Admissions Arrangements Consultation 22-23
HCC are wishing to change their admissions criteria for 22-23 and as we use the same criteria, but are now an Academy, we are required to consult stakeholders.
Please send any responds to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6th December, 2020
Woodside Primary School
Proposed Admissions Arrangements 2022/2023
Woodside Primary School has an annual admission number of 30 pupils.
Section 324 of the Education Act 1996 requires the governing bodies of all maintained schools to admit children with an EHC (Education, Health and Care) Plan that names the school.
If there are fewer applications than places available at a school all applicants will be admitted. If there are more applications than places available, the criteria outlined below will be used to prioritise applications.
Rule 1: Children looked after and children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order)*.
Rule 2: Medical or Social
Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school, which includes children previously from abroad who were cared for by the state because he or she would not otherwise have been cared for adequately and subsequently adopted.
A panel of HCC officers will determine whether the evidence provided is sufficiently compelling to meet the requirements for this rule. The evidence must relate specifically to the school applied for under Rule 2 and much clearly demonstrate why it is the only school that can meet the child’s needs.
Rule 3: Linked School (This rule only applies to pupils who are currently attending an infant school which has a linked junior school¹.)
In the case of junior schools, children who attend the linked infant school at the time of their application.
Rule 4: Sibling
Children who have a sibling on the roll of the school or linked school at the time of application*.
This applies to reception through to Year 5 in infant, junior and primary schools; and from reception through to Year 3 in first schools; and from Year 5 to Year 7 in middle schools.
Rule 5: Nearest School
Children for whom it is their nearest school or academy.
This includes all schools except those which allocate places on the basis of faith (membership or practice) before allocating on the basis of distance/location.
Rule 6: Distance
Children who live nearest to the school.
Children not considered under rule 5 will be considered under rule 6
These rules are applied in the order they are printed above. If more children qualify under a particular rule than there are places available, for rules 2-5 the next rule will be used to further prioritise children.
When there is a need for a tie break where two different addresses are the same distance from a school, in the case of a block of flats for example, the lower door number will be deemed nearest as logically this will be on the ground floor and therefore closer. If there are two identical addresses of separate applicants, the tie break will be random. Every child entered onto the HCC admissions database has an individual random number assigned, between 1 and 1 million, against each preference school. When there is a need for a final tie break the random number is used to allocate the place, with the lowest number given priority.
After places have been offered, Hertfordshire County Council will maintain a continuing interest (waiting) list. A child’s position on a CI list will be determined by the admission criteria outlined above and a child’s place on the list can change as other children join or leave it. The county council will contact parents/carers if a vacancy becomes available and it can be offered to a child. Continuing interest lists will be maintained for every year group until the summer term (date to be confirmed). To retain a CI application after this time, parents must make an In Year application.
Parents wishing to appeal who applied through Hertfordshire’s online system should log in to their online application and click on the link “register an appeal”. Out of county residents and paper applicants should call the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 to request their registration details and log into www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolappeals and click on the link “log into the appeals system”.
The school will admit children under the Fair Access Protocol before those on continuing interest, and over the Published Admission Number (PAN) if required.
In Year Admissions
Parents can make an online in year application online via the Hertfordshire County Council website www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/inyear or contact the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 for a paper application form. Parents should return the application form direct to the County Council.
In Year Appeals
The county council will write to you with the outcome of your application and if you have been unsuccessful, will include registration details to enable you to login and appeal online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolappeals
Explanatory notes and definitions
The following definitions apply to terms used in the admissions criteria:
Places are allocated to children in public care according to Chapter 7, Section 2 of the School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012.
These children will be prioritised under rule 1.
Highest priority will also be given to children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted, or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order.
A “child looked after” is a child who is:
All children adopted from care who are of compulsory school age are eligible for admission under rule 1.³
Children in the process of being placed for adoption are classified by law as children looked after providing there is a Placement Order and the application would be prioritised under Rule 1.
Children who were not “looked after” immediately before being adopted, or made the subject of a child arrangement order or special guardianship order, will not be prioritised under rule 1. Applications made for these children, with suitable supporting professional evidence, can be considered under rule 2.
¹ Child arrangements order
Under the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014, which amended section 8 of the Children Act 1989, residence orders have now been replaced by child arrangements orders which settle the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live.
² Special guardianship order
Under 14A of The Children Act 1989, an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian or guardians.
³ This definition has been amended in accordance with paragraph 1.7 (footnote 17) of the School Admissions Code that came into force on 19 December 2014.
Rule 2 applications will only be considered at the time of the initial application, unless there has been a significant and exceptional change of circumstances within the family since the initial application was submitted.
All schools in Hertfordshire have experience in dealing with children with diverse social and medical needs. However in a few very exceptional cases, there are reasons why a child has to go to one specific school.
Few applications under Rule 2 are agreed.
All applications are considered individually but a successful application should include the following:
Evidence should make clear why only one school is appropriate. A Rule 2 application will generally not be upheld in cases where more than one school could meet the child’s need.
