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St Christopher's Catholic Primary School, Codsall

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

St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School is part of the St Francis & St Clare Multi Academy Company (SFSCMAC).The admissions authority for the school is the Board of Directors of the St Francis & St Clare Multi AcademyCompany (SFSCMAC) who has responsibility for admissions to this school. The Board of Directors has delegated responsibility for the administration of the admissions process to the Academy Committee of the Local Governing Body** of St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School.

The admissions process for St Christopher's Catholic Primary School is part of the Staffordshire Local Authority co-ordinated admissions scheme. To apply for a place at St Christopher's Catholic Primary School, in the normal admissions round, an application must be made using the school admission application process of the local authority in which you live, naming St Christopher's Catholic Primary School on the application form. Applications need to be made by 15 January. A Supplementary Information Form (SIF) must also be completed and returned directly to the school by the same date (see Note 2). 

All applications which are submitted on time will be considered at the same time, after the closing date.

You will be advised of the outcome of your application on 16 April, or the next working day, by the local authority on behalf of the school. 

Please note that throughout this policy, the term parent means all natural parents, any person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility for a child and any person who has care of a child.

The ethos of this school is Catholic. The school was founded by the Catholic Church to provide education for children of Catholic families. Whenever there are more applications than places available, priority will be given to Catholic children in accordance with the oversubscription criteria listed below. The school is conducted by its Governing Board as part of the Catholic Church, in accordance with its Trust Deed and Instrument of Government and seeks at all times to be a witness to Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

As a Catholic school, we aim to provide a Catholic education for all our pupils. At a Catholic school, Catholic doctrine and practice permeate every aspect of the school’s activity. It is essential that the Catholic character of the school’s education be fully supported by all families in the school. We therefore hope that all parents will give their full, unreserved and positive support for the aims and ethos of the school. This does not affect the right of a parent of a non catholic child to apply for a place for their child at the school and to be admitted to a place at the school in accordance with the admission arrangements. 

The Local Governing Body* acts for the Board of Directors who is the admissions authority and has responsibility for admissions to this school. The Local Governing Body* has set its admission number (PAN) at 30 pupils to be admitted to the Reception class in the school year which begins in September. (See Note 1 below).

Where there are more applications for places than the number of places available, places will be offered according to the order of priority below. If there is oversubscription within a category, the Local Governing Body* will give priority to children living closest to the school, determined by the shortest distance (see Note 5). 

For the purposes of this policy, parish boundaries are as shown on the Archdiocese of Birmingham parish boundary map which will be applied to the admission arrangements.

Oversubsription criteria

  1. Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below) who are looked after or were previously looked after (see Note 3 below).

  2. Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below) living within the Parish of St Christopher’s Codsall, who have a brother or sister (see Note 4 below) in the school at the time of admission.

  3. Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below) living within the Parish of St Christopher’s Codsall. 

  4. Other Baptised Catholic children(see Note 2 below) who have a brother or sister (see Note 4 below) attending the school at the time of admission.

  5. Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below) of staff of the school, not covered in 1 - 4 above (see Note 6 below).

  6. Other Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below).

  7. Non-Catholic children who are looked after or were previously looked after (see Note 3 below).

  8. Non-Catholic children who have a brother or sister (see Note 4 below) attending the school at the time of admission.

  9. Non catholic children of staff of the school, not covered in 7 or 8 above (see Note 6 below).

  10. Non-Catholic children. 

Note 1

Children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan who name the school must be admitted. This will reduce the number of places available to applicants. This is not an oversubscription criterion. 

Note 2

In all categories, for a child to be considered a Catholic, evidence of Catholic Baptism or Reception into the Church will be required. For a definition of a Baptised Catholic see Appendix 1. Those who face difficulties in producing written evidence of Catholic Baptism or Reception into the Church should contact the Parish Priest of the parish where the child was baptised.

Parents making an application for a Catholic child should also complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) which should be returned directly to the school. If you do not provide the information required in the Supplementary Information Form, and return it by the closing date, together with all supporting documentation, this is likely to affect your child’s chance of being offered a place at this school. 

For the purposes of this policy, a looked after child living with a family where at least one of the carers is Catholicwill be considered as Catholic. The carer must forward a copy of their own Catholic Baptismal or Receptioncertificate directly to the school in order for this priority to be given to the child as failure to do so will result in thelooked after child being ranked as a non-Catholic.

Note 3

A “looked after child” has the same meaning as in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989, and means any child who is (a) in the care of the local authority or (b) being provided with accommodation by them in the exercise of their social services functions (eg children with foster parents) at the time of making the application to the school.  A “previously looked after child” is a child was looked after, but ceased to be so because he or she was adopted or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order and includes those children who appear (to the Board of Directors) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.

For the purposes of this policy, a looked after child living with a family where at least one of the carers is Catholic will be considered as Catholic.  The carer must forward a copy of their own Catholic Baptismal or Reception certificate directly to the school in order for this priority to be given to the child as failure to do so will result in the looked after child being ranked as a non-Catholic.

