School admissions process

Confidentiality and preferences, waiting lists, late applications, special educational needs (SEN), neighbouring authorities, distance between your home and schools.

Distance between your home and schools

Finding out the approximate distance between your home and the schools you wish to apply for


Measuring the distance from your home to a local school

To assess school applications, the local authority measures the distance from the home to the school using a GIS (geographic information system). This measures the precise distance, to three decimal points, in a straight line from the pupil’s main home to the designated main school entrance nominated by the school. For shared properties, e.g. flats, the measurement is taken from a reference point within the building. The use of the geographic information system (GIS) ensures that all applications are measured by the same method.

Measuring the distance yourself: using our map 

To calculate the approximate distance between your home and a local school, please go to our interactive borough map to look for 

primary schools or secondary schools.

On either map: 

  • set your home address
  • the map will display the total number of primary or secondary schools within the borough: click on your nearest. A list of the nearest schools will display on the right of the screen, each with its approximate distance from your home.

Guidance notes

Our map:

  • is a general one for measuring distance to a range of council facilities
  • is not set up to measure for school admissions purposes, i.e. from a reference point within a house/building to the designated main entrance of a school
  • doesn’t give measurements to three decimal points. the measurement given by this site will not always be identical to that from the council’s GIS system.

    Be aware - 
  • you should not assume that, if any measurement from your home to school given by this site is the same or less than the minimum distance to which a school has admitted applicants in previous years, you will be offered a place.
  • if there are other criteria under which you could apply for a school, as well as distance, it is recommended that you do so.

Previous admission years

The primary school prospectus includes a table setting out the number of on-time applications for each Croydon primary and infant school, detailing the furthest distances to an applicant’s home that each school was able to offer a place in the past three years. These distances are provided as a guide only; for some schools the table shows that there can be a wide variation in the distances between years.  

Changing circumstances can affect the furthest distance to which a school can offer places, these include: 

  • the number of applications,
  • the distance the applicants live from the school, and
  • the number of applicants who fulfil other admissions criteria e.g. siblings.

There is no guarantee that in the future, a school will be able to offer places to the same distance as it did in previous years. These distances also give no indication of whether the school might be able to offer places to a further distance in future years.

Council's responsibility

The local authority cannot be held responsible if:

  • a parent is unsuccessful because a school is not able to allocate places to the same distance from the school as in previous years
  • if a child would have been eligible for a place but the parent did not apply based on the distances shown in this table.