In exceptional cases relating to a disability, where more than one school in the county can meet the child’s specific needs, a clear and compelling case can be made for the “nearest” school with the relevant facilities, environment or location. You must clearly explain why attendance at the “nearest” school with these facilities is essential.
Applications under Rule 2 can only be considered when supported by a recent letter from a professional involved with the child or family, for example a doctor, psychologist or police officer. The supporting evidence needs to demonstrate why only one named school can meet the social/medical needs of the child.
Applications for children previously “looked after” but not meeting the specific criteria outlined in Rule 1, may be made under this rule.
Further details on the Rule 2 process can be found in the Rule 2 protocol.
Definition of sibling
A sibling is defined as: the sister, brother, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, child of the parent/carer or partner or a child looked after or previously looked after¹ and in every case living permanently² in a placement within the home as part of the family household from Monday to Friday at the time of this application.
A sibling must be on the roll of the named school at the time the younger child starts or have been offered and accepted a place.
If a place is obtained for an older child using fraudulent information, there will be no sibling connection available to subsequent children from that family.
¹ Children previously looked after are those children adopted or with a special guardianship order or child arrangements order. This definition was amended following a determination by the OSA in August 2014.
² A sibling link will not be recognised for children living temporarily in the same house, for example a child who usually lives with one parent but has temporarily moved or a looked after child in a respite placement or very short term or bridging foster placement.
The school will admit over the school’s published admission number when a single twin/multiple birth child is allocated a place at a school.
The address provided must be the child’s current permanent address at the time of application.
The application can only be processed using one address. If a child lives at more than one address (for example due to a separation) the address used will be the one which the child lives at for the majority of the time. If a child lives at two addresses equally, the address of the parent/carer that claims Child Benefit/Child Tax Credit will be considered as the child’s main residence.
If a family is not in receipt of Child Benefit/Tax Credit alternative documentation will be requested.
If a child’s residence is in dispute, parents/carers should provide court documentation to evidence the address that should be used for admission allocation purposes.
If two different applications are received for the same child from the same address, e.g. containing different preferences, the application from the parent in receipt of child benefit will be processed if the applications cannot be reconciled.
Hertfordshire County Council on behalf of the school will do as much as possible to prevent applications being made from fraudulent addresses, including referring cases to the Shared Anti-Fraud service for further investigation as necessary.
Address evidence is frequently requested, monitored and checked and school places will be withdrawn when false information is deliberately provided. Hertfordshire County Council will take action in the following circumstances:
Parents/carers will need to show that they have relinquished residency ties with their previous property and they, and their child(ren) are permanently residing at the address given on the application form.
Where suspicions lie as to the validity of an address, the Admissions & Transport Team may make unannounced visits to the applicant’s claimed address or any other address suspected to be the normal permanent residence of the child’s primary carer or the address where the child resides for the majority of the week. The aim of these visits is to verify that the address information provided on the application form is accurate. All visits will be made by two members of the Admissions & Transport Team.
If an address appears to be unoccupied at the time of a visit, a letter will be left confirming that an attempted visit took place. This letter will ask the occupant to contact the Admissions & Transport Team within 24 hours to confirm receipt of the letter and details of the occupant. It is reasonable to expect that an applicant living at the address stated on the application form can respond within 24 hours. If contact takes longer than 24 hours, the applicant will be asked to explain why and provide evidence why they did not respond within the specified time.
If, following the initial investigation or any further investigation, the Admissions & Transport Team concludes that, on the balance of probability, a fraudulent address has been used on an application, correspondence will be sent to the applicant confirming this decision. This will outline the factors taken into account in making the decision as well as the action which will be taken with the application. It will also set out which address will be considered to be the child’s permanent home address for the purpose of their application for admission to school.
Home to school distance measurement for purposes of admissions
A ‘straight line’ distance measurement is used in all home to school distance measurements. Distances are measured using a computerised mapping system to two decimal places. The measurement is taken from the AddressBase Premium address point of your child’s house to the address point of the school. Premium data is a nationally recognised method of identifying the location of schools and individual residences
Definition of “nearest school” for primary/junior/middle admissions
The definition of “nearest school” includes all schools except those which allocate places on the basis of faith (membership or practice) before allocating on the basis of distance/location.
Applications from children* from overseas
All children of compulsory school age (5 to 16 years) in England have a right of access to education. However, where a child is in England for a short period only, for example less than half a term, it may be reasonable to refuse admission to a school.
An application for a school place will only be accepted for such children currently overseas if, for In Year applications, proof is provided that the child will be resident in Hertfordshire within two weeks. In Year allocations are made on the assumption that the child will accept the school place and be on roll within that timescale.
Applications will not normally be accepted from, nor places allocated to, an overseas address. The exception to this (for both In Year and transfer processes) is for children of UK service personnel and crown servants (and from military families who are residents of countries with a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK). In these cases HCC will allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date and a HCC Unit postal address or quartering area address, for consideration of the application against oversubscription criteria.
