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Severn Beach Primary School

Castle School Education Trust

Admission policy 2018/2019

Purpose of the policy

The purpose of this policy is to make the admissions process to Severn Beach Primary School clear and open.

The Directors of the Trust have agreed that the admission arrangements for the school will remain in line with the agreed arrangements for South Gloucestershire’s maintained non-denominational primary schools. This policy should be read in conjunction with the general terms contained in the South Gloucestershire admission to primary school booklet.

The Trust adheres to the statutory requirements and the principles expressed in the School Admissions Code (DfE December 2014).  This includes reference to the South Gloucestershire Fair Access Protocol.

Reception admissions:  the directors and governors are supported by South Gloucestershire Council in allocating places and informing families.

Planned admission number (PAN)

Severn Beach Primary School has a PAN of 30.

Infant Class Sizes:  Infant classes (those where the majority of children will reach the age of 5, 6 or 7 during the school year) must not contain more than 30 pupils.  Additional children may only be admitted under the limited exceptional circumstances listed in the Admissions Code 2014.

The Trust commissions South Gloucestershire Council’s independent appeal panel which hears appeals from unsuccessful applicants for a place in any year group.

The admission criteria and arrangements

Should the school be over-subscribed in reception (i.e. if there are more applications than places available), initial allocations will be made according to the criteria below.  These are listed in order of priority and will be applied to all applications for the school received by the published closing date for applications.

(a)     Children in public care or previously in public care (please see note 1 below).

(b)    Local siblings (those living within the school’s Area of Prime Responsibility where there is an Area of Prime Responsibility defined) (please see note 2 below).

(c)     Geographical considerations (those living within the school’s Area of Prime Responsibility where there is an Area of Prime Responsibility defined) (please see note 3 below).

(d)     Geographical considerations (those living outside the school’s Area of Prime Responsibility where there is an Area of Prime Responsibility defined) (please see note 4 below).

(e)     Tie breaker:  Where it does not prove possible to resolve allocations to an over-subscribed school by the application of criteria (a) to (e), any remaining places will be allocated by drawing lots (please see note 5 below).

Notes:

1. Children in public care are those looked after by a local authority within the meaning of Section 22 of the Children Act 1989.

Children previously in public care are those who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted or became subject to a child arrangement order or special guardianship order.

Important Note:  Where an Area of Prime Responsibility is defined, this is shown in the map in this booklet.  Where there is no Area of Prime Responsibility, local siblings will be deemed to be those living up to a maximum of two miles from the school as measured in a straight line.

2.    Local siblings:  children are defined as local siblings if:

  • they are full or half brother or sister; or
  • they are adoptive brother or sister; or
  • they are children of the same household; and they live within the school’s defined Area of Prime Responsibility and they have indicated that school as a preference; and
  • the sibling is already in attendance at the preferred school and will be in attendance (statutory school age only) on the date at which the applicant transfers to a school within the Trust.

The sibling rule does not apply across the Trust, but is specific to each school.

 

3. Geographical considerations (for those living within the school’s Area of Prime Responsibility): Priority will be given to those children who live within the Area of Prime Responsibility for each school.

Area of Prime Responsibility:  An indicative map showing details of the location of the school and Area of Prime Responsibility as appropriate can be found in this booklet.

If in any year there are more children living within the Area of Prime Responsibility than the number of places available at the school, priority will be given to those children who live closest to the school.  Distances from home to school are measured in a direct line between the address point of the child’s home and a central point within the main school building using the LA’s computerised mapping system.

4. Geographical considerations (for those living outside the school’s Area of Prime Responsibility): After places have been allocated from within the Area of Prime Responsibility, any remaining places will be allocated to those children who live closest to the school.  Distances from home to school are measured in a direct line between the address point of the child’s home and a central point within the main school building using the LA’s computerised mapping system.  All applications will be considered at the same time and the published over-subscription criteria applied.

5. Tie breaker: Lots will be drawn by an employee of the Trust who is independent of the admissions process.

Children with statements of special educational needs (SEN) or education, health and care plans (EHCPs)

Children with statements are placed in schools through the arrangements set out in the SEN Code of Practice and not through these admission criteria.  Each governing body is required by Section 324 of the Education Act 1996 to admit to the school a child with a statement that names the school whether or not there are places available.  Any appeal concerning the statement or the admission is to the independent First-tier Tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber).

Children of multiple births

Whenever possible, in managing the allocation of places to the school, South Gloucestershire Council and the Trust will endeavour to place children of multiple births in the same school within the places available.  Where the last child to qualify for a place is a twin or child of multiple birth, numbers will be breached to enable all children of the same birth to attend the same school.

Children of UK service personnel (UK armed forces)

South Gloucestershire Council and the Trust recognises the particular needs of children of UK service personnel (UK armed forces).  The Council ensures that the needs of these children are taken into account by:

  • allocating a school place in advance if the application is accompanied by an official government letter which declares a relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering address.
  • accepting a Unit postal address, or, if appropriate, a quartering area address (the address of the closest house in the relevant quartering area), for applications from service personnel in the absence of a new home postal address. A quartering address will be used only where the housing authorities confirm in writing that a house will be offered in the area.
  • accepting a late application from UK service personnel as ‘on time’ where a notification of posting has been received after the closing date and before the date of exchange of information with other admission authorities.
  • considering an application on the criterion of ‘local sibling’ where another child in the family has been offered a place at the preferred school and the Unit postal address or quartering address is within the Area of Prime Responsibility for the preferred school.
  • wherever possible, children of UK service personnel will be offered a place at the preferred local school but taking into account the admission number for the school.

