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Admissions policy for reception and older

Adopted: March 2016

This document sets out the admission arrangements for Charles Darwin Primary for the academic year September 2016 and beyond.

Charles Darwin Primary is a state-funded, co-educational primary school for children aged 4-11. Charles Darwin Primary 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 Charles Darwin Primary and has responsibility for the process of admitting students.

Admission number

The academy has an agreed published admission number (PAN) of 60 pupils in each year group, from Reception upwards. It will admit students into Reception and Year 1 in its opening year.

Consideration of applications

In the first year of admissions, Charles Darwin Primary will operate its own admissions process.

In subsequent years, 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.

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 of staff at the Inspiration Trust
  3. Children who have a sibling3 on roll4 at the academy at the time of the proposed admission
  4. Children living nearest 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
  5. 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.

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. December 31.

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.

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.

Deferred entry for infants

Parents offered a place in reception for their child have a right to defer the date their child is admitted, or to take the place up part-time, until the child reaches compulsory school age. Places cannot be deferred beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the offer was made.

Children reach compulsory school age on the prescribed day following their fifth birthday (or on their fifth birthday if it falls on a prescribed day). The prescribed days are August 31, December 31 and March 31.

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’ and is seeking admission to a year group other than Reception (or is seeking admission to Reception rather than Year 1);
  • 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. An application from a child who would ‘normally’ be a Year 1 child for a Reception place will be considered alongside applications for Reception.

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 stepbrother or sister who is living at the same address

4 On roll from Reception to Year 5Íž if an applicant has a sibling attending nursery, this will not be a factor giving rise to priority