Common priority criteria are summarised below. Every school has specific priority criteria they use to rank applicants. You should read the admission criteria for each school that you apply for in our schools directory.
Home to school distance
Home to school distances are measured in a straight line using a computerised distance measuring system from your home address to the main entrance of the school.
Hackney Education uses geographical references (i.e. eastings and northings) provided by the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) database to determine the start point for your address. The eastings and northings for home addresses usually fall within the footprint of the property. If you live in a block of flats the easting and northing point for the block is usually used.
The measuring point used to determine the school main entrance may not be the gate or entrance currently used by children and staff entering the school. Some schools and academies measure distance using other methods and you should check the admissions arrangements for each school you are applying to.
You can find out the approximate distance from your home to your preferred schools using the GOV.UK schools finder
The home to school distance of the last child offered a place at Hackney schools (i.e. the “cut-off distance”) is summarised in the documents below. You can use this information to give you an idea of how likely it is that your child will be offered a place. Remember that the cut-off distance can change every year therefore we can never guarantee any child will be offered a place at any school.
- How places were offered at Hackney Primary Schools 2018 - 2022
- How places were offered at Hackney Secondary Schools 2018 - 2022
Looked after children/previously looked after children
All schools must prioritise children who are looked after or who were previously looked after including children in state care outside of England, but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order.
If your child meets this criteria, you must name the local authority that looks or looked after the child and provide a letter from the social worker to confirm this. In addition, if the child was adopted or became subject to a child arrangements or special guardianship order you must also provide a copy of the child arrangements order, special guardianship order or proof of adoption from the relevant care authority.
Exceptional medical or social needs
Some schools and academies give priority to children who have an exceptional need to attend a specific school on medical or social grounds. If this is the case for your child you must tick the appropriate box on the online form and provide detailed evidence from a GP, hospital consultant, social worker or any other agency or professional involved with your case.
The evidence must be specifically about your child’s medical/social condition, the effects of the condition and why your child needs to attend a particular school. The evidence should also include detailed knowledge of the school in terms of resources and organisation which demonstrate that your child can only attend the specific school and why no other school is suitable. Your own medical needs cannot justify a place at a particular school but you can apply if you can demonstrate that your child has a social need arising from your medical needs.
It is your responsibility to provide evidence to support your claim and this must be submitted with your application by the closing date. If you submit the evidence after the closing date, it may not be possible to consider it in time for National Offer Day but it will be considered for offers made after this date. If you tick the box on the application form but do not submit evidence, your application will not be considered under this criterion and you will not be reminded to submit evidence.
Not all academies and schools in Hackney give priority on medical or social grounds and you should read the admission criteria for your preferred schools in our schools directory.
Sisters and brothers (siblings)
Your child will have higher priority if they have an older brother or sister at the school you are applying for. The older child must still be at the school when the younger child starts.
A brother or sister must live permanently at the same address as the child for whom the application is being made. This includes a half brother or sister and a step brother or sister who lives permanently as a family unit at the same address.
You must tell us on the application form by ticking the box and giving the older child’s name and date of birth. If you have more than one older child already attending the school provide the name of the youngest one. If you do not provide this information you may not be given the sibling priority.
Important: Sibling rule for Hackney community primary schools
When applying to Hackney community primary schools, if your family has moved address since the last sibling was offered a place, priority will only be given where you continue to live within 0.75 miles of the school.
However, if you were forced to move address more than 0.75 miles from the school, e.g. you were rehoused, or there are exceptional reasons why you believe your child should still be given sibling priority despite having moved more than 0.75 miles from the school, you must make a claim for priority under the exceptional medical or social needs criterion outlined above.
Children with a child protection plan
Some schools give priority to children who have a Child Protection plan. In some cases, schools only give priority if they are the nearest school to the child’s home.
A child protection plan is drawn up by the local authority and sets out how the child can be kept safe, how things can be made better for the family and what support they will need.
If your child has a child protection plan you must tell us in writing before the closing date. The online application form does not ask for this information so you must email us with the details of your child and the contact details of the social worker supporting your family at:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (for secondary admissions); or
- email@example.com (for primary admissions).
Children of staff
Some schools give priority to children of staff working in their school. The criteria can be different for each school. Some schools prioritise teaching staff only while others prioritise a broader range of school staff. You can check the admission arrangements in our schools directory for further information.
If you work at a school that prioritises children of staff, you will be able to indicate this on the application form.