Local Authority Schools Admissions Policy
LEICESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S SERVICE
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S SERVICE
ADMISSIONS TO MAINSTREAM SCHOOLS (COMMUNITY & VOLUNTARY CONTROLLED)
POLICY & PROCEDURES
POLICY & PROCEDURES
VERSION: FINAL AUGUST 2011
(affecting mid term transfers from August 2011 onwards and Secondary transfers for entry in September 2012)
|Download full Admissions Policy as an Adobe PDF document (396kb) or see below to view individual sections.|
|2. Legal Position & Other Requirements: Summary|
|3. Nurseries (mainstream, Local Authority maintained)|
|4. Admission to Primary Schools|
|5. Secondary School Admissions (not sixth form)|
|6. Sixth Form Admissions|
7. Parental Preferences & Criteria for Prioritising
|8. Out-of-catchment Requests and Admissions|
|9. Exceeding the Admission Number (AN)|
|10. Co-ordinated schemes|
|12. Appendix One – List of designated Feeder / Linked Schools|
|12. Appendix Two – List of School Admission Numbers from community and voluntary controlled schools|
1.1 The following principles should be applied in a manner consistent with Leicestershire's continuing commitment to comprehensive community education and the curriculum statement to the benefit of all pupils/students.
1.2 The Local Authority’s admissions policy should:
i. Offer clarity regarding legal requirements and statutory guidance.
ii. Identify different types of provision and associated requirements.
iii. Seek to encourage partnership and avoid conflict at a local and an authority level.
iv. Maintain parental rights and ease the process of admission for parents and children.
v. Aim for one consistent first-time admissions date to mainstream education.
vi. Ensure that extension of provision is a long-term commitment and not at the expense of other local provision.
vii. Confirm that funding must not be used for groups of pupils outside the designated age-range:
- Infants: 4+ to 6+
- Primary: 4+ to 9+ or 10+
- Junior: 7+ to 10+
- Secondary High: 10+ to 13+, 11+ to 13+
- Secondary Upper: 14+ to 18+
- Secondary (all through) 11-16/11-19
1.3 Children's entitlements are as follows:
- ·entitlement to a place in the catchment area school (dependent on the parent applying at the appropriate time, or on compliance with infant class size regulations);
- ·entitlement to a place in a preferred school if there is room;
- ·entitlement to be considered according to the same priority criteria as other children where the preferred school is oversubscribed.
2.1 The Local Authority is the admissions authority for community and voluntary controlled schools. There is a minimum 8-week consultation period each year between 1 November and 1 March. Parents and local groups with an interest in the local area must be consulted. Consultation need only take place every three years unless arrangements are not the same as in the previous consultation. [The Governors are the admissions authority for a voluntary aided school or a foundation school, and must consult as required and publish their admissions policy.]
2.2 The Local Authority is required to coordinate admissions for all residents in its area. To this purpose it must have an approved scheme for coordination.
2.3 Governing Body responsibilities for community and controlled schools consist of being consulted annually (before publication of admission arrangements) and being able to ask the Local Authority to alter the school's admission number. There is no need for such schools to establish an admissions committee to consider individual admissions decisions, as such decisions are the responsibility of the Local Authority.
2.4 The Local Authority has a duty to provide school places for all pupils resident in its area: Leicestershire achieves this by giving high priority to catchment area children, and by allowing parental preference wherever possible.
2.5 Parents have a right to express a preference for a school place, including where the child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs. Parents must ensure suitable full-time education for their children by attendance at school or otherwise; they are not obliged to do this before the child has reached compulsory school age.
2.6 Compulsory school age begins as follows:
- 1 September for those who become 5 between the preceding 1 April and 31 August;
- 1 January for those who become 5 between the preceding 1 September and 31 December;
- 1 April for those who become 5 between the preceding 1 January and
The School Leaving Date for 16 year-olds is the last Friday in June in the school year in which the child becomes 16.
2.7 Each school has an Admission Number (AN) for any one year group. If this number is to be altered, in some cases statutory notices must be published to allow interested parties to make representations.
2.8 The Local Authority or school cannot argue that a child should not be admitted unless the admission would prejudice the efficient use of resources or efficient education: this normally means that the Admission Number (AN) must have been reached.
2.9 The Local Authority must allocate spare places in schools according to objective and published priority criteria. The Greenwich Judgement means that children from other Authorities must be treated in the same way as Leicestershire children. The Rotherham Judgement disallows priority being given to parents who do not express a preference over those who do.
