Applying for a secondary school place

For In-Year applications, please go to this page.

Applying for your child’s September 2024 place in Year 7 of secondary school

Children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 – or currently educated in Year 6 – should start secondary school in September 2024.

Applications for Year 7 secondary school places are managed to a national timetable. The admission process is coordinated between local authorities across England.

The Admissions Guide

Please read our guide Admissions to Secondary School 2024-2025 before submitting your child’s application. Click the orange button to open the PDF. The guide provides details on the application process and explains how each school will prioritise your child’s application using oversubscription criteria.

Admissions to Secondary school Guide 2024-2025


You must apply for a school place through the school admissions team of the local authority where you (and your child) live, even if you intend to list preferred schools in other local authority areas. For example, if you live in the borough of Reading, use our online application form via the Parent Portal if you wish to list a preferred school located in West Berkshire, Wokingham or any other borough (the teal buttons on this page all link to the Parent Portal).

Before applying you should:

  1. read the Admissions To Secondary School Guide for the new school year (click the orange button above)
  2. attend school open days/evenings to help make your decision. Details of open days/evenings are posted on school’s websites.
  3. check whether you need to provide a supplementary information form (SIF) to meet certain oversubscription criteria for a preferred school. SIFs are not essential but will assist the school in ranking your child correctly. You should post completed forms directly to the schools. Reading schools with SIFs include:
  1. read the relevant guide if you are applying for schools outside of Reading
  2. consider how your child will get to school.

Grammar schools

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

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

Applicants must register for the tests directly with the relevant school. Registration is usually between April and June in the year prior to admission. Please see the appropriate school website for precise details before submitting your local authority application.

You can apply from 1 September using our online application form.

Apply for a school Place (Parent Portal)

Apply online for a school place 

Applying online is the best option, as you’ll get a receipt when you submit your application and you’ll find out which school has been offered on the offer day, instead of waiting for the post.

For those unable to make an online application, paper forms are available from your child’s (Reading) primary school or direct from the admissions team. Email

The deadline to submit ‘on time’ applications is 31 October.

Applications received after this deadline will be considered ‘late’ and processed after national offer day (1 March).

River Academy Applications

River Academy is now approved for September 2024 opening by the Department for Education

Updates on the school can be found at

River Academy Application process

For September 2024 entry only, you will not be able to select River Academy as a preference on your local authority common application form (i.e. via the parent portal).

River Academy application form is available here:
River Academy Application Form (PDF)

Applications should be posted to:

School Admissions, Brighter Futures for Children, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU

Or emailed to:

Offers will be made on 1 March 2024.

When are school places offered?

Emails and letters offering places are sent out on 1 March 2024 and emails should be received by 5pm. Letters are posted 2nd class and may take up to 5 working days to arrive.

You can also log into your Parent Portal account to view the outcome of your application or to accept or decline a school place. From 1 March, we also provide allocation tables showing how places were offered at each of our schools.

Parent Portal

What happens after school places are offered?

School waiting lists

In Reading, a child’s name is added to the waiting list of any school listed as a higher preference to the school offered. Waiting lists are always ranked using the relevant school’s oversubscription criteria and not by the date the application was received.

If your child has been refused a place in a school outside Reading, you will need to check with the admission team of the relevant local authority to see if your child has been placed on a waiting list.

Making a late application

If you have missed the closing date or would like to apply for a different school (or schools) after the closing date, you can submit a late application. The timetable for processing late applications is explained in the admissions guide.

Making an appeal for a school place

If your child is refused a place, you may decide to appeal against an admission decision for a school place.

Oversubscription criteria

Oversubscription criteria are used where a school receives more applications than there are places available. The criteria help to decide which applications are offered places by giving each application a priority. The priorities are based on criteria such as catchment area, home-to-school distance or whether a child is a ‘child looked after’ (or had previously been in care until adoption or a child arrangement order/special guardianship order).

The oversubscription criteria are outlined for each school in the Secondary School Admissions Guide.

It’s important to make sensible and realistic decisions when selecting your preferred schools. While we understand preference is a major factor in choosing your child’s school, we do advise that one of your choices is for a school at which you have a reasonable chance of being offered a place.

Apply for a school Place (Parent Portal)