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Admissions Arrangements

Thank you for taking time to visit our school

We very much welcome applications to join our school. The Local Authority manage our Admissions Rounds. If you would like to know about spaces in specific year groups please just call our school office and we will be happy to share this information with you. 

Admissions Policy: 2021/22

 

This is a Church of England Voluntary Aided School within the Diocese of St Albans. The Governing body of the school is the admission authority.  The Governors will admit up to the planned admission number of 15 children to the reception year group during each academic year.  The Governing Body is required to abide by the maximum limits for infant classes of 30 pupils per class.  Children here are aged from 4 to 9; entering the Foundation Stage then progressing through years 1 – 4.

 

Parents are most welcome to visit the school to see the children at work, meet the staff and ask any questions they may have.  Visits can be arranged by telephoning the school office (01767 627215) or by email office@northillacademy.org.uk

 

Application Process

Parents can complete an application for their child to join the school at any time from the autumn term of the year in which their child turns 4 years old, up to the age of 9 years old. Admissions to Northill C of E VA Lower School are arranged through the co-ordinated scheme operated by the Local Authority’s School Admissions Service and the School Governors, as the Admission Authority, will allocate the available places in line with this policy. 

 

Applications for admission in September 2021 should be made in accordance with the Local Authority’s co-ordinated scheme. The timescales for the application process are set out on the Central Bedfordshire School Admissions website www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/admissions . It is essential that the Local Authority’s Application Form is completed and returned by the closing date. If the form is not returned by this date your application will be considered in the late allocation. Parents will be notified by the Local Authority’s School Admissions Service of the outcome of their application.

 

 

Allocation of Places

Parents offered a place may defer the date of their child’s admission until later in the year, or until the child reaches compulsory school age.  All children must join the school in the Reception year or a new application will need to be made for a Year 1 place.  Parents can request part time attendance until the child reaches compulsory school age.

 

The Form Entry for our reception year is 15 pupils. In the event of there being more applicants than places available the places are allocated with the following priority.

 

  1. “Looked After Children and all Previously Looked After Children, including those who appear (to the admissions authority) to have been in state care outside England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted”. (see definitions).

 

  1. To children living in the Ecclesiastical Parish of Northill, including Ickwell, Thorncote Green, Hatch and Budna with siblings (see definitions) at the school (refer to www.achurchnearyou.com which tells you which parish you are in when you enter a postcode).

  

  1. To other children living in the Ecclesiastical Parish of Northill (defined in 2 above).

 

  1. On very exceptional medical grounds (see definitions).

 

  1. To other siblings (see definitions).

 

  1. To children living outside the area defined in category 2 above, one or more of whose parents/guardians have, at the time of application and for a period of six months previously, attended Christian public worship at least once in each calendar month.  Written evidence of attendance from the parish priest, minister or other suitable person should be provided, by completing the relevant section on the application form.  Christian worship means at a church which is a member or is eligible for membership at Churches Together in England or the Evangelical Alliance. (see notes)

 

  1. To any other children.

 

 

Notes

  • If applying these criteria results in there being more children with an equal right to admission to the school than the number of available places, the tie break will be the distance the pupil lives from the school, measured in a straight line, using the Local Authority’s computerised mapping system, with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority.  The distance will be measured from the address point of the pupil’s home to the main entrance of the school.  Priority will not be given within each criterion to children who meet other criteria.

 

  • Children who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan are required to be admitted to the school named in the Statement or Plan and will be allocated a place ahead of those without a Statement or Plan. After allocations have been made, if an application is made late or is received as part of the in-year process, children who have a Statement or Plan are required to be admitted to the school which is named on the Statement or Plan, even if the academy/school is full. Children identified for admission through the Fair Access Protocol will also be admitted, even if the school is full.

 

  • Parents applying for a place at the catchment area school during the normal admissions round will normally be offered a place.  However, a place at the catchment area school cannot be guaranteed.  If a pupil moves into the catchment area outside the normal admissions round (or after the allocation process) it may be more difficult to offer a place at the catchment area school if this would mean exceeding the admission number at the school.  In such cases, the designated school for the pupil will be the nearest maintained school to the pupil’s home address which caters for pupils of the same age and has places available.

 

  • In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church (or, in relation to those of other faiths, relevant place of worship) has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, their requirements of these admissions arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church (or in relation to those of other faiths, relevant place of worship) or alternative premises have been available for public worship.