2.10 Parents whose preferences are refused have a right to appeal to an Independent Appeal Committee whose decision is binding, except for children with statements whose parents can appeal to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal.
2.11 The Local Authority has a statutory power to direct the admission of a pupil to a maintained school (i.e. community, voluntary or foundation). It is not necessary for the Local Authority to use this power for community and voluntary controlled schools, as such schools do not have the power to refuse admissions.
2.12 There are differing premises requirements for children of different ages: these are laid out in the relevant regulations.
2.13 There are no required staffing ratios for junior and secondary age children in education law. Headteacher and teacher associations may issue guidelines on staffing levels. For young four-year-olds, e.g. in 4+ units and nurseries, the Local Authority requires a ratio of 1:15. Legislation and regulation on infant class sizes requires an upper limit of 30 children per teacher for infant classes, with specified exceptions.
2.14 DCSF guidance on admissions and appeals is contained in two Codes of Practice.
3.1 There is only one maintained mainstream nursery in Leicestershire. Admissions to the designated nursery (this does not include 4+ units) are managed by the school and are the responsibility of the Governing Body.
3.2 Children must not be admitted until after their third birthday.
3.3 Admission to the nursery must be based on objective criteria drawn up by the Governing Body, published in the prospectus and made known to the Admissions Section, giving details of age for admission, places available, times, provision and activity. For example the criteria could include the following, in some form of priority order:
- children whose parents reside in the catchment area of the school;
- children who have siblings in the school or the group;
- children whose parents can demonstrate that the child has particular needs which make their request for admission exceptional;
- some form of tiebreaker (such as distance between home and school) or waiting list if there are too many requests.
3.4 Policy statements and correspondence to parents must make it clear that attendance at the nursery does not give a subsequent entitlement to a school place. Before children are admitted to main school, parents must write to the Admissions Section requesting a place: there is a standard form for this.
3.5 If a parent complains about refusal of a place for their child in the nursery, the Governing Body must have a mechanism for responding to the complaint.
4.1 This section refers to first-time admissions in primary/infant schools, including the following;
- 4+ entry;
- mainstream classes across the primary age range;
- junior schools;
4.2 The Local Authority that you live in will confirm places to pupils in the above settings, whether the child lives in the catchment area or otherwise and regardless of whether the child has attended a nursery or pre-school group at the school. For any admission or transfer, parents must complete and return the Local Authority’s Common application form that they live in. No child should be admitted without Local Authority’s authorisation.
4.3 The school must compile, in advance of admission to the main school, information regarding children (in and out of catchment) whose parents have asked the school for a place in the forthcoming autumn term. This information, including lists of names, dates of birth and addresses, must be forwarded to the Admissions Section on request, which generally will be either termly or annually. Any adjustments or additional requests must be notified to the Admissions Section.
The above process will involve dialogue and co-operation between schools and Admissions Section throughout the school year.
4.4 At the same time as the above, schools must give parents application forms and ask parents to send these to the Admissions Section promptly. These requests will be considered according to:
- the designated age-range of the school
- spaces available
- approved priority criteria.
The Admissions Section will issue letters offering places (in and out of catchment) accordingly for those pupils who live in Leicestershire. For those pupils who do not live Leicestershire, the Admissions Section will inform the relevant Local Authority who will in turn inform the parents of Leicestershire’s decesion. Places will normally be allocated up to the Admission Number (AN). The relationship between admission limits and infant class sizes requires careful attention: despite the requirement to limit class sizes, the Local Authority will not be able to refuse a child’s admission if the standard number or any higher admission number has not been reached.
4.5 It is recognised that some parents are unaware of the need to approach schools once their child has turned three years old for first-time admission. Schools should continue to do all they can through local contacts and publicity to alert parents to the need to express their wish for a place in advance of expected admission.
4.6 In this way, all children will have had admission to a community or voluntary controlled school approved by the Local Authority, allowing an opportunity to make clear to parents their further rights (e.g. transport).
4.7 Date of admission for all infant and primary schools is at 4+:
Children whose fifth birthday falls between 1 September and the following 31 August (inclusive) are to be admitted at the beginning of the Autumn Term ie one intake for the whole year.
Children should not be attending before these times but for exceptional pre-admission visits. If pre-admission visits take place before the Admissions Section has confirmed places, parents of out-catchment children must be informed that this does not guarantee admission to the school. Pre-admission visits should only take place in the term before the child is admitted to school and should not exceed more than two half days per week. Such sessions are not funded.
