Secondary School Admissions September 2020

Here is the link to the online acceptance form to accept your school place.

Please see the late applications section on this page if you need to submit a late application for secondary admissions.

Children born between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009 – or currently educated in Year Six – should start secondary school in September 2020.

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 own council, even if you want a place in a Reading school.  Contact information for neighbouring councils is listed at the bottom of this page.

If you applied online, you will receive an email (and be able to access the admissions portal) on Monday 2 March to see the outcome of your application.

We will only post a formal offer letter to applicants who made a paper application. This is posted second class to the home address given on the application. The email and letter will include information on how to accept or decline the place offered.

Find out what to do following your offer – there are links to school offer place further down.

Timetable for applications

By 12 September 2019 Application packs sent to primary schools
12 September 2019 Online application system opens
31 October 2019 Closing date for applications
2 March 2020 National offer day for on-time applications
15 March 2020 Deadline to accept offered place
16 March 2020 Late applications processed
30 March 2020 Deadline for appeals to be lodged
May – June 2020 Appeals to be heard if submitted by 30 March 2020
31 August 2020 Admissions round ends

Late applications

Please read make sure that you have read this page and any relevant supplemental information before you submit your late application. 

The deadline for on-time applications for secondary school places starting September 2020 was midnight on 31 October 2019. Any application received after that date is marked ‘late’ and not considered until all on-time applications have been allocated (i.e. after 1 March 2020).

If your child lives in Reading and you have not yet applied (or have changed your mind about your preferred schools) please complete our late application online form.

Please read our Secondary School Admissions Guide before making your application. This guide provides information on the admissions policy for each school and shows how your application will be considered. If you would like a paper copy of this document, please contact your child’s current school or contact the School Admissions Team on 0118 937 3777.

Please note that some schools also require a supplementary form that you may wish to complete in addition to your Reading application form. Please see below for more information.

School Offers

Monday 2 March 2020 is National Offer Day for secondary schools. If you submitted an online application, you will receive an email and be able to access the online service to see the outcome of your application after 9am on that day.

We will also send all applicants a formal offer letter, posted second class, to the home address provided in the application. This letter will include information about how to accept or decline the place that has been offered.

If you applied using a paper form we will not be able to give out information on the details of your offer by telephone – you must wait until you receive your letter. If you would like to be able to find out the place offered to your child on 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 this application you will need to provide the admissions team with a letter of written authority naming the additional person who can be given information about the application.

Which school has my child been offered?

If you applied online, you will receive details of your school allocation by email. It will contain information on accepting (or declining) the place offered.

I would like to accept the place offered to my child

If you applied online, and are happy with the school place your child has been offered, you should accept the place through the citizen 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 and use the 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 37 77 and request a paper acceptance form be sent to you. We cannot process acceptances over the phone.

If you have not responded by 16 March 2020, we will write to you again. Following this, if you do not respond within seven days, the place may be withdrawn.

My child hasn’t been offered a place that I want

It may not have been possible to offer your child a place at your first preference school or, in some cases, at any of your preferred schools. This will be because your preferred schools were oversubscribed and your child did not get a place according to the oversubscription criteria in the Secondary School Admissions Guide.

See how places in Reading schools were offered this year: Places Table for Secondary Schools Reading 2020.

Reading School Admissions Team has a duty to offer a school place to all children living in Reading. Where we have been unable to offer a place at one of the preferences listed on your application, a place will be offered at 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 the place will not affect your waiting list position(s) or the likelihood of your winning an appeal (see below).

Should you decline the place, we will only withdraw the offer where you advise us that your child has a place offered at an alternative school. This is because we have a duty to ensure that all Reading children have the offer of a school place.

If you wish to change your list of preferred schools, please complete a late application form  in addition to accepting the place you have been offered.

On the late application form, please list all the schools where you want your child’s name added to a waiting list (including any from your original application). This will enable the school admissions team to clearly see your order of preference.

The late application will supersede (i.e. replace) the original application. Any school listed on your original application that is not listed on the late application will be marked ‘No longer required’ and your child will no longer be considered for that school.

Waiting lists

When you accept the school place offered, your child’s name is automatically added to the waiting list of any higher preference school(s), unless you tell us otherwise.

Waiting lists are ranked according to the published oversubscription criteria (not the length of time spent on the waiting list). As a result, 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 2020.

Your child’s position on a waiting list is not affected by your acceptance of another school place offered to you. On the acceptance form, you are asked whether you want to stay on the waiting list for your higher preference schools. If you applied via the citizen’s portal, you may opt to be removed from the waiting list of any higher preference school(s).


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 this by 30 March 2020. In the meantime, we advise you accept the place offered. Your acceptance will not affect the outcome of your appeal.  Find out more about the appeals process.

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

My child doesn’t need the place they’ve been offered

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 that we will only withdraw your offer where you advise us that you have secured a place elsewhere (and have confirmed this on the form).

How have places been allocated this year?

The Places Table for Secondary Schools Reading 2020  shows how secondary school places have been allocated this year.

This has been published according to the admission 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 this 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 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 2019. Results will be posted to parents before the application round closes so that parents can decide whether to include a grammar school as a preference on their application form, based on their child’s score. 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 gives more details.

The MyReading website includes a school search which shows your catchment area school based on your address, but 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. 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 their secondary school transfer with your case officer as your application will be considered differently. You may wish to speak to your SEND case officer for more information.

UTC Reading and other schools with atypical routine admissions rounds

If your child will be in Year 10 in September 2020, 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.

To apply for a place at UTC Reading, please apply directly to the school.

Applications to Other Year Groups

Information on applications to other year groups that are not part of routine admissions 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.

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 or 01344 354 144
Buckinghamshire County Council 01296 395 000
Hampshire County Council 0300 555 1377
Oxfordshire County Council 01865 815 175
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Council 01628 683870
Slough Borough Council 01753 875728
West Berkshire Council 01635 519780
Wokingham Borough Council  0118 974 6000