Note 4

For all applicants the definition of a brother or sister is:

  • a brother or sister sharing the same parents

  • a half-brother or half-sister, where two children share one common parent

  • a step-brother or step-sister, where two children are related by a parent's marriage, or where they are unrelated but their parents are living as partners

  • adopted or fostered children. 

Note 5

Distances are measured by the Local Authority on behalf of the school. 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 and provided by the local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) and OS address point data. 

In a very small number of cases, where the school is oversubscribed, it may not be possible to decide between the applications of those pupils who are the final qualifiers for a place when applying the published admissions criteria. For example, this may occur when children in the same year group live at the same address, or if the distance between the home and the school is exactly the same, for example, blocks of flats. 

If there is no other way of separating the applications according to the admissions criteria and to admit both, or all, of the children would cause the Published Admission Number for the child’s year group to be exceeded, the Local Authority, on behalf of the Local Governing Body, will use a computerised system to randomly select the child to be offered the final place. 

The Local Governing Body will, where possible, admit twins and all siblings from multiple births where one of the children is the last child ranked within the school’s published admission number. 

A child’s home address refers to the address where the child usually lives with a parent or carer and will be theaddress provided in the Local Authority’s Common Application Form.  

Where parents have shared responsibility for a child, and the child lives with both parents for part of the week, then the main residence will be determined as the address where the child lives for the majority of the week.

Parents may be requested to supply documentary evidence to satisfy the Local Governing Body that the child lives at the address put forward by the parents.

If a place in the school 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 liable to be withdrawn. 

School entry

Parents must, by law, ensure that their child is receiving suitable full time education from the beginning of the term following the child’s fifth birthday, when they will have begun to be of compulsory school age. 

Where a place is offered in the school, the pupil will be entitled to take up that place, on a full-time basis, in the September following their fourth birthday. 

A child’s parents may defer the date at which their child, below compulsory school age, is admitted to the school until later in the school year, but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age and not beyond the first day of the summer term.

A child may take up a part-time place until later in the school year, but not beyond the point at which the child reaches compulsory school age.

Upon receipt of the offer of a place a parent should notify the school, as soon as possible, that they wish to either defer their child’s entry to the school or take up a part-time place. 

The parent of a child whose fifth birthday falls during the summer term who wishes to defer their child’s admission until the beginning of the following academic year (when the child will have begun to be of compulsory school age) will therefore need to make a separate in-year application for a place in Year 1 at the school. Any Reception class place offered following an application made for theadmission round will be withdrawn if the child does not take up that place by the first day of the summer term. 

Applications for children to be admitted into a class outside of their normal age group 

Parents have the right to request, but not insist, that their child be considered for admission to a class outside of their normal age group. This could be the case, for example, if a child is gifted and talented, has experienced problems such as ill health, or if the child is summer born, ie a child born between 1 April and 31 August. Parents who wish for their child to be considered for admission to a class outside of their normal age group must make an application for the normal age group in the first instance. 

Parents must then submit a formal request to the Local Governing Body for the child to be considered for a different age group class instead. This request should be in the form of a written letter, outlining the reasons why they wish for their child to be considered to be admitted into a class outside of their normal age group and enclosing any supporting evidence and documentation that they wish to be taken into account as part of that request. 

The Local Governing Body will consider requests submitted for a child to be admitted into a class outside of their normal age group and advise parents of the outcome of that request before national offer day, having taken into account the information provided by the parents, the child’s best interests and the views of the Head Teacher. 

If the request is refused, the parents will be advised of this and the original application for the normal age group class will progress through the Local Authority co-ordinated admissions scheme and be considered by the Local Governing Body along with all other applications. 

If the request is agreed, and the year group for which the parents have requested a place is a current year group in the school, then the parents will be advised of the outcome of the request and the application will be considered by the Local Governing Body. The parents will be advised of the outcome of the application. 

If the request is agreed and the year group for which the parents have requested a place is for a future year group, ie Reception in September 2024, then the original application is withdrawn and the parents must submit a fresh application for Reception 2024 when applications open in the autumn term of 2023. Please note that parents only have the right to re-apply for a place. No place is reserved or held for the child in advance. An application for Reception the following year will be considered alongside all other applications received and parents will be advised of the outcome of that application on national offer day.

If parents are considering submitting an application for their child to be admitted into a class outside of their normal age group, it is strongly recommended that they also read the DFE guidance. 

Appeals

Parents who wish to appeal against the decision of the Local Governing Body to refuse their child a place in the school should make that appeal request in writing to the Chair of the Local Governing Body at the school address. Appeals will be heard by an independent panel. 

Please note that parents do not have the right to appeal if their request for their child to be admitted to a class outside of their normal year group has been refused, but the Local Governing Body have offered a place in the normal age group instead.