4.8 Some schools have had admission arrangements at variance with the above paragraphs approved by the Local Authority. Such arrangements are subject to the correspondence between the Local Authority and the individual schools concerned. The arrangements in some cases include part-time admission initially.
4.9 Parents are obliged to ensure full-time education for their children at compulsory school age, from 5+. If a school is unable to admit children from 4+, the Admissions Section must be informed.
4.10 Pupils admitted following appeal will have their admission confirmed by the Admissions Section (the Local Authority having been directed, in effect, to admit the pupil in these circumstances).
4.11 Infant Class Size Limits:
In compliance with the relevant regulations, an infant child (ie, up to and including Year 2) who moves into a school’s area once initial allocation decisions have been made will not necessarily be offered a place in the school if the relevant class will already contain 30 children. Enquiries will be made of other schools within a “reasonable distance” (see below) as to whether they could offer a child a place. If not, the child will be an excepted pupil in the catchment school for the school year in question, allowing the class to exceed 30 for that school year.
For the purposes of admissions to infant classes after initial offer decisions have been made, the Local Authority’s definition of a “reasonable distance” is one mile or less from the home to the school in question (all distances to be measured by the shortest available route). A route is available if it is a route along which a child, accompanied as necessary, can walk with reasonable safety to school. If there are no places at an alternative school within one mile, with a walking route which is available for children of infant age, then the catchment school will provide a place.
This section does not apply to late in-catchment applicants, who may not be offered catchment places if the infant class is at 30, regardless of distance to the next nearest available school. (The school’s AN would also need to be taken into account in these circumstances.)
4.12 Twins/Triplets, etc:
In the unusual event of there being one space available within the infant class size limit and children of multiple births having next priority, the regulations do not allow exceptions to the class size limit in these circumstances. If all the multiple birth children in a family cannot be accommodated, the remaining place(s) will be offered to the parent for the parent to identify which child(ren) should have the place(s), and the local authority will identify an alternative school where all the parent’s children could be offered places.
4.13 Deferring first-time admission:
When a child’s parents are notified of the allocation of a primary school place, they can request deferment of the child’s admission. The Local Authority will agree to deferment to later in the school year or until the child reaches compulsory school age in that year. Parents can also request that their child attends part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age. The parent would not however be able to defer entry beyond the beginning of the term after the child’s fifth birthday, nor beyond the academic year for which the original application was accepted. The place at the school will be held open for the child and not made available to another child. The Local Authority may withdraw the offer of the place if it is not taken up after deferment and offer the place to another child according to Local Authority priority criteria. Such withdrawals of offers will only be made when the Admission Number (AN) for the school has been reached and there are additional children seeking places. Where an offer of a place is withdrawn in this way, the child will not be entitled to free transport to a more distant school. Where schools admit part-time initially, deferment could mean the child starting school full-time subsequently, having missed a part-time term.
5.1 Only the Local Authority can confirm secondary school places to pupils, whether the child lives in the catchment area or otherwise. For any admission or transfer the parent must complete the Local Authority’s Common application form and send this to the Shool Admissions Section. The Admissions Section will need to check for factors such as exclusions or Statements of Special Educational Needs, and will endeavour to process applications promptly. No child should be admitted without the Admissions Section authorisation.
5.2 Schools receive lists of pupils expected to transfer in advance of admission. These lists are updated regularly in the Spring/Summer before admission.
5.3 All requests, in-catchment and out-catchment, must be referred to the Admissions Section.
5.4 All mid-term transfers requests (in-catchment included) must be co-ordinated through the Admissions Section for approval before admission takes place.
5.5 Places will normally be allocated up to the Admission Number (AN), but for exceptions see the section on exceeding the AN.
5.6 Pupils admitted following appeal will have their admission confirmed by the Admissions Section (the Local Authority having been directed, in effect, to admit the pupil in these circumstances).
6.1 Children above compulsory school age have a right to apply and appeal for any school place independently of their parents.
6.2 Schools have delegated control of their own sixth form admissions. However, this is within the broader context of the local authority’s policy and role as the admissions authority.
Schools must make clear their arrangements for sixth form admissions. An admission number for 6th form must be set if external candidates are to be considered. The admission number must relate only to those being admitted to the school for the first time. It should be based on an estimate of the minimum number of external candidates likely to be admitted, although it would be acceptable to exceed this if demand for available courses can be met.
