Applying for a school place

Video guide: How to apply for a school place for reception and year 7

You can go to the YouTube site to access the "How to apply for a school place for reception and year 7" video with an interactive transcript - select the 3 horizontal dots icon and choose "Open transcript". Please note the video may autoplay.


To use this video tutorial, you must already have made your Slough Citizen Portal Account.

If you haven't and you aren't sure how, find other useful guides including "How to apply for a school place" on our website (all one word, no spaces between how and to). [The web address for How to webpage is read out]

You will need to add a child to your account for applications such as:

  • School admissions
  • In year admissions
  • extended entitlement to early education (30 hours)
  • 2 year old funding
  • home to school transport.

If you are applying for a school place, remember to check the application dates for school places. They begin in September.

And the closing dates are

  • 31 October for secondary schools and
  • 15 January for primary schools.

Log in

Go to our website (all one word, no spaces between School and Admissions) [The web address for School admissions webpage is read out]

And select the link “Register onto the Citizen Portal to apply”

Login by filling in your email address and your password and select “Sign in”.

If you have forgotten your password you can use the link “Forgot your password?” to reset it.

You will then be sent an email with a link to reset your password. If you can’t find it in your Inbox, check your junk or spam folder.

After you have logged in, you will then be taken through to the main home page, and you will find prompts to

  • update your address if you have moved house or
  • set up two step verification, which you can use if you would like to add extra security to your account.

Menu options

At the bottom of the page you will find the different menu options

  • extended entitlement to early education (30 hours)
  • home to school transport
  • school admissions
  • 2 year old funding
  • messages and
  • “My family”.

Choose school admissions

If you have already added other children to this account, you find them listed here,  and you can move to the 3 minutes 25 seconds mark in the video.

Add a child

If you haven’t yet added your child select “Add child”.

You then need to give some details about your child

  • Fill in their forename or first name, their middle name and surname
  • Choose your child’s gender from the list [drop down shown on screen]
    • Male or Female
  • Fill in your child’s Date Of Birth
  • Select your Relationship to the child from the list [drop down shown on screen]
    • Father, Foster Father, Foster Mother, Legal Guardian, Mother, Other Family Member, Step Father, Step Mother
    • Choose whether you have parental responsibility for the child
      [radio button, choose one]
    • Yes or no
    • Please note you can only apply if you have parental responsibility for the child.
      So you will need to be their parent or legal guardian
  • Select address
    • You can choose from the address you already added for yourself
    • Or add another address.
    • Don’t forget that child’s application needs to be linked to the home where they live most of the time. You can make an application if the child doesn’t live with you most of the time, but you must list the child’s address as their main address.
  • Select Add child

You will now be taken back to the School Admissions menu screen and you will see the child you have added on screen, as well as any other children you have previously added.

The child will show a minimum summary of the information you have just added – including name and date of birth.

Make an application

If they are the right age for a school application it will have a grey label saying “Can apply now”. It will also have a link saying “Start new application”.

Select the link Start application

You will then be taken to a page where depending on the age of the child, you will need to choose from:

  • reception intake
  • transfer from primary to junior school
  • transfer to a Windsor middle school
  • transfer to a Windsor upper school
  • transfer from primary to secondary school
  • in year transfer change.

Select the relevant option. In this case, the child is the right age to apply for “reception intake”.

Background information on your application

You will then be asked:

  • Does your child have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)? If yes, please do not continue with this application. You should consult with the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities team to discuss your child's school placement. Please call 01753 787676 or e-mail

You will also be asked:

  • Is your child registered as in the care of a Local Authority eg: are they fostered or a 'Looked After' child?  This also includes previously looked after children who have ceased to be looked after through adoption, a residence order (RO), special guardianship order (SGO) or child arrangements order (CAO).
    • If yes, you then select the local authority they are in care with from the drop down below.
  • And finally you will be asked is your child a twin, triplet, part of any other type of multiple birth?
  • And select next

You will then be prompted to advise us about whether you are moving house and when. This is the same as when you set up your address originally.

You will then be asked if your child is a “service child”

This means if one or more of their parents serves in the armed forces. Or if the child is in a crown servant family. This is one where one or more parents is an officer employed by departments of the United Kingdom Government.

If neither of these are relevant you can select next.

Current school

You will then need to add your child’s current school if they are already in a school and are moving to another school. For reception intake, you do not need to add a school or nursery. 

If you do need to add a previous school – e.g. for primary to secondary transfer , select “Change current school” to search for the school.

You can search by:

  • local authority using the drop down
  • postcode – e.g. SL1
  • school name – this is the best way to find a school. If the school does not come up, try checking:
    • the spelling of the school name
    • the exact name -some schools may include “The” such as “The Westgate school”

And choose search.

