School admissions criteria 2019/20

Following the earlier public consultation and the council cabinet meeting on 27 February, the Local Authority has now determined its arrangements for school admissions for the 2019/20 school year as follows:

  1. The admission arrangements and oversubscription criteria for community nursery schools
  2. The admission arrangements and oversubscription criteria criteria for community primary schools
  3. The admission arrangements and oversubscription criteria for community secondary schools
  4. The schemes for the co-ordination of admissions for entry to Reception and Year 7
  5. The scheme for the co-ordination of in-year admissions
  6. Planned admission numbers for schools in Tower Hamlets 2019/20

The significant changes are:

  • The introduction of a new oversubscription criterion for community schools and other schools that have adopted the Local Authority’s admissions policy, giving priority to children of staff who have worked at the school for at least two years or have been recruited to fill a demonstrable skills shortage.
  • A change to the timetable for in-year school transfers, whereby transfers will normally take place at the beginning of the school term as opposed to the current arrangements that is every half-term.
  • The introduction of centrally co-ordinated arrangements for admissions to nursery schools and classes, previously agreed by the council’s cabinet in February 2017. The Authority has since developed its nursery admissions scheme in conjunction with headteacher representatives from nursery and primary schools; representatives from parents and community groups; and the diocesan bodies. The new arrangements and procedures for nursery applications will operate similar to those for primary reception and further details will be published on the school admission website over the coming months.

Equality impact assessment 2015

The authority has completed an equality impact assessment. Please download the full equality impact assessment report.

For more information on the specific arrangements for admission to Tower Hamlets community primary schools, visit the equal chance page.

Own admission authority schools – admissions policies 2019/20

The admission arrangements for voluntary aided schools, academies and free schools are required to be displayed on the individual school websites. The following schools in Tower Hamlets determine their own admission policies and can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

Primary schools


Secondary schools


Each school has a published admissions number, the maximum number of places that can be offered. Details on the number of places available can be found in the Starting School in Tower Hamlets brochure for primary schools and the Moving to a Secondary School in Tower Hamlets brochure for secondary schools.

Some schools receive more applications than there are places available. If one of your preferences is for a school that has more applications than places, the admissions criteria for the school will be applied and it is possible that your child may not be offered a place. It is, therefore, important that you consider the admissions criteria and the likelihood of your child being offered a place before you name a school on your application form.

Please note that Tower Hamlets is not able to exceed the school's admission number because, to do so, would result in overcrowding and would have an adverse effect on the school's ability to provide quality education. Additional children would place too much strain on the school's resources.