School waiting lists

How we offer places

Most schools in Enfield hold waiting lists if they have more applications than places available.

Children are automatically added to the waiting lists for schools that are listed as a higher preference than a school they have been offered.

For schools that are a lower preference than the school offered, children can still be added to the waiting list, but their parents or carers must email to request this.

Waiting lists do not apply to special educational needs resource provisions. These places are offered by the 0 to 25 SEND Services.

How waiting lists work

Waiting lists do not work on a first come, first served basis. By law they are organised in line with school's admissions arrangements, which includes their oversubscription criteria.

This means a child will not automatically be added to the bottom of the waiting list. They can move up and down the list daily, as other children join and leave the list.

When a school has a place available, it will be offered to the child who is at the number one position on the day it becomes available.

If a child is happy at their current school and a place is offered at another school where they are number one on the waiting list, they do not have to take up the place. They can email us to withdraw the offer at

A child will stay on a school waiting list for one academic year until:

In-year applications

School waiting lists open on the first day of term in September. They are closed and cleared on the last day of summer term in July, unless a school in Enfield has published a different process on their website. Where an application is received and the child cannot be offered their first preference, they are automatically added to the waiting lists for the higher preference schools than the school offered.

Reception and Year 7 applications

Waiting lists for the new school year open after national offer day. This is normally 1 March for Year 7 places, and 16 April for reception and junior places.

Find out your child’s waiting list position

For most schools, including some academies, the Enfield School Admissions Service organise and manage the waiting lists. If you would like to know your child’s updated waiting list position, email Please ensure you provide your child’s name and date of birth in any correspondence with the team.

If we do not manage a school’s waiting list (faith or church schools), parents or carers can contact the relevant school directly to find out their child’s waiting list position number.

It is the parent’s or carer’s responsibility to tell the Enfield School Admissions Service or the school (if they hold their own waiting lists) of any circumstances that may change their child’s priority. For example, if a brother or sister starts at the school.

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