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Admission arrangements to Primary schools 2024 / 2025

Details of initial placement, parental preference and transfer requests.

The local authority (LA), is the admitting authority for all community schools (schools funded and maintained entirely by LAs) 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 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 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 (for example, 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)  Over subscription 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, for example, looked after children (LAC), or are 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 Admission 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 6 ie. 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. The LAs School Transport Policy and school transport information is available on the council website here: School transport.

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.

(c)  Admission procedures - community schools

Parents / carers will be asked to apply online 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 LA's oversubscription criteria.

The main residential address should be used when applying. Addresses which have restrictions on occupancy such as chalets 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. There is no guarantee of a catchment place.

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

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 day 24 November 2023 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 treated as late applications.

For requests to change a school preference after the published closing date for applications or after an offer of a place has been made on the statutory offer day, a new application will need to be submitted. A new application made will be a late application and will supersede any earlier applications received and any offers that were previously made would no longer be available.

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.

The LA will be under no duty to comply with preference expressed otherwise than in accordance with its arrangements. Parents/carers who have applied by the 24 November 2023 will be advised whether they have been allocated a place by the 16 April 2024.

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 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.

Late applications

Requests submitted after the published closing date will not be considered until after all on-time applications received have been allocated and offered their places on the statutory offer day. Late applications will be processed in date order of receipt. Appeals for late applications will be held after the appeals for on-time applications have been held.

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 Support Unit at the Civic Centre by 14 May 2024 (for applications that were received on time).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. The restricted circumstances are outlined in Annex C - point C.4 of the Welsh Government School Admission Appeals Code - document no. 007/2013.

Withdrawal of a place

A place can be withdrawn by the LA if information is received that suggests the application no longer meets the oversubscription 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 and an opportunity to meet with an independent appeal panel is offered. Pupil 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/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.