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The Rural Enterprise Academy

 


 

Admission Arrangements 2020/2021

1. Admissions

1.1 The Rural Enterprise Academy will comply with all relevant provisions of the statutory codes of practice (the School Admissions Code of Practice and the School Admission Appeals Code of Practice) as they apply at any given time to maintained schools and with the law on admissions as it applies to maintained schools. Reference in the codes to admission authorities shall be deemed to be references to the governing body of the Academy. In particular, the Academy will take part in the Admissions Forum set up by the Local Authority and have regard to its advice; and will participate in the co-ordinated admission arrangements operated by Staffordshire County Council.

1.2 Notwithstanding these arrangements, the Secretary of State, having consulted the academy, may direct the Academy to admit a named pupil on application from any local authority. 

1.3 The admission arrangements for the Academy, subject to any changes approved by the Secretary of State, will be:

(a) When at full capacity, the Academy will have 300 students.

(b) The Academy may set a higher admission number as its Published Admission Number (PAN) for any specific year including increasing in year. The Local Authority will be notified of any intention to increase the PAN and the change will be noted on the Academy website.

(c) If the Academy wished to decrease its PAN the Academy will consult those listed at paragraph 12.1 below.

2. Process of application

2.1 Applications for places at the Rural Enterprise Academy will be made in accordance with the Staffordshire County Council’s co-ordinated admission arrangements and will be made on the Local Authorities Common Application Form (“the CAF”). The Academy will use the following timetable for applications each year (exact dates within the months may vary from year to year) which, whenever possible, will fit in with the common timetable agreed by the Staffordshire County Council’s Coordinated Admission Scheme.

(a) September - The Academy will publish in its prospectus information about the arrangements for admission, including oversubscription criteria, for the following September. This will include details of open evenings and other opportunities for prospective students and their parents to discuss the Academy. The Academy will also provide information to the Local Authority for inclusion in the composite prospectus, as required;

(b) September/October – Beginning in September, The Academy will provide opportunities throughout the year for parents to visit the Academy;

(c) CAF to be completed and returned to applicant’s home LA by 31st January;

(d) February – LA’s exchange information on applications.

(e) 1st March offers made to parents. 

(f) Applications received after the above dates will still be considered following the LA coordinated offer date of the 1st March. If there are still places available, then applicants will be offered a place. If all available places have been allocated then applicants will be placed on a waiting list behind any applicants on the waiting list who applied prior to the 31st of January. This will hold true even if the applicant meets any of the criteria listed in clause 4 below.

3. Consideration of applications 

3.1 All children applying to the Academy will be required to take reasoning and reading tests once offers have been made. 

All reasonable attempts will be made to ensure that all prospective pupils have fair opportunity to undertake said tests. If any child is unable to attend the offered time and date for such tests, arrangements will be made for the test to be made as soon after entry as possible. Applicants will later be placed in classes based on their performance in the above tests as well as other data made available to the Academy by previous schools and base line subject tests completed following entry. 

3.2 The Academy will consider all applications for places (See 2.1 f above). Where fewer than the Published Admission Number of applications are received, the Academy will offer places to all those who have applied, unless the academy has determined that it cannot meet an individual child’s needs as determined by an EHCP or the child falls under Fair Access Protocols. For a child with special educational needs or disabilities this would be determined as part of the normal consultation process when parents elect to name TREA as the school of choice. In most cases TREA would be able to meet need but there may be occasions when the Academy does not have the specialist provision necessary and it would prejudice the education of the child applying and or other students in the school to do so.

3.3 If the school is oversubscribed the criteria below will be applied.

4. Procedures where the Academy is oversubscribed

4.1 Where the number of applications for admission is greater than the published admissions number, pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), where The Rural Enterprise Academy is named on the Statement or within the Plan and the academy can meet their needs will be admitted, and this will reduce the number of places available. Where the number of applications for admission is greater than the published admissions number and after admission of pupils with either an EHCP (where The Rural Enterprise Academy is named on the Statement or within the Plan) applications will be considered against the criteria set out below. N.B The following list is in order of priority. 

  1. Children in Care and children who ceased to be in care because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order). 
  2. Children previously in care outside of England or Wales who ceased to be in care because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
  3. Children who satisfy both of the following tests:

Test 1: the child is distinguished from the great majority of applicants either on their own medical grounds or by other exceptional circumstances. Medical grounds must be supported by a medical report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application). This report must clearly justify, for health reasons only, why it is better for the child’s health to attend the preferred school rather than any other school. Exceptional circumstances must relate to the choice of school and the individual child, i.e. the circumstances of the child, not the economic or social circumstances of the parent/carer. It should be supported by a professional report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application), e.g. social worker. This report must clearly justify why it is better for the child to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.

Test 2: the child would suffer hardship if they were unable to attend the preferred school. Hardship means severe suffering of any kind, not merely difficulty or inconvenience, which is likely to be experienced as a result of the child attending a different school. Applicants must provide detailed information about both the type and severity of any likely hardship at the time of application. 

