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Stafford Manor High School

Admission arrangements 2024/2025, 2023/2024, 2022/2023

1. Aims

This policy aims to:

  • Explain how to apply for a place at the school
  • Set out the school’s arrangements for allocating places to the pupils who apply
  • Explain how to appeal against a decision not to offer your child a place 

2. Legislation and statutory requirements

This policy is based on the following advice from the Department for Education (DfE):

The school is required to comply with these codes, and with the law relating to admissions as set out in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998

3. Definitions

The normal admissions round is the period during which parents can apply for state-funded school places at the school’s normal point of entry, using the common application form provided by their home local authority.

Looked after children are children who, at the time of making an application to a school, are:

  • In the care of a local authority, or
  • Being provided with accommodation by a local authority in exercise of its social services functions

Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they:

  • Were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 or the Adoption and Children Act 2002, or
  • Became subject to a child arrangements order, or
  • Became subject to a special guardianship order 

4. How to apply

For applications in the normal admissions round you should apply online at www.staffordshire/gov/uk/admissions. You can use this form to express your preference for a minimum of 3 schools, in rank order. 

You will receive an offer for a school place directly from Staffordshire Local Authority. 

4.1  Late Applications

Application forms received after the closing date will be considered alongside those applicants who applied on time where there were exceptional reasons, which prevented the applicant from applying by the closing date for example, a family changes its address and was unable to apply within the deadline or needs to make new school preferences. 

A late application does not affect the right of appeal or to be placed on a school’s waiting list. 

5. Requests for admission outside the normal age group

Parents may seek to apply for their child’s admission to school outside of their normal age group, for example if the child is exceptionally gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. 

These parents will need to make an application alongside children applying at the normal age which should explain why it is in the child’s best interest to be admitted outside of their normal age which may include information such as professional evidence as to why this is the case and why an exception should be made in the case of the child.  

Decisions on requests for admission outside the normal age group will be made on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned. In accordance with the School Admissions Code, this will include taking account of:

  • Parents’ views
  • Information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development
  • Where relevant, their medical history and the views of a medical professional
  • Whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group
  • Whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely
  • The headteacher’s views 

Parents do not have the right to insist that their child is admitted to a particular year group. 

The Headteacher is always willing to discuss any issue regarding admission with the family.  

Further information and support is available from Staffordshire School Admissions and Transport Service, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH (0300 111 8007). 

Stafford Manor High School recognises the importance of the Disability & Discrimination Act and will take every opportunity to ensure it is implemented for the benefit of all students, staff, parents and visitors.  This policy has also been reviewed with reference to Race, Gender, Ethnicity & Disability. 

Wherever possible, requests for admission outside a child’s normal age group will be processed as part of the main admissions round. They will be considered on the basis of the admission arrangements laid out in this policy, including the oversubscription criteria listed in section 6 (6.2). 

Applications will not be treated as a lower priority if parents have made a request for a child to be admitted outside the normal age group. 

Parents will always be informed of the reasons for any decision on the year group a child should be admitted to. Parents do not have a right to appeal if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred age group. 

6. Allocation of places

6.1 Admission number

The school has an agreed admission number of 90 pupils for entry in Year 7.

6.2 Oversubscription criteria

All children whose statement of special educational needs (SEN) or education, health and care (EHC) plan names the school will be admitted before any other places are allocated. 

If the school is not oversubscribed, all applicants will be offered a place. 

In the event that the school receives more applications than the number of places it has available, places will be given to those children who meet any of the criteria set out below, in order until all places are filled. 

a)  Children in care and children who ceased to be in care because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order), including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted (Paragraph 1.7 of the Code).

b)    Students who have an elder sibling in attendance at the school and who will still be attending the school at the proposed admission date; (for admission purposes, a sibling is a child who lives at the same address and who is the brother/sister, half-brother/sister (children who share one common parent), step brother/step sister where two children are related by marriage.  This definition also includes adopted or fostered children living at the same address).

c)   Students resident within the catchment area of the school. Copies of school catchment area maps are available from the local authority or individual schools. www.staffordshire.gov.uk/Education/Admissions-primary/Catchment-areas.aspx

d)    Children of Stafford Manor employees in either or both of the following circumstances:

i) where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which he application for admission to the school is made, and/or

ii) The member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.

e)    Students with a medical reason for attending Stafford Manor High School (this must be supported by a Doctor’s Certificate)

Students who satisfy both of the following tests:

Test 1: they are distinguished from the great majority of applicants either on medical grounds or by other exceptional circumstances.

Medical grounds must be supported by a medical report, (obtained by the parents).  It must clearly justify, for health reasons only, why it is better for the child to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.

Exceptional circumstances must relate to the choice of school, ie the circumstances of the child, not the economic or social circumstances of the parent.  They should be supported by a professional report, eg social worker, justifying why it is better for the child to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.

Test 2: They would suffer hardship if they were unable to attend the 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.  Parents must provide detailed information about both the type and severity of any likely hardship.

f)     Other students arranged in order of priority according to how near their home addresses are to the school using straight line distance measurements.  Distances are measured from the main school gate to the home address using the Local Authority’s Geographical Information System. 

6.3 Tie break

In the case of 2 or more applications that cannot be separated by the oversubscription criteria outlined above, the school will use random allocation as a tie breaker to decide between applicants. This process will be independently verified. 

6.4 Waiting Lists

Waiting Lists will be kept until the end of the autumn term of the year of admissions.   No other waiting lists will be maintained. 

Inclusion on a school’s waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available at the preferred school. 

A child’s position on a waiting list is not fixed and is subject to change during the year i.e. they can go up or down the list. 

7. In-year admissions

You can apply for a place for your child at any time outside the normal admissions round directly to the school. 

An application should be directed to the Board of Governors who will determine whether a place a place is available in the requested year group. The Governing Board will notify the Local Authority of the outcome of the application.

If there are no spaces available at the time of your application, parents can ask for their child’s name to be included on the waiting list. If any places subsequently become available at the school, children on the waiting list will be given priority in accordance with the oversubscription criteria in section 6.2 of this policy. 

Applications for in-year admissions should be sent to the following address: via the contact form on the school website or sent to Office@smhs.staffs.sch.uk. 

If a parent wishes to transfer their child to another school, they would need to have discussed this in the first instance with their ‘home’ school.  The parent can print an In Year Application form from www.staffordshire.gov.uk/admissions.  When all parts of the form are complete, including the section for the headteacher from the ‘home’ school, it should come to SMHS for the attention of Admissions. 

8. Appeals

If your child’s application for a place at the school is unsuccessful, you will be informed why admission was refused and, if requested, be given information about the process for hearing appeals. If you wish to appeal, you must set out the grounds for your appeal in writing using the following link and relevant forms on the admission appeals page. You can find details of the school’s appeals timetable here. 

9. Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed and approved by the Full Governing Board every year.

Whenever changes to admission arrangements are proposed (except where the change is an increase to the agreed admission number), the governing board will publicly consult on these changes. 


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