6.3 The school must make clear and publish any minimum entry qualifications, which can include a level of attainment in GCSE and must be the same for internal and external applicants and any over-subscription criteria. Entry requirements may vary from course to course. Entry requirements and over-subscription criteria must be notified to the local authority.
6.4 Children already in the school need not apply formally for places in the 6th form. Any applicant refused a place has the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel. The local authority will not be able to present cases in appeal if the conditions of the School Admissions Code, the local authority’s policy and the school’s entry requirements or over-subscription criteria have not been applied properly. Where the local authority cannot present a case in appeal it will normally instruct the school to admit the child.
7.1 Application forms for school places allow parents to express one or more preferences for school places. Parents should rank their preferences, so that if more than one preference can be agreed the one which the parent wants most is offered. However, the Local Authority considers all preferences to have equal value, eg one parent’s first preference and another parent’s second or third preference are to be considered equally against the admissions criteria. Requests for community and voluntary controlled schools are prioritised according to the admissions criteria below. (Requests for voluntary aided and foundation schools are considered against the individual school’s admissions criteria and this is done by the schools themselves.) Late applications receive the lowest priority, ie they are only considered after all other applications which were received on time, unless there is a significant reason for lateness (see separate section on late requests).
7.2 Priority criteria for entry Autumn 2011 admissions and mid-term applications during 2010 / 2011 academic year
If there are too many requests, priority will be given to children in the appropriate age-range, whose parents applied on time, in the following order:-
- Children who are in public care.(see note (ii) below)
- Pupils who live in the catchment area. (See note (iii) below.)
- Pupils who will have an older brother or sister attending the same school at the same time. (See notes (iv) and (v) below.)
- Pupils who have a serious medical condition or exceptional social or domestic needs that make it essential they attend the school requested. (Professional documentation confirming the situation must be submitted with the application.) (See note (v) below.)
- Pupils who will have attended a feeder school for at least two years before the time of transfer. (See note (vii) below.)
- Pupils starting at an Infant school with a sibling attending at the same time in the linked Junior school (see note (iv) below).
Pupils transferring to High school who will have an older brother or sister attending the linked Upper school at the same time (see note (iv) below).
- Pupils basing their application on religious belief (see note (viii) below)
- Pupils living nearest to the school measured in a straight line distance (home to school front gate) (See note (ix) below)
i.Combinations of the above criteria are used in priority order. Where the computerised system throws up an equality of distance for more than one child (who do not have the same home address) the final tie breaker will be by drawing lots.
ii.Children who are in the care of local authorities as defined by section 22 of the Children Act 1989. In relation to school admissions legislation a ‘looked after child’ is only considered as such if the local authority confirms the child will be in public care when the child is admitted to a school.
iii.The child’s place of residence is taken to be the parental home. In addition where a catchment area has more than one school:
- No one school will be overfilled while another school with the same catchment has places; and,
- If more applications than the number of places are received from within the catchment the oversubscription criteria will be applied for each school in accordance with admissions procedure.
iv. The term “brother or sister” includes half brother or sister or legally adopted child being regarded as the brother or sister.
v. Regarding brothers or sisters who will be of sixth form age, these are counted as brother/sister connections for criteria 3 or 6 above.
vi. If criterion 4 is used, professional supporting documentation from the Lead Professional must be supplied and must be submitted with the application. The following list are the areas that are considered exceptional:-
- Crown Servants
- Children subject to Child Protection Plans
- Hard to Place children – who fall under the Fair Access Protocol
- Parents suffering domestic violence (This is dependent on documentary evidence by a lead professional)
- A child for whom transfer to the catchment area school would involve attending a different school until he/she is the right age for transfer. (This is dependent on the child having attended the present school for at least a year.)
Each case will be assessed on its individual merits.
vii. For criterion 5 above, the child must have been enrolled at the feeder school on or before the start date of the Autumn Term two years before transfer.
viii.For criterion 7 above, a letter of support from your Minister or Religious Leader will be required explaining how the school caters for your faith.
For schools listed below a Minister’s letter is required to support the parent’s application that verifies children from church going families, for example, who have attended a Christian place of worship at least once a month for a year prior to application;
This criterion only applies to the following CE VC schools:
|Bottesford||Swithland St Leonard’s||Great Bowden|
|Coalville All Saints||Tugby||Husbands Bosworth|
|Cossington||Long Whatton||Ibstock St Denys|
|Hinckley St Mary’s||Croxton Kerrial||Melton St Marys|
|Market Harborough||Blaby Stokes||Mowsley|
|Quorn St Bartholomew’s||Broughton Astley Orchard||Swannington|
|Redmile||Castle Donington St Edward’s|
ix. For Criterion 8 above, measurement of distance is in a straight line from the point that the home property’s front entrance meets a public highway to the school’s main designated front gate, using a computerised mapping system.
