Information Studies


Primary school admissions: distance cut offs

This map shows 'catchment areas' for a selection of primary schools in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.  There a number of reasons why the map may be inaccurate (see the notes below) so it shouldn't be relied upon as a guide to whether any application would be successful.

The true catchment area is not a circle; a distance is identified as the furthest distance under which a pupil was accepted to the school under the 'distance' criteria.  Pupils are also admitted under separate criteria - such as Special Needs, or the presence of a sibling in the school - in practice some of these pupils might live further away. For some schools, membership of a religious community is also an entry criterion.

There are a number of reasons why the distances change from year to year, aside from underlying change in demand for any school. Schools may change the number of reception classes, which would have a significant effect. Indeed, over the last few years many schools in Waltham Forest have done this, in response to growth in the number of school-age children. The spatial distribution of pupils attending the school will also vary from year to year. That said, it is notable that for some schools, the cutoff distance is relatively stable over time.

The map allows some simple exploration to made of extent to which 'parental choice' is inequitable or illusory. In some areas, a prospective student will have a choice of more schools than in other places.


Tick the relevant box to show the 'catchment area' on the map.

Table footnotes

Note the data have not yet updated to reflect the footnotes below. Where the cutoff distance is shown as zero, one of these reasons might apply.


  • The colours of the map pins and the associated circles are randomly assigned.  If any particular pin is too dark, then the page can be re-loaded in order to assign new colours
  • For some new schools / new split sites, the location may be incorrect
  • Location data have been taken from Oftsed and other sources; the locations used here may vary slightly from those used to allocate students to schools.
  • Some schools (those which are not over-subscribed) do not have a distance cut-off


The distance data were taken from these sources: