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Admission arrangements to primary 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.

Each child about to commence full time education will be invited to apply for a place at a school maintained by the LA.

Parents/carers can apply on line for a place at the catchment school or express a preference for a placement at an alternative school. Requests for a place will be granted unless to do so would:

  • prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources, and
  • for voluntary aided schools, be incompatible with the admission arrangement agreed between the governing body and the LA.

Those parents who apply on time for a place at any school will be given priority over those who have not.

(a) Admission Limits - Community Schools

All schools must admit up to their admission number in the year of entry (i.e. Reception classes in primary schools). In the year of entry a child will be refused a place once the admission number has been reached. Parents/carers who are refused a place at the school must be given right of appeal.

The admission number applies to all year groups (except nursery).

(b) Oversubscription Criteria - 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 i.e. looked after children (LAC), or are 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.

The LA will not provide transport or make any contribution towards transport costs for children admitted from outside the school's defined catchment area. However, if the catchment area school is full in the year group, transport will be provided to the nearest school with room if that school is more than 2 miles from the home address.

Children who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs

The oversubscription criteria does not apply to pupils for whom the LA holds a Statement of Special Educational Needs although the rights of parents 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.

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.

Voluntary Aided Schools

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).

(c) Admission Procedures - Community Schools

Parents/carers will be asked to apply on line for a place for their child at the catchment school or to 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, as determined by the published admission number, applications will be allocated by applying 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.

Although the LA permits pupils to start reception full time at the start of the academic year in which they become five, the law does not require a child to start school until the start of term following the child's fifth birthday. Therefore, if the parent of a reception age child wishes to defer entry until later in the school year a place must be allocated to this child and this place is not available to be offered to another child. Entry cannot however be deferred beyond the beginning of the term after the child's fifth birthday nor beyond the academic year for which the original application was accepted.

Requests for admission to reception submitted on or before the administrative closing date, 1 December 2017 will be processed collectively and places allocated according to the above oversubscription criteria. In this respect, no advantage shall be gained from the early submission of an admission request. Requests submitted after the closing date will be processed in date order once all on time applications have been dealt with.

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. Parents/carers who have applied by the 1 December 2017 will be advised whether they have been allocated a place by the 16 April 2018.

Right of Appeal 

Parents/carers will be informed, in writing, as to whether their application has been successful. Where their application has been refused parents/carers will be informed in writing that they have right of appeal to an independent appeal panel. If they exercise that right, the appeal must be forwarded to the School¬†and Governor Team at the Civic Centre by 14 May 2018. The appeal will be considered by an independent appeal panel of 3 or 5 people comprising lay members, and persons with experience in education.

Please note: Because of the statutory class size maximum of 30, there are very restricted circumstances in which an appeal for a place in an infant class (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) can be successful.

Waiting Lists

For all admissions, where parents/carers are refused a place for their child/children they are automatically placed on the waiting list and an opportunity to meet with an independent appeal panel is offered. Pupils names will remain on the waiting list for the whole academic year and will only be removed if they are successful at appeal or if a parent confirms in writing that they no longer wish their child/ren's 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.

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

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