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St. John's CE Primary Academy, Stafford

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

In 2019, 2020 & 2021 60 school children can be admitted to each academic year. We are a two form entry school with a capacity for 420 pupils.

Reception places

Full time places in reception classes will be available in the September following the child’s fourth birthday.

All applications for Reception places are made through Staffordshire County Council who apply our admissions criteria to all applications and notify parents directly of allocated places. Online applications are now the preferred method of making a preference for schools at the normal age of entry.

Prospective parents are offered a visiting day in the term prior to the school year in which a pupil starts full time education. For Reception pupils, there are a variety of transition events which enable your child to settle quickly in September and be familiar with staff as well as the school routines.

Mid-Year Admissions

Tours of our school are available by appointment with the school office. This will be an opportunity for you to take a tour of the school and meet with a member of the Senior Leadership Team to ask any questions you might have regarding your child’s education. A Mid-Year transfer form will need to be signed by your child’s current school and returned to St John’s before a place will be offered. More information and the form can be found on the Staffordshire County Council website.

Following receipt of the completed Mid-Year Transfer form and school visit, a member of our office team will talk through any additional admissions paperwork needing to be completed before your child’s start date.

Over-subscription criteria

If the total number of preferences for admission to a nursery age setting exceeds the number of available places, then the following order of priority will be 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 individual 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 St John’s Academy.

Exceptional circumstances must relate to the choice of St John’s and the individual child, i.e. the circumstances of the child, not the specific economic or social circumstances of the parent/carer, and be supported by a professional report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application), e.g. social worker, justifying why it is better for the child to attend the preferred maintained nursery rather than any other nursery.

  • Test 2: the child would suffer hardship if they were unable to attend the preferred school setting.

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 brother or sister in attendance at St John’s Academy and who will still be attending the school at the time of 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 defined catchment area of St John’s. This must be the address where the child resides with a parent or legal guardian. If the address changes during the admissions process, it is the parents’ duty to inform the local authority. 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.

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

The Academy uses the Local Authority’s 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 accordance with legislation, children who have a statutory statement of special educational need or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) that names the Academy 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.

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.

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 friend’s or relative’s 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.

It is expected that parents will agree on school places before an application is made, and it may be necessary to request evidence from you to confirm that this is the case. The Academy is not in a position to intervene in disputes between parents over school applications and will request that these are resolved privately.

If a child’s home address changes during the admissions process it is the responsibility of the parent/carer to inform the Local Authority immediately. Where there is a proposed house move taking place during the admissions process the Local Authority, on behalf of the Academy, will only accept the revised address for purposes of allocation where parents/carers can provide documentary evidence of the move by 16 March. It will be necessary for sufficient evidence of a permanent move to be provided by the applicant by this date before it will be taken into account for allocation purposes at the national offer date.

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.

Waiting lists

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

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 local authority 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.

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 the Academy to clarify how we cater for the youngest children in Reception and how the needs of these children are met 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 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. 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 Principal of the academy. Parents do not have the right to insist that their child is admitted to a particular year group.

If you require any further information or advice, please contact our school office.

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