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Ridgeway Primary Academy

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

Full time places in reception classes at Ridgeway Primary Academy will be available in the September of the academic year within which the child becomes five years old.  

Although parents have the right to express a preference for their child to attend Ridgeway Primary Academy, there is no guarantee of a place being offered. 

It is Ridgeway Primary Academy’s policy to try and meet parents’ wishes where possible, however in some cases there may be more applications than there are places available. Admission when oversubscribed is determined by the oversubscription criteria detailed below.  

Note that any child with an Education, Health & Care Plan that names Ridgeway Primary Academy as the preferred school, will be allocated a place even before the over-subscription criteria are applied and therefore are not mentioned in the over subscription criteria.  

Over-subscription Criteria 

If the total number of preferences for admission to Ridgeway Primary Academy exceeds the school’s Published Admission Number (PAN) of 60, the following order of priority will be used to allocate the available places. 

Ridgeway Primary Academy proposes the following oversubscription criteria:

1. 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; (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. Children who ceased to be in care means children who were looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to adoption, a child arrangement order or special guardianship). 

2. Children who have an older sibling in attendance at Ridgeway Primary Academy who will still be attending the academy 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.)

 3. Children of academy staff (where a member of staff has been employed at the academy for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the academy is made; this will help us recruit & retain the best possible staff which is a benefit to the whole academy.)

 4. 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. 

5. Children living within the catchment area of Ridgeway Primary Academy;

6. Home-to-School distance (so that children living closest to the school are allocated the remaining places first.)

Where it is not possible to accommodate all children applying for places within a particular category then places will be allocated in accordance with the remaining criteria, i.e. if all siblings cannot be accommodated, siblings who satisfy category (3) or (4) would be allocated first or children within the catchment area would be allocated by distance to the school.

Additional Notes

Copies of school catchment area maps are available from Ridgeway Primary Academy or the Local Authority; 

There is no charge or cost related to the admission of a child to Ridgeway Primary Academy.  

Admissions are administered through a coordinated admission scheme and preferences will be processed centrally by Staffordshire County Council. 

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide any supportive information required in order for the application to be assessed against the school’s published admissions criteria. Neither the school, or the Local Authority will seek to obtain this information on behalf of the applicant.  

A Geographical Information System (GIS) will be used 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.  

The requirement for Ridgeway Primary Academy to meet the Infant Class Size legislation may result in the refusal of catchment area or sibling applications where a class has already reached its limit of 30 pupils. However, there are permitted exceptions to this legislation, which Ridgeway Primary Academy will have regard when considering applications. 

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 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.

Deferred Entry to Reception Class

Parents can request to defer the date their child is admitted to Ridgeway Primary Academy until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which it was made.

Parents may also request that their child attends part-time until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age.

The Headteacher will decide how to respond to such requests, on a case-by-case basis and based on what they believe is in the best interests of the child after liaising with the parents/carers and, where appropriate, the local authority. 

Before deciding whether to request their child’s deferred entry to school, parents should visit the school to clarify how we cater for our youngest children in Reception and how we meet the needs of these children as they move up through the academy. 

Admission Outside of the Normal Age Group 

Parents may seek to apply for their child’s admission to Ridgeway Primary Academy 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.  

The Headteacher will decide how to respond to such requests, on a case-by-case basis and will base their decision on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned. This will include taking account of the parent’s 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; and whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely. When informing a parent of their decision on the year group the child should be admitted to, the Ridgeway Primary Academy will clearly set out the reasons for their decision.  

Where Ridgeway Primary Academy agrees to a parent’s request for their child to be admitted out of their normal age group and, as a consequence of that decision, the child is due to be admitted into Reception, the parents will need to make an application alongside children applying at the normal age. The application must be processed as part of the main admissions round, and on the basis of the determined admission arrangements, including the application of oversubscription criteria. Parents have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at Ridgeway Primary Academy. This right does not apply if they are offered a place at Ridgeway Primary Academy but it is not in their preferred age group. 

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. There will be a period of two weeks after the national offer date whereby available places will not be reallocated. If places become available after this date they will be offered according to the child at the top of the waiting list.

The waiting list will operate until the cohort concerned leaves Year 2. 

Inclusion on Ridgeway Primary Academy's waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available.  

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.  

Children who are subject of a direction by a local authority to admit or who are allocated to Ridgeway Primary Academy 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 Ridgeway Primary School waiting list. 

Repeat Applications

Parents do not have the right to a second appeal in respect of Ridgeway Primary

School for the same academic year unless, in exceptional circumstances, Ridgeway Primary Academy 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 Admission” Arrangements

Parents or carers seeking to transfer to Ridgeway Primary Academy may make an application directly to the preferred school using the appropriate application form. This application will be processed in the normal way but parents and carers need to be aware that any date set for joining may be after the next term or half term holiday and those parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that their child continues to receive appropriate education in the interim.


Where an application to Ridgeway Primary Academy is unsuccessful, there is a right to appeal as set out in the admissions code and this will be explained in the response to the parent/carer. Appeals will be carried out within the timescales set out in the code. 

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis. 


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