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Silkmore Primary Academy

Consultation 2025/2026

Arrangements 2024/2025 & 2023/2024 

 


 

Consultation on 2025/2026 admission arrangements

REAch2 Academy Trust (the Trust), as the admission authority for all of its academies as per the admissions code 2021, is consulting on the admission arrangements for all of its schools. It is the responsibility of the Trust to determine the arrangements for all of its schools, ensuring that they are fully compliant with the admissions code 2021 and other statutory legislation, such as the Equalities Act 2010.

On 4 October 2023, the Trust Board approved several variations to the current arrangements, which seek to add clarity to a number of key definitions within the policy. The new policy also includes more information on how parents can access other admissions related information, including in-year admissions, appeals processes, and Fair Access Protocol’s.

The new policies do not propose any change to the school’s existing over-subscription criteria. The new policy seeks to make clear that children within the final category of the over-subscription criteria are ranked by the distance they live from the school. The Trust has therefore re-named this criterion from ‘other children’ to ‘distance’. Children within that criterion will still be ranked in the same way.

You can find the proposed school policies for 2025/2026 by visiting Academy Directory - REAch2 Academy Trust.

The consultation will run from 6 December 2023 to 31 January 2024.

We welcome feedback from all stakeholders on the proposed arrangements. Responses to the consultation may be placed by any of the following means:

• By email admissionsconsultation@reach2.org

• Complete the e-form at www.reach2.org/admissions

• By post Admissions Consultation, REAch2 Academy Trust, C/O Henhurst Ridge Primary Academy, Henhurst Ridge, Burton Upon Trent, DE13 9TQ

We thank you for your participation in the consultation process and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Cathie Paine

CEO, REAch2 Academy Trust


 

Proposed Admission Arrangements 2025/2026

The following definitions apply for the purposes of this policy:

EHC Plan - An education, health and care (EHC) plan for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. EHC Plans are prepared under the Children and Families Act 2014. They identify educational, health and social needs and set out the additional support to meet those needs.

In-Year Admission - An in-year admission application is one that is made outside of the normal admissions round, for example when a family moves house part way through a school year or is for admission into a year group other than Reception.

Oversubscribed – Having more applications than available places.

PAN – Stands for “published admission number” and is the number of pupils the school will admit in to Reception.

Parent - Means a natural or adoptive parent of the child, as well as a person who is not the natural or adoptive parent of the child, but who has care of the child, or parental responsibility for the child. This is the legal definition of a 'parent' in education law.

Statutory Maximum infant class size – The requirement in law that infant classes (i.e. classes in Reception year, year 1 and year 2 class) with a single school teacher are not permitted to contain more than 30 pupils, except in certain circumstances. Some children are deemed to be ‘excepted pupils’ as listed in the School Admissions Code

Home address – The address at which the child resides on a permanent basis or is ‘ordinarily resident’. This is generally, the address of the Parent. In some cases, children may be ‘ordinarily resident’ for the majority of the school week, including overnight, with another relative or carer, such as a grandparent. This may also be the case where the child resides between two parents at different addresses following the breakdown of the parental relationship. Where this is the case, the application will be processed on the basis of the address where the child resides for the majority of the school week and proof of residence and address arrangement will be required with the application. The child must be living with the parent, relative or carer for the majority of the school week. Arrangements where parents can leave and collect children from another relative or carer on a daily basis will be considered childcare arrangements, and the child will deemed to not be ‘ordinarily resident’ with that person. In all cases, we expect the adult with whom the child is ‘ordinarily resident’ receives the child benefit for the child (where eligible).

The exceptions to this rule are the children of UK Armed Forces service personnel with a confirmed posting to their area, or Crown Servants returning from overseas to live in the area, for whom an application for admission may be made in advance of their move where it is accompanied by an official letter that confirms the intended relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address for the child.

The published admission number (PAN) for Silknore Primary Academy is 30 pupils.

The School will accordingly admit this number of pupils if there are sufficient applications. Where fewer applications than this are received, the Trust will offer places at the School to all those who have applied.

Applications in the ‘normal round’ (that is the main cycle of applications for Reception places from the beginning of the school year) are administered on behalf of the Trust by Staffordshire County Councilin accordance with the local coordinated scheme. Admission to primary and middle schools - Staffordshire County Council

Oversubscription criteria

When the School is oversubscribed (that is, there are more applications than places available), after the admission of any pupils with an EHC Plan that names the School, priority for admission will be given to those children based on the criteria set out below, in the order shown:

1. Looked after children and previously looked after children

2. Children with one or more siblings in the School

3. Children of School staff fulfilling a skills shortage role

4. Other children, with priority for admission given to those whose home address (as defined by this policy) is the shortest distance from the School. Children in this criteria will be ranked in order of distance.

