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St John Fisher Catholic College

Admission arrangements 2023/2024, 2024/2025 & 2025/2026

St John Fisher Catholic College is part of the Christ the King Catholic Collegiate. The admissions authority for the school is the Board of Directors of the Christ the King Catholic Collegiate who has responsibility for admissions to this school. The Board of Directors has delegated responsibility for the administration of the admissions process to the Local Governing Body of St John Fisher Catholic College. 

The admissions process for St John Fisher Catholic College is part of the Staffordshire Local Authority co-ordinated admissions scheme. To apply for a place at St John Fisher Catholic College in the normal admissions round, an application must be made using the school admission application process of the local authority in which you live naming St John Fisher Catholic College on the application form. Applications need to be made by 31 October. A Supplementary Information Form (SIF) must also be completed and returned directly to the school by the same date (see Note 2).

All applications which are submitted on time will be considered at the same time, after the closing date.

You will be advised of the outcome of your application on 1 March, or the next working day, by the local authority on behalf of the school.

Please note: throughout this policy, the term parent means all natural parents, any person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility for a child and any person who has care of a child.

The ethos of this school is Catholic. The school was founded by the Catholic Church to provide education for children of Catholic families. Wherever there are more applications than places available, priority will be given to Catholic children in accordance with the oversubscription criteria listed below. The school is conducted by its Board of Directors as part of the Catholic Church in accordance with its Articles of Association and seeks at all times to be a witness to Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

As a Catholic school, we aim to provide a Catholic education for all our pupils. At a Catholic school, Catholic doctrine and practice permeate every aspect of the school’s activity. It is essential that the Catholic character of the school’s education be fully supported by all families in the school. We therefore hope that all parents will give their full, unreserved and positive support for the aims and ethos of the school. This does not affect the right of an applicant who is not Catholic to apply for and be admitted to a place at the school in accordance with the admission arrangements.

The Local Governing Body acts for the Board of Directors who is the admissions authority and has responsibility for admissions to this school. The Board of Directors has set its admission number at 200 pupils to be admitted to Year 7 in the school year which begins in September. (See Note 1 below)

Where there are more applications for places than the number of places available, places will be offered according to the following order of priority. If there is oversubscription within a category, the Board of Directors will give priority firstly to children who will have a brother or sister (see Note 4 below) attending St John Fisher Catholic College at the time of admission and then secondly to children living closest to the school determined by the shortest distance (see Note 6 below)

Oversubscription Criteria for Years 7 - 11

  1. Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below) who are looked after or previously looked after (see Note 3 below)

  2. Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below) currently attending a named feeder school (see note 5 below)

  3. Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below) who live in feeder school or academy parish area (see Note 5 below)

  4. Other Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below)

  5. Non-Catholic children who are looked after or previously looked after (see Note 3 below)

  6. Non-Catholic children currently attending a named feeder school (see Note 5 below)

  7. Children of other Christian denominations whose membership is evidenced by a minister of religion (see Note 7 below)

  8. Non-Catholic children of an existing member of staffs of the academy at the time of application who have been employed for a minimum of two years at the time of application or have been employed for less than two years but were recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skills shortage

  9. Other Non-Catholic children

Note 1

Children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan that names the school must be admitted. This will reduce the number of places available to applicants. This is not an oversubscription criteria.

Note 2

In all categories, for a child to be considered as Catholic, evidence of Catholic Baptism or Reception into the Church will be required. For a definition of a Baptised Catholic, see the Appendix. Those who face difficulties in producing written evidence of Catholic Baptism or Reception into the Church should contact their Parish Priest.

Parents making an application for a Catholic child should also complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) which should be returned directly to the school. If you do not provide the information required in the Supplementary Information Form and return it by the closing date, together with all supporting documentation, this is likely to affect the criteria that your child is placed into, which is likely to affect your child’s chance of being offered a place at this school.