8.1 Parents should be encouraged to visit both the catchment and the preferred school, in order to make informed judgements.
8.2 When a parent approaches a school for an out-of-catchment place, the Headteacher (and other staff):
- suggests that the parents visit the catchment school;
- informs them that if they still wish to apply to the preferred school, they must request this in writing to the Admissions Section; forms are available for this purpose.
[NB: First-time admissions: An out-of-catchment pupil will not be admitted earlier than he/she would be admitted to the catchment area school (this does not apply to those with siblings already in the school at the time of admission, or to children from outside the Local Authority).]
Allocations Section on receiving a request outside the normal transfer cycle:
- contacts both allocated and preferred schools;
- suggests to parents that they visit both schools;
- allocates a place at a later stage if there is space available within AN for the relevant year group in the preferred school (by standard letter).
During the main period when parents are considering transfer requests, the Admissions Section will endeavour to keep schools aware of possible numbers. It is helpful if schools can maintain contact with the Admissions Section at this time.
9.1 At the time of main admission/transfer decisions, if there are more requests for in-catchment children than the admission number (AN), the AN may be exceeded to accommodate the catchment area children.
9.2 In normal circumstances, the AN will not be exceeded in any one year group by the admission of out-of-catchment pupils. If there are more out-of-catchment requests than places available within AN, places will be allocated up to AN according to the priority criteria, with any outstanding requests normally refused.
9.3 Parents whose requests are refused have a right to appeal to an Independent Appeal Committee whose decisions can override local policy. (NB: In the case of parents whose children have Statements of Special Educational Needs, the appeal is to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal.)
9.4 It may be that in exceptional circumstances a school requests admitting out-of-catchment pupils above AN or the Local Authority asks a school to exceed its AN. These situations should be viewed as exceptional and not as precedents for subsequent years or for other schools.
Exceptional circumstances might be:
(a)the admission of children who would have siblings in the school;
(b)if admission assists the Local Authority in fulfilling its responsibilities for the overall provision of places, within the context of efficient use of resources;
(c)Children in public care;
(d)“Hard to Place” children whose cases fall within the Fair Access protocol.
9.5 If an exceptional request to exceed AN is made, either to the Local Authority or to a school, any decision to approve this must be made in conjunction with interested parties.
(a) Parents' requests must still be referred to the Admissions Section.
(b)A request from a school to exceed AN must be made to the Admissions Section; a request from the Admissions Section to a school to exceed AN must be made to the Headteacher.
(c)The Admissions Section makes the final decision, taking account of the views of interested parties and the Local Authority's position.
9.6 At transfer phases schools may apply to exceed the Admission Number on a ‘one off occasion’, by 26 pupils through application to LA, i.e. at First Time Admissions and at all other transfer stages only. Applications must be received by schools by specified dates as outlined in the guidance notes (available from Admissions Section). Part of the assessment process will be for the LA to be satisfied that neighbouring schools will not negatively be impacted. The LA decision outcomes may be:
- To accept the application
- To refuse the application (i.e. the impact to a neighbouring school is too great)
- To partially accept the increase (i.e. to agree a smaller number)
There will be no appeal process to challenge the LA’s decision by a school or the governing body. Schools will be informed of the LA decision well in advance of the national offer date(s) to allow for planning and organising. If a school exceeds its AN by 26 children in any three year period the LA must then determine a higher AN at the next available opportunity.
10.1 In accordance with the School Admissions Codes, Leicestershire must operate three co-ordinated processes for the purpose of;
- Starting school for the first time
- Transfering to secondary school
- Mid-term (In-Year) Transfers
10.2 For Leicestershire residents the School Admissions service will act as the parent’s agent when applying for a school place regardless of whether the school is in Leicestershire, in another Local Authority or is its own admitting authority i.e. VA, Foundation or Trust schools.
For a detailed breakdown of each process, please refer to relevant Co-Ordinate Scheme.
Catchment area definition and how to find out the catchment area school for your home address
11.1 Leicestershire divides the county into school catchment areas. The child’s full HOME ADDRESS determines the school where you would be given PRIORITY admission, for all community and voluntary controlled schools.