Repeat applications

Any parent can apply for a place for their child at any time outside the normal admissions round. 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 Governing Body has accepted a second application from the parent because of a significant and material change in the circumstances of the parent, child or school but has still refused admission. 

Late applications

Late applications will be dealt with in accordance with the Local Authority's co-ordinated admissions scheme. This states that applications received after the closing date will be considered, wherever possible, alongside those applicants who applied on time. Where it is not practicable because places have already been allocated, or are shortly to be allocated, then late applications will be considered only after those that were made before this point. You are encouraged to ensure that your application is received on time. 

Change in preference

Once parents have submitted their preferences, they will not be allowed to change them without an exceptional change in their circumstances, for example, if the family has recently moved address or an older sibling has changed schools. All requests to change preferences should be made in writing to the Local Authority to whom the parents submitted the original application. Where a change of preference is submitted for an oversubscribed school, without an exceptional change in circumstances, then the application will be refused. 

Waiting list

In addition to their right to appeal, children who have not been offered a place at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary Academy but were offered a school that was ranked as a lower preference on their application form willbe added to a waiting list.

The waiting list will be maintained until the last day of the summer term and will then be discarded.

A child’s position on a waiting list is not fixed. When a new child joins the waiting list, all applicants on that waiting list will be re-ranked to ensure that the list is always maintained in oversubscription criteria order. This means that a child’s position on the waiting list could go up or down during the time that it is on the list. Any late applications accepted will be added to the waiting list in accordance with the oversubscription criteria.

Inclusion on the waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available. It may be that those already offered places may accept them, thereby filling all available places.

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

In year fair access protocol

The Local Governing Body of St Christopher's Catholic Primary School is committed to taking its fair share of children who are vulnerable and/or hard to place, as set out in locally agreed protocols. Accordingly, outside the normal admission round, the Governing Board is empowered to give absolute priority to a child where admission is requested under any locally agreed protocol. The Governing Board has this power, even when admitting the child would mean exceeding the published admission number subject to the infant class size exceptions. 

Applications other than the normal intake to reception class (in-year applications)

An application can be made for a place for a child at any time outside the normal admission round and the childwill be admitted where there are places available. Further information regarding instructions on how to apply fora place in the school at any other time other than the normal intake is available on the school’s website at http://www.stchristophersprimary.org/our-school/admissions

To apply for a place in the school in-year, parents will need to complete the school’s own application form which is available on our website at

https://cdn.realsmart.co.uk/stchristophersprimary/uploads/2022/01/27151825/In-Year-Application-Form.pdf

andreturn it directly to the school ensuring that any required supplementary information is attached.

If there are no places available, the child will be added to the waiting list (see above).

Parents will be advised of the outcome of their application in writing and, where the Board of Director’s decision isto refuse their child a place, have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.

There is no charge or cost related to the admission of a child to this school.

Appendix 1 

Definition of a "Baptised Catholic" 

A "Baptised Catholic" is one who: 

  • has been baptised into full communion (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 837) with the Catholic Church by the Rites of Baptism of one of the various ritual Churches in communion with the See of Rome (i.e. Latin Rite, Byzantine Rite, Coptic, Syriac, etc, Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1203). Written evidence* of this baptism can be obtained by recourse to the Baptismal Registers of the church in which the baptism took place (Cf. Code of Canon Law, 877 & 878).

    or

  • has been validly baptised in a separated ecclesial community and subsequently received into full communion with the Catholic Church by the Right of Reception of Baptised Christians into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church. Written evidence of their baptism and reception into full communion with the Catholic Church can be obtained by recourse to the Register of Receptions, or in some cases, a sub-section of the Baptismal Registers of the church in which the Rite of Reception took place (Cf. Rite of Christian Initiation, 399). 

Written evidence of baptism 

The Governing Bodies of Catholic schools will require written evidence in the form of a Certificate of Baptism or Certificate of Reception before applications for school places can be considered for categories of "Baptised Catholics”. A Certificate of Baptism or Reception is to include: the full name, date of birth, date of baptism or reception, and parent(s) name(s). The certificate must also show that it is copied from the records kept by the place of baptism or reception. 

Those who would have difficulty obtaining written evidence of Catholic Baptism/Reception for a good reason, may still be considered as baptised Catholics but only after they have been referred to their parish priest who, after consulting the Vicar General, will decide how the question of Baptism/Reception is to be resolved and how written evidence is to be produced in accordance with the law of the Church. 

Those who would be considered to have good reason for not obtaining written evidence would include those who cannot contact the place of Baptism/Reception due to persecution or fear, the destruction of the church and the original records, or where Baptism/Reception was administered validly but not in the Parish church where records are kept. 

The Governing Board may request extra supporting evidence when the written documents that are produced do not clarify the fact that a person was baptised or received into the Catholic Church, (i.e. where the name and address of the Church is not on the certificate or where the name of the Church does not state whether it is a Catholic Church or not.)

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