John Donne Church of England Lower School

John Donne Primary School John Donne Primary School

Providing excellence and enjoyment
for everyone within a happy, safe and Christian environment.

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Admissions Policy Year of Entry 2018-19 

Reception Year

Introduction

John Donne is a Voluntary Aided Church of England Primary School (September 2017) within the Diocese of St Albans in Central Bedfordshire. The Governing Body of the school is the admission authority. The Governors will admit up to the Published Admission Number (PAN) of 24 children to the Reception year group during each academic year.  The Governing Body is required to abide by the maximum limits for infant classes (4, 5, 6 and 7 year olds), i.e. 30 pupils per class. There are a few exceptions to this, which are detailed in this policy.

Your Child’s Birthday

Start Date

1 Sept 2013 – 31 August 2014

September 2018

The Local Authority (LA) operates a timetabled co-ordinated admissions procedure in line with government legislation. Parents are required to make their application to the LA in which they live and return their application form to that authority by the date indicated on the application form.  Parents can also apply online using the online application system for the LA in which they live.

These arrangements do not apply to our Nursery intake, or in-year admissions (see page 4).

Parents offered a place may defer the date of their child’s admission until later in the year, or until the child reaches statutory school age. All children must join the school in the Reception year or a new application will need to be made to the LA for a Year 1 place.

Where a parent of a ‘summer-born’ child (1 April – 31 August) wishes their child to start school in the Autumn Term following their fifth birthday, the Governors will consider the request. If parents do not take up the offered place before the start of the Summer Term of the school year of entry, then they would have to re-apply for a place in Year 1.

However, if parents wish such a child to be educated “out-of year group” i.e. in the Reception Year rather than Year 1 they may request this and should discuss it with the school as soon as possible. Such applications will be considered by the governors on a case by case basis. Each case will be judged on its individual merits but to admit out of year group would require exceptional and extenuating circumstances and professional evidence explaining why the child’s needs cannot be met in the chronological year group.

All such parents should apply for their child’s normal age group at the usual time and may submit a request for admission out of the normal age group at the same time.

The governors will respond to this request prior to the offer of a place being made. If the request is agreed to the application can be withdrawn for that year before the place is offered.

If the request is refused, parents may decide whether or not to accept the offer of a place for the normal age group, or refuse it and make an in-year application for admission into Year 1 for the September following the child’s fifth birthday.

Where a parent’s request has been agreed, they must make a new application as part of the main admissions round the following year.

Parents do not have the right of appeal against a decision not to place the child in a year group outside their normal age group.

The closing date for admission application forms to be received by the LA will be the date on the application form.

Please note that the information in this policy is correct for the year shown. Policies for future years might be different.

How places are offered

Pupils who have an Education Health and Care Plan (Statement of Special Educational Needs) are required to be admitted to the school which is named on the statement, even if the school is full. Pupils identified for admission through the Fair Access Protocol will also be admitted even if this would result in the class size exceeding the PAN.

In the event of there being more applications than available places, the following oversubscription criteria will be applied, in order.

Category 1     ‘Looked after children’ or children who were previously ‘looked after’ (see definition);

Category 2     On ‘very exceptional’ medical grounds;

Category 3     Children who at the time of application have their home address within the ecclesiastical parish of Blunham (a map is available on the website www.achurchnearyou.com which can be consulted to give the parish in which you reside) and who have a sibling who will be attending the school at the time of entry (see definition);

Category 4     Children who have a sibling who will be attending the school at the time of entry (see definition);

Category 5     Children who at the time of application have their home address within the ecclesiastical parish of Blunham (a map is available on the website www.achurchnearyou.com which can be consulted to give the parish in which you reside).

Category 6     Children whose home address is outside the area as defined in Category 3 above, one or more of whose parents/guardians have, at the time of application shown commitment to the Church of England or another Christian Church by attending a service at least once a month for the year prior to an application being made. Applicants in this category will need to ask their priest or minister to complete the relevant section of the application form;                

Category 7     Any other children.

Where the application of the above criteria results in a situation where there are more children with an equal right to admission to the school than the number of available places, the tie-break will be distance from the school, measured in a straight line, using the computerised mapping system operated by the LA, with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority.  The distance will be measured from the address point of the pupil’s home to the front door of the school building.  Priority will not be given within each criterion to children who meet other criteria.

