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Nursery schools

Find out about our nursery schools and when to apply for a place.

Attendance at nursery school or nursery class gives children a valuable introduction to school, helping them to develop positive attitudes to learning and to mix easily with other children.

There are two nursery schools in Lewisham and many primary schools have a nursery class attached.

Lewisham has provided a free part-time nursery education place for all three and four year olds in the borough since 2001. More about help with childcare costs.

Find your local nursery school

You should apply for a nursery place when your child is two years old. The length of time your child’s name is on the application list does not affect the actual admission decision.

We also provide advice and support to existing and potential providers of childcare to enable them to register with the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted).

Nurseries attached to a primary school

It is often possible for children aged between three and four years to attend a nursery class attached to a primary school. Nursery class attendance does not prioritise the child's right to attend a particular school at the age of five years.

Where there is over-subscription, places will be offered to:

  1. Children in Public Care (details to be supplied by the allocated social worker or foster carer). 
    A child who is in care to a local authority or who is provided with accommodation by that authority.

  2. In exceptional circumstances there is discretion to admit children on the grounds of their or their family’s acute medical or social need for that particular school and who would not otherwise qualify for admission. 

    The application must be supported by a letter from a hospital consultant, social worker or similar professional, setting out the reasons why the nursery is the only one able to meet the child’s needs, before an admission decision is made. The admission decision will be made by the headteacher who may consult with the Executive Director for Children and Young People. Supporting documentary evidence must be provided with the application;

  3. Applicants whose brother or sister is on the roll of the main school when the application is made and is expected to be on the roll of the school, or of the junior school in the case of separate infant and junior schools, at the intended date of admission. If the school is over-subscribed entirely with siblings, priority will be given to those: 

    • with exceptional social or medical need; and
    • living closest to the school.

    Children applying for a place at Clyde or Chelwood Nurseries will only qualify for a place under the sibling criteria if their older sibling is on the roll of the nursery when the application is made  and is expected to be on the roll of the nursery at the intended date of admission. Children in Year 6 of a mainstream primary school and who will have transferred to secondary school by the time the younger child is admitted to the nursery do not confer sibling priority.

    Siblings include all blood or adoptive siblings, half-siblings, foster siblings of Looked After Children and step siblings.  Siblings must all live at the same address as the child applying.  Proof of the sibling relationship may be required.

  4. Children who live closest to the school. 

    All distances will be measured in a straight line, using digitised mapping software of the area, from the home to the nearest gate nominated by the school. If more than one applicant lives in a multi-occupancy building (e.g. flats) priority will be given to the applicant whose door number is the lowest numerically and/or alphabetically.
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