For the purposes of this policy, a looked after child living with a family where at least one of the carers is Catholic will be considered as Catholic. The carer must forward a copy of their own Catholic Baptismal or Reception certificate directly to the school in order for this priority to be given to the child as failure to do so will result in the looked after child being ranked as a non-Catholic

Note 3

A “looked after child” has the same meaning as in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989, and means any child who is (a) in the care of the local authority or (b) being provided with accommodation by them in the exercise of their social services functions (eg children with foster parents) at the time of making the application to the school. A “previously looked after child” is a child was looked after, but ceased to be so because he or she was adopted or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order and includes those children who appear (to the Board of Directors) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state case as a result of being adopted.

For the purposes of this policy, a looked after child living with a family where at least one of the carers is Catholic will be considered as Catholic. The carer must forward a copy of their own Catholic Baptismal or Reception certificate directly to the school in order for this priority to be given to the child as failure to do so will result in the looked after child being ranked as a non-Catholic.

Note 4

For all applicants the definition of a brother or sister is:

  • A brother or sister sharing the same parents

  • A half-brother or half-sister, where two children share one common parent

  • A step-brother or step-sister, where two children are related by a parents’ marriage or where they are unrelated but their parents are living as partners.

  • Adopted or fostered children

The children must be living permanently in the same household

Note 5

The named feeder schools for St John Fisher Catholic College are:

  • St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Newcastle-under-Lyme;

  • St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, Trent Vale;

  • St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School, Stoke;

  • St Wulstan's Catholic Primary School, Wolstanton;

  • Our Lady’s and St Werburgh’s Catholic Primary School, Clayton.

Parishes of

  • Holy Trinity, Newcastle under Lyme

  • Sacred Heart, Silverdale and Madeley

  • St Wulstan’s, Wolstanton

  • Our Lady of Sorrows, Knutton

  • St John the Evangelist, Chesterton

  • Our Lady & St Werburgh, Clayton

  • Our Blessed Lady & St John the Baptist, Ashley

  • Our Lady of the Angels and St. Peter in Chains, Stoke on Trent

  • St Teresa of the Child Jesus, Trent Vale

For the purposes of this policy, parish boundaries are as shown on the Archdiocese of Birmingham parish boundary map and will be applied to the admission arrangements for the academic year.

Note 6

Distances are measured by the Local Authority on behalf of the school. The Local Authority uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to calculate home to school distances in miles. The measurement is calculated using Ordnance Survey (OS) data from an applicant’s home address to the main front gate of the school. The coordinates of an applicant’s home address is determined and provided by the local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) and OS address point data.

In a very small number of cases, where the school is oversubscribed, it may not be possible to decide between the applications of those pupils who are the final qualifiers for a place when applying the published admission criteria.

For example, this may occur when children in the same year group live at the same address, or if the distance between the home and the school is exactly the same, for example, blocks of flats. If there is no other way of separating the application according to the admissions criteria and to admit both, or all, of the children would cause the Published Admission Number for the child’s year group to be exceeded, the Local Authority, on behalf of the Board of Directors, will use a computerised system to randomly select the child to be offered the final place.

The Local Governing Body will, where possible, admit twins and all siblings from multiple births where one of the children is the last child ranked within the school’s published admission number.

A child’s home address refers to the address where the child usually lives with a parent or carer and will be the address provided in the Local Authority’s Common Application Form.

Where parents have shared responsibility for a child, and the child lives with both parents for part of the week, then the main residence will be determined as the address where the child lives for the majority of the week. Parents may be requested to supply documentary evidence to satisfy the Local Governing Body that the child lives at the address put forward by the parents.

If a place in the school is offered on the basis of an address that is subsequently found to be different from a child’s normal and permanent home address, then that place is liable to be withdrawn.

Note 7

Definition of children of other Christian denominations

“Children of other Christian denominations” means: children who belong to other churches and ecclesial communities which, acknowledge God’s revelation in Christ, confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures, and, in obedience to God’s will and in the power of the Holy Spirit commit themselves: to seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another in the Church, which is his body; and to fulfil their mission to proclaim the Gospel by common witness and service in the world to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

An ecclesial community which on principle has no credal statements in its tradition, is included if it manifests faith in Christ as witnessed to in the Scriptures and is committed to working in the spirit of the above.