Where the last available place is offered to a twin or multiple birth child the other twin or multiple birth siblings will be offered a place as exceptions to the infant class size rule.

Definitions

Looked after children

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 the exercise of their social services functions (ref section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989)

Previously looked after children

A previously ‘looked after’ child is one who immediately after being ‘looked after’ became subject to an adoption, child arrangement, or special guardianship order. An ‘adoption order’ is an order under section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.  A ‘child arrangement’ is an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under section 12 of the Children and Families Act 2014.  Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).

Sibling

A sibling refers to a brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister or the child of the parent/carer’s partner, and in every case, the child should be living at the same address. The sibling must be in the school at the time of application and be likely to remain in the school at the proposed date of admission.

Very Exceptional Medical Grounds

“Very exceptional” medical grounds refers to cases where there are exceptional medical reasons which make it essential that a child should attend a particular school and where the preferred school is the only school locally that could meet the child’s needs.  A medical report from the child’s doctor or consultant must be submitted with the application form, setting out valid medical reason why it is essential for the child to be admitted to this school and the difficulties that would be caused if the child had to attend another school. The Governors reserve the right to seek further information to decide whether it is essential for a child to be admitted to this school on medical grounds.  Admission on medical grounds cannot be considered where the medical condition relates to that of a parent, brother or sister or other relative/childminder.

Home Address

A pupil’s home address will be regarded as the address of the parents or guardians with parental responsibility with whom the child normally lives. This will not usually include grandparents, aunts or uncles.  Where a child spends time with parents at more than one address, the address used to allocate a school place will be the one at which the pupil is ordinarily resident and where the child spends the majority of the school week (Mondays to Fridays) including nights.  If there is any query on the home address this will be checked against official documentation e.g. council tax bill, a recent utility bill (gas, electricity or water), a rental agreement, child benefit annual statement or family tax credit information.

The distance will be measured from the address point of the pupil's home to the school gate.  Priority will not be given within each criterion to children who meet other criteria.  In the event of (a) two or more children living at the same address point (e.g. children resident in a block of flats) or (b) two addresses measuring the same distance from the school, the ultimate tie-breaker will be random selection, using the School Admissions Team database to allocate the place.

Christian Church

The governors define a ‘Christian’ Church to be one which is a member, or is eligible for membership, of Churches Together in England or the Evangelical Alliance.

Unsuccessful Applications

Appeals Parents who have not been allocated a place for their child in the Reception class have the right of appeal to an independent panel. The LA will explain the procedure to you if this situation arises.

Waiting List

In the event of more applications than available places the governors will maintain a waiting list. These and late applications will go onto this list in a position determined by the criteria.  If a place becomes available in the school it will be offered to the child at the top of the waiting list.

The governors will maintain the list until the end of the Autumn Term, 2018. Parents are requested to inform the governors if they wish their child’s name to remain on the waiting list beyond this time.

In-Year Admissions

Application Forms can be obtained from the School Office at any time that the school is open and should be returned to the school.

The Nursery

There is the equivalent of 40 full-time places available in the Nursery. Children are accepted the term of their third birthday with access to 15 funded hours per week (30 funded hours per week to those parents who are eligible) the term after their third birthday.  2 year old funding is also available to those parents who are eligible, this includes the term of their third birthday.  Parents may choose when to use their funding as we offer fully flexible sessions from 9am to 3.30pm.  Standard sessions are Morning (9.00am to 12.00 noon), Afternoon (12.30pm-3.30pm).  These sessions can be extended by the hour. Any hours over and above the 15, are available for an hourly fee.

A place in the Nursery does not guarantee a place in Reception and parents are required to make separate application for Reception places at the appropriate time.

Where the number of applications exceeds the number of places in the Nursery, acceptance will be in accordance with the criteria used for Reception.

Pupils who start their Reception year in the September following their fourth birthday will be offered a full time place.

Nursery Admission Procedure

Application Forms can be obtained from the School Office at any time that the school is open and should be returned to the school.

John Donne School Governors –

February 2017