Admissions Policy 2021/22
St John’s CoE Primary School, Watford
Admission Arrangements for 2021/22
Author – Admissions Committee of St John’s CoE Primary School
Policy Determined – 9th October 2019 at a meeting of the Full Governing Body
In Year Variation Agreed – 21st October 2020
1. Introductory Statement
2. Admission Numbers
3. Oversubscription Criteria
5. Late Applications
6. Deferred entry
7. Admission of children outside their normal age group
8. Waiting Lists
9. In Year Applicants
11. Application Process
Appendix 1: Examples of how the Oversubscription
Criteria work in practice.
Admissions Arrangements 2020 for St John’s Church England Primary School, Watford
Section 1 Introductory Statement
St John’s Church of England Primary School, Watford is a church school that is part of the Diocese of St Albans family of over a hundred schools. The school has a religious designation as a Church of England school. The focus of the school is to serve the local community in Central Watford. It is a school that welcomes pupils from all families – of Christian faith, or of other faiths, or none. Our admissions policy reflects these aspirations.
St John’s Church of England Primary School will provide 420 school places for young people aged 4-11 and the admissions arrangements for the Year Group Reception intake are set out below. St John’s Church of England Primary School is committed to straightforward, open, fair and transparent admissions arrangements. The school will act fully in accordance with the School Admissions Code, the School Admissions Appeals Code and admissions law as they apply to academies.
Section 2 PAN- Published Admissions Number
St John’s Church of England Primary School has an agreed Published Admissions Number of 60 for admission into year Reception. Pupils with an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) naming St John’s Church of England Primary School will be admitted as a priority. If 60 or less than 60 applications are received, all applicants will be admitted.
If more than 60 applications are received, the oversubscription criteria will be applied. Where the 60th child admitted is the first twin or a multiple birth the other twin or siblings will be admitted as an exception to the infant class size rule.
Section 3 Oversubscription Criteria
Following the allocation of places to pupils with or an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), naming St John’s Church of England Primary School, 50% of the remaining places will be allocated to “Children of the Christian Faith” following the criteria a-e below and the rest will be allocated without reference to faith again following the criteria a-e below. This applies only to the initial allocation of places. It does not apply to the continuing interest process. The continuing interest process will follow the waiting list process as per section 8, with no distinction between Children of the Christian Faith and Community places.
a. Children who are looked after children and those who were previously looked after children who have been adopted or have become subject to a child arrangement order or special guardianship order. A looked-after child is a child who is (a) in the care of the local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in their exercise of their social services functions.
b. Children with a social or medical reason where it can be demonstrated that only this school can meet the needs of the child. Applications under this criterion must be supported by written evidence from a professional such as a doctor or social worker involved in the case. Applications under this criteria are considered by the school’s governing body.
c. Siblings of children who will still be attending the school in the academic year of admission. Siblings include half-siblings, step-siblings, adopted or foster brothers or sisters, living in the same family unit at the time when the child is due to start in the school.
d. Children with a parent who is a current employee of the school with either 2 years service at the time of the application for admission or who has been employed to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage . Parent is defined as a natural parent, legal guardian or resident step-parent with whom the child lives with at the same address for the majority of the time.
e. Other children, with priority being given to those living closest to the school. This will be the straight line distance from the child’s home address to the permanent school
site. The same computerised mapping system that Hertfordshire County Council use when calculating distance from home to school for school admissions will be applied. Should the child live at more than one address, their home address will be considered as the address where they spend the majority of the time. If the child lives at two addresses equally, the address of the parent/carer that claims Child Benefit/Child Tax Credit will be considered as the home address. If a family is not in receipt of Child Benefit/Tax Credit, alternative
documentation will be requested.
Section 4 Tie-Break
If more children qualify under a particular rule than there are places available, a tiebreak shall be used by applying the next oversubscription criteria to those children. Where two children with an equal claim on a place at the school, the tie break shall be random allocation. This will be undertaken by someone independent of the school by drawing lots.
Section 5 Late Applications
All applications received after the closing date as advertised by Hertfordshire County Council (usually the 15th January) will be considered to be late applications. Late applicants will be considered afte those received on time. If, following consideration of all applicants, the school is oversubscribed, parents may request that their child is placed on the school’s waiting list. Section 6 Deferred entry. 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 or until the final term of the school year, whichever comes first. Children reach compulsory school age on the prescribed day following their 5th birthday (or on their fifth birthday if it falls on a prescribed day). The prescribed days are 31 August, 31 December and 31 March. Summer born children (born between 1st April and 31st August) – St John’s believes that each child is unique. Teaching staff will adjust and differentiate the curriculum to cater for all abilities within a year group and meet the individual needs of each child. If, however, a parent considers it to be in their child’s best interests to start school in the term following their fifth birthday when they reach compulsory school age, they can make an application for a Reception place for the September after the child’s fifth birthday. Parents should discuss this with the school as soon as possible.
Section 7 Admission of Children Outside their Normal Age Group
Where a parent wishes their child to start school in a year group outside their normal age range, they may request this and should discuss it with the school as soon as possible (for summer born children, please see section 6). Parents should provide reasons and since decisions will be made based on available information, parents may wish to provide professionally supported evidence (if such evidence is available) to explain why their child’s needs cannot be met in the chronological year group.
Requests will be considered by the school’s Admissions Committee on a case by case basis. Each request and supporting evidence will be carefully considered on its individual merits and the educational, social and developmental reasons will be taken into account to arrive at a decision in the best interests of the child. Applying by the age appropriate deadlines will mean that in the event the request is refused, the child can still be considered for a place in their correct age group, if a place is available.
