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Primary and Secondary 2018 waiting lists

14 August 2018

If you have been refused a place at a school which you ranked higher in your application than the school offered, then your child’s name will be placed on a waiting list.

Please note that the primary school waiting lists will be available from 8:00am on 3 May 2018.  Information about these waiting list positions will not be available before this date.

To check your child’s current position on the waiting list of any Essex primary school for Reception or Year 3 (where held) for September 2018, or a secondary school for Year 7 for September 2018, you will need your child's Essex student ID number to hand.   This can be found as 'Student ID' in the top right of the letter you received about your application from Essex County Council.

If your council tax is payable to another authority e.g. Redbridge, Hertfordshire Havering, Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock please call 0345 603 2200 to obtain your child’s Essex student ID.

If you applied for a school that is outside the Essex County Council area please contact the relevant local authority for further information about checking waiting list positions for your child.



You will be notified in writing if an offer is made from a waiting list. You will not be telephoned to be offered a school.

How applications are sorted

For example, you applied for 4 schools, in order of preference – A, B, C, D. 

If your child has been offered a place at school A, they will not be added to the waiting lists for school B, C or D.

However, if your child was offered a place at school B, C or D, they will be added to the waiting list(s) of the schools above them in your list.


  • Your child is offered a place at school C
  • Your child is added to the waiting lists for schools A and B (but not school D)

How waiting list places are ranked

Your child’s name will be placed on a waiting list in the priority order set out in each school’s individual admissions policy.

Find a school’s admissions policy

Waiting lists are updated every time a child’s name is added or removed. This means your child’s position may move up or down on the waiting list as circumstances change e.g. due to late applications being made where the child’s application ranks higher against the school’s admissions policy, or if a child moves address and the lives closer to the school.

Having your child’s name on a waiting list will not affect your right to appeal for any of the schools to which you applied for and have been refused a place.

A few Essex secondary schools have two waiting lists.  This is the case for the two Chelmsford grammar schools and schools with a specialist test criterion.  If your child sat a test for one of these schools you may be given two waiting list positions. 

How long are waiting lists active

We hold waiting lists for Reception, Year 3 (for some schools) amd Year 7 admissions in September 2018 for all oversubscribed schools in Essex until the end of August. After this, we continue to maintain waiting lists for any oversubscribed community and  voluntary controlled (VC) schools until 31 December.

From 1 September, oversubscribed foundation, voluntary aided (church) schools and Academies maintain their own waiting lists until a minimum of 31 December 2018. 

What to do if you change your mind about your application

You must email if:

  • you’ve received an offer of a place, but you still wish to be considered for a place at a school that you ranked lower in your preference list;
  • you have accepted an offer and wish to be removed from the waiting list(s) for school(s) higher in your preference list;
  • you wish to have your child’s details added to the waiting list for a school that was not one of your original  preferences.

What to do if you move address

Where you live is an important factor in the admissions policy for most schools.

If you move address whilst your child is on a waiting list, you need to email evidence of your new address,   e.g. a tenancy agreement if you are renting or a solicitor’s letter confirming you have exchanged contracts if you are purchasing your new home to If your new address affects your child’s position(s) on any waiting list(s), then they will be changed accordingly.