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St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, Downend

Diocese of Clifton

Admission policy 2018/2019

1 Introduction

St Augustine of Canterbury is a Catholic voluntary aided primary school, which was established by the Catholic Church to serve the Catholic community within the parishes of St Augustine, Downend and St John Fisher, Frenchay (Frenchay & Winterbourne).  Within the legal framework allowed and the published admission number, it is hoped that all Baptised catholics living within the parishes will be offered a place at our school.

Published admission number

The published admission number for reception is 45 and this is also the number of places available in other year groups.

Admission

All children offered a place are entitled to a full-time place in the September following their fourth birthday and are normally admitted in the September of the school year in which they reach their fifth birthday.

Deferred admission

In accordance with the 2014 School Admissions Code, as updated, where a place has actually been offered, a parent/carer can defer the date their child is admitted to school until later in the academic year, but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the application was made.  Deferred admissions will follow South Gloucestershire Council’s formal statement.  A parent/carer seeking such a deferment should make this clear at the time of accepting any offer of a place.

Admission outside of the normal age group (retained or accelerated entry)

Children born in the summer (1 April – 31 August) and whose parent/carer does not wish them to start school until the term after their 5th birthday will have to make a separate in-year application for admission outside of their normal age group for the following academic year.  If a parent/carer wishes for the child to start reception a year after their chronological age group, they should put their request, along with any supporting evidence, to the school.  If governors agree that joining a different group is in the best interests of the child, delayed admission may be agreed in principle.  In which case their home local authority common application form will have to be completed for admission to reception in the following academic year.  There is no guarantee of a place within a different year group if a parent/carer decides to defer their child starting school – all applications would be subject to a place being available within the requested year group and governors would consider all applications, and the over-subscription criteria applied, if necessary, to determine any place offered. 

Part-time attendance

A parent /carer offered a place, can start their child on a part-time basis until the child reaches compulsory school age.  Where a child attends school part-time, this would normally be for five morning sessions each week.

2. Making an application

In accordance with the national arrangements and the local scheme of co-ordination, applications for a place in reception must be made by a parent/carer on a common application form.  This must be submitted to the local authority for the location where the child lives – their ‘home’ local authority.  The form for completion by residents of South Gloucestershire is on the council’s website (for on-line applications go to www.southglos.gov.uk/admissions) and is also included in this booklet.

To be considered in the first round of allocations, applications must be submitted, either online or on paper, by 15 January 2018.

Supporting documentation

Where it is indicated that a child is a Baptised Catholic, the governors as the admissions authority require a copy of the child’s Baptism Certificate to be sent directly to the school.  Where a certificate is not available, a statement from a member of the clergy, confirming that the person has (or in their opinion has) been Baptised or received into the Catholic Church must be provided.

For the reception intake, this should be submitted by 23.59 on 15 January 2018 to be considered in the first round of allocations.  Supporting documentation should be submitted to the school office at St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, Boscombe Crescent, Downend, Bristol BS16 6QR irrespective of the application method used (i.e. paper documents or on-line).

The governors reserve the right to request sight of the “original” documents and certificates.

Applicants resident in other local authority areas should apply via their ‘home’ local authority.

After the 15 January 2018 deadline, South Gloucestershire Council’s Admissions and Transport Team will inform the governors of all applications and if over-subscribed, the governors will then rank them accordingly.

Over-subscription

In the event of over-subscription, the governors will apply its over-subscription criteria as listed below.  If two or more applications cannot be separated by applying the over-subscription criteria, the drawing of lots will be used to determine the order of the ranking of applications.  This will be supervised by someone independent of the school.  South Gloucestershire Council will be informed of the governors decisions.  Home local authorities, acting on behalf of the governors, will then notify parents/carers on 16 April 2018 of the outcome of their application.

Late applications for reception admissions

Applications submitted after the closing date of 15 January 2018 will be processed in accordance with the co-ordinated admission scheme of the child’s home local authority.

In-year admissions

In the event of a request for an in-year admission (an application for a place during the academic school year, or for September 2018/19 in a year group other than the bulk reception intake), a formal request for application has to be made directly to the school.  The school will issue an application form, which will need to be completed and returned to the school with any relevant supporting documents and/or Baptism Certificate for Catholic applications.  The governors will meet to consider the application submitted to them.  In the event of over-subscription for a place, the governors will apply the criteria set out below.  The decision of the governors will be communicated directly to the applicant of the refusal or offer of a place.

3. Children with a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan (EHCP)

Admission procedures for children with a Statement or an EHCP are different and these children take priority.  The local authority is responsible for issuing the Statement/EHCP, and for consulting with the parent/carer and the governors of St Augustine’s, if a preference has been made for the school, before the school is named in the Statement/EHCP.  Any such children will be allocated a place, before the following criteria is applied to all other applications.

