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Admission Arrangements

Introduction
The Trust will admit children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming the school.
Should the school receive more applications than the published admission limit, the following over subscription criteria will be used:
Over Subscription Criteria
1. Children who are looked after or previously looked after or who have been adopted from public care (see definition on page 3).
2. Children who live in the area served by the school and who have a sibling attending the school at the time of their admission.
3. Children who have a disability and live in the area served by the school (appropriate professional evidence will be required to confirm the disability).
4. Children who live in the area served by the school.
5. Children who live outside the area served by the school who have a brother or sister with a statement of special educational needs attending the school at the time of their admission.
6. Children who live outside the area served by the school who have a brother or sister attending the school at the time of their admission.
7. Children who live outside the area served by the school.
When considering the allocation of places under criterion 7, the highest priority will be given to children living nearest to the school. To determine who lives nearest, distance will be measured on a straight line ‘crow-fly’ basis, using Ordnance Survey data. If following the application of admission rules and distance two applicants cannot be separated for a final place at a school, the Trust will use random allocation to determine the priority for the remaining place.
Late applications (those arriving after the published closing date) will only be considered after all other applications have been processed.
The admission round is deemed as starting on 1 September of the year prior to transfer. The closing date for applications will match the dates set by the co-ordinated Norfolk Local Authority admissions process.

Information on Oversubscription Rules
The following information and definitions apply to all schools in The Yare Education Trust.
Distance
Distance will be measured on a straight line ‘crow-fly’ basis using Ordnance Survey data. The measurement will be taken from the post office postcode address point on the child’s home to the post office postcode address point on the school.
Looked After Children or Children in Public Care
In oversubscription rules ‘children in public care’ and ‘looked after children’ are defined as looked after children and previously looked after children. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after and ceased to be so because they were adopted or became subject to a Residence Order or Special Guardianship Order.
Siblings
When we use the oversubscription rules, ‘siblings’ means; brothers or sisters living at the same address including adopted children, step-brothers, step-sisters and children in foster care within a family unit.
Only siblings attending the school at the time of the child’s proposed admission will be given a higher priority in the oversubscription rules.
Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) / Statements of Special Educational Needs
Where a child’s EHCP or Statement of Special Educational Needs names a specific school, the school must admit the child regardless of whether the school has a place available.
Disability
Disability will be defined using the definition contained in the Equalities Act 2010.
Random Allocation
Where random allocation is used to determine the allocation of school places, applicants will have their names drawn by lots to see who should be offered the place(s). There will be an independent scrutiny of the random allocation.
Admission of Children Outside their Normal Age Group
Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. The Trust will make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned. This will include taking account of the parents’ views; information about their medical history and the views of a medical professional; whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group. Also taken into account will be the views of the Headteacher of the school. When informing a parent of the decision on the year group the child should be admitted to, the Trust will set out clearly the reasons for the decision.
Where there is agreement to a parental request for their child to be admitted out of their normal age group and, as a consequence of that decision, the child will be admitted to a relevant age group (for example the age group to which students are normally admitted to the school) the Trust will process the application as part of the main admissions round, unless the parental request is made too late for this to be possible, and on the basis of their determined admission arrangements only, including the application of oversubscription criteria where applicable. Parents have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied. This right does not apply if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred age group.

Guidance for In Year Admissions
It is generally agreed that it is in the best interests of children and schools for school transfers to take place at the beginning of a new term. Where a parent makes an application to change their child’s school during the school year it will only be considered by the Trust in line with the following timetable:

  •  31 October for a transfer to take place at the beginning of the spring term (after Christmas)
  • 28 (29) February for a transfer to take place at the beginning of the summer term (after Easter)
  • 31 May for a transfer to take place at the beginning of the autumn term (the beginning of a new school year).

