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Heathfields Infant Academy

Admission arrangements 2019/2020, 2020/2021, 2021/2022

The PAN for Heathfields Infants School will be set at 90.

Full time places in reception classes will be available in September of the academic year within which the child becomes five years old. Although parents have the right to express a preference for the school that they wish their child to attend, there is no guarantee of a place being offered at their preferred school. It is school’s policy to try and meet parent’s wishes where possible; however in some cases there may be more applications for a particular school than there are places available.

Oversubscription Criteria

If the total number of preferences for admission to a school exceeds the school’s Published Admission Number (PAN), the following order of priority is used to allocate the available places.

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 who satisfy both of the following tests:

Test 1: the child is distinguished from the great majority of other 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. They 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.

3) Children who have an elder sibling in attendance at Heathfields (or Wilnecote Junior) and who will still be attending the school 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.)

4) Children living within the catchment area of Heathfields.

5) Other children arranged in order of priority according to how near their home addresses are to the main gate of the school, determined by a straight-line measurement as calculated by the Local Authority’s Geographical Information System.

Where it is not possible to accommodate all children applying for places within a particular category then the Schools will allocate the available places in accordance with the remaining criteria. If for instance, all the catchment area children cannot be accommodated at a school, children who are resident within the catchment area will be arranged in order of priority according to distance i.e. category (6).

Additional Notes

Copies of school catchment area maps are available from the school or Local Authority. There is no charge or cost related to the admission of a child to a school.

Admissions are administered through a coordinated admission scheme and preferences for community, controlled, aided and foundation schools will be processed centrally by the School Admissions and Transport Service. Each child will receive only one offer of a place at a Staffordshire school.

Attendance at Heathfields will not guarantee admission to Wilnecote Junior School. Parents must make a separate application for admission to junior school at the appropriate time.

In accordance with legislation, children who have a statutory statement of special educational need or Education, Health and Care Plan that names Heathfields as being the most appropriate to meet the child’s needs must be admitted. This will reduce the amount of places available to other applicants.

Children in Care means children who are in the care of, or provided with accommodation by a local authority in accordance with section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989 at the time of making the application.

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, the school will not seek to obtain this information on behalf of the applicant.

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 are determined using the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) and OS Address Point data.

The home address is considered to be the child’s along with their parent/carer’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.

If a place 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 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.

Any Staffordshire child not obtaining a place at any of their parent’s preferred schools will be allocated a place at their catchment area school (if places remain available) or the next nearest school with a space available and advised about the independent appeals process.

Deferred Entry to Reception Class

Parents may request that their child be admitted to Reception Class on a part-time basis, or that their child be admitted to school later in the same academic year until the child reaches compulsory school age (i.e. beginning of the term after the child’s fifth birthday). The effect is that the place will be held for the child in Reception and is not available to be offered to any other child within the same academic year in which it has been offered.

Before deciding whether to defer their child’s entry to school, parents should visit their preferred school(s) to clarify how they cater for the youngest children in Reception and how the needs of these children are met as they move up through the school.

Admission Outside of 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. In addition, the parents of summer born children may choose not to send their child to school until the September following their fifth birthday and may request that they are admitted outside of their normal age group to Reception rather than Year 1.

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. A decision as to whether this is an appropriate course of action will be made by the Governing Body who will take into account the circumstances of the case and views of the Headteacher. Parents do not have the right to insist that their child is admitted to a particular year group. 

Waiting lists

Unsuccessful applicants will be placed on a waiting list in accordance with the oversubscription criteria stated above and not based on the date their application was received. If places become available after the offer date they will be offered according to the child at the top of the waiting list.

Waiting Lists will be kept until the end of the autumn term of admission. For cases where the infant class size regulations apply, the waiting list will operate until the cohort concerned leaves Year 2.

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 since each added child will require the list to be ranked again in line with the oversubscription criteria listed above.

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

Late Applications

Application forms received after the closing date 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 applicants will be considered only after those applicants who applied by the published closing date. A late application does not affect the right of appeal or the right to be placed on a school’s waiting list.

Repeat Applications

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 school has accepted a second application from the appellant because of a significant and material change in the circumstances of the parent, child or school but still refused admission.

“In-Year Transfer” Arrangements

An application for in year transfer should be made directly to the governing body who will then determine whether a place is available in the requested year group. The governing body will notify the Local Authority of the outcome of the application.

Appeals

Parents who wish to appeal against the decision of the Governors to refuse their child a place in the school may apply in writing to the Chair of Governors. Appeals will be heard by an independent appeal panel.

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