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My Merton - the latest news and information from your council

Choosing which primary schools to apply for

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Merton primary schools

You can check to see where each Merton primary school is by looking at the borough map

Making your choices

When making your choice we encourage you to consider schools that are nearest to your home address, including schools that may be in other boroughs. As well as being easier to get to, such schools are more likely to be able to admit your child. If you have a number of schools close to you and you are unable to see which is closest by using the map, you can contact the School Admissions Team at admissions@merton.gov.uk for further help. Alternatively you can visit the DirectGov school page to find further information on schools close to you.

Each applicant in London is limited to a maximum of six preferences. It is recommended that you name at least one school for which your application is likely to be successful, for example, your local community school. Before deciding which schools to apply for, we advise visiting primary schools and looking at their websites in order to gain further information.

Please do not base your decisions solely on the SATS results, Ofsted reports, or what other people say about a school. We recommend that all families make up their own minds and that your child is involved in the application process. Visit the schools with your child and remember that different children thrive in different environments, not just those that the parents feel are appropriate. Also take into account the accessibility of the school from your home address.

It is also important that you consider the admissions criteria for each school so you understand how places are allocated and who gets priority when a school is oversubscribed. Different schools have different admissions policies, and these may affect the chances of your child being offered a place.

Schools outside Merton

Many families living close to borough boundaries will have their local schools outside Merton. If you are applying for schools which are not in Merton, you still need to name them as one of your six preferences. If you do not name them as a preference, they will be unable to consider your application.

Listed below are links to the websites for our neighbouring local authorities. We advise visiting these websites to obtain further details of the schools available in their boroughs.

Borough London Borough of Croydon
Address People Department, 4th Floor (Zone G), Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon, CR0 1EA
Telephone 020 8726 6400
Website Croydon admissions site

Borough Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
Address School Admissions, Guildhall 2, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 1EU
Telephone 020 8547 5004
Website Kingston admissions site

Borough London Borough of Lambeth
Address School Admissions Team, 10th Floor International House, Canterbury Crescent, London, SW9 7QE
Telephone 020 7926 9503
Website Lambeth admissions site

Borough London Borough of Sutton
Address Children, Young People and Learning Directorate, Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 1EA
Telephone 020 8770 5000
Website Sutton admissions site

Borough London Borough of Wandsworth
Address Pupil Services, Wandsworth Council, Children's Services Department, Town Hall Extension, Wandsworth High Street, London, SW18 2PU
Telephone 020 8871 7316
Website Wandsworth admissions site

If you are not a resident in Merton but you are thinking of applying for a Reception place in a Merton school, you will need to apply via your home borough.

How places were offered last year

To maximise your chances of being offered a place, it is important you use all your available six preferences. Please be realistic in your assessment by using the details of how places were offered last year and considering schools outside of Merton if you live close to the borough boundaries.

Primary school expansions

Following a significant increase in demand for primary school places, a number of schools have increased their capacity over the last six years. The increased admission numbers are included in the admissions arrangements.

Further information and updates relating to school expansions will be published on our website. Please visit the school expansion page for further details.

Frequently asked questions

Can I choose which school I send my child to?

No. You cannot choose the school but you do have the right to express a preference.

Each school has a maximum number of places available and they cannot offer above these numbers. Where there are more applications for places than places available these are allocated in accordance with the admissions criteria.

I live in Merton. Can I apply for primary schools in other boroughs?

Yes. You should name all schools on your application in order of preference whether they are in Merton or in other boroughs You should check with out-of-borough schools to see if a supplementary form is required.

I do not live in Merton. Can I apply for a Merton primary school?

Yes. You must apply on your home Council’s Common Application Form. All places are considered according to published criteria which cannot, by law, exclude children living outside of the borough.

If my child attends a school nursery, will they automatically get a place in the Reception class?

No. A new application must be made for the main school by the closing date. Schools cannot guarantee places for children who are in their nursery. This is because nursery provision is not compulsory, and it is unfair on those families who either choose to keep their child at home or who prefer a different kind of childcare provision until they are due to go to into a Reception class. There are also more spaces in most nurseries than there are in Reception classes.

If I already have a child at my preferred school will I automatically get a place for my younger child?

No. You still need to make the application and name the sibling on the application form. For Merton community schools, a sibling in Year 6 will not qualify, as they will not be attending the school at the time of the younger child’s admission. Most schools will give some priority to siblings, however you are advised to check the admission arrangements for each school you are applying for to understand where siblings fall within their criteria.

Do I have to name six schools?

No. You may name up to six schools. We would recommend using as many of your preferences as you can to maximise your chances of being offered a school place on 18 April 2017, as it is not always possible to allocate places later if you add schools or change your mind.

Is it wise to choose schools nearest to my home?

Yes. You will have a greater chance of getting a place at the school closest to your home, although there is no guarantee of being offered a place at your nearest school. Please see the information on how places were offered last year to give you an indication of whether you are likely to live close enough to a school for an offer to be made. If you have local schools outside Merton, we recommend you also apply for these.

If you manage to get a place in a nursery that is not the closest to your home, you may not get your child into the Reception class when they are due to start full-time school.

We live in Merton. Do I have a right to a place in a Merton school?

A local authority has a responsibility to provide school places for children in its area. However, the Education Act 1996 (Section 18) does not specify that schools have to be located in that borough. If you are unsuccessful in your preference schools, we will ensure a reasonable school offer is made, taking into account travel time and distance.

Are my preferences confidential?

Yes. Your preference order and the names of the schools you list will not be released. All admissions authorities (the local authority or the school itself) will consider your application without reference to this information. If you are unsuccessful in your application and lodge an appeal, your application and preference order may be shared with the admissions authority and appeals panel.

Primary school application process

  1. When to apply and important dates
  2. Choosing which schools to apply for
  3. Admissions criteria
  4. Guide to applying
  5. Apply for a place
  6. Offers and waiting lists

This page was last updated on Friday 5 August 2016

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