All members of Churches Together in England and of CYTÛN are deemed to be included in the above definition, as are all other churches and ecclesial communities that are in membership of any local Churches Together Group (by whatever title) on the above basis.

Proof of membership to other Christian denomination will be requested. This may be in the form of a letter from the Cleric in charge or other appropriate evidence. Failure to provide appropriate proof may affect the oversubscription criterion that the child’s name is placed in.

Applications for children to be admitted into a class outside of their normal age group

Parents have the right to request, but not insist, that their child be considered for admission to a class outside of their normal age group. This could be the case, for example, if a child is gifted and talented, has experienced problems such as ill health, or is already being educated in a class outside of their normal age group at their current Primary school. Parents who wish for their child to be considered for admission to a class outside of their normal age group must make an application for the normal age group in the first instance. Parents must then submit a formal request to the Local Governing Body for the child to be considered for a different age group class instead. This request should be in the form of a written letter of application outlining the reasons why they wish for their child to be considered to be admitted into a class outside of their normal age group and enclosing any supportive evidence and documentation that they wish to be taken into account as part of that request.

The Local Governing Body will consider requests submitted for a child to be admitted into a class outside of their normal age group and advise parents of the outcome of that request before national offer day, having taken into account the information provided by the parents, the child’s best interests and the views of the Head Teacher.

If the request is refused, the original application for the normal age group class will progress through the Local Authority co-ordinated admissions scheme, be considered by the Local Governing Body and the parents advised of the outcome.

If the request is agreed and the year group for which the parents have requested a place is a current year group in the school, then the application will be considered by the Local Governing Body and the parents advised of the outcome.

If the request is agreed and the year group for which the parents have requested a place is for a future year group, ie Year 7 in September, then the original application is withdrawn and the parents must submit a fresh application for Year 7 when applications open in the autumn term. Please note that parents only have the right to re-apply for a place. Where the Local Governing Body agrees to consider an application for Year 7 the following year, that application is considered alongside all other applications received and parents will be advised of the outcome of that application on national offer day. No place is reserved or held for the child in advance.

If parents are considering submitting an application for their child to be admitted into a class outside of their normal age group, it is strongly recommended that they also read the DFE guidance.

Appeals

Parents who wish to appeal against the decision of the Local Governing Body to refuse their child a place in the school should make that appeal request in writing to the Chair of the Local Governing Body at the school address. Appeals will be heard by an independent panel.

Please note: that parents do not have the right to appeal if their request for their children to be admitted to a class outside of their normal year group has been refused, but the Local Governing Body have offered a place in the normal age group instead.

Repeat applications

Any parent can apply for a place for their child at any time outside of the normal admissions round. Parents do not have the right to a second appeal in respect of the same school for the same academic year unless, in exceptional circumstances, the Local Governing Body has accepted a second application from the parent because of a significant and material change in the circumstances of the parent, child or school, but have still refused admission.

Late applications

Late applications will be dealt with in accordance with the Local Authority’s co-ordinated admissions scheme. This states that applications received after the closing dat4e will be considered alongside those applicants who applied on time wherever possible. Where it is not practicable because places have  already been allocated, or are shortly to be allocated, then late applications will be considered only after those that were made before this point.

You are encouraged to ensure that your application is received on time.

Change in preference

Once parents have submitted their preference, they will not be allowed to change them without an exceptional change in their circumstances, for example, if the family has recently moved address or an older sibling has changed schools. All requests to change preferences should be made in writing to the Local Authority to whom the parents submitted the original application. Where a change of preference is submitted for an oversubscribed school, without an exceptional change in circumstances, then the application will be refused.

Waiting list

In addition to their right to appeal, children who have not been offered a place at St John Fisher Catholic College but were offered a school that was ranked as a lower preference on their application form will be added to a waiting list. The waiting list will be maintained until the last day of the summer term 2020 and will then be discarded. 

