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Primary school applications: Post offer day information, offers, waiting lists and FAQ

Online applicants for Reception 2018 will be able to view the outcome of their application on the evening of 16 April 2018. Letters will be sent to applicants who applied using a paper form on 16 April 2018.

The online outcome and the letter will give instructions on how to accept or decline any place you have been offered.

On this page

Waiting list

If your child is on a waiting list for Reception 2017 entry, you can check your waiting list position for Merton community schools by calling our Contact Centre on 020 8274 4906. Waiting lists for Merton community schools close termly - further details about staying on lists longer can be found on the Waiting list renewal page.

Where a school is oversubscribed and has more applicants than places available, offers are made according to their admissions criteria. Those who cannot be offered a place will be added to a waiting list, providing they are not offered one of their higher preference schools. Waiting lists are kept in the same order as the admissions criteria of the school.

All applicants will be automatically held on waiting lists for higher preference schools than the one offered. If the schools are outside Merton, we will pass the child’s information to the relevant borough to add to its waiting lists, providing the child is eligible. If you want to know if your child is on a waiting list for a school in another borough you should contact its admission authority (local authority or school).

Waiting lists for community schools are maintained by the local authority; academies, voluntary aided and free schools maintain their own. Waiting lists will remain open until the end of the 2018 autumn term. If you wish to remain on the list after this date, you must write to the admissions authority (local authority or school).

Waiting lists can change: for example, if a child moves into the area after the initial allocations have been made, their name will be added to the waiting list in accordance with the admissions criteria. If they live closer to the chosen school than you do, their name may go above your child on the waiting list.

Once your child’s name reaches the top of the waiting list, if a vacancy occurs you will be offered a place.



All parents have the right of appeal against a decision not to offer a place for a child, providing an application has been made. Information about how to appeal will be sent to all applicants who do not get offered their first preference school on 16 April 2018. Appeals are likely to be heard during June and July.

There are only very limited circumstances in which an appeal for a Reception class place can be upheld. In 2017 only one appeal was successful out of 47 lodged with Merton.

For more information on appeals, please visit the appeals page on our website. 

Frequently asked questions

What happens if there are no places at any of my preferred schools?

We will allocate all available vacancies to unplaced pupils living an appropriate distance from them. You will remain on the waiting list for any preferred school and you also have a right of appeal. Some applicants will not receive an offer in the first round of allocations on 16 April 2018. There is usually movement on the waiting list after this date, and additional preferences may also be named. You can contact the School Admissions Team at for advice.


I am a Merton resident. What happens if I don’t get any of my preferred schools?

All parents have a right of appeal against a decision not to offer a place for a child. For community schools, appeals should be lodged with the local authority. For voluntary aided, academies and free schools, they should be lodged directly with the governing body of the particular school.

Please be aware that very few appeals are successful. Your appeal can only be successful if the appeals panel believes:


  • the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit; or
  • the admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law or were incorrectly and impartially applied and the child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had complied or had been correctly and fairly applied; or
  • the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.

For schools in other boroughs, you will need to contact that local authority for further information on their appeal procedures.

Information about how to appeal will be sent to all applicants who do not get offered their first preference school on 16 April 2018. Appeals are likely to be heard during June and July. Please note that you can only appeal for schools for which you have applied. 

If I do not get a school offer that I am happy with, can I educate my child at home?

You may choose to take this option but we do not recommend that you do so. If you decide that this is the best option for you, you must notify the local authority in writing. You must provide a curriculum suitable for a pupil of primary age and the local authority has a duty to ensure that the education you provide is appropriate. The local authority will ask for full details of your arrangement and advisers will make monitoring visits while you are educating your child at home. We do not provide materials, tutors or funding and cannot support you educating your child at home.

I have been offered a place at a private school. What should I do?

Accept or decline the place as per your application outcome. If you are accepting a place at a private school and you have already accepted a place at a Merton school, please inform us of this. It is very important that you do this as, if you don’t let us know, you may be preventing another child from receiving an offer of a place. Also, if your child is expected to start at a school in September and does not arrive, an Education Welfare Officer will visit you to find out what arrangements you have made for his or her education.

Can I go on the waiting list for other schools?

You can name any additional schools you would like to be considered for on your reply slip, by email or in writing at any process, but you may wish to name schools before the second round of allocations. You will have to tell Merton which schools you would like to apply for even if the school is in another borough, is a Church school or an Academy.

What is the Summer Born Policy?

The Government is currently consulting on a new policy for children born in summer months. In some cases this means that younger children can be held back a year. Please see our interim policy in response to the Government consultation. Further information about Interim Summer Born policy can be found on the Admissions Arrangements webpage

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 Thursday 13 July 2017

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