Apply for a school place from abroad

You can apply for a school place if you are moving to Sutton from outside of England.

If you need a place in the middle of the school year, you will need to follow the moving schools process. You can apply 4 weeks before you move to the area.

If you are applying to start primary school or start secondary school for September 2023, you will need to be living at a Sutton address. If you are not yet living at a Sutton address, you may still be able to apply.

Read more about school applications for foreign national children and children resident outside England on GOV.UK.

Before you apply

Before making your application, we recommend that you: 

Schools do not process applications over the summer holidays.

How to apply

If you are living abroad and want to apply to start school in September 2023, you can request an application form by emailing suttonadmissions@cognus.org.uk

This includes children starting:

  • Reception in a primary or infant school
  • year 3 in a Junior School
  • year 7 in Secondary school 

You will need to complete and email the form back to us.

We will track your application until a school place has been confirmed. We'll contact you for more information if we need it.

Places in the middle of the school year

If you need a place in the middle of the school year, you can only apply up to 4 weeks before you need the place.

Address to use for the application

You have to use the address where the child is living on your application. You are not able to use a future Sutton address.

If your whole family has already moved to Sutton, you should use your address in Sutton.

If you have moved, but your child is still living in another country, you should use the child's international address. The contact address on the last page of the form can be your address in Sutton.

If you've only moved to Sutton temporarily, we won't be able to process your application until you have a permanent address.

Information to provide

If you are applying to start school in September 2023 before you’ve moved, we will need to confirm some information.

We may be able to process your application if you can provide information that proves:

  • you own a property in Sutton that your family will be returning to 
  • you have a signed tenancy agreement from a recognised letting agency for a property in Sutton
  • you are going to live with family in Sutton and can provide evidence of this 

You will also need to provide evidence that your child will be living at that address on or before the date of admission. This could be:

  • evidence of booked flights 
  • end of lease/notice to tenants in property 
  • start of employment contract in London/South East England area 
  • end of employment contract abroad

Applying for independent or private schools

You can apply for independent or private fee paying schools.

We don’t manage applications to these schools. You will need to apply to each school separately.

Applying for your child to be in a different year group

Schools in Sutton are used to educating children from different educational and language backgrounds.

If you think your child might find it difficult to learn in the year group they’re meant to be in, you can apply for them to be in a different year group.

The school will have to consider and agree to your request. Schools prefer to educate a child in the correct year group as much as possible.

We recommend you discuss this with the school first before making an application. You can provide educational reasons and supporting information.

Once a child has been admitted to a school, the head teacher decides how best to educate them. The school will let you know if they think your child needs more help or to be in a different year group.

Any time you change schools, you will need to request that the new school accepts your child out of the year group they are meant to be in.

Support with the English language

Schools are funded to provide language support where needed. Different support may be available in different schools.

You should discuss this with the school when you are offered a place.

Children with special educational needs (SEN)

If your child has special educational needs (SEN) and you want to apply for a mainstream school place, you can follow the usual application process.

The school will need to know what support your child may need in school. You can provide any information or reports about your child's SEN when you apply.

Contact the Sutton Information, Advice and Support Service (SIASS) if:

  • your child is currently educated in a specialist school due to their needs
  • you would like any advice, support, or guidance with SEN

Home learning while waiting for a school place

While you’re waiting for a school place to be offered, you can educate your child at home. Find out more on the Cognus website.

If you decide that you want your child to be permanently educated at home, you will need to contact the Elective Home Education Team.

Education or childcare may be available if your child is under school age. The Family Information Services directory has more information.

Preferences and places

You should name your preferred schools in the order in which you genuinely prefer them.

If your favourite school does not have a vacancy, you should still put it in the highest positions on your list. If you are offered a school, you will stay on the waiting list of the higher preference schools until the end of the academic year.

Sutton has an obligation to provide education to every child living in the borough. The School Admissions team will provide further advice if it’s not possible to offer a place at one of your preferred schools and we are not able to confirm a vacancy anywhere else.

If your child is in Year 11, we will usually ask a local provider to arrange tuition.

Twins or brothers and sisters

Twins can usually be placed together, but it is not always possible. You may receive different school offers for brothers and sisters or twins.

Grammar schools

For entry to Sutton grammar schools, your child needs to sit a Selective Eligibility Test.

Visit each of the school’s websites for information on entry requirements and registering for testing.

Contact us

If you need any further assistance or information regarding school admissions, email suttonadmissions@cognus.org.uk.