A child’s position on a waiting list is not fixed. When a new child joins the waiting list, all applicants on that waiting list will be re-ranked to ensure that the list is always maintained in oversubscription criteria order. This means that a child’s position on the waiting list could go up or down during the time that it is on the list. Any late applications accepted will be added to the waiting list in accordance with the oversubscription criteria.

Inclusion on the waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available. It may be that those already offered places may accept them, thereby filling all available places.

Children who are the subject of a direction by the Local Authority to admit or who are allocated to a school in accordance with the Fair Access Protocol take precedence over those on a waiting list.

In year fair access protocol

The Local Governing Body of St John Fisher Catholic College is committed to taking its fair share of children who are vulnerable and/or hard to place, as set out in locally agreed protocols. Accordingly, outside the normal admission round the Local Governing Body is empowered to give absolute priority to a child where admission is requested under any locally agreed protocol. The Local Governing Body has this power, even when admitting the child would mean exceeding the published admission number subject to the infant class size exceptions.

Applications other than the normal intake to year 7 (In-year admissions)

An application can be made for a place for a child at any time outside the normal admission round and the child will be admitted where there are places available. Further information regarding instructions on how to apply for a place in the school at any other time other than the normal intake is available on the school’s website

To apply for a place in the school in-year, parents will need to complete the school’s own application form which is available on our website and return it directly to the school ensuring that any required supplementary information is attached.

If there are no places available, the child will be added to the waiting list (see above).

Parents will be advised of the outcome of their application in writing and, where the Board of Director’s decision is to refuse their child a place, have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.

There is no charge or cost related to the admission of a child to this school.

Admission to the sixth form

Admissions to Trinity Sixth Form at St John Fisher Catholic College

The school operates a sixth form for a total of 200 pupils. 100 places overall will be available in Year 12. Whilst the admission number is 20, if fewer than 80 of the school’s existing pupils transfer into Year 12, additional external pupils will be admitted until Year 12 meets its capacity of 100.

Applications for the Sixth Form should be made directly to the school using the application form available from the school Admissions For Trinity at St John Fisher Catholic College or from the school’s website. Completed application forms must be returned to the school by 15 December 2018.

Both internal and external pupils wishing to enter the sixth form will be expected to have met the same minimum academic entry requirements for the sixth form. These are:

Admissions – A level courses

  • Equivalent to five or more grade 4 passes in GCSE subjects, including both English and Maths. This is a grade 4 in Maths and English plus 3 other GCSEs at grade 4 or above;

  • Any additional requirements for the specific entry criteria to particular subject/courses are listed in the prospectus
  • In some circumstances if an appeal is made by a student who has not achieved a grade 4 in either maths or English subject to an agreement to resit that subject they may be accepted into Trinity Sixth Form. We will not accept students who have achieved a GCSE grade 3 in both English and Maths;

Admissions – Level 3 BTEC Courses

  • Equivalent to 5 Level 2 Standard Pass or above (grade 4 at GCSE or Level 2 Pass in Technical Qualifications) including English and Maths.

  • Any additional requirements for the specific entry criteria to particular subject/courses are listed in the prospectus
  • In some circumstances if an appeal is made by a student who has not achieved a grade 4 in either maths or English subject to an agreement to resit that subject they may be accepted into Trinity Sixth Form. We will not accept students who have achieved a GCSE grade 3 in both English and Maths;

GCSE Maths and English

  • Students will be required to retake Mathematics or English GCSE qualifications if they have not been achieved at GCSE Grade 4 or above. Students will need to have achieved a grade 3 to access the resit GCSE Mathematics and English courses;

Applications will be handled in the order submitted.

In addition to the sixth form’s minimum academic entry requirements pupils will need to satisfy minimum entrance requirements to the courses for which they are applying. If either internal or external applicants fail to meet the minimum course requirements they will be given the opportunity of pursuing any alternative courses for which they do meet the minimum academic requirements. Course requirements are published annually in the school’s prospectus and on its website.

