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 transfer from primary to secondary 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
Availability of places is determined by reference to the school's admission number. Schools must admit up to the admission number in the year of entry (i.e. Year 7 in secondary school) and must not exceed this number. Parents/carers who are refused a place at the school must be given right of appeal.
The admission number applies to all year groups.
(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:
- Children who are in the care of a local authority i.e. looked after children (LAC) or previously looked after*.
- Children who live within the school's defined catchment area. If there are more applications than places, places will be allocated in distance order with those living nearest (shortest available walking route) receiving priority**.
- 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, places will be allocated in distance order with those living nearest (shortest available walking route) receiving priority**.
- Children attending a designated partner primary school but who live outside the catchment area of that school. If there are more applications than places, places will be allocated in distance order with those living nearest (shortest available walking route) receiving priority**.
- Other children for whom criteria 1 to 4 above do not apply. If there are more applications than places, 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 measurement 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 a 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 for that place are twins/triplets, 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 is full in the year group, transport will be provided to the nearest school with room if that school is more than 3 miles walking distance 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/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.
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 as determined by the published admission number.
Where admission requests exceed the number of places available, places will be allocated by applying the LAs oversubscription criteria.
Applications for admission to the relevant age group (i.e. the age group at which children are normally admitted to the school) submitted on or before the administrative closing date, 1 December 2017 will be processed collectively. 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.
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 1 December 2017 will be advised whether they have been allocated a place on the 1 March 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 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 Civic Centre by 29 March 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.
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.