Schools during Covid-19

All children and young people in Tower Hamlets should now be back at school or college.

See the latest information on:

School attendance

Travelling to and from school

Travel Support

Free School Meal

School Clothing Grant


See the latest advice, news and information on schools

Secondary school admissions

Starting Secondary school in September 2021

If you live in Tower Hamlets and your child is in Year 6 (born between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2010) you will need to make an online application via eadmissions portal for them to transfer to secondary school in September 2021.

The closing date for making applications was 31 October 2020. If you haven't yet made an application contact: 

Mohammed Malik: 020 7364 4307
Kelly Mack: 020 7364 5860

National Offer Day - Monday 1 March

You will receive a text message on 1 March from eadmissions to notify you when you can log in to your account to view the outcome of your application.  This is likely to be late afternoon or early evening.  Pupil services will also post a letter to you on 1 March to advise you of the outcome.  Please note we are unable to notify you of the outcome by telephone on 1 March.

If you haven't been offered a place at one of your preferred schools, please see information how to appeal the decision.

Before you apply

The Ready for Secondary School in Tower Hamlets booklet contains all the information you need on applying, including a step by step guide to making your online application.  

We have also produced a film which explains the secondary transfer process and gives useful tips and advice from parents and children who have experience of the process.
You may also find this short information clip highlighting the main dates and important information useful.

Visiting dates for Tower Hamlets Secondary Schools

As a result of Covid-19 and the governments social distancing advice, some Tower Hamlets secondary schools have put alternative arrangements in place for visiting this year. Please visit the individual school website or check the most up to date information on the visiting dates page.

Please note that these arrangements are also subject to last minute change so please do check before you visit.

Changes to preference

In response to Covid-19 related issues, many schools which test for a child’s ability or aptitude have decided to postpone admission tests until later in the autumn term.

Despite these changes, parents should still register their child for tests by published deadlines and submit their common application form by the national closing date, 31 October 2020. 

The schools in Tower Hamlets that select partially on aptitude are Stepney All Saints CofE School (formerly Sir John Cass) and St Pauls Way Trust School. However you will receive notification of the outcome for both schools before 31 October 2020 allowing you time to alter preferences, if you wish, before the closing date.

If you are a Tower Hamlets resident and you are applying for a selective school outside of Tower Hamlets:

  • Once you receive the results of the test, you can make changes to your application preferences (such as to add or remove a selective school) as long as you notify by 10 December 2020. Changes to preference after this date will only be considered after places are offered on 1 March 2021.

If you are NOT a Tower Hamlets resident:

  • Please contact your home local authority for their policy on making changes to a school admission application.

Stepney Green Maths, Computing and Science College

Stepney Green Maths, Computing and Science College changed from a boys’ school to a co-educational (boys and girls) school from September 2019, please see the secondary booklet for further information.


Please refer to the Pupil Ability Banding FAQ leaflet for explanation on why Tower Hamlets uses banding and how it works in practice.

Special note: Given the circumstances with Covid-19 it was not possible to carry out the usual testing arrangements of Year 5 pupils in the summer term 2020 in order for this data to then be used for secondary school banding.

The band for a pupil attending a Tower Hamlets primary school will therefore be determined this year by a teacher assessment in reading.

The assessment will be based on where the pupils would have been predicted to have been working at the end of Year 5 had schools been functioning 'as normal' and following the national curriculum Year 5 programme of study.

The result of the assessment is used to place a child in one of four bands A, B, C and D.  D is the highest scoring band.

For pupils applying from primary schools outside of Tower Hamlets we will also determine the band by asking the primary school for a teacher assessment in reading.


If you are not offered a place at a school of your preference you can appeal that decision. The appeals panel is independent of the council and schools in the borough. 
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. 
Appeals for Canary Wharf College Schools should be made via the schools website:
Appeals timetable

Last day for lodging appeal forms for places in year 7 at SECONDARY schools

4pm on 29 March 2021

Appeals received after this date may not be heard by the end of the summer term.


Last day for lodging appeal forms for Reception in PRIMARY schools

4pm on 14 May 2021

Appeals received after this date may not be heard by the end of the summer term.


Secondary appeals will take place from

April to June 2021

Primary appeals will take place from

June to July 2021

Invitation letter giving you details about your hearing will be sent by the Clerk to the Independent Appeal Panel

At least 10 school days before the hearing

Any additional evidence or supporting evidence

At least 5 school days before the hearing.  You are advised that additional paperwork received on the day of the appeal hearing will not be taken into account.

Letter from the Clerk informing you of the decision of the independent panel

Where possible this will be sent 5 school days after the last hearing for all the appeals held for that particular school.

Do you need help making an appeal for a year 7 school place for your child? 

Tower Hamlets Transition Support Service provides impartial advice, information and assistance to support children, young people and their families during key points of transition.

Help with a range of school issues including school admissions, appeals and home/school communication in sometimes challenging times.

Waiting lists

If your child is not offered a place at your first preference school or you are offered one of your lower preference schools, your child will be added to the waiting list.
You will need to reapply in December 2021 to remain on the waiting list after this time. Admissions policies for the following schools are available from the schools' websites

Need a school place today?

If your child is of secondary school age now and does not have a school place, please contact the council's Pupil Services team or visit our in-year admissions page.

Further information