You can use the Select button next to the school you want to add as your child’s current school.

Take care you are choosing the school you want and not one with a similar name.

For example

  • Claycots Primary school has two sites one in Britwell and the Town Hall Bath Road site
  • There is a St Mary’s Primary school in Farnham Royal as well as Slough.

If the school you want does not come up you will find the option “Not able to find the school?” either at the end of the results, or after it says “no results”.

Select the button “Not able to find the school”.

You can type in the school you want and use the select button to add it.

And select next to add the school.

If they are not already in a school you can also select next to skip this section

Selecting your preferences

You now need express your preferences. Make use of all your preferences.

  • If your child is starting primary school they have three preferences.
  • If your child is starting secondary school they have six preferences.
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.
  • Make sure to check out the admissions criteria for your school and know your child is eligible for that school. e.g. only choose a grammar school if your child has passed the 11+.

Select your preferred schools by searching.

You can search by:

  • local authority using the dropdown
  • school name
  • postcode – e.g. SL1

And choose search.

Use the Select button next to the school you want to add them to your preferences

[Explaining your preference for the school]

You will be asked does your child have a sibling who will still be attending the school when your child starts?

There is information on this page about who qualifies as a sibling.

And select next.

You will then have a list of options as to why you are choosing the school. You can choose as many options as you want but you may be asked to provide evidence for some of them such as medical grounds. For a faith school, you will be asked to choose your religion from the list.

And select next.

You will then be offered the chance to provide other reasons. This is optional.

And select next

Editing your preferences and supporting evidence

Once you have chosen all your schools you can change the order of preference – the order of how interested you are in each school. Your most preferred school should be ranked 1

You can also remove and change any of the schools you have chosen.

Once you are happy with the schools you have listed as your preferred schools and the order of preference, select next.

You will then see the Supporting Evidence screen.

  • If you are applying for Reception, you will need to send in
    • a copy of the child’s birth certificate
    • and proof of address that is less than 3 months old (e.g. Council Tax bill).

You can either upload them as files here, or you can post copies (not originals) to
Admissions Team, Observatory House, 25 Windsor Road, Slough SL1 2EL. You can also email copies to

  • If you are making any other kind of application, you do not need to submit any other evidence unless you are asked to.

Some documents may need to be submitted directly to the school such as a baptism certificate for Catholic schools.

Select next to move on to submitting your application.

Submitting your application

You will be shown the terms and conditions of your application. You will be asked to state that

  • You wish to apply for a place at each of the schools you have named in your application form and that the schools are listed in order of preference.
  • You certify that information given is to the best of your knowledge correct.
  • You understand that any false or deliberately misleading information given on the application form or supporting information may make your application invalid or lead to the offer being withdrawn at a later date.

You will then be advised about your data protection rights. To see more details of what we collect and why follow the link to Slough Borough Council – your privacy for more information.

Choose how you want to receive your offer

You will be sent your offer on national offer day either by email or post. Or you can log on to your account and see it online.

National offer day is

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

To be sent your offer by email, check the box that says “I would like to receive my offer of a school place by email”. If you can’t find the email on the day, check your junk or spam folders.

If you want to be sent your offer by post, do not check the box.

You can use the preview button to check all the details you have added to your application before you submit, or you can continue to submit your application. Once you’ve checked your details you can then print a copy or close to go back to submitting your application.

Finally you can submit your application.

Select the check box that says “The details provided are correct to the best of my knowledge and I agree to the terms and conditions”

You can choose from two options:

  • If you are not sure you are ready to submit, you can save your preferences by selecting “Return later”. You will still need to submit them before the deadline in order to be considered for a place.
  • The closing date is:
    • 31 October for secondary schools and
    • 15 January for primary schools.
  • If you are ready to make an application, check the box and select submit.

You will receive an email listing the preferences you have submitted and confirming that you have made an application.

Updating details – and resubmitting

After you have submitted your preferences you can still make changes before the deadline.

To make changes login in and go to the application type you have made. You will see your child listed including the school preferences you have chosen. At the top right it will say “submitted” in green.

There will be 3 options

  • Change application
  • View application
  • Start new application

If you choose change, you will be taken through the same questions and then can edit the schools you have selected. You can change which are your preferred schools and the order of preference at any time.

Once you have made the changes don’t forget to select submit again.

If you forget to submit and you haven’t finished making changes or filling in your application, you will receive an email reminder nearer the closing date but you must submit before the closing date.

What’s next?

After you have applied an offer will be sent to you. This will be on:

  • 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 on your application.

More information

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").