4. Over-subscription criteria

St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Primary School’s published admission number is 45.  If more applications are received than places available, all applications will be ranked according to the criteria, given in order of priority below.

For definitions and supporting documentation, see section 5. 

A map of the parish boundaries is available from the school.

4.1    Baptised Catholic looked after children and previously looked after children.

4.2    Baptised Catholic children who live within the parish of St Augustine’s or the parish of St John Fisher, with a brother or sister who will be attending the school at the time of admission.

4.3    Baptised Catholic children who live within the parish of St Augustine’s or the parish of St John Fisher.

4.4    Baptised Catholic children, who live outside the parishes of St Augustine’s and the parish of St John Fisher.

4.5    Other ‘looked after children’ and ‘previously looked after children’.

4.6    Children who are not Baptised Catholic with a brother or sister who will be attending the school at the time of admission.

4.7    All other children not in the above categories.

5. Definitions: The following definitions will apply to this policy:

5.1    A Catholic is someone ‘Baptised’ or ‘received into full communion’ by a Christian rite in full communion with the Holy See.  Most commonly called ‘Roman Catholic’ in England and Wales.

Those baptised into another Christian denomination but subsequently formally received into the Catholic faith will be considered as a Baptised Catholic.

For any of the over-subscription categories for Baptised Catholic children, a copy of a baptismal certificate or equivalent validation should be sent to the school.  To be considered in the first round of allocations, it must be submitted by 15 January 2018.  Where a certificate is not available, a statement from a member of the clergy, confirming that the person has (or in their opinion has) been baptised or received into the Catholic Church must be provided.  The governors may also request sight of the original certificate.

5.2    Parish boundaries of St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Church, Downend and of St John Fisher Catholic Church Frenchay.

5.3    Looked after children: are children who are at the time of application:-

(i)   in the care of the local council or

(ii)  being provided with accommodation by a local council in the exercise of their social services functions (see the definition in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989).

5.4    Previously looked after children: are children who were previously looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order) immediately following having been looked after.  This includes:

  • children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 (see section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (see section 46 adoption orders).
  • child arrangements orders are defined in section 8 of the Children Act 1989, as amended by section 12 of the Children and Families Act 2014.  Child arrangements orders replaced residence orders and any residence order in force prior to 22 April 2014 is deemed to be a child arrangements order.
  • in accordance with section 14A of the Children Act 1989, a special guardianship order is defined as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).

5.5    Brothers and sisters.  To be considered as a brother or sister a child must be living at the same address for the majority of the time* as a full, half, step or adoptive brother or sister.  Step brothers/sisters are defined as children who are not necessarily related biologically (including Foster children) but are living in the same household for the majority of the time* at the address considered to be the address of the child for whom the application is made.

*  A child must be living at an address for at least 50% of the time to be considered as living there for the majority of the time.  The brother or sister must be attending St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Primary School at the time of admission.

5.6    Home address.  A child’s home address is considered to be the place where the child permanently and ordinarily resides for the majority of the time* see above.  This would normally be the same address as the person who has parental responsibility for the child as their main carer.  Those moving home should normally provide independent confirmation of the new address.

6. Waiting lists

Bulk admissions (i.e. reception intake 2018-19):  In the event of over-subscription and refusal of applications for places, a waiting list of those still seeking a place will be maintained for any vacancies, which occur until the end of December 2018.  A request to go on this waiting list must be made in writing.  Priority order on the waiting list will be determined according to the above over-subscription criteria for the school, not by the date of joining the waiting list.  Each added child to the list will require the list to be ranked again in line with the criteria.  When a place becomes available within this year group, places will be offered according to the above criteria.

In-year admissions:  In the event of refusal of an in-year application, parents/carers can request that their child be placed on a waiting list, which will be held by the school.  This request must be made in writing to the school. Should a place become available in the academic year in question, places will be offered by the governors according to the above over-subscription criteria, not by the date of joining the waiting list.  The school will retain the waiting list up until the end of the academic year, 31 August 2019.

Placing a child’s name on a waiting list does not affect an applicant’s right of appeal against an unsuccessful application.

7. Appeals

Parents/carers have the right to appeal against the refusal by the governing body to admit their child and should put their appeal in writing to the Clerk of Governors (address below) or to the home local authority as appropriate.  Appeals will be arranged and conducted in accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code.

Clerk to the Governors, St. Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Primary School, Boscombe Crescent, Downend, Bristol, BS16 6QY.

8. Multiple births

Where a child(ren) whose twin or sibling from a multiple birth is admitted, otherwise than as an excepted pupil, the other child(ren) will be considered under the admission criteria as exceptions to the infant class size regulations where relevant.

9. Information about the number of applications received and the number of places allocated within each category for 2017-18 is available from the school office and/or South Gloucestershire Local Authority.