When Year 12 is undersubscribed all applicants meeting the minimum academic entry requirements will be admitted or permitted to progress.

When there are more external applicants that satisfy any academic entry requirements priority will be given in accordance with the oversubscription criteria set out below.

Where there is space in Year 13, ie where there are fewer than 100 pupils in the year group, the school will admit additional pupils up to this number using the oversubscription criteria set out below.

Where there are more applications for places than the number of places available, places will be offered according to the following order of priority. If there is oversubscription within a category, the Board of Directors will give priority firstly to children who will have a brother or sister (see Note 4 above) attending St John Fisher Catholic College at the time of admission and then secondly to children living closest to the school determined by the shortest distance (see Note 6 above)

Please note that Children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan that names the academy must be admitted. This will reduce the number of places available to applicants. This is not an oversubscription criteria.

Oversubscription criteria for sixth form

The circumstances of the Trinity Sixth Form partnership mean that we can be flexible as to our student numbers but the key determining factor will be the size of groups for each course.

Admission to the Trinity Sixth Form in Year 12 will be in the following order of priority:

  1. Students who are in the care of a local authority (looked-after children) or provided with accommodation by them (e.g. children with foster parents) (Section 22 of the Children Act 1989) and children who were previously looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).

  2. Students in Year 11 from schools in the UK but not a partner school, who meet the entry criteria;

  3. Students from outside of the three partner schools looking to re-sit courses and eligible for funding from the Educational Funding Authority (EFA);

  4. Overseas students with valid permission/visa status to study in the UK and eligible for funding. These are referred to as personal entry criteria;

The entry requirements for admission to the Sixth Form shall be the same for students on roll in Year 11 at St John Fisher, the partner academies and external applicants.If there are two or more students who apply at the same time, we will use the following methods:

  1. By GCSE grade in the particular oversubscribed subjects,

  2.  By average GCSE points score.

N.B. All of the above refers to GCSE only, not equivalences such as BTEC.

Appeals

  • Any student refused the offer of a place in the Trinity Sixth Form at St John Fisher or a place on a chosen course has the right of appeal;

  • In the first instance, this appeal is to the Headteacher at St John Fisher;

  • Parents who wish to appeal against the decision of the Headteacher of St John Fisher to refuse their child a place in the Sixth Form may apply in writing to the Board of Directors/Chair of Local Academy Committee. Appeals will be heard by an independent panel.

  • Any decision made is binding across the three academies in the partnership;

Appeals for sixth form - appeals may be made by the student and / or the parent / carer

  • Deadline for lodging appeals and providing evidence to support the appeal (if appropriate) - 20 school days from the date of notification that the application was unsuccessful. 

  • Where the offer of a place would have been conditional upon exam results - Appeals will be heard -  Within 30 school days of confirmation of those results

  • Where the offer of a place would not have been conditional upon exam results - appeals will be heard - Within 40 school days of deadline for appeals. 

  • Notice of appeal hearing - 10 school days notice of the appeal hearing

  • Deadline for governing body to submit evidence for the appeal - 10 school days before the appeal hearing

  • Deadline for sending appeal papers to all parties - 10 school days before the appeal hearing

  • Deadline for ppellant to submit additional evidence - 5 school days before the appeal hearing. Information or evidence not submitted by the deadline might not be considered at the appeal.

  • Late applications for appeals will be heard by - at the same time as previously scheduled appeals or within 30 school days of appeal being lodged. 

  • Decision letters sent to appellant - normally within 5 school days.

Special consideration

A student may be able to claim special consideration if a medical condition exists (supported by a doctor’s note) that has significantly influenced GCSE results in comparison to the predicted outcomes. Such cases will be considered on their individual merits.

False information

Where the academy has made the offer of a place in the Trinity Sixth Form on the basis of a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application, the offer of a place will be withdrawn.

Late applications

We will accept applications after the submission date on the basis that:

  1. These applications will be dealt with after those submitted by the advertised date.

  2. Some courses may well be full.

  3. We may have made alterations to the option blocks to accommodate the subject choices for the majority of applicants. Trinity Sixth Form reserves the right to alter, substitute or withdraw courses/programmes as appropriate.

