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Middle and High 2019-20

Admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools

Academic year 2019-2020

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 the county council’s policy to try and meet parents’ wishes where possible, however in some cases there may be more applications for a particular school than there are places available. 

Admission to oversubscribed community and voluntary controlled schools is determined by the oversubscription criteria given below. 

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. (N.B., after applying the oversubscription criteria, where an applicant can be offered a place at more than one preferred school then they will be offered a place at the school ranked highest on their application.) 

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 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. It 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. 

and 

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 the preferred school 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 the preferred school 

5) Children who attend certain primary schools defined as major contributory primary schools. (See additional notes below.) 

6) 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 local authority 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 local authority or individual schools. 

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

Admissions for the normal age of entry 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 pupil will receive one offer of a place at a maintained school. 

In accordance with legislation, children who have a statutory statement of special educational need or an education, health and care plan (EHCP) that names a particular school as being the most appropriate to meet the child’s needs must be admitted to that school. This will reduce the amount of places available to other applicants. 

Children in care means children who are looked after by a local authority in accordance with section 22 (1) of the Children Act 1989 and who is (a) in care of a Local Authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a Local Authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see definition in Section 22 (1) of the Children Act 1989) at the time of making an application to a school. This includes children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 (see section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under Adoption and Children Act 2002 (see section 46 adoption orders). 

Child arrangements orders are defined in s.8 of the Children Act 1989, as amended by s.12 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Child arrangements orders replace residence orders and any residence order in force prior to 22 April 2014 is deemed to be a child arrangements order. 

Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a special guardianship order as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians). 

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 local authority 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 is determined and provided by 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’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. 

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 local authority 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 will only accept the revised address for purposes of allocation where parents/carers can provide documentary evidence of the move by 25 January 2019. 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. 

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 parents 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. 

Category (5), major contributory schools are relevant to the following schools: 

Secondary or middle schoolMajor contributory schools

Cheslyn Hay Sport and Community High School

Cheslyn Hay Primary

Featherstone Academy

Glenthorne Primary

Havergal CE Primary Academy

St John’s Primary Academy, Essington

Codsall Community High School

Bilbrook CE (C) Middle

Codsall Middle

Perton Middle

Endon High School

Endon Hall Primary

St Anne’s Primary, Brown Edge

St Luke’s Primary, Endon

Great Wyrley High School

Landywood Primary

Moat Hall Primary

 Moorside High School

St John’s Primary, Wetley Rocks

Werrington Primary

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. 

Waiting lists will be kept until 31st December 2019. No other waiting lists will be maintained. 

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.

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 

Preferences 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 preferences will be considered only after those that were made before this point. 

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 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. 

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 local authority who will take into account the circumstances of the case and views of the headteacher of the community or voluntary controlled school concerned. Parents do not have the right to insist that their child is admitted to a particular year group.

Sixth form admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled - Secondary schools

Applications for admission to the sixth form will be dealt with by the school in accordance with the school’s published admission arrangements. Individual schools will provide detailed information on the admission policy including minimum entry requirements for particular courses on request. 

Children already in the school will not be required to apply formally for places in Year 12 but should have reached the minimum entry qualifications for admission into the sixth form, details of which are included in the published admission arrangements. 

External applicants will not be refused the opportunity to make an application, or told that they can only be placed on a waiting list rather than make a formal application. 

Any applicant refused a place in year 12 is entitled to make an appeal to an independent appeal panel whether the child is already attending the school or is an external candidate. Minimum entry requirements are the same for internal and external applicants. 

Schools must not interview children or their families for entry to Year 12, although meetings can be held to provide advice on options and entry requirements for particular courses. Entry must not be dependent on attendance, behaviour record or perceptions of attitude or motivation.

“In-year admission” arrangements 

Parents or carers seeking to be admitted to a community or voluntary controlled school may make an application directly to the preferred school using the appropriate application form. This application will be processed in line with the procedure outlined in the determined admission arrangements and parents and carers need to be aware that in the case of transfers between local schools, any date set for joining the new school 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. 

Relevant area 

Staffordshire County Council’s relevant area for consultation is the administrative area of Staffordshire County Council.

Published admission numbers

Coordinated scheme for admissions to primary and secondary schools 2019-20

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