If you are unclear about in which catchment area your home address falls please contact the LA’s ‘Performance Team on – 0116 315 6636’, who will be able to inform you in which school catchment your address falls. In addition you will also find in the primary and secondary ‘Your Guides to Education’ booklets district maps that outline in general the schools located within the district you live.
Areas of Dual / Mutiple Catchment Entitlement
11.2 In areas where there is dual or multiple catchment entitlement, children who move into area after admissions have been decided will be refused a place in one of the schools if the relevant year group is full. (If all schools are full in the relevant year group, a place will be offered in the school which has numbers closer to the admission limit.)
Parental Proof of Residence
11.3 When, after reasonable enquiry, a school is unclear about a family address, the matter must be referred to the Admissions Section.
11.4 The Admissions Section will need to seek evidence of residence from parents where the matter is unclear.
11.5 All schools are requested to be vigilant regarding addresses given by parents before transfer to the next phase of education, particularly if there is a late or unexpected change of address close to transfer. Any queries should be referred to the Admissions Section.
11.6 The local authority will maintain a waiting list for every oversubscribed school for at least one term in the academic year of admission, from September. (This waiting list is ranked in the same order as the published oversubscription criteria and not by date of application.)
11.7 Combinations of the above criteria are used in priority order. Where the computerised system throws up an equality of distance for more than one child (who does not have the same home address) the final tie breaker will be by drawing lots.
11.8 Early transfers or admissions or children staying on outside the normal age-range are exceptional and must be approved by the Admissions Section.
11.9 The parent must request the exceptional arrangement in writing to the Admissions Section.
11.10 Schools affected should submit a view regarding the suitability of the arrangement. Expected numbers in the year group and the AN will be taken into account.
11.11 Professional advice (e.g. from an Educational Psychologist) on the suitability of the arrangement may be sought in some cases, but this would not override any admissions decision. If the child has a Statement of Special Educational Need, the view of the Special Educational Needs Assessment Service (SENA) must be sought.
11.12 Children transferring younger than the normal age for transfer are subject to the same priority criteria as children in the normal transfer age-group, as long as:
- the relevant schools agree that early transfer is appropriate;
- the Local Authority considers early transfer appropriate;
- the child has been taught in classes with the academic year group which is one year older for at least three years. (NB: this would normally exclude vertical grouping arrangements in primary schools.)
Children Who Move Out of the Catchment Area
11.13 A child who has started attending and whose place of residence changes to an out-of-catchment address is entitled to retain his/her place in the school and should not be asked to leave or have their name deleted from the register.
11.14 Such an entitlement does not hold if the child changes phase of education in which case entitlement to a place is according to the new address.
11.15 If there are queries about transport in these situations, refer to the Admissions Section.
11.16 The Local Authority does not allow the refusal of admission because the pupil may disrupt the education of other pupils, but will consider exceptions according to the School Admissions Code. The School Admissions Code allows the refusal of places for children with “challenging behaviour”.
A school may refuse to admit a child even if there are spaces as follows: a secondary school with less than 21% of pupils achieving 5 or more A*-C GCSE including English and Maths; or a primary school with less than 55% of pupils achieving Level 4 at KS2 in English and Maths for four or more consecutive years.
11.17 The Local Authority is not able to refuse admission where such a pupil lives in the catchment area and the parent has applied properly, or where there is a place available within the AN. The Local Authority expects pupils excluded from a previous school to be admitted automatically to the catchment area school at normal age of transfer to the next phase of education (dependent on the parent making proper application), unless the parent prefers another school in which case a place will be allocated if there is room.
11.18 There is no obligation to comply with a parental preference for a child who has been permanently excluded from two or more schools, for a period of two years following the latest exclusion. Parents of such children lose their right of appeal regarding admission. Schools for which the Local Authority is the admissions authority will have the right of appeal against a direction to admit such a child; other schools may refer to the Secretary of State regarding directions to admit children.
It is possible that a child may receive a second permanent exclusion just before he or she is due to transfer school (eg from high or upper school). In these circumstances the Local Authority will expect the receiving school to admit the child, if the child’s second permanent exclusion is issued after a transfer allocation has been notified to the parent, but before the actual transfer to the new school.
11.19 A permanently excluded pupil must not be removed from the school register until any exclusion appeal is complete or until the time limit for notification of appeal has passed.
11.21 The Local Authority does not allow the refusal of admission because it is believed that the school cannot cater for the child's special educational needs.
11.21 Pupils with special educational needs but no Statement are dealt with through normal admissions policy, and schools cannot refuse to admit a pupil because he/she does not have a Statement or is being assessed for a Statement.