Definitions relating to the criteria

1. ‘Looked after children’ are any children who are (a) in the care of a local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions.

‘Previously looked after children’ are any children that ceased to be looked after because they were adopted, became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order. This includes children who appear to the Trust to have been in state care outside of England but ceased to be so because they were adopted.

Children will be regarded by the Trust as having been in state care outside England if they were accommodated by a public authority, a religious organisation or any other provider of care whose sole purpose is to benefit society. Applicants under this criterion will also need to fill in a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) evidencing state care outside of England. The SIF is available from the school website or school office.

2. ‘Siblings’ - For applications made in the normal admission round a sibling means a brother or sister, legally adopted brother or sister, stepbrother or stepsister, foster brother or sister, or the child of a parent’s co-habiting partner; living in the same family unit in the same family household and address who attends the School at the date of application in any year group excluding the final year. Biological and legally adopted siblings who attend the preferred school in any year group excluding the final year will also be treated as siblings irrespective of place of residence. Children residing in the same household as part of an extended family, such as cousins, will not be treated as siblings. For in-year applications a sibling is a brother, sister, legally adopted brother or sister or stepbrother or stepsister living in the same family unit in the same family household and address as a child who attends or has been offered a place at the preferred school at the time of application and determination and with a reasonable expectation that the sibling will be attending at the time of admission.

3. This criterion only applies in relation to staff, whether teaching or non-teaching, with a permanent contract to work predominantly at the School (not Trust employees in the REAch2 cluster or central teams). The application of this criterion will be subject to confirmation by an independent Trust non-executive that, on the evidence available, the member of staff has been recruited to fill a post where there is a demonstrable skills shortage. Staff must contact the School Headteacher when applying for a place under this criterion. The Headteacher will provide a letter to the Trust and Local Authority Admissions Team confirming the staff members’ permanent employment. For the purposes of this criterion, ‘children of School staff’ is taken to include a son, daughter or step-son/daughter, or child who is adopted or fostered or for whom a special guardianship order is in place, in all cases providing they are living at the same address as the parent who is employed at the School

4. “Distance” is defined/measured as a straight line distance between an applicant's home address to the main front gate of the school. Distances are measured using the Council’s Geographical Information System (GIS).

Tie breaker

Random allocation will be used as a tie-break in category ‘4’ above to decide who has highest priority for admission if the distance between two children’s homes and the School is the same. This process will be independently verified. If a tie-break is required in earlier categories to decide who has priority for admission between two children, distance from the school will be used to decide as measured above.

Where multiple birth siblings (twins and triplets etc.) from the same family are tied for the final place, we will admit them all, as permitted by the infant class size rules and exceed our PAN.

Deadline for applications

Applications for admission into Reception as part of the normal admissions round must be submitted by 15th January. Applications received by the Local Authority after this date may be considered as late applications.

Children with an EHC plan

Children with an education health and care plan (EHC plan) are admitted to the School under separate statutory procedures managed by the child's Local Authority, and not under this policy.

Where a child with an EHC plan which names the School will be admitted in the 'normal admission round', they will be allocated places in Reception Year before other applications are processed, which will reduce the number of available places within the PAN. At all other times, the child will be admitted even where this means exceeding the PAN.

Deferred entry for reception places

Parents offered a place in Reception for their child have a right to defer the date their child takes up the place, or to take the place up part-time, until the child reaches compulsory school age. Children reach compulsory school age on 31 August, 31 December or 31 March – whichever of those three dates follows (or falls on) the child’s 5th birthday.

Places cannot be deferred beyond the beginning of the summer term of the school year for which the offer was made.

Admission of children outside their normal age group, including for ‘summer-born’ children

Parents may request that their child is admitted outside their normal age group. To do so, they should include a written request with their application, setting out the year group in which they wish their child to be allocated a place and the reasons for their request.

When such a request is made, the Trust will make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case, based on their professional judgement of what is in the best interests of the child, taking account of the evidence and rationale provided by the parents and the views of the School’s headteacher. This decision will be communicated to the parents in writing.

Children at the school's nursery

Parents should note that children who attend the School's nursery will not automatically transfer to Reception Year at the School. An application for admission to Reception Year must be made in the normal way.

Waiting lists

Where the school receives more applications for Reception places than there are places available, a waiting list will operate until 31st December after which parents must re-apply for a place in Year 1.

The waiting list will be maintained by the Local Authority 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.

