This policy sets out the admissions criteria, or the factors that admission authorities will use to determine how to allocate school places. It applies to Community and Voluntary Controlled Infant, Junior and Primary schools. Other schools may also choose to use this policy for their admissions. Please check directly with the school if you are unsure.
This policy is reviewed annually, and changes are only made after a period of public consultation.
The following information should be read in conjunction with Bath & North East Somerset’s Coordinated Admission Scheme and the published primary admissions booklet. Allocations in the first round will only include those applications submitted by midnight on the published closing date. Applications for all schools will be considered under an ‘equal preference’ system. Priority is not given to first preferences. All preferences (first, second or third) will initially be considered equally regardless of ranking.
The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice requires the Admission Authority to admit any children with an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or with a Statement of Special Educational Needs naming (Name of School) school. Children with an Educational Health and Care Plan will be dealt with through the SEND Code of Practice and their placement is determined through the statutory assessment process or an annual review of their statement. All schools are consulted before being named on a pupil's Statement or Educational Health and Care and schools have the opportunity to draw attention to any difficulties arising from oversubscribed year groups. If a school is named on a Statement or Educational Health and Care Plan this will take priority over the Admissions Criteria, although, wherever possible the place will be offered within the Admission Number for the school.
To be considered under these criteria, parents must have named the school as a preference. Under the criteria all preferences are considered equally. If a child qualifies for more than one school they will be offered their highest preference, as stated on their application form.
In the event of over-subscription (more applicants than available places) applications will be ranked in accordance with the following criteria, given in order of priority. To be considered under the following criteria parents must have named the school as a preference.
Children in Public care (Looked After Children) or a child who was previously looked after, but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangement, or special guardianship order (including those who appear to the admission authority to have been in state care outside of England, and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted).
Priority B (the 2 categories in this criterion will be given equal consideration)
- Children who live within a 1.5 mile radius* of the school and for whom there will be a sibling in attendance on the admission date at the preferred school.
- Children who live outside a 1.5 mile radius* of the school but it is their closest school and for whom there will be a sibling in attendance on the admission date at the preferred school.
Children who live closest to the school as measured in a direct line.
* The 1.5 mile radius (Priority B) will be measured from the address point of a school as defined by the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG). In the case of paired Infant and Junior Schools the 1.5 mile radius will apply from the address point of both schools with the exception of St Michael’s Junior School and Twerton Infant School. For these particular schools the 1.5 mile radius will be measured from a midpoint between the paired schools. The midpoint is 29 Cleeve Green BA2 1SD.
For the purposes of Criterion B (second bullet point above), a paired infant and junior school will usually be treated as one school, but please refer to the individual policies for those schools where this may not be the case.
The paired schools in Bath & North East Somerset are Chandag Infant and Junior Schools, Moorlands Infant and Junior Schools, Oldfield Park Infant and Junior Schools, Paulton Infant and Junior Schools, St Saviour’s Infant and Junior Schools, Twerton Infant and St Michael’s Junior Schools and Widcombe Infant and Junior Schools.
In all cases, distances will be measured in a direct line from the address point of the child’s home address to the address point of a school as defined by the LLPG. Measurements will be determined using the Local Authority’s (LA) GIS computerised mapping system.
If under all the above criteria any single category resulted in oversubscription, those living closer to the preferred school would receive the higher priority. Where there is more than one applicant ranked equally according to the published admission criteria and there are insufficient places available to allocate all of the equally ranked applicants the place(s) will be allocated by random allocation.
Applications for twins, triplets or other multiple births will be considered as individual applications. In the event of the school being oversubscribed the authority will breach the admission number to allow these children to be offered places where either:
- a child from a multiple birth has qualified for the last available place within the admission number but the other child(ren) from that multiple birth have not qualified for a place
- a child from a multiple birth has had a place named at that school as part of their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) during the normal admissions round but the other child(ren) from that multiple birth have not qualified for a place.
In the case of schools where there would be Infant Class Size issues such children will remain as an ‘excepted pupil’ to the class size limit for the time they are in an infant class or until the class numbers fall back to the normal class size limit of 30.
The child's home address is defined as the permanent address where he or she generally resides with their parent. Temporary addresses may not be used to obtain school places. A random sample of 10% of all applications received each year will be checked to confirm addresses using the Council Tax Office, Electoral Roll and if appropriate the school currently attended before allocations are made. A copy of a utility bill may also be requested. In certain additional cases proof of residency will also be determined by using the above methods. Once proof is obtained that the parent is resident at the address given, it will be accepted that the child is also resident at this address.
If parents or carers plan to move, documentary evidence will be required and in order for address changes to be taken into account in the first round of allocations made on 16 April 2021 the appropriate documentary evidence should be sent to the LA and received by the closing date of 15 January 2021. However, if details of a change of address that will occur after the closing date (and before the start of term 1) is received with the appropriate documentary evidence by 30 January 2021 (before the LA has sent details of applications to other councils) it will be considered in the first round of applications. In all cases, it is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure the LA has received the documentary evidence.
Examples of evidence that may be acceptable to determine a child’s address are:
- A solicitor’s letter confirming exchange of contracts and completion date for a property which is being purchased or a property which is being sold.
