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St Mary’s Church of England VA Primary School, Thornbury

Admission policy 2018/2019

The aim of this policy is to provide clear information to parents and guardians regarding how to make an application for their child to be educated at St Mary’s Church of England VA Primary School, Thornbury.

The governing body, in consultation with the Anglican Diocese of Gloucester, determines the admissions policy for the school and it is their intention to continue the tradition of Christian education in the local community.

The admission number for the reception year is 30.

Children are admitted to the school in September if they have reached their fourth birthday on or before 31 August of that year. Should the number of applications exceed places available then the governors will operate the following order of priorities when offering places.

  1. Children currently or previously in public care (looked after children) (as defined by Section 22 of the Children’s Act 1989 and the School Admissions Code) for whom a place is requested by the relevant person/authority.
  1. Siblings¹ of children of a worshipping member² of St Mary’s Church, Thornbury and St Paul’s Church, The Hackett, Thornbury and who are attending the school at the time of their admission. (Completion of the church reference form countersigned by the vicar should be supplied direct to the school).
  1. Siblings¹ of children who live within the parish boundary (a map is available for inspection at the school) of Thornbury and who are attending the school at the time of their admission.
  1. Siblings¹ of children who are attending the school at the time of their admission.
  1. Children of a worshipping² member of St Mary’s Church, Thornbury and St Paul’s Church, The Hackett, Thornbury. (Completion of the church reference form countersigned by the vicar should be supplied direct to the school).
  1. Children of a worshipping² member of any other Church who is resident in the Thornbury Parish. (Completion of the church reference form countersigned by their vicar/minister should be supplied direct to the school).
  1. Any remaining places or in the event of over-subscription in any of the above criteria places would be offered on the basis of those living closest to the school. Distances are measured in a straight line from the address point of the child’s home to a central point within the main school building using the local authority’s computerised mapping system.

¹    Children are siblings if:

  • they are half or full brother/sister
  • they are adoptive brother/sister
  • they are children of the same household

²    Worshipping member is defined as a parent or guardian who attends a Christian church 12 or more times in a 12 month period.

Waiting lists

In the event of over-subscription and refusal of applications for places, a waiting list will be maintained for any vacancies which occur until the end of Term 2 (December 2018), and then discarded. Priority order on the waiting list will be determined according to the over-subscription criteria for the school, not by the date of joining the waiting list.

Tie breaker

Where the school is over-subscribed and it is not possible to resolve allocation of places by the application of the over-subscription criteria set out above, any remaining places will be allocated by drawing lots. Lots will be drawn by an appropriate person, independent of the admissions process at the school, nominated by the Diocese of Gloucester.

Other application requirements

Worshipping members of a church should ensure that details of the church attended are clearly stated in the additional information section of  the paper form published in this booklet. These forms should be returned direct to South Gloucestershire Council in accordance with their deadline date.

Statements of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care plan (EHC Plan)

The admission procedure for children with Statements of SEN or an EHC Plan is different and these children take priority over all the above. The local authority is responsible for issuing the statement/plan and consulting parents/carers and the governors of St Mary’s, if a preference has been made for the school, before the school is named in the statement/plan.

Deferred admissions

Deferred admissions will be in line with South Gloucestershire Council arrangements, as set out in this booklet.

Delayed admission for a child without an education health and care plan (formerly a statement of special educational needs)

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, St Mary’s school governors will make a decision based on the circumstance of the individual case.  In considering the individual case, the 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.

To request a delayed admission, parents/carers must apply for a place during the standard application process timeline for their child’s chronological age group, stating their reasons for requesting deferred entry to the following year.  If you wish to delay your childs intake by a full school year please make an appointment to discuss this with the Head Teacher.

For other applications for a delayed entry, for example a child arriving in South Gloucestershire from overseas who has not experienced formal education, a placement out of year will be considered on an individual basis together with any supporting documentation.

It is essential to note that, for a child without an Education Health and Care Plan (formerly a Statement of Special Educational Needs) that placement out of year will have to be considered afresh at each stage of transfer of school as the decision on the appropriateness of the transfer/ placement rests with the receiving admission authority.  Admission authorities will make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case.  Parents/carers need to fully understand that this will mean that re-consideration will not only have to take place at the normal transfer time, for example transfer to secondary school, but also at any stage where a change of school is sought, for example, due to a house move.

Children placed in secondary school in a year group below their chronological age will reach statutory school leaving age before completing Key Stage 4 courses.  Parents/carers would generally 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.  Parents/ carers need to fully understand that, where an individual admission authority has indicated their willingness to accept a child placed out of year group, this will not guarantee a place at the preferred school as any application will be considered against the published admission criteria.

Appeal procedure

Parents/carers whose applications for places have been unsuccessful have the right to appeal against the decision of the governing body. Appeals will be arranged by the local authority, and will be conducted in accordance with the code of practice issued by the Secretary of State for Education and Employment under Section 84 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. Information on the appeal procedure can be obtained from the head teacher.