11.22 All governing bodies are required by section 324 of the Education Act 1996 to admit to a school a child with a statement of special educational needs that names the school. This is not an oversubscription criterion and schools must admit Statemented children whether they have places or not.
Children from Overseas
11.23 The wording of the School Admissions Code applies.
11.24 Administrative Memorandum No. 64 covers health assessments for children newly arrived from overseas.
Late Requests and Appeals
11.25 Late requests for school places, eg those received after a deadline, will be considered on their merits, but generally will have the lowest priority of all requests, even when the parents are requesting the catchment area school. This means that it is probable that a late request will not be allowed if the school is oversubscribed and there is no clear and significant reason (suported with documentary evidence) that it was beyond the parent’s control for not applying at the appropriate time eg parent ill for some time or family returning from abroad.
Arrivals in Catchment and Late Applications
11.26 Catchment requests for pupils who move into a school’s area will be regarded as late if they are not received within 90 days of the family’s house move.
11.27 Late appeals will be disallowed unless the appellant can provide clear and convincing reasons why the preference was not expressed at the normal time or why the notice of appeal was not submitted by the normal deadlines.
11.28 In the normal admissions round (i.e. when offers are made for first-time admissions normally in May, or when offers for other transfers are made on national offer date of 1 March), it will be assumed by the Admissions Section that the offer is accepted unless it is refused. In relation to withdrawing an offer, the Admissions Section will afford the parent a reasonable time (the regulations state 2 weeks) plus additional 7 days for a reminder, to accept the offered place. If no acceptance is received the offered place may be withdrawn. In addition the Local Authority reserves the right to withdraw a school place, or an offer of a place where the place has been obtained by false or misleading information, for example an incorrect address or date of birth. Schools should be vigilant about such matters. It may be appropriate for primary schools especially to ask for a sight of the child’s birth certificate before admission.
11.29 Offers of places are also withdrawn if they were based on an address and the parent’s address changes before the child is admitted. For example, if a child was offered a catchment area place and the family moves out-of-catchment before admission takes place, the offer of the place is withdrawn and the new catchment school is offered. This is regardless of numbers in the schools and whether or not other requests have been refused.
11.30 The School Standards & Framework Act does not allow signing a home-school agreement to be a condition for admission.
Deleting a Child's Name from the Register
11.31 The Education Pupil Registration Regulations describe the circumstances in which a child's name can be deleted from a school's register. In normal circumstances it is not reasonable to delete a child's name from the school's register until it is confirmed that he/she is receiving education elsewhere. In unclear cases please seek advice from the Behaviour and Attendance Service (formerly known as the Education Welfare Service).
- (a)Residence in the catchment area is necessary to give entitlement to a place on request.
(b)Where a school is over-subscribed, the Admissions Section should seek to clarify parents’ claims of change of address.
(c)Generally, only one address is recognised for each family, and only one family for each address.
(d)Places, or offers of places, may be withdrawn if they were based on incorrect information from the parents or their representatives.
(e)Each case is considered on its facts.
11.33 When a family moves, the Local Authority will offer a place in their new catchment area school on request (dependent on proof of residence – see verification of address below) regardless of numbers in the school and whether or not other requests have been refused.
11.34 What is generally not accepted when allocating places in over-subscribed schools:
- (a) Purchase of a second property by a family, while the first property is retained.
(b) Rented accommodation, while a previous property is retained.
(c) Offers on intended purchases or sales of properties.
(d) Informal accommodation arrangements with friends or relatives.
11.35 Exceptional circumstances:
The Admissions Section will always give serious consideration to any exceptional situations, such as where a family has been forced by circumstance to move into temporary accommodation, having lost their previous residence, or where there is a long-term separation between the parents and the child spends time in the week at two separate parents’ addresses.
11.36 Verification of address:
- (a)Parents’ written confirmation and declarations will be sought regarding important information. Parents will be asked to verify in writing that they are residing at the address claimed and intend to remain in the catchment area. Places will be withdrawn if such declarations are subsequently found to be incorrect or not honoured and the school is oversubscribed.
(b)Documentary evidence such as Council Tax payment and electoral roll information will be sought.
(c)Claims of new residence in a school’s catchment area will be judged on circumstances and the documents provided; completion of both sale and purchase, where relevant, are normally necessary before a place is allocated.
(d)Officers may be authorised to visit addresses to clarify whether families are living at the addresses claimed. Such visits will be undertaken in a reasonable fashion, by officers carrying appropriate identification.