Where a parent’s request is agreed, they must make an application, providing a copy of the decision as part of the application. Please note that the decision to agree the request to make an application outside a child’s normal age group does not guarantee that a place will be available. Parents do not have the right of an appeal against a decision not to accept a request to admit outside of their year group.
Section 8 Waiting Lists
If the school is oversubscribed, names of all unsuccessful applicants will be placed on a waiting list. Waiting lists will be kept for all year groups within the school. Each list will be kept until the end of the academic year and will operate in accordance with the oversubscription criteria a-e defined in section 3. For the waiting list (including the continuing interest process), no grouping is applied i.e. there is no distinction between Children of the Christian Faith and Community places. The waiting list will be
reordered in accordance with the oversubscription criteria whenever anyone is added to or leaves the waiting list.
Section 9 In Year Applications
An In Year Application is any application for a school place that is received after completion of the normal admission round for a place in Reception, or for a school place in Years 1-6. In Year applications should be made directly to the school. Available places will be allocated in accordance with the oversubscription criteria a-e defined in section 4. If there are no spaces available, applicants can request to be placed on the waiting list (see section 8).
We will co-operate in keeping with the local authority’s Fair Access Protocol for children who are hard to place. The school will admit children under the Fair Access Protocol before those on continuing interest and, if necessary, above PAN.
Section 10 Appeals
If a parent is dissatisfied with the school’s decision not to admit their child(ren), they have the right to appeal to an independent appeals panel against that decision. The determination of the panel will be made in accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code and will be binding on all parties.
St John’s Church of England Primary School will use the independent appeals service provided by the local authority. Independent Appeals Panels are appointed in accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code.
Parents wishing to appeal who applied through Hertfordshire’s online system should log in to their online application and click on the link “register an appeal”. Out of county residents and paper applicants should call the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 to request their registration details and log into www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolappeals and click on the link “log into the appeals system”.
For In-year applications, parents should contact the school directly in the first instance. Appeals should be made, in writing, to the clerk of the appeals panel within 20 school days from the date of notification that the application was unsuccessful.
Section 11 Application Process
Applications for St John’s Church of England Primary School should be made through Hertfordshire County Council’s co-ordinated scheme of admissions. The closing date for admission application forms to be received by the home Local Authority (LA) is 15th January 2021. Hertfordshire families must make an online application to Hertfordshire County
Council at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions. Information on completing the online application, the allocation process and key dates is available in the county council’s ‘Under 11s’ admissions booklet also available at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions. A paper form and booklet is available (call 0300 123 4043) for those without internet access.
Should the school receive more applications than places, it will be necessary to apply the oversubscription criteria as detailed in section 3. If you would like your child to be considered under the “Children of the Christian Faith” category, you will need to complete the school’s Supplementary Information Form (SIF), have it counter-signed by your minister/priest and submit this direct to the school at the same time that you submit your application to HCC and before the deadline of 15th January 2021.
SIF’s will be available through the school’s website, HCC’s website, or can be obtained by contacting the school office. Failure to submit a counter-signed SIF will mean that you cannot be considered under the “Children of the Christian Faith” category (although your application will still be considered in relation to those places allocated without reference to faith). National Allocations day is 16th April 2021.
Inaccurate or false information made on the application could result in the place being withdrawn.
1 Children of the Christian Faith” is defined by regular attendance of worship (at least twice a month for a period of one year prior to the application being submitted) at a Trinitarian Christian church. A Trinitarian church that believes that there is one God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Attendance of Messy Church is considered worship. This must be evidenced by the completion of the Supplementary Information Form (SIF) counter-signed by the priest/minister. The SIF must be returned directly to the school at the time the application is made and no later than the statutory deadline for on-time applications. In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, the requirements of these admissions arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church or alternative premises have been available for public worship For some examples of how this will work in practice, please see Appendix 1 (at the end of this document).
2 See the definition in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989.
3 For the 2021/22 admissions arrangements we have determined that current skills shortages apply to Teacher posts only.
4 Hertfordshire County Council’s ‘straight line’ distance measurement system is used for all home to school measurement. Distances are measured using a computerised mapping system to two decimal places. The measurement is taken from the AddressBase Premium address point of your child’s house to the address point of the school. AddressBase Premium data is a nationally recognised method of identifying the location of schools and individual residences.
Examples of how the Oversubscription Criteria works in practice.
Example 1: The school receives 60 applications for 60 places All children will be offered a place at the school.
Example 2: The school receives 61 applicants for 60 places – 15 applications are for the “Children of the Christian faith” priority group and 46 are for the “Community” priority
group. It is necessary to apply the oversubscription criteria. 50% of places are allocated to “Children of the Christian Faith”, which would be 30 places. However, there have only been 15 applications for the “Children of the Christian Faith” category, so all 15 of those children would be offered a place. The remaining 45 places at the school would be allocated according to the oversubscription criteria a-d (without reference to faith).
Example 3: The school receives 62 applications for 60 places – 2 children have an EHCP naming St John’s, 34 applications are for the “Children of the Christian faith” priority
group and 26 are for the “Community” priority group. It is necessary to apply the oversubscription criteria. There have been two applications for a child with an Educational, Health and Care plan (EHCP) naming St John’s. So with 60 available places, the children with the EHCPs are admitted, leaving 58 available places. 50% of places are allocated to “Children of the Christian Faith” which is 29 places, to be allocated according to the oversubscription criteria a-e. The applications of the 5 children who are not offered a place within the “Children of the Christian Faith” category, are then added to the other 26, which are then allocated according to the oversubscription criteria a-e (without reference to faith).