 

In-Year Admissions

Children will be admitted at other ages where there are vacancies. Requests for admission into other year groups should be made to the Central Bedfordshire School Admission Team.

Places are allocated on the basis that:

 

  • Places being available in the class with the relevant year group in order that numbers in any class in Key Stage 1 or 2 will not exceed thirty.
  • That projected figures for future amalgamations of the year groups will not exceed thirty.

 

Waiting List

All children who are unsuccessful with their application will be placed on a waiting list and if places become available pupils will be admitted using the above mentioned criteria.  This is not a case of first on the waiting list being offered the first available place.  The waiting list for the normal year of entry will be maintained until the end of the autumn term.

 

Appeals

Parents who have not been allocated a place for their child have a right to appeal to an independent panel as part of the co-ordinated arrangements and will receive information about the appeals process with the refusal letter.

 

Delayed admission for summer born children

Parents/Carers have the right to request their summer born child’s admission to the Reception Year is in the September following their fifth birthday; however parents/carers do not have the right to insist that their child is admitted to a particular age group. A decision will be made by the Governors in consultation with the Headteacher.

 

Parents/carers need to make their request in writing, directly to the governing body (via the Headteacher). The request should include: the parents’/carer’s reasons for the request, information regarding the child’s academic, social and emotional development including any supporting evidence the parent deems relevant; where relevant, the child’s medical history and the views of a medical professional and if applicable, details if the child was born prematurely, including whether they would have been in a lower age group had they been born on their due date.

 

The governing body, along with the Headteacher, will then consider the request, making their decision on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child in accordance with the School Admissions Code. Once determined, the decision will be communicated by the school to the parent(s)/carer(s) in writing and will include the reasons for the decision.

 

If a request is granted, the parent/carer will need to make an application as part of the next year’s normal admission round and this will be processed within the normal allocation process. A place is never guaranteed at the school and in the case of oversubscription, places are offered in accordance with the school’s oversubscription criteria. In short it would be delaying the application rather than an offer of a place.

 

*A summer born child is one born between 1 April and 31 August.

 

 

 

Definitions

 

Statutory Age

In accordance with regulations, children must start school from the beginning of the school term after their fifth birthday.  This is termed the statutory age for school admissions.

 

‘Looked after’ children

The Children Act 1989 defines a child who is ‘looked after’ as a child or young person who is accommodated by the local authority (Section 20) or a child or young person who is the subject of a full care order (Section 31) or interim care order (Section 38).

 

Previously ‘looked after’ children

A previously ‘looked after’ child is one who immediately after being ‘looked after’ became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order. An ‘adoption order’ is an order under section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. A ‘residence order’ is an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under section 8 of the Children Act 1989. Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).

 

A child is regarded as having been in state care in a place outside of England if they were accommodated by a public authority, a religious organisation or any other provider of care whose sole purpose is to benefit society

 

Sibling

A sibling refers to a brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister of the child of the parent/carer’s partner, and in every case, the child should be living at the same address.  The sibling must be in the school at the time of application and be likely to remain in the school at the proposed date of admission.  ‘In catchment’ siblings will have a higher priority than other ‘in catchment’ children.

 

 

Very Exceptional Medical Grounds

‘Very exceptional’ medical grounds refers to cases where there are exceptional medical reasons which make it essential that a child should attend a particular school and where the preferred school is the only school locally that could meet the child’s needs.  A medical report from the child’s doctor or consultant must be submitted with the application form, setting out valid medical reasons why it is essential for the child to be admitted to the school in question and the difficulties that would be caused if the child had to attend another school.  The Governors reserve the right to seek further information in order to determine whether it is essential for a child to be admitted to the preferred school on medical grounds.  Admission on medical grounds cannot be considered where the medical condition relates to that of a parent/carer, brother or sister or other relative/childminder.

 

Home Address

A pupil’s home address will be regarded as the address of the parent/carer with parental responsibility with whom the child normally lives.  This will not usually include grandparents, aunts or uncles.  Where a child spends time with parents/carers at more than one address, the address used to allocate a school place will be the one at which the pupil is ordinarily resident and where the child spends the majority of the school week (Mondays to Fridays) including nights.  If there is any query on the home address this will be checked against original official documentation e.g. council tax bill, a recent utility bill (gas, electricity or water), a rental agreement, child benefit annual statement or family tax credit information.

 

 

This policy will be reviewed annually and in line with any subsequent changes to guidance.

 

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