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Admissions policy

Adopted: September 2015

Introduction

This document sets out the admission arrangements for Jane Austen College (“the academy”) for the academic year September 2016 and beyond.

Jane Austen College is a state-funded, co-educational secondary school for children aged 11-19. Jane Austen College operates a non-selective admissions policy in line with the School Admissions Code1. It is our aim to have a fair and transparent admissions policy. We will not have a specific catchment area, as it is important to us that we are accessible to the wider Norwich community.

The Inspiration Trust is the admission authority for Jane Austen College and has responsibility for the process of admitting students.

Admission number

The academy has an agreed published admission number (PAN) of 180 students in each year group from Year 7 upwards and a PAN of 100 students in each year group in the sixth form (Year 12 and Year 13).

Consideration of applications

Application for places at the academy will be made in accordance with the local authority’s (LA) co-ordinated admission arrangements and will be made on the common application form provided and administered by the LA.

The timetable for applications is in line with that of the LA. The academy will consider all applications for places that meet the criteria set by the LA’s co-ordinated admission arrangements. Where fewer applications for places than the PAN for the relevant age group are received, the academy will offer places to all those who have applied.

All children whose statement of special educational needs (SEN) or education, health and care (EHC) plan names the school will be admitted.

Late applications

Late applications will still be considered. If the school is undersubscribed, then even late applicants will be offered a place. If the school is oversubscribed, then late applicants will be placed on a waiting list. A child’s position on the waiting list will be determined solely using our oversubscription criteria.

Procedures where the academy is oversubscribed

If the academy is oversubscribed, after the admission of children with an education, health and care plan where the academy is named on the statement, applications will be considered against the criteria and order set out below:

  1. Children in the care of a local authority (looked after children) and children who have been previously looked after2
  2. Children who have a sibling3 on roll4 at the academy at the time of the proposed admission
  3. Children of staff at the Inspiration Trust5
  4. Children living nearest to the academy, by straight line distance from the main entrance to the academy to the main entrance to the child’s home, measured using Ordnance Survey data. Proof of residence (such as proof of the tenancy period or council tax statement) can be requested at any time throughout the admissions process.
  • Where a child lives with parents with shared responsibility, each for part of a week, the address where the child lives is determined using a joint declaration from the parents stating the pattern of residence. If a child’s residence is split equally between both parents, then parents will be asked to determine which is the residential address for the purpose of admission to the academy. If the residence is not split equally between both parents then the address used will be the address where the child spends the majority of the academy week.
  • If more than one applicant lives in a multi-occupancy building (eg flats), priority will be given to the applicant whose door number is the lowest numerically. 
  • For children who reside with a relative or carer other than a parent, a residence order or other court order will be required.

Tie break

If the academy is unable to distinguish between applicants using the published criteria, places will be offered via a random draw which will be supervised by an individual who is independent of the academy.

Operation of waiting lists

The academy will operate a waiting list until the end of the autumn term i.e. 31 December.

Where places become available they will be allocated to children on the waiting list in accordance with the oversubscription criteria. The list will be reordered whenever a child leaves or joins the waiting list.

Parents can request by writing to stay on this list beyond term 1.

Appeals

Applicants will have the right of appeal to an independent appeal panel if they are dissatisfied with the admission decision of the academy. The appeal panel will be independent of the academy and the arrangements for appeals will be in line with the Schools Admissions Appeals Code published by the Department for Education.

Parents should notify the Academy Trust of their wish to appeal within 14 days of being notified that their child has not been offered a place. They should do this by contacting the local governing body.

Appeals will be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals. Appeals lodged after these dates will be heard within 40 school days of the appeal deadline or 30 school days of being lodged, whichever is the later date. The deadline date will be published on the academy website each year.

Parents/carers will be notified of their appeal date at least ten school days before the hearing. A copy of the academy’s statement of case will be sent to each parent/carer at least ten school days before the hearing.

Any additional evidence parents/carers wish to submit in support of their appeal must be sent at least five working days before the hearing. Any evidence not submitted by this deadline may not be considered by the independent appeal panel.

Any decisions made by the independent appeal panel must be adhered to by all parties.

In-year applications (applications for admission to the academy outside the normal admissions round)

Subject to any provisions in the LA’s published and agreed guidance for in-year school transfers and for applications submitted for years other that the normal year of entry, the academy will consider all such applications and, if the year group applied for has a space available, admit the child unless one of the permitted reliefs apply. If more applications are received than there are places available the oversubscription criteria shall apply.

If false or misleading information is used to gain entry to the academy, the offer of a place may be withdrawn.

The child’s birth certificate or identity card will need to be seen and a copy will be retained by the academy.

Admission of children outside their normal age group

Parents may request that their child is admitted outside their normal age group. When such a request is made, the academy trust will make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case and in the best interests of the child concerned, taking into account the views of the parent(s), principal and any supporting evidence provided by the parent.

The process for requesting such an admission is as follows:

Along with the completed application form, parents should identify their request for their child to be admitted to another year group (stating which one), and the reasons for that request. Parents need to submit any evidence in support of their case, for instance from a medical practitioner, headteacher etc. Examples of evidence a parent might submit could include:

  • whether the child is ‘summer born’; 
  • information 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 school will consider each case on its merits taking into account the individual circumstances of the request and the child’s best interests. We will also ensure the parent is aware of whether the request for admission out of age group has been agreed before final offers are made, and the reason for any refusal. Requests for admission out of the normal year group will be considered alongside other applications made at the same time.

Norfolk Fair Access protocol

We will participate in the Norfolk Fair Access Protocol. 

Sixth form applications

Our admissions policy for post-16 students will be fair, transparent, and objective and comply with the Equalities Act 2010 and the School Admissions Code and the School Admissions Appeals Code. The sixth form has a PAN of 100 students in each year.

Applications

Applications will be made in line with local arrangements, or directly to the institution itself. Currently, this would mean using the ‘Help You Choose’ website.

In our prospectus we will give guidance on academic requirements, to assist students in making choices about their suitability for courses.

Students wishing to study at the Jane Austen College are required to achieve six B grades in their GCSE examinations and at least a B grade in the subjects they intend to study. We will apply some flexibility with students who demonstrate aptitude and enthusiasm for their chosen subject, yet may not fully match our base entry requirements.

In the case of sixth form applications, applicants will also be invited to an interview to discuss options and academic entry requirements for particular courses. The interview does not form part of the decision-making process on whether or not to offer a place. Admissions interviews will take place in the spring term for applications received by the end of January. Further interviews will take place up to the end of August should other applications be received and considered.

Successful applicants will receive a letter confirming their offer of a place by March 31, unless their application is late.

Oversubscription criteria for the sixth form

If there are more applicants than places for the sixth form, priority will be given in the following order:

  1. students who are currently, or who have previously been, ‘looked after’ or those who immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence, or special guardianship order;
  2. students with aptitude in their chosen course of study.
  • If false or misleading information is used to gain entry to the school, the offer of a place will be withdrawn and the application will be considered afresh, and a right of appeal offered if an offer is refused. .
  • In the event of a tie break under the distance criterion random allocation will used to determine which child is offered a place. This will be performed or supervised independently of the school.
1 www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-admissions-code--2
2 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)
3 Sibling includes a full brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, or a half or step brother or sister who is living at the same address
4 On roll from Year 7 to Year 13
5 This applies where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made, and/or the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage