Applying for a school place

Video guide - overview of school admissions for primary and secondary school

You can go to the YouTube site to access the "An overview guide to school admissions for primary and secondary school" video with an interactive transcript  - select the 3 horizontal dots icon and choose "Open transcript". Please note the video may autoplay.


Is your child starting reception or secondary school next year? You must apply for a school place a year before they are due to start.

If you are not sure if your child is the right age, details are on our website (all one word, no space between "school" and "admissions") [The web address for School admissions webpage is read out]

Details of dates of birth and year groups can be found under “What school year should my child be in”

You can apply for a school place for child if you are their parent or have legal parental responsibility.

If you live in Slough and pay council tax to Slough Borough Council you must apply through Slough,  and you can include schools outside of Slough in your application.

How places are allocated

Most schools receive more applications than they have places. To allocate places fairly each school has an admissions or oversubscription criteria. These are what they use to decide which children they can accept.

The admissions criteria are set by each school. Check the school’s website for details.

[Admissions criteria]
Common admissions criteria include:
  • distance from the school – the people that live the closest will be given preference.
    Where parents are separated, the distance will be calculated from the address of the parent where the child lives most of the time during the week
  • whether the child has a sibling who is currently at the school you are applying for.
  • religious schools may have religious requirements
  • grammar schools: the child must have passed the 11+ exam to be offered a place. So please wait for the 11+ result before you finalise your secondary school preference list.

The highest priority goes to:

  • looked after children and
  • all previously looked after children.

This includes:

  • children who were in state care outside of England and
  • children who have been adopted and are no longer in state care.

Take time to learn about the schools:

  • Check their website and Ofsted reports
  • Visit the school in person with your child – for example on open days.

Express your preferences

Make use of all of your preferences

  • If your child is starting Primary school you have three preference options and
  • If your child is starting secondary school you have six preference options.
Please note

You can only express a preference.

You are not guaranteed to get your most preferred school.

Listing only one school does not make it more likely your child will be placed at that school


Your child will be allocated a school place in preference order from your list of preferences based on whether they meet the admissions criteria.

You will be offered:

  • your first preference
  • if not, then your second preference
  • if not, then your third preference

And so on through all your preferences

If your preferred schools cannot offer a place, your child will be offered our child will be offered an alternative school:

  • with an available place
  • as near as possible to your child’s main home within the borough of Slough.
[Your school place offer]

You must accept or decline the place offered.

If you accept a school that is not your first preference, you will be put on a waiting list of the school or schools you have listed above the one you have been offered.
If a place becomes available you will be offered a chance to move your child to that school
If you decline the school place offered, that place will be offered to the next child on the waiting list, leaving your child without a school place.

  • You will NOT be able to come back to that offer in the future (unless there are still spare places at that particular school).
  • If you wish to decline the place offered contact the admissions team

Apply on time

Don’t miss the deadline!

Applications start in September.

The closing date is:

  • 31 October for secondary school
  • 15 January for primary school

Applying late means your child’s place will be decided after all on-time, applications have been allocated!

Check the dates and make an application by visiting our website (all one word, no space between "school" and "admissions") [The web address for School admissions webpage is read out]

Applying online

In order to apply you will need to:

  • create an account on our Slough Citizen Portal
  • add your child or children
  • make your preferences and
  • submit them online

Find other useful video guides including "How to apply for a school place " on our website (all one word, no spaces between how and to)

What’s next

After you have applied an offer will be sent to you on national offer day:

  • 1 March for secondary schools, and,
  • 16 April for primary schools.

You will then need to accept or decline.

  • You can log on to the portal to find out for yourself.
  • Or look out for your offer letter or email depending on what you chose in your application.

For more information, advice  and support check out our website (all one word, no space between "school" and "admissions") [The web address for School admissions webpage is read out]

Or email (all one word, no space between "admissions" and "helpline") .