A child’s position on the waiting list will be determined solely in accordance with the oversubscription criteria (not by date in which the child’s name was added). Where places become vacant, they will be allocated to children on the waiting list in accordance with the oversubscription criteria. The waiting list will be re-ordered in accordance with the oversubscription criteria whenever anyone is added to or leaves the waiting list.

Appeals

Parents have a statutory right of appeal to an independent admission appeal panel against the refusal of a place at the School for their child. Admission appeal panel hearings are conducted strictly in accordance with procedure and criteria set out in the School Admission Appeals Code 2022, which is accessible on the Department for Education's website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-admissions-appeals-code

For more information on how to lodge an appeal please visit Admission Appeals - Staffordshire County Council

In-year admissions

To make an in-year application, please visit In-year school admissions: Overview - Staffordshire County Council

Fair access protocol

Five Spires Academy participates in Staffordshire County Council’s fair access protocol. For a copy of Staffordshire County Council’s fair access protocol, please visit – In year fair access protocol - October 2023 - Staffordshire County Council

Withdrawing places

In certain circumstances the Trust may decide to withdraw a place offered if one of the following circumstances occurs:

• Where a parent has not responded to the offer of a place, even after chasing;

• Where fraudulent or intentionally misleading information is used as part of the application; or

• Where the offer has been made in error.

 


 Admission arrangements 2024/2025 & 2023/2024

Published Admission Number (PAN)

The PAN is the number of pupils the school will admit in to Reception. The admission number for Silkmore Primary Academy is 30 pupils.

The school will accordingly admit this number of pupils if there are sufficient applications. Where fewer applications than this are received, the Academy Trust will offer places at the school to all those who have applied.

Applications in the ‘normal round’ (that is the main cycle of applications for Reception places from the beginning of the school year) are administered on behalf of the Academy Trust by Staffordshire County Council in accordance with the local coordinated scheme.

Statutory maximum infant class size

By law, infant classes (i.e. classes in Reception Year, Year 1 and Year 2 class) with a single school teacher are not permitted to contain more than 30 pupils, except in certain circumstances as set out below.

Some children are deemed to be 'excepted pupils', which means that they can be admitted to year group over its PAN and into a class over 30 pupils. These include (but are not limited to) children with an EHC plan and looked after children and previously looked after children placed outside the 'normal admission round'. Further information is contained in the Code.

Equality

The Trust and the School are familiar with, and fully comply with, their duties and responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 in relation to children with protected characteristics, and this policy has been developed with regard to those responsibilities.

Meaning of 'Parent'

In this policy, the term 'parent' means a natural or adoptive parent of the child, as well as a person who is not the natural or adoptive parent of the child, but who has care of the child, or parental responsibility for the child. This is the legal definition of a 'parent' in education law.

Home address

The ‘home address’ is considered to be the address at which the child resides on a permanent basis or is ‘ordinarily resident’. This is generally the address of the parent/carer. In some cases, children may be ‘ordinarily resident’ for the majority of the school week, including overnight, with another relative or carer, such as a grandparent. This may also be the case where a child resides between two parents at different addresses following the breakdown of the parental relationship. Where this is the case, the application may be processed on the basis of that address (where the child resides for the majority of the school week) and proof of address and residence arrangement will be required with the application. The child must be living with the parent, relative or carer 24 hours per day, for the majority of the school week. Arrangements where parents can leave and collect children from another relative or carer on a daily basis will be regarded as childcare arrangements, and the child will not be deemed to be ‘ordinarily resident’ with that person. In all cases we expect that the adult with whom the child is ‘ordinarily resident’ receives the child benefit for the child (where eligible).

The exceptions to this rule are the children of UK Armed Forces service personnel with a confirmed posting to their area, or Crown Servants returning from overseas to live in the area, for whom an application for admission may be made in advance of their move where it is accompanied by an official letter that confirms the intended relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address for the child.

Children at the school's nursery

Parents should note that children who attend the School's nursery will not automatically transfer to Reception Year at the School. An application for admission to Reception Year must be made in the normal way.

Children with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan)

Children with an education health and care plan (EHC plan) are admitted to school under separate statutory procedures managed by the child's Local Authority, and not under this policy.

Where the child with an EHC plan which names the School will be admitted in the 'normal admission round', they will be allocated places in Reception Year before other applications are processed, which will reduce the number of available places within the published admission number (PAN). At all other times, the child will be admitted even where this means exceeding the PAN.

