ADMISSIONS POLICY September 2017
St Thomas’ Werneth C of E Primary School is a Voluntary Aided Primary School.
The responsibility for admissions to the school lies with the Governing Body. The admissions process is co-ordinated by Oldham Local Authority, and the school liaises with the Manchester Diocesan Board of Education and Oldham Local Authority on admissions issues. Applications must be made on the Common Application Form available from the Local Authority.
The published admission number (PAN) for admissions to Reception is 60. The admission number for Reception has been determined in relation to the net capacity of the school and the necessity to comply with the Infant Class Size legislation. The school also has a 78 part time place nursery. A separate application has to be made by parents seeking a place in the Reception class. Children attending the nursery class will not receive automatic entry to or priority for admission to the reception class at school.
If no more than 60 applications are received for admission to Reception, all applicants will be offered places.
The school will admit all children with a statement of special educational needs (or an Education, Health and Care Plan – EHCP) where St Thomas’ School Werneth is named in the statement or EHCP
If there are more children requesting admission than the number of remaining places available the decision on which children will be admitted will be based on the following oversubscription criteria, which will be applied in the order of priority set out below -
1. Looked after Children and previously looked after children. (A “looked after child” is a child who is (a) in the care of a local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order)
2. Children whose medical or social circumstances mean that they should attend St Thomas’ in preference to another school.
Written evidence from a doctor, health visitor or other health professional will be required
3. Children who will have older brothers and sisters in attendance at St Thomas’ School at the time of their admission.
The school accepts that in some family units (1 or 2 adults and children) the children may not be natural brothers and / or sisters. Older children from the same family unit, attending a particular school, can be considered to ‘qualify’ a younger child under this criterion, provided proof is available to demonstrate that the children are permanently resident at the same address and part of the same family unit.
4. Children of Parents who *regularly attend a Church of England Church or other **Christian place of Worship.
*Governors will interpret regular attendance to mean at least monthly for 12 months prior to application. Parents applying under this criterion must collect the Supplementary Form from the School (or download it from the school website), complete it, and return it to the school. Verification may be sought from the church.
**Other Christian place of Worship refers to either
(a) a Church which is a part of a national infrastructure that is a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (www.ctbi.org.uk) or the Evangelical Alliance; or
(b) any local church which does not have a national infrastructure, and whose name is held on a list held by the school and publicised on the school website. This list will be kept under review. Local Christian churches that are not on the list may request admission to the list by writing to The Chair of Governors via the school office.
5. Any other children, with priority given to those who live closest to school (see below)
When considering a request for admission to the school, the only address the school can consider is the address of the adult with whom the child is permanently resident. If the child is cared for on a daily basis at another address for example by a child-minder, grandparents or another member of the family, this address cannot be considered by the school for the purpose of its admissions process.
Over-subscription within the criteria
If within any of the above criteria the school is over-subscribed with requests for admission, then the criterion of geographical proximity to the school will be used to determine which pupils are admitted.
The Local Authority, using the LA Geographical Information System, Post Office Code data and Ordnance Survey mapping data, will calculate the distance between home and school for all children who apply. All distances will be in a straight line between the two geographical data points of the home and school with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority.
How is the distance measured?
Distance is calculated by the straight line measurement from the applicant’s home address location to the center point (‘centroid’) of the preferred school.
(All measurements are subject to prepositional accuracy changes.)
On entering the address into the admissions system, the address is PAF (Postal Address File) matched against address-point data held in the system.
When an address is PAF matched, the system looks up a six-figure grid reference (e.g. 123456, 123456) for that property known as an Address-Point Location Co-ordinate (APLC). Each property has a unique APLC.
The straight line distance from this address point to the centroid (a six-figure grid reference) is then calculated to the nearest 0.001 mile. The PAF file held by Oldham Council is supplied by Royal Mail and is updated quarterly.
Flats and apartments
Where applications are made from the same multiple dwelling sharing a single address point, such applications in a single criterion will be considered initially by distance between the address point and the school in the normal way.
Where there are insufficient places to admit all those applicants, the individual priority for each applicant will be set by random allocation (lottery).The random allocation process will be supervised by someone independent of the school.
