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Admissions Policy

 

Nursery

The Nursery offers free part-time places for children the term after they have reached their 3rd birthday. We offer 15 hours per week; these can be taken as 5 morning or 5 afternoon sessions. Please put names on the waiting list for Nursery when your child is two.

We now offer extra sessions parents can pay for.  Each session costs £10, so a full week would be £50.  Please ask at the Office if you require further information.

School will be offering the free 30 hours.  Please contact school if you think you are eligible for this.

 

Reception

Blackburn with Darwen Local Authority manages primary admissions, application forms are available in school (or you can ask for the Council to send one out to you) and returned to school by the due date.  Formal offers of places are sent out in accordance with the LA’s policy and agreed timetable, usually in March.  We have places for 30 children in Reception.

 

Admission Criteria

Admission Arrangements for Primary Community/Voluntary Controlled Schools for 2017/18 Academic Year

 

Making an application

Applications for admission for September 2017 should be made on the common application form enclosed with the Local Authority’s brochure between 7th September 2016 and 15th January 2017. It is not normally possible to change the order of your preferences for schools after the closing date.

Parents must complete the Local Authority application form, stating three preferences.

Applications may also be made on-line at www.blackburn.gov.uk/admissions by using the common application form.

Letters informing parents of whether or not their child has been allocated a place will be sent out by the Local Authority by 16 April 2017. Parents of children not admitted will be informed of the reason and offered an alternative place by the Authority.

All preferences expressed will be considered equally. If the number of children requiring admission does not exceed the school’s published admission number, all the children will be offered admission. If the number of children requiring admission exceeds the published admission number, then the admissions authority (Local Authority) will consider all preferences equally against the oversubscription criteria shown below.

 

Admission Criteria for Oversubscribed Schools

Children with either an education, health and care plan, a statement for special educational needs or an individual pupil resource agreement (IPRA) for whom the preferred school is named in the plan/statement will be admitted first. The remaining applicants who have named this school as a 1st 2nd or 3rd preference will then be considered equally against the Council’s admission policy, in the priority order given below:

(a) ‘Looked after’ children and children who were previously ‘looked after’ but immediately after being looked after were adopted or became subject to a residence/child arrangement order, or special guardianship order. ‘Looked after’ means that the child was (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.

(b) Children with an older sibling (sibling means a brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, not cousins, or the child of the parent/carer’s partner, and in every case, the child must be living in the same family unit at the same address) who will still be attending the preferred school when the younger child is admitted;

(c) Children with proven and exceptional medical, social or welfare needs which are directly relevant to the school concerned. If you wish to be considered under this category there is certain evidence you must provide. Please see the note below which provides full details regarding the application of this criterion.

(d) Children who live nearest the school (geographical proximity). Under this category, the remaining places will be offered to children who live nearest to the preferred school. The distance will be measured in a straight line between the home front door and the main gate of the school using a computer.

 

Tie-breaker

If category (b), (c) or (d) is oversubscribed, geographical proximity (as set out in category (d)) will be used as the ‘tie-breaker’ to decide between the remaining cases. If after measuring distances it is still not possible to decide on the child/ren to be offered admission (for example two children living in the same block of flats or in the same house) the Local Authority will then use random allocation to decide which of the children can be offered a place.

 

Notes:

1. This includes any "looked after child", and any child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order. . ‘Looked after’ means that the child was (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.

2. Siblings include step, half, foster, adopted brothers and sisters living at the same address and full brother and sister living apart. Siblings also include the children of the parent/carer’s partner.

 

NOTE – Criterion (c) Medical, social, welfare reasons

If you feel that there are exceptional medical/social/welfare needs relating to your child which support the need for your child to attend a particular school, and wish your application to be considered under criterion (c) you must state this on your application form AND provide appropriate written supporting evidence for your application from a doctor, social worker or other professional. This evidence must explain why the preferred school is the most suitable and what difficulties would be caused if the child had to attend another school. This evidence should accompany the application form. If necessary, parents can submit the application form and send the supporting evidence at a later date but the supporting evidence MUST be received by the Local Authority on or before the closing date for applications. It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the Local Authority receives the supporting evidence. If you do not provide the supporting evidence on or before the closing date, then it will not be possible to consider your application under the medical/social/welfare criterion, Please bear in mind the following points in relation to this criterion –

1. only exceptional reasons associated with the child and directly relevant to the suitability of that specific school (i.e. showing why the child needs to be admitted to that particular school) are normally accepted under this criterion.

