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Admission arrangements to Nursery schools 2024 / 2025

Nursery classes based at local authority schools.

The local authority, the LA, is the admitting authority for all community schools (schools funded and maintained entirely by LAs) in the area.  The LA has agreed that schools will undertake the administration of nursery applications on behalf of the LA.

Admission to nursery classes

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

Parents / carers can either apply online for a place at the catchment school or express a preference for a placement at an alternative school. Support can be provided for parents who need assistance if necessary. 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)  Over subscription 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, for example, looked after children (LAC) or previously looked after*.
  2. Children who live within the school's defined catchment area. There is no guarantee of a catchment place. 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**.

*Looked after child (LAC) / previously looked after children - a looked after child refers to a child who is looked after by a local authority in England or Wales (as defined by Section 22 of the Children Act 1989 and Section 74 of the Social Services and Wellbeing [Wales] Act 2014) at the time the application to a school is made and who the local authority has confirmed will still be looked after at the time of admission to the school. 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 (as defined by the Welsh Government School Admissions Code document no. 005/2013). Evidence will need to be provided for all LAC criteria applications.

**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, for example, pupils in any year group between and including Reception to Year 11.

Children who have Additional Learning Needs

The oversubscription criteria does not apply to pupils for whom the LA holds an Individual Development Plan (IDP) where the LA has named a school in section 2D.1 of the IDP or 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 an Individual Development Plan (IDP) where the LA has named a school in section 2D.1 of the IDP or 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.

Please note that the information contained in this publication is correct at the time of going to print, but subject to change based on new guidance / legislation being issued which was not available when published

Voluntary aided schools

In Swansea we have Voluntary Aided church schools (these are Roman Catholic, Church in Wales).  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 over subscription criteria.

The main residential address should be used when applying.  Addresses which have restrictions on occupancy (such as chalets or caravans on holiday parks with seasonal restrictions on occupancy) cannot be used as a permanent address.

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. There is no guarantee of a catchment place.

Attending the nursery at any school does not guarantee a place in the reception class.

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 reside outside of the City and County of Swansea local authority should also make an application with their own local authority (the local authority to whom they pay council tax) as, in the event of the school(s) applied for in Swansea are oversubscribed the LA will be under no duty to offer a place at an alternative Swansea school.

Withdrawal of a place

A place can be withdrawn by the LA if information is received that suggests the application no longer meets the over subscription criteria it was originally assessed on. Any place approved on the basis of residence will be withdrawn if the pupil is no longer permanently resident at the address at the beginning of the school term to which the application relates.

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 over subscription criteria.

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

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