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Secondary school admissions

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Children born between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007 (or currently educated in year 6) should start secondary school in September 2018.

If you live in the borough of Reading (that is, you pay Council Tax to us), you must apply to us for any state secondary school, even if the school is outside Reading.

If you live in another council area, you should apply to that council even if you want a place in a Reading school.

If you applied online, you will receive an email and be able to access the online service from 9am on Thursday 1 March, to see the outcome of your application. We will also send all applicants a formal offer letter, posted second class to the home address provided on the application. This letter will include information about how to accept or decline the place that has been offered. 

What to do when you have received your offer

Timetable for applications

By 12 September 2017 - application packs sent to primary schools

12 September 2017 - online application system opens

31 October 2017 - closing date for applications

1 March 2018 - national offer day for on-time applications

15 March 2018 - deadline to accept offered place

16 March 2018 - late applications processed

29 March 2018 - deadline for appeals to be lodged

31 August 2018 - admissions round ends

How to apply

All on-time applications have now been processed and every child has been offered a place.

If your child lives in Reading and you have not applied, want to change your preferred schools, or want to be added to the waiting list of a school not on your application, please complete our pdf icon late application form [84kb].

Please read our  pdf icon Secondary School Admissions Guide [3Mb] before making your application. The guide gives information on how your application will be considered for each school and each school's admission policy. If you would like a paper copy of this document, please contact your child's current school or contact the admissions team on 0118 9373777.

Some schools ask you to complete another form as well as your application to us.

Supplementary forms and registration for tests

Some schools have their own form which you will need to complete as well as the secondary school application form. These forms are not essential but will help the school to decide how to rank your child. Post these forms directly to the schools.

pdf icon Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School [568kb] - religious denomination

Reading Girls School - selective stream

John Madejski Academy - sports aptitude

pdf icon Maiden Erlegh in Reading supplementary form [427kb] - pupil premium

Pupil premium - more information

Reading has two selective state grammar schools:

  • Reading School for boys
  • Kendrick School for girls

Registration for the tests for these schools had to be before September 2017. Results will be sent before the application round closes so parents can decide whether to include the grammar schools as a preference on their application form based on their score. Please see school's website for details before making your application.

Your catchment school

Find your catchment area school

Your catchment area school(s) (also known as designated area school(s)) is the one for which your address has priority. You should consider including it in your application, although there is no guarantee you will get a place there. The admissions guide gives more details.

Our school search  allows you to find your catchment area school but it only covers schools within the borough, so does not include schools in other council areas that you may be in the catchment for.

Not all addresses have a catchment area school.

The pdf icon admissions guide [3Mb] gives more information on catchment areas

Children with special educational needs

If your child has special educational needs (SEN) without a statement or education, health and care (EHC) plan or statement, they will be considered for a place at your preferred school in the standard way.

If your child has a statement or EHC plan to support their special needs, you must apply in the same way. You should also discuss their secondary school transfer with your case officer as your application will be considered differently. You may find our pdf icon SEN guide [343kb] of use or you may wish to call to your SEC case officer for more information.

Applications to other year groups

University technical colleges and other schools with atypical admissions rounds

If your child will be in year 10 in September 2018 then you may wish to apply for a place at a university technical college (UTC) or studio school. Information on the UTCs and studio schools in Reading or bordering authorities can be found in the pdf icon admissions guide [3Mb].

If you want to apply late to a school with an atypical admissions round, please complete the word icon application form [165kb]  and return this to the admissions team (if the school accepts applications through the local authority). 

To apply to UTC Reading, please apply directly to the school.

Sixth form

For a place in a school sixth form, please apply directly to the school. Our pdf icon Sixth Form Guide [261kb] gives more information about the admission policy for each sixth form in Reading.

Help with school transport and costs

School offers

If you applied online you will receive an email stating the school offered. We have also sent all applicants a formal offer letter (posted second class) to the home address provided in the application. This letter will give information about how to accept or decline the place offered.

Accepting the place offered

If you are happy with the school your child has been offered, you need to accept the place as soon as possible. To do this, you will need the student ID number given on your letter, so please wait until you have received this.

If you have not responded by 15 March, we will write to you again and if you do not respond within seven days, the place may be withdrawn. 

Not happy with place offered

It may not have been possible to offer your child a place at your first preference school or, in some cases, at any school you listed as a preference. This will be because your preferred schools were oversubscribed and your child did not get a place according to the oversubscription criteria in the pdf icon admissions guide [3Mb].

pdf icon How places have been allocated this year [115kb]

Reading Borough Council has a duty to offer a school place to all children living in reading. If we have not offered your child a place at one of the preferences you listed in your application, we will have offered a place at your designated area secondary school (if it has places available). 

We encourage you to accept the place offered, even if it is not your preferred school - accepting the place will not affect your position on a waiting list or your chances of winning an appeal. If you decline the place, we will only withdraw it if you have an offer of a place at another school as we have a duty to ensure that all children have a school place.

If you wish to change or add a school to your list of preferences, please complete a pdf icon late application form [84kb] as well as accepting the place you have been offered. Please indicate on the late application form all the schools whose waiting lists you wish to be on (including any from your original application). This will enable the admissions team to clearly see your order of preference.

No longer need place offered

If you no longer need the place your child has been offered (for example, because you have moved out of the borough or your child has a place at an independent school), please decline the school place.  It can then be offered to someone else. To do this, you will need the student ID number provided in your offer letter.

Waiting lists

If you accept the place offered, you child will automatically be added to the waiting list of all your higher preference schools, unless you tell us otherwise. Waiting lists are ranked according to the published oversubscription criteria and not by length of time on the waiting list. As a result, your child's position on the waiting list may change as applications are added or places are offered. Schools must hold waiting lists until the end of December 2018.

Your child's position on a waiting list is not affected by your acceptance of another school place offered to you. The acceptance form will ask you if you want to stay on the waiting list for your higher preference schools.


You also have the right to appeal against the decision not to offer your child a place at your preferred school(s). If you wish to appeal, you should do this by 29 March 2018. We strongly advise that you accept the place offered in the meantime as it will not affect your chances of winning an appeal. More on appeals.

How places have been allocated

pdf icon Place allocation - secondary school admissions [115kb]

This has been done according to the published admission policy of the Admission Authority as detailed in the pdf icon Secondary School Admissions Guide [3Mb]

As at 1 March 2018, there are places available at Prospect School, Reading Girls' School and John Madejski Academy. You can get information about oversubscribed schools outside Reading by contacting the local authority they are in.


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