Secondary School Admissions - September 2023

How to apply (after 31 October 2022) 

Children born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012 – or currently educated in Year Six – should start secondary school in September 2023. 

If you live within the borough of Reading, you must apply to Reading for any state secondary school, even if your preferred school is in another council area. 

If you live outside the borough of Reading, you should apply to your local council, even if you want a place at a Reading school. Contact information for neighbouring councils is listed at the bottom of this page. 

The deadline for on-time secondary school applications was 31 October 2022. 

Applications received after this date are marked ‘late’ and not considered until all on-time applications have been processed (i.e. after 16 March 2023). 

Late applications 

If your child lives in Reading and you have not yet applied for their secondary school, Click the button below to access the parent portal and look for ‘Apply for a School Place’.  

Please note, you can only use this link if you have not already submitted an on time application. If you wish to change your preferences, please email the team.

Secondary school application portal

Paper copies of the late application form are available from your child’s primary school (if your child attends a state primary school within Reading Borough) or via the school admissions team on 0118 937 3777 or You may post your completed form to the school admissions team or return it to your child’s current school (if in Reading). 

Where there is good reason for a late application, it may be considered as on-time up to 31 December 2022. Examples of a good reason might include: illness preventing a single parent/carer from returning the form, or a family moving into Reading after the closing date. Such cases must be supported with appropriate evidence. Where no evidence is provided, an application will be considered ‘late’ and not processed until after 16 March 2023. 

Applications received after 1 January 2023 are considered ‘late’, regardless of whether supporting evidence is provided. 

Where a late application is made to change a child’s preferred schools, it will replace any previous on-time application (i.e. the new application will be marked ‘late’). Please carefully consider the use of this option before National Offer Day. 

Before applying, please make sure you have read our Secondary School Admissions Guide. If you would like a paper copy of this document, please contact the school admissions team on 0118 937 3777. 

Please note that some schools use a supplementary form as part of their admissions process. These should be completed in addition to your Reading application form. Please see below for more information on these schools. 

The Admissions team aims to acknowledge all late applications within 15 school days of receipt, however, in busy periods this may not be possible. Please contact the team if your application has not been acknowledged after 20 school days. 

Timetable for applications

1 March 2023  National Offer Day for on-time applications 
14 March 2023  Deadline to accept offered place 
15 March 2023  Late applications processed 
29 March 2023  Deadline for appeals to be lodged 
May – June 2023  Appeals to be heard if submitted by the deadline 
31 August 2023  Admissions round ends 

How places are allocated

Where a school receives more applications than it has places available, the school’s published oversubscription criteria are applied to produce a ranked list of applicants. All places are then offered on the basis of this ranked list. Any applicants not offered a place are added to the school’s waiting list. The published oversubscription criteria are available in our Secondary School Admissions Guide.  

Secondary School Admissions Guide

Open Days

We recommend that you visit schools prior to submitting your application. Details of school open days can be obtained from each school.

Supplementary Forms and Registration for Tests

Some schools have their own form which you may wish to complete in addition to the local authority secondary school application form. Please refer to the school admissions policies for more information. These supplementary forms are not essential but will assist the school in ranking your child accordingly. You should post these forms directly to the schools.

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
  • are eligible for free school meals
  • were eligible for free school meals in the last 6 years

If you are unsure whether your child is eligible for priority admission to a school based on these criteria, please ask your child’s current school. For more information please see our pupil premium page.

Schools in other authorities may also have a supplementary form, for example Piggott School in Wokingham. If you are considering applying for one of these schools, please go to the website of the school’s local authority for relevant information.

Reading has two selective state grammar schools which use entrance tests as a basis for selecting pupils:

  • Reading School (boys)
  • Kendrick School (girls)

Registration for the tests was required before September 2022.

Please see the appropriate school website for more details before submitting your application.

Catchment Area Schools

Your catchment area school or schools (also known as designated area schools) are the schools for which your address has priority. You should always consider including your catchment area school(s) on your application, however, doing so will not guarantee your child a place there. The Secondary School Admissions Guide 2023-24 gives more details.

The MyReading website includes a school search which shows your catchment area school based on your address. However, it does not include schools in neighbouring council areas for which you may be in catchment. For more details, see the Secondary School Admissions Guide 2023-24.

Please note that not all addresses have a catchment area school.

Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

If your child has special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) but does not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or statement, they will be considered for a place at your preferred school in the same way as any other child.

If your child has an EHCP to support their needs, you must apply through the SEND team. In addition, we would advise you to discuss your child’s secondary school transfer with their case officer as the application will be considered differently.

School Offers

Monday 1 March 2023 is National Offer Day for secondary schools. If you submitted an online application, you will receive an email and be able to access our portal service to view the outcome of your application on Offer Day morning. Online applicants will also be able to accept their offered place via the portal. You may only decline your offered place where you have an alternative school offer for your child (e.g. an independent school). If we have been unable to offer a place at one of your preferred schools, we will send a formal letter offering a place at an alternative school, posted second class on the 1 March, to the home address provided in the application. 

If you applied using a paper form, we will not be able to give details of your offer by telephone – you must wait until you receive your letter, which is posted second class on 1 March 2023. If you wish to know the place offered to your child on National Offer Day, you should apply online. 

We will only discuss the application with the person named on the application. If you wish for any other person to be authorised to discuss the application, you will need to provide the admissions team with a letter of written authority naming the additional person to whom information regarding the application may be given. 

UTC Reading and other schools with atypical routine admissions rounds

If your child is due to start Year 10 in September 2023, 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 can be found in the Secondary School Admissions Guide.

Applications for places at UTC Reading should be made directly to the school.

Applications to Other Year Groups

Information on applications to other year groups that are not part of the routine admissions round can be found on our in-year admissions page.

Sixth Form

For a place in a school sixth form, please apply directly to the school. Our Secondary School Admissions Guide 2023-24 contains a list of schools with sixth forms.

School Transport

Information regarding home-to-school transport can be found on our school transport page.

Neighbouring Local Authorities

Bracknell Forest Borough Council 01344 354 023
Buckinghamshire County Council 01296 395 000
Hampshire County Council 0300 555 1377
Oxfordshire County Council 0345 241 2487
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Council 01628 683870
Slough Borough Council 01753 875728
West Berkshire Council 01635 551111
Wokingham Borough Council  0118 974 6000