  4. Some courses may have to be removed from the offer, e.g. if insufficient students wish to access a course. Offers of places on all courses are made subject to availability and the constraints of timetabling all of the various combinations requested.

Late applications will be considered up to the end of the third full week of the Autumn Term in Year 12.

Option blocks are locked in place in the final term of the previous academic year meaning that all options may no longer be freely available to choose. Any offers or conditional offers may be subject to the size or projected size of classes. This could affect students wishing to transfer from other providers.

Exceptions will be made for students moving into the North Staffordshire area from other areas of the UK or from other countries. However, these cases will be dependent on the availability of places in chosen subjects, meeting the published entry requirements – academic and personal - and how much of the course has been missed which could impact on the likelihood of the student making progress and achieving well.

Timetable for admission

  1. Students complete application in Autumn Term of Year 11;

  2. Applications processed from December of Year 11;

  3. Following the submission of application forms students will be invited for a course discussion;

  4. School makes a conditional offer and this is communicated to parents during the spring term of Year 11. Applicants will be made an offer of a place in order to study specified courses. These will be the courses agreed during the course discussion. The offer will be subject to meeting the entry criteria for the course;

  5. Option blocks are fixed based on applications;

  6. Students will be required to enrol on a specified date, following the publication of GCSE results. Failure to attend enrolment will result in the offer of a place being withdrawn, except where we have received prior notification in writing;

  7. GCSE results published August 2019;

  8. Admission confirmed or refused August 2019;

  9. Appeals September 2019;

To ensure that the quality of provision for the students is maintained, the directors of each partner academy have jointly adopted this admissions policy.

Applications to transfer to the Trinity Sixth Form for A2 courses

Applications to transfer to the Trinity Sixth Form at St John Fisher for A2 courses will be considered on an individual basis but are not recommended. Students will only be accepted onto such a programme in exceptional circumstances

Appendix

Definition of a “Baptised Catholic”

A “Baptised Catholic” is one who:

  • Has been baptised into full communion (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 837) with the Catholic Church by the Rites of Baptism of one of the various ritual Churches in communion with the See of Rome. Written evidence of this baptism can be obtained by recourse to the Baptismal Registers of the church in which the baptism took place (Cf. Code of Canon Law, 877 & 878).

Or

  • Has been validly baptised in a separated ecclesial community and subsequently received into full communion with the Catholic Church by the Rite of Reception of Baptised Christians into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church. Written evidence of their baptism and reception into full communion with the Catholic Church can be obtained by recourse to the Register of Receptions, or in some cases, a sub-section of the Baptismal Registers of the church in which the Rite of Reception took place (Cf. Rite of Christian Initiation, 399).

Written evidence of baptism

The Governing bodies of Catholic schools and Boards of Directors of Catholic Academies will require written evidence in the form of a Certificate of Baptism or Certificate of Reception before applications for school places can be considered for categories of “Baptised Catholics”. A Certificate of Baptism or Reception is to include: the full name, date of birth, date of Baptism or Reception, and parent(s) name(s). The certificate must also show that it is copied from the records kept by the place of Baptism or Reception.

Those who would have difficulty obtaining written evidence of Catholic Baptism/Reception for a good reason, may still be considered as Baptised Catholics but only after they have been referred to their parish priest who, after consulting the Vicar General, will decide how the question of Baptism/Reception is to be resolved and how written evidence is to be produced in accordance with the law of the Church.

Those who would be considered to have good reason for not obtaining written evidence would include those who cannot contact the place of Baptism/Reception due to persecution or fear, the destruction of the church and the original records, or where Baptism/Reception was administered validly but not in the Parish church where records are kept.

Governors and Boards of Directors may request extra supporting evidence when the written documents that are produced do not clarify the fact that a person was baptised or received into the Catholic Church, (i.e. where the name and address of the Church is not on the certificate or where the name of the Church does not state whether it is a Catholic Church or not).

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