Primary school admissions

Starting reception in 2016/17

Closing date for making applications: January 15, 2016

Pupils usually start primary school in the year of their fifth birthday. If your child was born between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012 this will be from September 2016.

Before you apply

Please read the Starting School in Tower Hamlets brochure for information 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.

How to apply

To apply online, please visit the eadmissions portal. You can apply online from September 1, 2015 and until January 15, 2016. 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 2016 will be sent a letter with the outcome of their application on April 18, 2016. 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 April 18, 2016 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

Children usually start at reception in September – however, parents can request that their child starts later in the school year. Please read the advice on deferring school entry for more information (PDF 132kb) and if you would like to defer your child’s entry to school you will need to complete a Deferring school entry form (PDF 175kb) and return it to Pupil Services.


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 (PDF 187kb) 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 2016, you will need to submit your appeal form by May 17, 2016. Appeals received after this date will result in a delay to your appeal being heard.  Please read the appeal timetable 2016 (PDF, 40kb) 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.

Contact us

If you require any further information or advice about the primary admissions process, please contact:

Pupil Services
Mulberry Place
5 Clove Crescent
E14 2BG

Tel: 020 7364 5006

Further information