Home address

The child’s home address is considered to be where the child lives most of the time with his or her parent(s) or carer(s).  South Gloucestershire Council and the Trust cannot accept an address of a business, relative, friend, childminder, a temporary address or an address of a house it is intended to move to.  The only exceptions are for children of UK service personnel for whom special arrangements apply.

South Gloucestershire Council and the Trust reserve the right to seek documentary evidence to support a claim of residence.

Where a child spends time with each parent/carer at two different addresses, South Gloucestershire Council and the Trust will ask for proof of the arrangements and will determine the appropriate address to be used in allocating a school place.  All evidence provided by parents/carers will also be considered in reaching a decision on the home address for admissions purposes.  Where sufficient evidence is not forthcoming, the Trust will use the address which is furthest from the school, measured in a direct line between the address point of both addresses and a central point within the main school building using the LA’s computerised mapping system, for the purposes of determining ranking for allocation of places.  If an application or the evidence is later proved to be fraudulent or misleading, the Trust reserves the right to withdraw the place up to the end of term 2.

Definition of statutory school age for primary phase children

Legally, children do not have to be in full time education until the term following their fifth birthday: this is the compulsory school age.

Child’s fifth birthday Can defer until If I defer which class will my child join
1 September – 31 December January Reception class
1 January – 31 March April Reception class
1 April – 31 August Please see section below, but if a summer-born child defers entry until the following September they would usually be expected to enter a Year 1 class full-time.

However, children are normally admitted to school in the September following their fourth birthday.

Deferred entry to reception

Where an applicant to reception is below compulsory school age the parent(s)/carer(s) can request:

  1. that the date their child is admitted is deferred until later in the academic year or until the term in which the child reaches compulsory school age, or
  2. that their child takes up the place part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age. 

Delayed entry to reception

Summer born children (children born from the beginning of April to the end of August) reach compulsory school age in the September following their fifth birthday.  If a parent/carer wishes for their summer born child(ren) to start school in the reception year group in the September following their fifth birthday, the Trust will make a decision based on the circumstances of the individual case.  Factors considered may include:

  • in the case of children born prematurely, the fact that they may have naturally fallen into the lower age group if they had been born on their expected date of birth;
  • whether delayed social, emotional, cognitive or physical development is adversely affecting their readiness for school;
  • whether they have previously been educated outside their normal age group.

Children placed in a year group below their chronological age will have to start school full-time immediately, as they will be compulsory school age.  They will also reach statutory school leaving age before completing Key Stage 4 courses.  Parents/carers will be expected to support their child’s continuing school attendance beyond the statutory school leaving date in order to ensure completion of Key Stage 4.

Where the Trust indicates willingness to accept an application from a child placed out of year group, this will not guarantee a place at the preferred school as any application will have to be made with the admissions round for the year in which the child is starting school and considered against the published admission criteria.

Appeals – September intake

After the closing date for applications (15 January), South Gloucestershire Council will send the school separate lists of all their applicants.  Each list will include all those stating a preference for the school but will not state the preferences.  South Gloucestershire Council will rank the lists separately and allocate up to the published admission number for the school.  Parents/carers will be informed of the allocation of places by South Gloucestershire Council.  Included in this information will be an appeal form and explanatory guidance.  If parents/ carers wish to appeal they need to complete and return the appeals form directly to the school’s Admissions Officer.  An independent appeal panel will be convened by South Gloucestershire Council at which both parents/carers and the Trust will present their cases.  Decisions made by the panel are legally binding.

Waiting lists

Where the school is over-subscribed in the normal admissions round and places have been refused to some applicants, a waiting list will be maintained for any vacancies which subsequently arise.  The waiting list will be prioritised according to the admission criteria and not by reference to the date of joining the waiting list.  The list will be maintained by the Trust.

In-year transfer

Parents/carers who wish to obtain a place at the school other than at the bulk September intake to reception, should apply directly to the school.  Parents/carers will have a decision about allocating a place within two weeks.

If a place is available at the school but taking account of the parents’/ carers’ preference, the student will be invited for an induction meeting and tour after which the Trust will offer the place, unless there is a compelling reason not to.

If the year group in the school is full or over-subscribed then the school will refuse the place but the applicant will be given the opportunity to appeal and an appeals form will be supplied.  The Trust will also notify the parents/carers of any places available at another suitable Trust school.  If the parents/carers choose to appeal for a place at the school an independent appeal panel will be convened by South Gloucestershire Council at which both parents/carers and the Trust will present their cases.  Decisions made by the panel are legally binding.

Consultation process

This policy was developed through the Trust and South Gloucestershire Council’s consultation processes.

Relationship to other policies

Parents/carers and students are encouraged to visit the school’s websites and attend open days/evenings.

Roles and responsibilities

The Head Teacher will ensure that all parents/carers of students, or potential students, are fully aware of the admissions policy and process in appropriate meetings, publications etc.