11.37 The Admissions Section considers fresh information in support of a parental preference for a school place, even if it is received at a late stage in the admissions process. In normal circumstance there will be no difficulty in meeting the parent’s preference if all the school places have not been allocated.
11.38 Where the school’s places have all been allocated, the Admissions Section will be unable to offer a place, but may give higher priority to the parent’s request if a place subsequently becomes available, according to the family’s circumstances, in accordance with the priority criteria.
11.39 Where a parent’s appeal has been unsuccessful, the school is still full and fresh information is provided by the parent, the Admissions Section will reach a conclusion on whether or not there has been a significant change in the family’s circumstances. If the Admissions Section is satisfied that there has been a significant change, they will make a further decision which will give rise to a further right of appeal. This will normally preclude the situation where children have had to seek medical attention for distress or anxiety as a result of unsuccessful appeals.
11.41 Verification, e.g. from professional persons or bodies, may be sought from the parent to confirm a change of circumstances.
“Relevant Areas” for Consultation Purposes
11.41 Admission authorities consult within “relevant areas” on admissions arrangements. In Leicestershire, “relevant areas” are as follows:
- (a)For community and voluntary controlled schools in Leicestershire the geographical boundary of Leicestershire is the “relevant area”.
(b)For each voluntary aided and foundation school in Leicestershire the “relevant area” is 8 kilometres (secondary) or 3.2 kilometres (primary).
11.42 If a school’s AN is increased, this should be applied immediately to every year
group in the school, unless this would have a detrimental effect on teaching and
learning, e.g. limits to the number and size of rooms available or large numbers in classes.
If a school’s AN is decreased, this should be applied only to the entry year group, unless numbers in other year groups need to be restricted, for instance to comply with the infant class size limit or if there is overcrowding in other year groups.
Admissions to schools for pupils resident in boarding houses attached to Leicestershire mainstream schools
11.43 Children to be admitted to boarding houses attached to Leicestershire mainstream schools are regarded as catchment area children for the schools whose catchment areas contain the boarding house, but admission to local schools is not guaranteed, as described below. This affects not just the school to which the boarding house is attached, as the age-range of the children will cover more than one school phase. For all requests for maintained school places the parent must submit an application to the Admissions Section in the normal fashion. For particular local circumstances a more detailed description of the process will be made available if appropriate, for the school to give to prospective parents.
- At point of transfer
Children already in a boarding house (and attending a [Leicestershire] maintained school) are regarded as catchment area children for the school in the next phase of education, and therefore have relatively high priority for admission.
For children with intended admission to the boarding house before the start of the Autumn Term, parents need to apply before the usual deadline in the preceding October. Applications received after this deadline are regarded as late applications in accordance with the scheme for coordinated admissions.
- Mid-term (casual) admissions
Children should not be admitted to boarding houses before the position regarding school admission is clear. If the school is full in the year group in question and unable to admit the child, then either admission to the boarding house must be refused or, if the child is to be admitted to the boarding house, it must be made clear to the parents by boarding house staff that an alternative school must be sought.
11.44 Process for when a school is closed, or when there is a significant change in a school’s age-range (e.g. change of a whole curriculum year-group or more)
- There will be a managed process for pupil transfers and where possible this will be part of a normal transfer cycle.
- Parents with children at a school, which is due to close, will be given application forms to submit within a stated timescale.
- The local authority will apply its normal criteria to prioritise requests for oversubscribed schools.
- The local authority will coordinate applications for all types of schools, forwarding requests for foundation, voluntary aided and schools in other authorities to those bodies for admission decisions.
11.45 Children with split residence
Where a child lives for part of the week with one parent and for part of the week with the other parent, the address recognised by the local authority is the one where the child lives for the majority of the school week. Where it is claimed that the weekly residence arrangement varies, both addresses will be valid, and in some cases the child will have two catchment area schools. These definitions depend on the written declaration of both parents, and if the claimed residence arrangement is a found to be false, the child’s place at the allocated school maybe withdrawn even if the child has started attending.
11.46 Children of UK Services personnel and other Crown servants
- Such children must be allocated a place in advance, dependent on an official government letter declaring a relocation date and intended address, if the applicant would meet the criteria on relocation.
- A Unit postal address must be accepted, or if appropriate a “quartering area” address in the absence of a new home postal address.
12.1 List of designated Feeder / Linked Schools (PDF, 21Kb)
Page Last Updated: 13 May 2013