2. all schools can make provision for special educational needs and can also manage common conditions – e.g. asthma, diabetes, epilepsy.

After the closing date, during the early stages of the allocations process, all applications which have requested consideration on the grounds of medical/social/welfare need are considered separately by a panel from the Admission Authority. This involves considering all statements and evidence provided by parents to support the application. The panel may, at their own discretion, contact parents/carers and third parties (with parental consent) to request further information where this is needed to reach a decision. The Panel’s focus in assessing each claim for consideration under this criterion will be to assess whether the evidence provided (a) actually confirms that this child has an exceptional medical/social/welfare need AND (b) demonstrates a clear and exceptional need for this child to attend that specific school for reasons arising from the exceptional medical/social/welfare need. Where the reasons claimed are not considered exceptional or do not disclose an exceptional need for the child to attend that specific school, then the application will be dealt with under the other admission criteria for the school(s) requested.

 

Priority for Twins/Multiple births

If an application has been made for places for twins/ triplets/2 or more siblings in the same year group and insufficient places are left within the published admission number (i.e. one of the siblings is the last child who can be admitted within that number) it may be possible for the Admission Authority to offer places to the other sibling(s) in the birth group.

 

Address of pupil

The address used on the school’s admission form must be the current one at the time of application, i.e. the family’s main residence. If the address changes subsequently, the parents should notify the school. Where the parents live at different addresses, and there is shared parenting, the address used will normally be the one where the child wakes up for the majority of Monday to Friday mornings. If there is any doubt about this, then the address of the Child Benefit recipient will be used. Parents may be asked to show evidence of the claim that is being made for the address, e.g. identity cards of various sorts showing the child’s address as the one claimed. Where there is dispute about the correct address to use, the governors reserve the right to make enquiries of any relevant third parties, e.g. the child’s GP, Council Tax Office, Electoral Registration Officer, utilities provider. For children of UK Service personnel and other Crown Servants returning to the area proof of the posting is all that is required.

 

Non-routine admissions

It sometimes happens that a child needs to change school other than at the “normal” time; such admissions are known as non-routine or in-year admissions. Parents need to submit an “In Year Application Form” to the Admissions Team. If there is a place in the appropriate school, your child will be admitted. If there is no place, the place will be refused application but information will be provided about how to appeal against this refusal. If your family is moving house, your application and appeal will be considered as being made from your old address until you provide suitable evidence of a permanent change of address, e.g. exchange of contracts on your house purchase or the signed tenancy agreement and rent book for your new address. 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.

 

Appeals

Where the Local Authority are unable to offer a place because the school is over subscribed, 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 complete and return the appeal form to the Local Authority by 17 May, 2017. Parents will have the opportunity to submit their case to the panel in writing and also to attend in order to present their case. Parents normally receive 14 days’ notice of the place and time of the hearing. Appeals which are received after the deadline will be slotted into the schedule where this is possible. There is no guarantee that this will happen and late appeals may be heard after the stipulated date at a second round of hearings. The schedule is subject to change depending upon the availability of appeal panel members, clerks, venues and the number of appeals for each school (which will vary year on year). Please note that this right of appeal against the Local Authority’s decision does not prevent you from making an appeal in respect of any other school.

 

Fraudulent applications

Where the Local Authority 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 may withdraw the offer of the place. The application will be considered afresh and a right of appeal offered if a place is refused.

 

Late applications for admission

Where there are extenuating circumstances for an application being received after the last date for applications, and it is before the Local Authority have established their list of pupils to be admitted, then it will be considered alongside all the others.

Otherwise, 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 admission criteria.

 

Waiting list

Where we have more applications than places, the admissions 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 admissions 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 the extent to which they meet the criteria. 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. Please note that looked after children, previously looked after children and those allocated a place at the school in accordance with the Fair access protocol must take precedence over those on the waiting list.