- A copy of a signed rental agreement or a solicitor’s letter if moving to a council or rented property and proof of your sale or Notice to Quit on your current or previous property.
- A copy of a Council Tax bill or utility bill such as water, gas or electricity in your name for your newly owned or rented property together with proof of your sale or Notice to Quit on your current or previous property.
- Child benefit paperwork if in receipt.
- If you are moving in with a relative a letter from them will be required confirming the date you will be moving in together with a copy utility bill showing their name and address. A solicitor’s letter will also be required confirming that completion of contracts has taken place on your sale or Notice to Quit on your current or previous property.
- In the case of children of UK Service Personnel or Crown Servants returning from overseas, with a confirmed posting to the area an official letter declaring the relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address should be provided.
The Admissions Authority reserves the right to investigate home addresses and may ask applicants to supply further evidence of the home address. This may include Council Tax, Electoral Roll, Utility Bills, GP registration, and Child Benefit records. An application or place allocated on the basis of fraudulent information may be withdrawn.
While a child is below compulsory school age, the parent or carer may choose to defer his or her child’s entry to school until later in the school year. However, he or she cannot defer beyond the point at which the child reaches statutory school age or beyond the start of the last term in the school year (the school operates on the basis of a six term year).
The LA will consider applications for delayed or accelerated entry in cases where parents would like their child to be admitted to a year group either side of their chronological age group. The reasons for the request must be fully explained and included with the application form.
A parent of a ‘summer born’ child entitled to start school in September 2021, may choose to delay his/her entry to school until September 2022, where the parent(s) considers this arrangement to be in the best educational interests of the child. The parent(s) may request to apply for reception in September 2022 rather than Year 1. However, there is a risk attached to deciding this approach, which the parent must be clear about. Although the LA may agree to a new application being submitted for a Reception place in September 2022, there can be no indication given as to whether a place will be available until the 2022 ‘normal’ admissions round is complete. The following process will apply.
The parent must submit an application to the home LA during the 2021 ‘normal’ admission round, making it clear in the text box on the application form that he or she wishes to request to delay the child’s entry until September 2022. Where the intention is for the child to start within the 2022 reception cohort, this must be clearly stated on the form. The Local Authority will formally note the parent(s) instruction and will consider the request. If a request to delay is approved, parents or carers will have their application withdrawn and effectively, the child will no longer be part of the 2021 ‘normal’ admission round. Parents will then need to make a new application as part of the main admissions round for the following year in September 2022.
Where the LA indicates willingness to accept an application from a child placed out of year group, this will not guarantee a place at the preferred school as any application will have to be made with the admissions round for the year in which the child is starting school and considered against the published admission criteria.
Where a parent delays a child’s entry until 2022 and then decides that he/she should join Year 1 rather than Reception, he or she will need to make an In-Year application within six school weeks of the place being required.
Local authorities must coordinate ‘normal round’ Reception applications until 31 August 2021, for children starting school in September 2021. However, if an application is submitted to the home LA after the application deadline of 23.59 hours on 15 January 2021, it will be considered as a ‘late’ application and will not be administered until all on time applications have been processed, at which point there may no longer be a place available at the school.
Any late applicants should complete their home LA’s common application form and return it to their home LA as soon as possible. In line with agreed co-ordinated admission procedures the school will be informed of any late applications received.
Parents who are unsuccessful in their application for a place at the school have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel. Further information concerning how to appeal will be explained in the decision letter. The appeal form is also published on the school website and must be completed and returned to the school office within 30 days of the admission decision being issued. The admission authority will make appropriate arrangements for an appeal hearing to take place in accordance with the Appeal Timetable which is also published on the school website The Independent Appeal Panel’s decision is legally binding for all parties concerned.
Where there is concern that the appeal process has not been properly administered in accordance with the 2012 School Admission Appeals Code, a complaint may be raised with the Education and Skills Funding Agency for further consideration.
Parents or carers who make a formal appeal against their allocated school will have their child's name kept on a waiting list for any places which may become available at their preferred school. They may also ask for their child to remain on the waiting list without making a formal appeal. Any places which do become available will be reallocated using the Admissions Criteria, taking into account those parents who have asked to remain on the waiting list or who have lodged a formal appeal together with any late applications received.
However, children who are the subject of a direction by a LA to admit or who are allocated to a school in accordance with a Fair Access Protocol must take precedence over those on a waiting list.
Every effort will be made to contact applicants on the waiting list using the last contact details provided by the applicant, but, where a response to an offer has not been received within 10 school days, the offer will be withdrawn and the available place offered to the next child on the waiting list to qualify for the available place.
Where parents share parental responsibility for a child but live separately if two applications are received from the child’s parents the LA will ask them to determine which application it should consider, and which application should be withdrawn. This is because the LA will offer only one school place to a child at any one time. If parents cannot agree they should resolve the issue through the court system for example to obtain a ‘Specific Issues Order’ which specifies which parent has responsibility to make decisions on school preferences. However, in the absence of any Order the application received from the parent who receives Child Benefit for the child will be the only one considered. Parents may be asked to provide supporting documentation confirming receipt of child benefit. Where the parents or carers are not entitled to Child Benefit the LA will ask for proof of the child’s home address as held by the doctor’s surgery at the point of application. Bath & North East Somerset Council cannot become involved in disputes between parents or carers.