Schools and coronavirus

Schools, childcare and other educational provisions are closed to everyone following the outbreak of coronavirus, except for:

Children of key (critical) workers

- Vulnerable children - this includes children with a social worker, an EHCP and those with safeguarding concerns


These schools will remain open for these children. They will be prioritised for early years and education provision. We are working with schools to provide support at this time, including for families who rely on free school meals for their children.

Primary school admissions

Reception school admissions: starting reception in 2020/21

Pupils usually start primary school in the September following their fourth birthday. If your child was born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 this will be from September 2020. You must Make an online application for a reception place, even if your child is already attending the school's nursery.

You must apply via the e-admissions portal. Closing date for making applications was 15 January 2020.

If you have not yet made an application for a September start, please use the portal to submit a late application

National offer day

All parents that applied for a Reception school place before 15 January 2020 will be sent a letter with the outcome of their application on 16 April. Parents will also be able to view the outcome of their application on the evening of 16 April by visiting the eadmissions portal.

Parents will receive an email to inform them when the information is available to view on the website.

Contact numbers

Keisha Rose - 020 7364 3837
Kia Wahr - 020 7364 4412
Sakib Rahman - 020 7364 4419

Before you apply

The Starting Primary 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. For more information on catchment areas and the tie-break criterion please see our 'Equal Chance' page.

How to apply

You must apply online, please visit the eadmissions portal. You can apply online from 1 September 2019 and until 15 January 2020. 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. 

We have arranged sessions at the borough's Idea Stores to help you make your application if you require support. If you do not have access to the internet at home, you can attend the Idea Stores at any time and use their internet services for free.

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. Complete deferring school entry form or call 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 must complete and submit your appeal online. This is a simple and safe way to appeal and you will get a receipt to confirm it has been submitted. Please include any evidence or supporting material with your online appeal and you must give the reasons for your appeal at the time the appeal is submitted. You may appeal for more than one school.

For your appeal to be heard in June 2020, you will need to submit your appeal form by 15 May 2020. Appeals received after this date will result in a delay to your appeal being heard. Please read the appeal timetable 2020 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 or visit our in-year admissions page.

Further information