London Borough of Croydon

Starting secondary school - frequently asked questions

Click on the questions ro see the answer

When do I have to apply for a school place?

You can start your online application from 1 September 2020 and have until 31 October 2020 to apply. National Offer Day will be 1 March 2021.  

How do I apply for my application to be considered under a medical criteria?

Not all schools have a medical admissions criteria, check if your chosen schools do by visiting their websites.
To apply under medical criteria select the ‘medical criteria’ tick box against your preferences when completing your eAdmissions form. 

How do I apply for my application to be considered under a looked after child criteria?

To apply under the looked after child criteria select the ‘looked after child (LAC)’ tick box against your preferences when completing your eAdmissions form. 

You will also need to upload relevant documentation that states the child is currently or has previously been in the care of a local authority.

I will be moving to a new address in September and need to apply for a school place – how does this effect the application process?

You may be able to add schools to your application if you can provide proof of your new address (e.g., utility bill and new tenancy agreement/ completion contract) to the school admissions team by 10 December 2020, but only 6 preferences in total can be accepted.

If your address changes after 10 December 2020 you still need to notify us immediately, providing proof of address, so that your new address can be used to prioritise your preferences for schools after 1 March 2021.

Changes of address will be investigated to ensure there is a permanent commitment to the new address.

If you have moved out of Croydon Borough your application will be transferred to your new home local authority.
 

I have moved since I completed my application form, can I change my application to add schools closer to my home address? 

You may be able to add schools to your application if you can provide proof of your new address (e.g., utility bill and new tenancy agreement/ completion contract) to the school admissions team by 10 December 2020, but only 6 preferences in total can be accepted.

If your address changes after 10 December 2020 please notify us immediately, providing proof of address, so that your new address can be used to prioritise your existing preferences for schools where possible. 

Changes of address will be investigated to ensure there is a permanent commitment to the new address.
If you have moved out of Croydon Borough your application will be transferred to your new home local authority.

Why has my waiting list position changed?

Waiting lists are determined by each school’s admissions criteria. If a school receives an application for a child who is eligible to be considered under a higher criteria they will be placed higher on their waiting list which will impact your waiting list position.

When will I receive an offer for a school place?

Outcomes will be available on 1 March 2021 for all applications submitted on time (before 31 October 2020)

Why did I not get any of my preferred schools?

If you have not received an offer at any of your preference schools it is because they are oversubscribed and have not been able to offer a place.
Places at the schools are allocated in accordance with their admissions criteria. As the number of applications that meet the criteria vary year to year, the distance criteria can change to ensure number of children admitted does not exceed the number of places.

I don’t agree with the decision not to offer my child a place at my preferred school, how do I appeal?

All Croydon secondary schools process their own appeals. Please contact the school directly for further information.

My neighbour’s child has been offered a place at my preferred school, why did I not get a place?

Places at the schools are allocated in accordance with their admissions criteria. Your neighbour’s child may meet the higher criteria (e.g., sibling criteria). In addition, as the number of applications that meet the criteria vary year to year, the distance criteria can change to ensure number of children admitted does not exceed the number of places.

Last year the children living in my area were offered a place at my preferred school, why haven’t I been offered a place? 

Places at the schools are allocated in accordance with their admissions criteria. As the number of applications that meet the criteria vary year to year, the distance criteria can change to ensure number of children admitted does not exceed the number of places.

What happens if I do not accept the school place offered to me?

Your child could be left without a school place in September if you do not accept the place. 
We recommend that you accept any offer you receive. This place can be declined at a later date if you receive a more preferable alternative.

What if I have shared custody of my child?

Parents should agree before completing the application which parent has the main responsibility for school application. If parents are separated and share custody, the parent who the child spends most of the school week with should make the application.

Who has parental responsibility and what happens in cases of private fostering?

Information on parental rights and responsibilities can be found at www.gov.uk/parental-rights-responsibilities .

If you are a distant relative or not related to the child you are caring for, it is likely that you are a private foster parent. In law this means you must tell your local council you are caring for the child. You need to get permission from the child’s parents (or the person with parental responsibility) before making the application

Can I re-apply for lower preferences or add further preferences to my original application?

After 1 March 2021, you can apply for any Croydon or other authority school you had not previously applied for. However, you cannot request to be added to the waiting list for a school you had listed as a lower preference on your application if you have been offered your first preference school. Requests to be considered for lower preference schools can be made through the in-year application process – that is from September 2021.

What other forms will I need to complete besides the online application form?

Voluntary Aided Schools, Academies and Foundation schools require applicants to complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF). The SIF collects information needed to apply admission criteria, but not available from the main application form. 

The SIF is available directly from the school, on the school’s website or on request. It must be returned directly to the school.
You must still complete the main online application form and list the school as one of your preferences to be considered – SIF is not sufficient for an application on its own. 

What if I am interested in applying to private/independent (fee paying) schools?

You must apply to independent/private schools directly. These school applications are not processed by the council and cannot be specified on the application form. 

What if my application is late?

If your application is late for good reason and is submitted before 10 December 2020, it may still be considered in the initial allocation round.

In order for an application to be considered as 'late for good reason' it must be accompanied by an email explaining the reasons for the application being late. This must be sent to Schooladmissions@croydon.gov.uk.

Examples of what may be considered a good reason include: 

  • a single parent being ill for some time
  • dealing with the death of a close relative
  • family has just moved into the area 

Proof will be requested where possible and each case will be considered on its own merits. Applications which are late for no good reason and those that are received after 10 December 2020 but before 1 March 2021 will be allocated available places after all on-time preferences have been processed.