Community schools admission criteria
If the number of applications for a school is higher than the number of places available, the allocations will be made in the following order.
After the admission of children with a statement of Special Education Needs, where a school is named on the statement, the criteria will be applied in the order in which they are set out below.
1. Looked after Children and previously Looked after Children (see Note 1 below)
2. Siblings: Children with a brother or sister who will be in attendance at the school at the time of enrolment of the new pupil. (see Note 2 below).
3. Medical: Pupils with serious medical reasons for needing to attend the particular school. (see Note 3 below).
4. Distance: Priority will be given to pupils living nearest to the school as measured in a straight line. (see Note 4 and Note 5 below).
Distance will be used as a tiebreaker for each over-subscription criterion. Where distance is the same for pupils; the Local Authority (LA) will use random allocation. (see Note 6)
The Local Authority will use the equal preference model for deciding which school is offered. This means that all school preferences are considered together and the admissions criteria administered equally. The rank or order of preference will only be used if it is possible to offer more than one of the preferences. The highest ranked potential offer will be offered.
Looked after children are defined as children in public care at the date on which the application is made.
Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order, immediately after being looked after. If an application is made under the ‘looked after’ criterion, it must be supported by a letter from the relevant Local Authority Children’s Services Department and/or relevant documents
A sibling is defined as a brother or sister, half brother or sister, step brother or sister, foster brother or sister or adopted brother or sister whose main residence is at the same address.
The medical reasons must be verified by a doctor or consultant and declared at the time of application if known at the time. Claims for priority of admission on medical grounds will not be considered if submitted after a decision on the original applications has been made.
Decisions on priority of admission on medical grounds will be made on the basis of recommendations of the LA's medical advisor. The application must be supported by a letter from a hospital consultant and/or the family's GP. "Parent" is defined as the father, mother, foster father, foster mother, legal guardian or the person who has full parental responsibility for the child.
"Home" is defined as the address where the child normally resides as their only or principal residence. Addresses involved in child minders, business or relatives cannot be considered.
Parents will be asked to provide documentary evidence to confirm an address and parental responsibility. The LA should be notified of changes of address immediately. Failure to do so could result in the child being denied a place at a preferred school.
Distance will be measured in a straight line from the centre of the pupils main home to the designated main entrance, nominated by the school using the LA's computerised measuring system with those living closer to the school receiving higher priority. For shared properties eg. flats, the centre will be taken from the centre of the building.
Twins/triplets or other multiple births
Where a parent applies for entry into the same year group for more than one child and it is not possible to offer a place to all of them, the names of the children who were unsuccessful will be accorded sibling priority on the waiting list i.e. the school the successful child has been accepted at.
A vacancy/vacancies must have arisen before an offer can be made. Where there is one school place available and there is more than one sibling who is eligible for a place under the published admissions criteria, the places will be offered to the children as the 'ranked' position allows. The parent must then decide whether to accept or reject those places on individual basis.
Note 6 - Tiebreaker
Distance will be used as a tiebreaker for each oversubscription criterion. Where distance is the same for pupils; the LA will use random allocation.
In cases of identical measurement for a particular school, the LA's Education Management System (EMS) automatically identifies the next child to be offered by using the student identification number (Stud ID) for the applicants. Every pupil recorded on the EMS system has a Stud ID number which is automatically generated by EMS. It is these ID numbers that are randomly selected when the system is asked to rank all applicants in accordance with the LA published admission policy i.e. LAC, sibling, medical, distance. Once the system has ranked all applicants, a resolve takes place that holds the highest offer available for the applicant, therefore, no human intervention can take place and the highest ranked child will be offered the next available place.
Since applications are not entered onto the system in any particular order i.e. alphabetically, the numbers generated by the system are completely random.
Child's permanent address
The child's address should be that of the child's permanent place of residence. A business address, work place address, or childminder's address will not be accepted. A relative or carers address can ONLY be considered if those person(s) have legal custody of the child. In these circumstances, evidence of legal custody/parental responsibility i.e. a Court Order must be supplied.
Childminding factors cannot be taken into account when allocating places at over-subscribed schools.
If parents share custody of the child, the address given should be that of the parent with whom the child spends most of the school week, which will be the address where Child Benefit is payable. Only one application per child can be accepted. If the address of the parent differs from that of the child, a written explanation must be submitted with the application. Custody issues cannot be resolved by the LA.
Change of address
Changes of address will only be considered where the LA receives the following, independent evidence:
- Letter from a solicitor confirming the exchange and completion of contract for the new place of residence.
- Copy of the new tenancy agreement. The LA should be notified of changes of address immediately. Failure to do so could result in the child being denied a place at a preferred school.
Waiting lists will be maintained for one academic year for over-subscribed schools. A child's position on the waiting list will be determined in accordance with the admissions criteria and will not take account of the date on which the application was made. A child's position on a waiting list can go down as well as up, for example if a child on the waiting list moves nearer the school.
Unsuccessful applicants will be offered a formal right of appeal
In year admissions
Please see the separate document setting out how the LA will participate in the PAN London protocol for the co-ordination of in year admissions.