Oversubscription criteria

When the school is oversubscribed (that is, there are more applications than places available), after the admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan that names the school, priority for admission will be given to those children based on the criteria set out below, in the order shown:

1. Looked after children and previously looked after children, as set out in definition 1 on page 5.

2. Children with siblings in the school 

3. Children of school staff fulfilling a skills shortage role

4. All other children

Definitions relating to the criteria

  1. A 'looked after child' or a child who was previously looked after but immediately afterbeing looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements, or special guardianship order including those who appear [to the admission authority] to havebeen in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. A looked after child is a child who is (a) in the care of a localauthority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in theexercise of their social services functions (see the definition in Section 22(1) of theChildren Act 1989).Children will be regarded as having been in state care outside England if they were accommodated by a public authority, a religious organisation or any other provider ofcare whose sole purpose is to benefit society. Applicants under this criterion will also need to fill in a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) evidencing state care outside of England. The SIF is available from the school website or school office.

  2. ‘Siblings’ - For applications made in the normal admission round a relevant sibling is a child who has a brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, stepbrother or stepsister, foster brother or sister, or the child of a parent’s co-habiting partner; living in the same family unit in the same family household and address who attends theschool in any year group excluding the final year. Biological and adopted siblings who attend the preferred school in any year group excluding the final year will also betreated as siblings irrespective of place of residence. Children residing in the samehousehold as part of an extended family, such as cousins, will not be treated assiblings. For mid-year applications a sibling is a child who has a brother, sister,adopted brother or sister or stepbrother or stepsister living in the same family unit in the same family household and address as a child who attends or has been offered aplace at the preferred school at the time of application and determination and with areasonable expectation that the sibling will be attending at the time of admission.

  3. This option is only available for teaching or leadership staff with a permanent contract to work at the school (and not employees in REAch2 regional or central teams); it will be subject to confirmation by an independent REAch2 regional non-executive that, on the evidence available, the post does indeed relate to a skills shortage in the area. This is compliant with the statutory School Admissions Code – in fact the code allows for a wider definition/scope for children of staff but REAch2 has chosen a more limited approach.

  4. ‘All other children’ refers to all applicants who do not fall in to any of the categories above.

Tie breaker

Where the number of applications exceeds the number of places available within any of the categories above, the order in which places will be allocated will be determined by reference to the distance between the child's home address (as defined by this policy) and the School, with those living nearer receiving higher priority. 

Home-to-school distance’ is defined/measured as a “straight-line measurement to the main gate of the school on Exeter Street as calculated by the Local Authority’s Geographical Information System”.

Where it is not possible to separate two or more applications because the children concerned live an equal distance from the School, the order in which places are allocated will be determined by the drawing of lots in front of an independent witness.

Where multiple birth siblings (twins and triplets etc.) from the same family are tied for the final place, we will admit them all, as permitted by the infant class size rules and exceed our PAN.

Late applications

All applications received by the Local Authority after the deadline will be considered to be late applications. These will be considered after those received on time. If all available places are allocated to children whose applications were received on time, parents or carers who have made a late application may request that their child is placed on the school’s waiting list.

Deferred entry for reception places

Parents/carers offered a place in Reception for their child have a right to defer the date their child takes up the place, or to take the place up part-time, until the child reaches compulsory school age. Children reach compulsory school age on 31 August, 31 December or 31 March – whichever of those three dates follows (or falls on) the child’s fifth birthday.

Places cannot be deferred beyond the beginning of the summer term of the school year for which the offer was made.

Admission of children outside their normal age group, including for ‘summerborn’ children

Parents or carers may request that their child is admitted outside their normal age group. To do so, they should include a written request with their application, setting out the year group in which they wish their child to be allocated a place and the reasons for their request.

When such a request is made, the Headteacher will make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case, based on their professional judgement of what is in the best interest of the child, taking account of the evidence and rationale provided by the parents/carers.

Waiting lists

Where the school receives more applications for Reception places than there are places available, a waiting list will operate in accordance with the oversubscription criteria. The waiting list will be maintained by Local Authority and it will be open to any parent or carer to ask for his or her child’s name to be placed on the waiting list, following an unsuccessful application.

A child’s position on the waiting list will be determined solely in accordance with the oversubscription criteria (not by date in which the child’s name was added). Where places become vacant, they will be allocated to children on the waiting list in accordance with the oversubscription criteria. The waiting list will be re-ordered in accordance with the oversubscription criteria whenever anyone is added to or leaves the waiting list.

Appeals

Parents have a statutory right of appeal to an Independent Admission Appeal Panel against the refusal of a place at the School for their child. Admission Appeal Panel Hearings are conducted strictly in accordance with procedure and criteria set out in the School Admission Appeals Code 2012, which is accessible on the Department for Education's website.

More information can be found on our Admission appeals page.

 


 

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