Applications received after 31 May will be considered after all on time applications. Late applications will be processed until 3 July. After 3 July applications will be processed after 31 October. Where possible decisions regarding late applications will be sent out before the beginning of the new school year.
In all instances, the over subscription rules apply.
If a parent believes there are exceptional reasons why their child should move immediately they should provide them to the Trust, in writing, along with the appropriate supporting documents and they will be considered by the admission authority for the school.
This guidance does not apply where a family has moved a significant distance from their previous home address which makes travel to their current school unreasonable. In this case the Trust will process the application as soon as it is received.
Please note the following:

  • Where a child is currently attending a school in the independent sector and notice to leave has been given to the school, the application will be considered for admission at the beginning of the following term to ensure continuity of education. Written confirmation of notice will be required.
  • Where medical reasons are given, a letter from a relevant medical professional will be required to support the application.
  • If parents are currently home educating and want to access a school place it will only be considered for an immediate transfer where home education has been disallowed (evidence required).
  • Where issues with the current school such as severe bullying are given as the reason for a transfer, the Trust will require evidence to corroborate parents’ reasons. An immediate transfer will only be considered where the current school confirms that there is no further action that can be taken to resolve the problems.

In all cases the Admission Team will contact the current school to advise that an exception to the In Year policy is being sought and the reason for a move of school.
Under no circumstances should parents withdraw their child/children from their current school before an alternative school has been offered.
If parents are concerned about any aspect of their child’s schooling they should first raise the issue with the child’s Class Teacher. If the matter remains unresolved parents should approach the Headteacher who may wish to discuss the reasons for requesting a school transfer and be given the opportunity to resolve the issues.
We will not process a request for an exception to the In Year policy if parents have not raised the issues they are concerned about with the current school and provide the evidence of this.

The Right of Appeal
Admission Appeals
If the request is refused parents have the right of appeal to an independent panel. Appeals are heard by school admission appeals panels which act independently of the Trust. If the preference is refused, information about how to appeal will be sent to parents with a refusal letter.
Parents will be advised in reasonable time when and where the appeal will be heard. At least seven working days before the appeal parents will be sent a written summary of the case for refusing their child a place. Parents are encouraged to attend the appeal in person. The appeal will be heard in private and if parents wish they may bring a friend, relative or representative. It is for the parent to decide if they would like to bring their child to the hearing. If parents do not attend the appeal hearing, a written appeal case will still be considered by the panel.
At the hearing there will be three panel members who make the decision and a clerk who will record the proceedings and advise on law and procedure. The Trust will also be represented and will give the reasons for not meeting the preference. Parents will be given the opportunity to explain to the panel the reasons why they wish for their child to attend the school.
The panel will firstly decide whether the admission authority has shown why it cannot admit more children and if so, will go on to consider all the points parents have made. The panel’s decision is based on balancing the needs of the child against the effect of admitting another child. Wherever possible parents will be told the decision by telephone by the next working day and a letter will be sent within seven days explaining the decision and reasons for it.
All admission appeals panels act independently and their decisions are binding on everyone. There is no further right of appeal to the panel for a place in the same academic year unless there is a significant change in circumstances. This would include a new medical problem or a house move where this was not known about and considered at the original appeal hearing.
The Local Government Ombudsman can investigate complaints of maladministration. Parents will be given further details about this if the appeal is unsuccessful. Parents should complain to the Ombudsman within twelve months of when they first knew about the matter they wished to complain about.