Applications will also be considered, and places offered in advance for these families, if the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date but does not provide a quartering or unit address because the family will be residing in private accommodation. In these cases, if the family does not already have a permanent private address in Hertfordshire, the military base or alternative “work” address in Hertfordshire will be used for allocation purposes. If the family already has an established alternative private address, that address will be used for admission purposes.
Woodside Primary School, in liaison with Hertfordshire County Council will also consider accepting applications from children* whose family can evidence intent to return to and/or permanently reside in Hertfordshire prior to the start of the new academic year. These applications, if accepted, will be processed from the overseas address until sufficient evidence is received to show the child is permanently resident in Hertfordshire. Evidence must be submitted at the time of application.
Evidence submitted after the date for late applications (31 January 2022) cannot be taken into account before National Allocation Day. Decisions on these applications will be made by a panel of senior officers and communicated with parents within 6 weeks of the closing date for applications.
If an applicant owns a property in Hertfordshire but is not living in it, perhaps because they are working abroad at the time of application, the Hertfordshire address will not be accepted for the purposes of admission until the child is resident at that address.
Other children, than those mentioned above, from overseas do not generally have automatic right of entry to the UK. An application for a school place will not therefore be accepted until they are permanently resident in Hertfordshire. Proof of residency such as an endorsed passport or entry visa will be required with the application, in addition to proof of Hertfordshire address, for example a council tax bill or 12 month rental agreement.
*Children who hold full British Citizen passports (not British Dependent Territories or British Overseas passports), or have a UK passport describing them as a British citizen or British subject with the right of abode or are European Economic Area nationals normally have unrestricted entry to the UK
Age of Admission and Deferral of Places
The schools policy is that children born on and between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018* would normally commence primary school in Reception in the academic year beginning in September 2022. All Hertfordshire infant, first and primary schools provide for the full- time admission of all children offered a place in the Reception year group from the September following their fourth birthday. If a parent wants a full-time place for their child from September (at the school at which a place has been offered) then they are entitled to that full- time place.
Parents can defer the date their child is admitted to school until later in the same academic year or until the term in which the child reaches compulsory school age. Summer born children are only able to “defer” entry to Reception class until the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the offer was made.
Where parents wish, children can attend part-time until they reach compulsory school age. Any parents wishing to take up a part-time place or deferred entry should contact the individual school(s) to discuss their child’s requirements.
*Summer born children (1st April – 31st August) – Entry to Reception
Legally, a child does not have to start school until the start of the term following their fifth birthday. Children born between 1 April 2018 and 31 August 2018 are categorised as “summer born” and if parents/carers do not believe that their summer born child is ready to join Reception in 2022 they should contact the home LA, and any own admission authority schools, for guidance before making an application.
Summer born applications that are delayed for a year (for entry in September 2023) will be processed in exactly the same way as all other reception applications received at that time; there is no guarantee that a place will be offered at a child’s preferred school.
If parents wish to delay their application for a Reception place they are advised to discuss their child’s needs/development with their current early years or nursery provider. If parents wish their child to remain in their existing nursery school or class for a further year (rather than moving into the Reception year group) they must let their current school know before the end of the Spring term in 2022 (before the Easter break).
Children Out of Year Group (except applications for reception from summer born)
The school’s policy is for children to be educated within their correct chronological year group, with the curriculum differentiated as necessary to meet the needs of individual children. This is in line with DfE guidance which states that “in general, children should be educated in their normal age group”.
If parents/carers believe their child(ren) should be educated in a different year group they should, at the time of application, submit supporting evidence from relevant professionals working with the child and family stating why the child must be placed outside their normal age appropriate cohort. Supporting evidence should be submitted to HCC’s Admissions Team. DfE guidance makes clear that “it is reasonable for admission authorities to expect parents to provide them with information in support of their request – since without it they are unlikely to be able to make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case”.
The HCC will decide whether the application will be accepted on the basis of the information submitted. The panel make decisions based upon the circumstances of each case including the view of parents, the relevant headteacher(s), the child's social, academic and emotional development and whether the child has been previously educated out of year group.
There is no guarantee that an application will be accepted on this basis. If the application is not accepted this does not constitute a refusal of a place and there is no right to an independent statutory appeal. Similarly there is no right of appeal for a place in a specific year group at a school. The internal management and organisation of a school, including the placement of pupils in classes, is a matter for the Headteacher and senior leadership of individual schools.
Woodside Primary does have a nursery.
However, the admission arrangements detailed in this document do not apply for those being admitted into any nursery or pre-school provision. The responsibility for admission into nursery provision lies with the governing body of the school which offers such provision.
Parents of children who are admitted to a nursery provision at a school must apply in the normal way for a place at the school if they want their child to transfer to the reception class. Attendance at the nursery or co-located children’s centre does not guarantee admission to the school.