Secondary School Admissions - September 2023

If you submitted an on-time application via our portal, your child’s secondary school offer will be available to view in your portal account from 9am on 1 March 2023.

Online applicants will receive an email (and be able to access the admissions portal) on Wednesday 1 March to see the outcome of their application. We will only post a formal offer letter to those who made a paper application. The letter will be posted second class to the home address given on the application. The email and letter both include information on how to accept or decline the offered school place. Find out what to do following receipt of your offer – see further down this page.

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 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). 

Online applicants will receive details of their school allocation by email, together with information on accepting (or declining) the offered school place.

If you applied online, and are happy with the school place your child has been offered, you should accept the place through the Parent Portal. If you submitted a paper application, you must accept using our online acceptance form as soon as possible. You must wait for your offer letter (with your child’s 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 3777 to request a paper acceptance form be sent to you. We cannot process acceptances over the phone.

If you have not responded by 16 March 2023, we will write to you again. Following this, if you do not respond within seven days, the offer of a place may be withdrawn.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to offer a child one (or indeed all) of their preferred schools. Where schools are oversubscribed, pupils are ranked (and places offered) according to oversubscription criteria.  See our guide for further details. See how places in Reading schools were offered this year.

Reading School Admissions team has a duty to offer a school place to any Reading child requiring one. Where we have been unable to offer a place at one of your preferred schools, a place will be offered at either your catchment school or the closest school to your home address with available space. We encourage you to accept the place offered, even if it is not your preferred school, as accepting will not affect your child’s waiting list position(s) or the likelihood of your winning an appeal (see below). Should you decline the offered place, we will only withdraw the offer where you can show there is alternative provision in place for their education. This is because we have a duty to ensure all Reading children have the offer of a school place.

If you wish to change your list of preferred schools, please complete a School change of preference application form in addition to accepting the place you have been offered. On the change of preference form, please list every school on whose waiting list your child’s name is to be added (including any listed on your original application). This will enable the school admissions team to clearly see your order of preference. Please note, a change of preference form completely replaces any prior application. Any school listed on your original application, but not listed on the late application, will be marked “No longer required” and your child will no longer be considered for that school.

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 previously 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. 

When you accept the school place offered, your child’s name is automatically added to the waiting list of any higher preference school, unless you tell us otherwise. Waiting lists are always ranked according to the published oversubscription criteria. Time spent on a waiting list is not a factor in the offer process. Your child’s position on a waiting list may change as applications are added or places are offered. Schools must hold waiting lists until the end of December 2023.

Your child’s position on a waiting list is not affected by your accepting another school place offered to you. On the acceptance form, you are asked whether you want your child to remain on the waiting list for your higher preference schools. If you applied via the Parent Portal, you may opt to withdraw your child’s name from the waiting list of any higher preference school to that which has been offered.

You have the right to appeal the decision not to offer your child a place at a higher preference school. If you wish to lodge an appeal, you should do so by 29 March 2023. In the meantime, we advise you accept the place offered. Your acceptance will not affect the outcome of your appeal. Click here to find out more about the appeals process.

If you wish to appeal for a place at a preferred school located outside the Reading Borough Council area, you must contact the local authority in which the school is located.

If you no longer need your offered place (perhaps you are moving out of the borough or your child will be attending an independent school), we request you decline the offer at your earliest convenience in order that the place may be offered to another child.

Please note, we will only withdraw your child’s offer where you advise the name of the alternative school they are to attend (and have confirmed this on the form).

Our allocations table shows how secondary school places have been allocated this year.

This has been published according to the admissions policy of the Admission Authority as detailed in the 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.

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