  1. Children who have an elder sibling in attendance at TREA and who will still be attending TREA at the proposed admission date; (For admission purposes, a brother or sister is a child who lives at the same address and either: have one or both natural parents in common; are related by a parents marriage; are adopted or fostered by a common parent or are unrelated children who live at the same address, whose parents live as partners. 
  2. Students based on the proximity of their home address (permanent residence) to the main entrance of the Academy measured in a straight line by using a GIS systemi.

4.2 In the event of equal levels of eligibility under the above criteria, the Academy will employ an independently managed and supervised random allocation method.

Additional notes;

Children in care means children who are looked after by a local authority in accordance with section 22 (1) of the Children Act 1989 and who is (a) in care of a Local Authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a Local Authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see definition in Section 22 (1) of the Children Act 1989) at the time of making an application to a school. This includes children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 (see section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under Adoption and Children Act 2002 (see section 46 adoption orders). Child arrangements orders are defined in s.8 of the Children Act 1989, as amended by s.12 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Child arrangements orders replace residence orders and any residence order in force prior to 22 April 2014 is deemed to be a child arrangements order

Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a special guardianship order as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians). It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide any supportive information required in order for the application to be assessed against the published admissions criteria, TREA will not seek to obtain this information on behalf of the applicant. 

The home address is considered to be the child’s along with their parent’s main and genuine principal place of residence at the time of the allocation of places i.e. where they are normally and regularly living. If a child is resident with friends or relatives (for reasons other than legal guardianship) the friends or relatives address will not be considered for allocation purposes. Where parents have shared responsibility for a child, and the child lives with both parents for part of the school week, parents will be required to provide documentary evidence to support the address they wish to be considered for allocation purposes. It is expected that parents will agree on school places before an application is made, and it may be necessary to request evidence from you to confirm that this is the case. TREA is not in a position to intervene in disputes between parents over school applications and will request that these are resolved privately.

If a child’s home address changes during the admissions process it is the responsibility of the parent/carer to inform the TREA immediately. Where there is a proposed house move taking place during the admissions process the TREA will only accept the revised address for purposes of allocation where parents/carers can provide documentary evidence of the move by 24 January 2020. It will be necessary for sufficient evidence of a permanent move to be provided by the applicant by this date before it will be taken into account for allocation purposes at the national offer date. If a place is offered on the basis of an address that is subsequently found to be different from the child’s normal and permanent home address at the time of allocation of places then that place is likely to be withdrawn. If there are a limited number of spaces available and we cannot distinguish between applicants using the criteria listed, such as in the case of children who live in the same block of flats, then the child or children who will be offered the available spaces will be randomly selected. This process will be independently verified.

5 Operation of waiting lists

5.1 Subject to any provisions regarding waiting lists in the Local Authority’s coordinated admission scheme, the Academy will operate a waiting list. Where in any year the Academy receives more applications for places than there are places available, a waiting list will operate. This will be maintained by the Academy and it will be open to any parent to ask for his or her child’s name to be placed on the waiting list, following an unsuccessful application.

5.2 The position of children on the waiting list will be determined solely in accordance with the oversubscription criteria agreed by the Governing Body. The waiting list will be held until the end of the first term of the academic year. The waiting list will not be banded. Where places become available they will be allocated to children on the waiting list in accordance with the oversubscription criteria. See 2.1 (f).

6 Arrangements for appeals panels 

6.1 Parents will have the right of appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel if they are dissatisfied with an admission decision of the Academy. 

6.2 The Appeal Panel will be independent of the Academy. The arrangements for appeals will be in line with the Code of Practice on School Admission Appeals published by the Department for Education as it applies to Academies and Free Schools. The determination of the appeal panel will be made in accordance with the Code of Practice on School Admission Appeals and is binding on all parties. The Academy will prepare guidance for parents about how the appeals process will work and provide parents with a named contact who can answer any enquiries parents may have about the process.

7. Arrangements for admitting students to other year groups, that is pupils who wish to transfer to the Academy other than at a normal point of entry, including replacing any students who have left the Academy

7.1 Subject to any provisions in the Local Authority’s co-ordinated admission arrangements relating to applications submitted for years other than the normal year of entry the Academy will consider, with the exception of children included within the Fair Access Protocol (See appendix 1), all such applications and if the year group applied for has a place available admit the child. If more applications are received than there are places available, the oversubscription criteria agreed by the Governing Body will apply. Parents whose application is turned down are entitled to appeal and parents may ask that their child be placed on a waiting list. Although mid-year transfer is not always in the best interests of their child as they may have begun study of different subjects and examination specifications, necessitating additional work to catch up, no child will be refused admission on this basis. 

7.2 With the exception of a looked after child, a previously looked after child or a child with an Education, Health and Care Plan (naming The Rural Enterprise Academy), where the academy can meet their needs, should the governing body not wish to admit a child included within the list to be considered under Fair Access Protocols (see appendix 1 below), outside the normal admissions round, even though places are available the case will be referred to the Local Authority under the Fair Access Protocol. Under Fair Access protocols there is no duty for local authorities or admission authorities to comply with parental preference when allocating places.

