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Schools and education

Moving up to secondary, middle or upper schools from September (secondary phase entry)

September entry

This covers those children born between September and August annually. Secondary school admissions are for those pupils starting at middle, secondary or upper schools. This is known as secondary phase entry in admissions terminology.

You will see a range of school types when looking at secondary school education for your child. Each type of school covers a different age range: 

  • Secondary schools: catering for pupils from Year 7 to Year 13, or ages 11 and above. These schools are found all over the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM). After Year 11, some pupils may move to a college, university technical college (UTC), studio school, or another sixth form provision. 
  • Middle schools: catering for pupils from Year 5 to Year 8, or ages 9 to 13. These schools are found in Windsor. After Year 8, pupils tend to move from middle schools to upper schools.
  • Upper schools: catering for pupils from Year 9 to Year 13, or ages 13 and above. These schools are found in Windsor. After Year 11, some pupils may move to a college, UTC, studio school, or another sixth form provision.
  • University technical colleges and studio schools: catering for pupils from Year 10 to Year 13. These schools are found outside RBWM, but within commutable distance. These schools are training centres for specific areas such as Engineering, Business, Arts Management, or Tourism, Aviation, Construction, E-Sports or Digital Media, to name but a few. They offer the same qualifications as secondary schools, with the added bonus of industry expertise and work-experience links.

If you attempt to put a school on your phase entry application that does not receive pupils in that year group, your preference is invalid and will be discarded. For example, if you are applying for middle schools, but place a primary school on the application as well, this primary preference will be discarded. This is because primary schools do not accept phase transfer applications for Year 5 entry, you would need to make an in-year transfer request instead. 

Similarly, if you wish to apply for a middle school in Year 7 alongside secondary schools, the middle school application will be a separate form, submitted through the individual middle schools directly. You cannot apply for a middle school on the same form as you would for a secondary school, as they are different phases of entry. Your Year 7 application for secondary schools would be handled by us, whereas the in-year transfer application would be handled by the individual school. 

Applications are open to submissions between September and October each year, please review the key dates below for this year's specifics.

Process Date
Application opening date 8 September 2023
Application closing date 31 October 2023
Extended deadline for exceptional circumstances 5 November 2023
National Offer Day 1 March 2024
Processing of late applications begins 4 March 2024
Deadline to respond to a school place offer 15 March 2024
Deadline to submit a late application to be considered in the second round of allocations 15 March 2024
Offers to late applicants and allocations from waiting lists for all applicants 4 April 2024


Applications for a school place must be made through your home authority, this is the council where you live and to which you pay council tax. Residents can apply for schools outside the RBWM using this live application process. For example, parents living near the river in Maidenhead may choose to apply to schools in Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire, or Slough through RBWM, without having to make a separate application to each local authority. 

RBWM holds two main ‘rounds’ of admissions offers. The majority of offers will be made on National Offer Day, for those applications submitted on time. The second round of offers, including late applications or late changes of preference, are made from Wednesday 4 April 2024. 

After the deadline for the second round, applications will then be processed in the order they are received. Please read our Admission into Secondary School guide before applying.

Please note: 

  • Parents must include preferences for all six places available on the application form, where multiple preferences exist. This is to ensure every child receives an offer of a school place in their local area. In the case of phases where less than six options exist, you should include all preferences available to you. For example, if you are applying for a middle school, you must include all four middle schools in your application, as only four middle schools exist in the local authority.  
  • Where a parent does not include all available preferences, they will be added for you in the nearest appropriate distance order. 
  • Parents applying for upper schools are exempt from using all available preferences, as the only one preference will be applicable for each applicant. For example, male applicants will be sent to The Windsor Boys’ School, and female applicants to Windsor Girls’ School. 

The online facility for on time applications is now closed and is not available for late applications. You may still view your previously submitted applications by accessing the admissions portal. Please note that if you applied via the Google Form, not through the portal, you will not be able to view your application in the portal. For all portal applicants, you can also access the online system on National Offer Day (Friday 1 March 2024) to view the outcome of your application.

If you would like to make a late secondary application, please use one of the forms below. All late applications submitted will be considered during the second round of allocations, and decision letters will be sent in April 2024. If you are not a resident of RBWM, please apply via your own local authority.

Full details of the admissions process are published in the Admission into Secondary School September 2024 guide. Please take time to read this guide before applying.

You can only apply for state-funded secondary schools. The state-funded schools in the RBWM are listed in the guide. If you wish to apply for a place at an independent school, you will need to contact the school directly to discuss the admissions process.

Applications for a school place must be made through your home authority: this is the council where you live and to which you pay council tax. Residents can apply for schools outside of the RBWM using this application process. If you do not live within this borough and apply to us for a middle school (Year 5 entry), upper school (Year 9 entry) or secondary school place (Year 7 entry), your application will be disregarded.

Do not use the Citizens Portal to request any change after Tuesday 31 October 2023. The system will be open for primary applications only. The Admissions Team will not be notified of any changes made to a secondary application and your request will not be processed.

Do not request the change by replying to the email you received confirming that you have submitted your application. This is a no-reply email address and is not monitored by the Admissions Team. Any changes sent to this address will not be processed.

The request must be made by filling out the forms below:

Your change of preference(s) will not be reflected on your application on the Citizens Portal. This facility is used to download information provided by the parent only.

The change will be made in the back office application. We cannot provide proof that the change has been made, as this slows down the processing procedures.

Any change of preference requests received after Tuesday 31 October 2023 will not be processed until the second round of allocations from Monday 4 March 2024. There will be no exceptions to this deadline.

Parents are encouraged to look at the allocation information published on this webpage to make an informed decision about the school they choose to name as a preference and the likelihood of their child being allocated a place at the school based on the oversubscription criteria. 

Further information on how to decide preference order and equal preference processing is provided in the Admission into Secondary School September 2024 guide.

Any additional questions, queries or concerns about the application process can be emailed to Questions relating to the grammar school transfer testing processes should be directed to the local authority where the child sits that particular test.

All schools in the borough are comprehensive and meet the needs of all ability ranges. This means they do not require entrance exams as a form of entry. Grammar schools are available in neighbouring authorities. If you wish for your child to apply for a grammar school, please contact the local authority where your preferred grammar school is located.

Parents must apply for their child's secondary school place before the results are received and no later than the closing date, so: 31 October 2023. Both grammar schools and non-selective schools should be included within the six preferences allowed in an application in the event that the child does not meet the required standard for entry into a grammar school.