Last year the school was able to admit all pupils whose parents applied by the closing date.
Late applications for admission
Applications which are received after the last date will be considered after all the
others, and placed on the waiting list in order according to the criteria.
When we have more applications than places, the oversubscription criteria will be used. Children who are not admitted will have their name placed on a waiting list. The names on this waiting list will be in the order resulting from the application of the oversubscription criteria. Since the date of
application cannot be a criterion for the order of names on the waiting list, late applicants for the
school will be slotted into the order according to which of the oversubscription criteria they meet.
Thus it is possible that a child who moves into the area later to have a higher priority than one
who has been on the waiting list for some time. If a place becomes available within the admission number, the child whose name is at the top of the list will be offered a place. This is not dependent on whether an appeal has been submitted.
This waiting list will managed by The Admissions Team located at The Civic Centre, Oldham, and will be kept at least until 31st December of each school year of admission.
Where the governors are unable to offer a place because the school is oversubscribed, parents
have the right to appeal to an independent admission appeal panel, set up under the School
Standards and Framework Act, 1998, as amended by the Education Act, 2002. Parents should
notify the clerk to the governors at the school within 14 days of receiving the letter
refusing a place. Parents will have the opportunity to submit their case to the panel in writing
and also to attend in order to present their case. You will normally receive 14 days’ notice of the
place and time of the hearing.
It sometimes happens that a child needs to change school other than at the “normal” time; such
admissions are known as non-routine admissions. Parents wishing their child to attend this school may arrange to visit the school. All applicants must use the Common Application Form and the Local Authority will co-ordinate the application for a place. If the applicant has indicated more than one preference the LA will make an offer of a place at the highest preferred school available.
If there is no place available in this school then the admissions committee will inform the LA and
information about how to appeal against the refusal will be provided. Appeals for children moving into the area will not be considered until there is evidence of a permanent address, e.g. exchange of contracts or tenancy agreement with rent book.
Please note that you cannot re-apply for a place at a school within the same school year unless
there has been relevant, significant and material change in the family circumstances
Special Reasons for admission
If there are any special reasons, such as identified medical needs, special educational needs, why parents or other agencies feel a child would educationally benefit from admission to the school, this information with any supporting documentation should be provided on/attached to the application form.
Children applying under Priority Four (Parents regularly attending St Thomas’ Church Werneth or other Christian Church) must collect a supplementary form from school or download it from the school website and submit it with the application form.
Where the governing body discovers that a child has been awarded a place as the result of an
intentionally misleading application from a parent (for example a false claim to residence in the
catchment area or of involvement in a place of worship) which effectively denies a place to a child with a stronger claim, then the governing body is required to withdraw the offer of the place. The application will be considered afresh and a right of appeal offered if a place is refused.
Where there are children of multiple births wishing to be admitted and the sibling is the 30th child the governors may admit over the infant class requirement if it is possible to do so.
Reception Class Admissions
Children will be admitted to the Reception class at the beginning of the Autumn Term before their fifth birthday. Parents may request that their school place be deferred or part-time until later in the school year and if they do this the place will be held for the child. The child, however must be in school on a full time basis at beginning of the term after the child’s fifth birthday.
Admission outside the child’s normal age group
Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. In addition, the parents of a summer born child may choose not to send that child to school until the September following their fifth birthday and may request that they are admitted out of their normal age group – to reception rather than year 1.
Parents requesting admission out of the normal age group must put their request in writing, addressed to the Headteacher at the school, together with any supporting evidence that the parent wishes to be taken into account. The governing body will make decisions on requests for admission outside the normal age group 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; any information provided 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. The governing body will also take into account the views of the Headteacher. When informing a parent of their decision on the year group the child should be admitted to, the governing body will set out clearly the reasons for their decision.
Where the governing body 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 will be admitted to a relevant age group (i.e. the age group to which pupils are normally admitted to the school) the local authority and governing body must process the application as part of the main admissions round, unless the parental request is made too late for this to be possible, and on the basis of their determined admission arrangements only, including the application of oversubscription criteria where applicable. The governing body must not give the application lower priority on the basis that the child is being admitted out of their normal age group.
Parents have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied. This right does not apply if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred age group.