8. Admission outside of the Normal Age Group

8.1 Any parent wishing to apply for admission outside of normal age group, for example if a child is exceptionally gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health will need to make an application alongside children applying at the normal age range. An appendix to the application should explain why it is in the child’s best interest to be admitted outside their normal range. This may include professional evidence as to why this is the case and why an exception should be made. A decision as to whether this is an appropriate action will be made by The Rural Enterprise Academy who will take into account the circumstances of the case. Parents do not have the right to

insist that their child is admitted to a particular year group but all such applications will be considered with sensitivity and will take the child’s best interests into consideration.

9. Arrangements for admission of students as the Academy builds to its full capacity

9.1 The Academy opened on 1 September 2012 with a Published Admission Number of 90 students in Year 10. Since that time the academy introduced a Year 9 group and currently in two groups per year group the maximum number is 60 per year group. It will build to its capacity of 300 students as soon as possible.

10. Late applications

10.1 Applications received after the LA common application date (31st October) but before 1 February will all be treated in an identical manner.

10.2 Applications received after 31 January will not be considered until after the 1st March but will then be offered a place if places are still available. A late application will not affect the right of appeal 

11. Arrangements for admission to post 16 provision

11.1 The Academy will publish specific criteria in relation to minimum entrance requirements for the range of courses available in the Sixth Form based upon GCSE grades or other measures of prior attainment. Both internal and external pupils wishing to enter the sixth form will be expected to have met the minimum academic entry requirements for the sixth form. Entry requirements will be published on the web site within the sixth form application form. A meeting will be held with potential pupils to discuss options and academic entry requirements for particular courses but this meeting will not form part of the decision making process on whether to offer a place. 

11.2 When the sixth form is undersubscribed all applicants meeting the minimum academic entry requirements will be admitted.

11.3 When there are more external applicants that satisfy the academic entry requirements than the number of post 16 places available and after the admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (where The Rural Enterprise Academy is named on the Statement or within the Plan), the criteria will be applied in the order in which they are set out below:

  1. Looked after children and previously looked after children.
  2. Children in catchment.

11.4 There will be a right of appeal to an Independent Appeals Panel for internal pupils refused transfer and external applicants refused admission.

ANNUAL PROCEDURES FOR DETERMINING ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS

12 Consultation

12.1 The Academy will consult when changes are proposed to admission arrangements requiring consultation.

The Academy will consult by the deadline date determined within the most recent School Admissions Code (Currently dated December 2014 and updated September 2016):

a) The Local Authority;

b) Any other admission authorities for relevant secondary pupils; 

c) Schools located within the relevant area for consultation set by the Local Authority;

d) Any other governing body for secondary schools not falling within paragraph (b) located within the relevant area for consultation; 

12 Determination and publication of admission arrangements

12.1 Following consultation, the Academy will consider comments made by those consulted. The Academy will then determine its admission arrangements by the determined within the latest Code of Practice for relevant year and notify those consulted of what has been determined. 

13 Publication of admission arrangements

13.1 The Academy will publish its admission arrangements each year, once these have been determined, on the Academy’s website together with arrangements for hearing appeals. 

14 Representations about admission arrangements

14.1 Where any of those bodies that were consulted, or that should have been consulted, make representations to The Rural Enterprise Academy about its admission arrangements, the Academy will consider such representations before determining the admission arrangements. Where the Academy has determined its admission arrangements and notified all those bodies that it has consulted and any of those bodies object to the Academy’s admission arrangements they can make representations to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will consider the representation and in so doing will consult

the Academy. Where it is judged appropriate, the Secretary of State may direct the Academy to amend its admission arrangements.

14.2 Those consulted have the right to ask the Academy to increase its proposed Published Admissions Number for any year. Where such a request is made, but agreement cannot be reached locally, they may ask the Secretary of State to direct the Academy to increase its proposed Published Admissions Number. The Secretary of State will consult the Academy and will then determine the Published Admission Number.

14.3 In addition to the provisions set out above, the Secretary of State may direct changes to the Academy’s proposed admission arrangements and, in addition to the provisions above, the Secretary of State may direct changes to the proposed Published Admissions Number.

15 Proposed changes to admission arrangements by the Academy after arrangements have been published

15.1 Once the admission arrangements have been determined for a particular year and published, the Academy will propose changes only if there is a major change of circumstances. In such cases, the Academy must notify those consulted as set out above, of the proposed variation and must then apply to the Secretary of State setting out:

a) The proposed changes;

b) Reasons for wishing to make such changes; and

c) Any comments or objections from those entitled to object.

16 The need to secure Secretary of State’s approval for changes to admission arrangements

16.1 The Secretary of State will consider applications from the Academy to change its admission arrangements only when the Academy has notified and consulted the proposed changes as outlined above.

16.2 Where the Academy has consulted on proposed changes the Academy must secure the agreement of the Secretary of State before any such changes can be implemented. The Academy must seek the Secretary of State’s approval in writing, setting out the reasons for the proposed changes and providing any comments or objections from other admission authorities/other persons.

16.3 The Secretary of State can approve, modify or reject proposals from the Academy to change its admission arrangements. 

16.4 Records of applications and admissions shall be kept by the Academy for a minimum period of ten years and shall be open for inspection by the Secretary of State.

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