Secondary school admissions

Make a late school application

Accept or decline a secondary school place

You will need to wait to receive your offer letter and use the student ID number to complete the online acceptance form.

* Brighter Futures for Children is an independent, not-for-profit company, wholly owned by Reading Borough Council, set up in December 2018 to deliver children's services, early help, education and SEND services in Reading.

Children born between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008 - or currently being educated in year six - should start secondary school in September 2019.

If you live within the borough of Reading (i.e. you pay your council tax to us), you must apply to Reading Borough Council for any state secondary school, even if the school you would like is in another council area.

If you live in another council area, you should apply to that council even if you want a place in a Reading school. See our Useful Links for School Admissions at the bottom of this page for contact information for neighbouring councils.

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. Find out what to do when you have received your offer

Timetable for applications

By 12 September 2018 - application packs sent to primary schools

12 September 2018 - online application system opens

31 October 2018 - closing date for applications

1 March 2019 - national offer day for on-time applications

15 March 2019 - deadline to accept offered place

16 March 2019 - late applications processed

29 March 2019 - deadline for appeals to be lodged

31 August 2019 - 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 yet applied, have changed your mind about your preferred schools or want to be added to the waiting list of a school you did not list on your application, complete our online form.

Please read our pdf icon Secondary School Admissions Guide [940kb] before making your application. This guide provides 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.

Please note that some schools also require a supplementary form that you may wish to complete as well as your application to us. 

School offers

If you applied online, you will receive an allocation email. We have also sent 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.

I would like to accept the place offered to my child

If you are happy with the school your child has been offered, you need to accept the place as soon as possible. You will need to wait to receive your offer letter and use the student ID number to complete the online acceptance form.

If you are unable to accept your offer online, please call the School Admissions Team on 0118 937 37 77 and request a paper acceptance form be sent to you. We cannot accept acceptances over the phone.

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.

My child hasn't been offered a place that I want

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 Secondary School Admissions Guide [940kb]. See how places have been offered this year.

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

We would encourage you to accept the place you have been 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 (see below). If you decline the place, we will only withdraw the place if you have an offer of a place at an alternative 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 online form, 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. The late application will supersede the original application.

Waiting lists

If you accept the place offered, your 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 over-subscription 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 2019. 

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.

Why have some schools taken additional children?

Reading Borough Council & Brighter Futures for Children identified the need for Reading schools to take additional children.  This was due to the shortage of spaces and the duty to offer every child with an on time application a school place on National Offer Day.

A number of schools were asked by Brighter Futures for Children either to take an additional class - known as a bulge class - or additional children per class.  This may mean a school takes more children than their Published Admission Number (PAN) on national offer day.

If any of the children in these schools do not take up their place, the school is not legally required to admit any further children until they drop below their PAN.  For information on those schools which have taken an additional class or additional children, please see the pdf icon allocation table [57kb].


You also have the right to appeal against the decision not to offer your child a place at your preferred school(s). If you do wish to appeal, you should do this by 29 March 2019. We strongly advise that you accept the place offered in the meantime as it will not affect your chances of winning an appeal. Find out more about the appeals process.

If you wish to appeal for a place at a preferred school(s) which is not in Reading, you should contact the Local Authority in which the school is managed by.

Accept your secondary school place - to do this you will need the student ID number given in your offer letter.

My child doesn't need the place they've been offered 

If you no longer need your place because you are moving out of the borough or your child has a place at an independent school, please decline the school place, so that it can be offered to someone else. To do this, you will need the student ID number provided in your offer letter.

Please note that we will only withdraw your offer if you have secured a place elsewhere - you will be asked to confirm this on the form.

How have places been allocated this year? 

Our pdf icon allocations table [57kb] shows how secondary school places have been allocated this year.

This has been done according to the published admission policy of the Admission Authority as detailed in the pdf icon Secondary School Admissions Guide [940kb].

As at 1 March 2019, there are no places available in any schools in Reading. After National Offer Day this will change, there is always movement of pupils and therefore places do become available. You can get information about undersubscribed schools outside Reading by contacting the appropriate local authority.

Supplementary forms and registration for tests

Some schools have their own form which you will need to complete in addition to the local authority secondary school application form. These forms are not essential but will assist the school in ranking your child accordingly. Post these forms directly to the schools.

pdf icon Blessed Hugh Faringdon [572kb] - religious denomination

pdf icon Maiden Erlegh in Reading [275kb] - pupil premium

word icon Reading Girls School [308kb] - selective stream

pdf icon John Madejski Academy [120kb] - sports aptitude

Introduced in 2011, the pupil premium is a sum of money given to schools each year by the Government to improve the attainment of disadvantaged children. It is awarded to schools for children who: 

  • are Looked After by the Local Authority, 
  • have previously been looked after by the local authority 
  • children eligible for free school meals 
  • children have been eligible for free school meals in the last 6 years. 

If you are unsure if your child is eligible for priority for admission to school based on this criteria, please ask your child's current school. More information on Pupil Premium

Schools in other authorities may also have a supplementary form - e.g. Piggott School in Wokingham. Please see the website of the local authority in which the school is situated for more information if you are considering applying for these schools.

Reading has two selective state grammar schools:

  • Reading School for boys
  • Kendrick School for girls

Registration for the tests for these schools was required before September 2018. 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.

Catchment area schools

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 an EHC Plan to support their special needs, you must apply through the SEN team and we would advise you to discuss their secondary school transfer with your case officer as your application will be considered differently. You may wish to speak to your SEN case officer for more information.

University technical colleges and other schools with atypical admissions rounds

If your child will be in year 10 in September 2019 then you may wish to apply for a place at a university technical college (UTC) or studio school.

A list of the UTC's and Studio Schools in Reading or bordering authorities with routine admissions round and information about each school can be found in the pdf icon Moving on to Secondary School - Guide for Parents and Carers 2019/20 [940kb]. Please complete the word icon application form [107kb] and return it to the admissions team if the school accepts applications through the local authority. 

To apply for a place at UTC Reading, please apply directly to the school.

Applications to other year groups

Information on applications to other year groups that aren't part of routine admissions are known as in-year admissions.

Sixth form

For a place in a school sixth form, please apply directly to the school. Our pdf icon Sixth Form Guide [322kb] gives more information about the admission policy for each sixth form in Reading.  You can also find information on sixth forms from the school websites

School transport

Help with school transport and costs

Useful links

Neighbouring local authorities contact details

Bracknell Forest Borough Council - 01344 354 023/354 144 or school.admissions@bracknell-forest.gov.uk
Buckinghamshire County Council - 01296 395 000 or admissions@buckscc.gov.uk
Hampshire County Council - 0300 555 1377 or admissions.team@hants.gov.uk
Oxfordshire County Council - 01865 815 175 or admissions.schools@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council - 01628 683 870 or school.admissions@rbwm.gov.uk
Slough Borough Council - 01753 875 728 or admissionshelpline@slough.gov.uk
West Berkshire Council - 01635 519 780 or admissions@westberks.gov.uk
Wokingham Borough Council - 0118 974 6000 or schooladmissions@wokingham.gov.uk

Other useful telephone numbers can be found in the pdf icon Moving on to Secondary School Guide for Parents and Carers 2019/20 [940kb].


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