal for more than one school.

For your appeal to be heard in June 2017, you will need to submit your appeal form by 17 May 2017. Appeals received after this date will result in a delay to your appeal being heard.  Please read the appeal timetable 2017 for more information.

Need a school place today?

If your child is of nursery, primary or secondary school age now and does not have a school place, please contact Pupil Services on 020 7364 5006 or visit our in-year admissions page.

Further information