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Admission arrangements to nursery schools

Details of initial placement, parental preference and transfer requests.

The Local Authority, the LA, is the admitting authority for all community schools in the area.

Admission to nursery classes

Parents/carers who require a place in a nursery class will be required to submit an admission application in writing.

Parents/carers can either apply in writing for a place at the catchment school or express a preference for a placement at an alternative school. Requests for places will be granted unless to do so would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.

There is no right of appeal following the refusal of an application for a place in a nursery class.

The number of nursery places available may differ to the admission number for the rest of the year groups within a school (Reception to Year 6)

(a) Oversubscription Criteria - nursery classes in Community Schools

If more applications have been received for any school than there are places available, the following order of priority will apply:

  1. Children who are in the care of a local authority (LA) i.e. looked after children (LAC), or previously looked after*.
  2. Children who live within the school's defined catchment area. If there are more applications than places, the places will be allocated in distance order with those living nearest (shortest available walking route) receiving priority**.
  3. Children who have a brother or sister of statutory school age**** attending the school at the date of their admission***. If there are more applications than places, the places will be allocated in distance order with those living nearest (shortest available walking route) receiving priority**.
  4. Other children for whom a place has been requested for whom criteria 1 to 3 above do not apply. If there are more applications than places, the places will be allocated in distance order with those living nearest (shortest available walking route) receiving priority**.

*Previously looked after children: looked after children who cease to be so because they were adopted or became subject to a residence order, or special guardianship order immediately following having been looked after.

** The measurements will be taken from outside the entrance to the property (house or flat) to the nearest official school entrance. The local authority GIS computer programme is used when undertaking the measurement.

*** A brother or sister will be defined as a natural or legally adopted child of either parent living at the same address. In any circumstances in which there is one place available and the next eligible children are twins/triplets then the LA will admit both/all children.

**** Statutory school age is defined as pupils who are between age 5 and 16 i.e. pupils in any year group between and including Reception to Year 11.

Note that schools have a duty to admit children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs who have been placed in a school by the LA and these pupils are counted towards the number admitted up to the admission number unless they are placed in a Special Teaching Facility with planned places.

Requests for admission to voluntary aided schools will be determined by reference to admission criteria set by the governing body. The governing bodies of Voluntary Aided Schools are responsible for determining their own admission arrangements.

(b) Admission Procedures - nursery places in Community Schools

Parents/carers can apply for a place for their child at the catchment school or state a preference for an alternative placement using the admission application.

Requests for admission will be granted provided there are places available. Where admission requests exceed the number of places available, places will be allocated in accordance with the LAs oversubscription criteria.

Children attending the nursery class of a school will not have an automatic right of admission to full time education at the same school. Parents/carers will need to apply for a place along with other applicants at the appropriate time.

Admissions will not be determined on the basis of selection criteria involving the sitting of tests, viewing of school reports, or interviewing pupils with or without parents/carers for the purpose of assessing ability or aptitude.

Waiting Lists

For all admissions, where parents/carers are refused a place for their child/children they are automatically placed on the waiting list. Pupils names will remain on the waiting list for the whole academic year and will only be removed if a parent/carer confirms in writing that they no longer wish their child/rens' name to remain on the waiting list. If a place becomes available it will be allocated by the LA in accordance with the oversubscription criteria.

The LA will be under no duty to comply with preference expressed otherwise than in accordance with its arrangements.

NB: The oversubscription criteria does not apply to pupils for whom the LA holds a Statement of Special Educational Needs although the rights of parents/carers to be involved in the placement of their child are protected in law. The LA in consultation with parents/carers and schools will determine the school at which education is to be provided. The LA reserves the right to name a school which is not the catchment area school.

Note: During this period the local authority (LA) may undertake a consultation to propose changes to catchment areas.

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