Information about applying for school places

2-Plus Centre

Your child can get free early education at the age of 2 if you live in Islington and you get one of these benefits:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Universal Credit – for places starting in the summer term of 2018 (on or after 1 April 2018), or any subsequent term, if a parent is entitled to Universal Credit they must have an annual net earned income equivalent to and not exceeding £15,400, assessed on up to three of the parent’s most recent Universal Credit assessment periods.
  • tax credits and you have an annual income of under £16,190 before tax
  • support through Part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit 4-week run on (the payment you get when you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit)

Your child can also get free early education at the age of 2, if:

  • they are looked after by a local council
  • they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (ECHP) or assessment for an EHCP has been agreed/is underway
  • they receive Disability Living Allowance
  • they have left care under a special guardianship order, child arrangements order or adoption order

If you do not meet any of these criteria, and you child has special educational needs and disabilities, there may be other support available. For further information please contact Islington FIS (Family Information Service), 020 7527 5959.

When you can start receiving free hours for your child

You can start receiving free hours for your child from the beginning of the term after their second birthday.

  • if their birthday is before 1 September, they can start in the autumn term
  • if their birthday is before 1 January, they can start in the spring term
  • if their birthday is before 1 April, can start in the summer term

How to apply

You can check whether your child is eligible one term before you are able to start receiving free hours. For example, if your child turns two between 1 January and 31 March, you can check from 1 January.

Find out if your child is eligible

If your child is eligible, you can choose where you want them to go, depending on spaces at the nurseries and childminders offering free childcare for 2 year olds.

If you’re applying for a child who is looked after by Islington, please contact your supervising social worker to discuss what is best for the child.

For help and advice, contact the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 or email

If your 2 year old is eligible for free early education, you can also get free support and training courses to help you learn new skills to get ready to work.

If you think you might be eligible please click here to complete the eligibility check form online.

Once you receive a letter or email from the council confirming that you are eligible, you can put your child’s name down for a place at Pakeman Primary School.

Please note: all children who attend the school as two-year-olds will be guaranteed a part-time place in the school’s nursery class from the term after their 3rd birthday. However, there is not a guarantee of a Reception class place at the school. All families need to apply separately for a Reception place through the Islington admissions process (see below).


To apply for a place at Pakeman school nursery (for children aged 3 and 4) please complete an application form, which can be obtained from the school office.

If you require a full time place you will need to meet the following national criteria:

You can usually get 30 hours free childcare if you (and your partner, if you have one) are:

  • in work – or getting parental leave, sick leave or annual leave
  • each earning at least the National Minimum Wage or Living Wage for 16 hours a week – this is £120 if you’re over 25

This earnings limit doesn’t apply if you’re self-employed and started your business less than 12 months ago.

Click here for the online online form to establish if you are eligible for 30 hours.

You will need your eligibility code before school breaks up for the summer holidays in July to enable us to plan how many full time spaces are required.  As the eligibility code will only last for 3 months, you will have to reapply using the above website every 3 months. If you become ineligible at any time during the year your child’s hours will be reduced to 15 hours per week.

If you are not eligible for 30 hours, and there is a place available, your child will be offered 15 hours, either 5 mornings or afternoons per week.


If you wish to make an application to attend Pakeman Primary School’s reception class please click here.  If you have any questions, you can call the Admissions Team on 020 7527 5515 or email

For more information visit the school admissions website of your local authority. For Islington Residents, click here.

In Year Admissions

If you wish to apply for a school place and your child is not starting reception class, nursery or the 2-Plus Centre, please click here.  As above, if you have any questions, you can call the Admissions Team on 020 7527 5515 or email

For more information visit the school admissions website of the local authority.

For Islington residents, click here.

Secondary Transfer Arrangements

Applications for secondary school places are made at the start of Year 6, which is the children’s final year at Pakeman. Applications are made to the admissions team of the borough you reside in, regardless of which borough the school you wish to apply for is in.  For Islington residents, click here to apply.

All applications are made online and Pakeman holds a secondary school transfer meeting every year for parents/carers at which the process is explained.

Applications to faith schools should be made directly to the schools themselves.

Most schools offer open days prior to the application deadline. If you have any questions regarding secondary school transfer please contact the school office for guidance.

For further details on admission or appeal arrangements, please contact Islington Local Authority.