This waiting list will operate until 31st December 2016.

 

Address of pupil

The address used on the school’s admission form must be the current one at the time of application, ie the family’s main residence. If the address changes subsequently, the parents should notify the Local Authority. Where the parents live at different addresses, and there is shared parenting, the address used will normally be the one where the child wakes up for the majority of Monday to Friday mornings. If there is any doubt about this, then the address of the Child Benefit recipient will be used. Parents may be asked to show evidence of the claim that is being made for the address, e.g. identity cards of various sorts showing the child’s address as the one claimed. Where there is dispute about the correct address to use, the governors reserve the right to make enquiries of any relevant third parties, e.g. the child’s GP, Council Tax Office, Electoral Registration Officer, utilities provider. For children of UK Service personnel and other Crown Servants returning to the area proof of the posting is all that is required.

 

Non-routine admissions

It sometimes happens that a child needs to change school other than at the “normal” time; such admissions are known as non-routine or in-year admissions. Parents wishing their child to attend this school should arrange to visit the school to discuss this and then submit an “In Year Application Form” to the Admissions Team. If there is a place in the appropriate class, then your child will be admitted. If there is no place, then the governing body will have to refuse the application but information will be provided about how to appeal against this refusal.

If your family is moving house, your application and appeal will be considered as being made from your old address until you provide suitable evidence of a permanent change of address, e.g. exchange of contracts on your house purchase or the signed tenancy agreement and rent book for your new address.

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.

 

Deferred admission

If your child is due to start school during the next academic year, it is important that you apply for a place for September. If your child’s fifth birthday is between the months of September and December, then, if you wish it, admission may be deferred until January; if it is between January and April, then admission may be deferred until the start of the summer term though it is likely to be in your child’s interest to start no later than January.

 

Admission of children outside their 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 born between 1st April and 31st August 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. Admission authorities must make clear in their admission arrangements the process for requesting admission out of the normal age group.

 

Children who are already of school age

Parent(s)/carer(s) must submit their written request for admission out of the normal age group to the Local Authority. If their request is agreed and a place is available in the requested year group, the child will be admitted.

 

Children seeking admission to reception in the September after their fifth birthday

Parent(s)/carer(s) will need to submit a normal Common Application Form (CAF) to the Local Authority (in writing or online) for admission into the normal age group at the same time as they submit a written request to the Local Authority for their child to be admitted out of the normal age group.

Please note: The Local Authority will not honour a decision made by another admission authority on admission out of the normal age group. Parent(s)/carer(s), therefore, should consider whether to request admission out of the normal year group at all their preference schools, rather than just their first preference school.

The Local Authority will make a decision on the request before the Primary national offer date if at all possible.

If the request is agreed, the parent(s)/carer(s) must make a new application for the next main admission round the following year, and their current application for the normal age group should be withdrawn before a place is offered.

If their request for admission outside the normal age group is refused, parent(s)/carer(s) must decide whether to accept the offer of a place for the normal age group that they receive from the Local Authority, or to refuse it and make an in-year application to the Local Authority for admission to year one for the September following their child’s fifth birthday.

 

Making the decision

Parent(s)/carer(s) seeking admission of their child outside their normal age group must send their written request to the Local Authority. It is the responsibility of the parent(s)/ carer(s) to provide the Local Authority with all relevant information relating to this request, including the parent(s)/carer(s) views; information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; medical history and views of a medical professional (where relevant); whether the child would naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely; and whether the child has previously been educated out of their normal age group. The Local Authority is required to take into account the views of the Head Teacher on the application as well as the information from the parent(s)/carer(s).

The Local Authority will make their decision on the basis of the circumstances of each individual case, and in the best interests of the child concerned.

The Local Authority will then inform the parent/carer of their decision on the year group the child should be admitted to and will provide the reasons for their decision.

Parent(s)/carer(s) have a statutory right to appeal to an independent admission appeal panel against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied. As the purpose of the appeals process is to consider whether a child should be admitted to a particular school, the right of appeal does not apply if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred year group. However, they may make a complaint about an admission authority’s decision not to admit their child outside their normal age group. 

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