Further Guidance for Parents
When do children start school?
Children will be offered a full time place in a Reception class from the September of the academic year in which they turn five years old. All parents are entitled to defer their admission or request that their child attend on a part-time basis, however the child must start school on a full time basis on the prescribed day following their fifth birthday (or on their fifth birthday if it falls on a prescribed day). The prescribed days are 31 December, 31 March and 31 August.
Can my child start school earlier?
Your child cannot start earlier than the policy allows.
Can my child start school later?
The law allows parents to ask for their child to be admitted but lets them delay the start date until later in the school year or to start on a part time basis. The effect of this is that the place is held and cannot be offered to another child. However, for a place to be held, admission can only be delayed within the academic year. This means the admission must take place by the summer term 2018. Places cannot be held until the following autumn term for those children who are five during the preceding summer term.
If I do not think my child is ready to start school can they start in Reception the following year?
The admission authority must consider parental requests and make decisions based on the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child.
Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. In addition, the parents of a summer born child may choose not to send that child to school until the September following their fifth birthday and may request that they are admitted out of their normal age group – to Reception rather than Year 1. Admission authorities must make clear in their admission arrangements the process for requesting admission out of the normal age group.
Admission authorities must make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned. This will include taking account of the parents’ views; 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. They must also take into account the views of the headteacher of the school concerned. When informing a parent of their decision on the year group the child should be admitted to, the admission authority must set out clearly the reasons for their decision.
Where an admission authority agrees to a parent’s request for their child to be admitted out of their normal age group and, as a consequence of that decision, the child will be admitted to a relevant age group (for example, the age group to which pupils are normally admitted to the school) the local authority and admission authority must process the application as part of the main admissions round, unless the parental request is made too late for this to be possible, and on the basis of their determined admission arrangements only, including the application of oversubscription criteria where applicable. They must not give the application lower priority on the basis that the child is being admitted out of their normal age group. Parents have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied. This right does not apply if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred age group.
Parents are encouraged to make these requests in good time before the closing date for the normal admission round (to start school when their child is 4+ on 1 September). Parents will need to provide the detailed reasons for their request including any supporting evidence from supporting professionals to enable their request to be given proper consideration.

Further Guidance for Parents
Where the Trust agrees to a request to defer until the next academic year the parent will be able to apply in the following year when their child is 5+ on 1 September. Any agreement to a request to defer admission does not guarantee a place at the preferred schools, but the application will be considered alongside all other applications for a Reception place.
Where a parent’s request is not upheld the child will still be considered for a Reception place for the normal year for admission (provided the admission application is received before the application deadline, otherwise this will be treated alongside other late applications).
The Department for Education has issued non-statutory guidance “Advice on the admission of summer born children” which can be accessed via
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summer-born-children-school-admission
What is a part-time place?
A part-time place will be five sessions of three hours per week. Each school will decide the days and times of the sessions that can be offered. If you want your child to attend part-time please discuss with the headteacher of your allocated school.
When must I decide which school I would prefer my child to attend?
The Trust will co-ordinate the application process with Norfolk Local Authority so that all application dates are the same.
You might find it helpful to visit the school(s) before you apply. Many schools hold open evenings for parents. Details on these can be obtained from the schools or from notices which some schools publish in the local papers. If a school does not have an open evening you can get more information by contacting the headteacher at the school. You must return your application to us by the closing date specified in the appropriate timetable.
How do I apply?
You can apply online during the three transfer rounds at www.admissionsonline.norfolk.gov.uk or complete a paper application available from www.norfolk.gov.uk/admissions or by requesting a copy from Customer Services on 0344 800 8020.
There are a number of advantages to applying online:
• It is quick, safe and secure.
• Your application will be confirmed electronically.
• You will be able to view the application at any stage.
• You will be able to find out which school your child has been offered the afternoon on offer day.
Remember, free access to the internet is available at all Norfolk libraries.
What happens if I apply after the closing date?
If your application is late we will still consider it but it will be given a lower priority than all preferences received by the closing date. This is because all applications received by the closing date must be considered before any late applications. If there are exceptional circumstances why your application is late please include them when you send in your application.
If my child attends a nursery class do I need to apply again for a place in Reception?
Yes—by law you must apply for a Reception place even if you want a place at the same school.
Does attending a nursery guarantee a place at the attached school?
No—attendance at a nursery does not guarantee or give any priority for a place in Reception even if the nursery is attached to the main school.
What happens if parents live at separate addresses?
Where a child lives with separated parents who have shared responsibility, each for part of the week, the home address will be considered to be the address that the child lives at for most of the week (including weekends). We will expect evidence to support this at the time of application. In cases where the child spends an equal proportion of the week with both parents, evidence of the main contact address and which parent receives the child benefit will be required to support the application. If neither parent is in receipt of child benefit then we will use the address that the child is registered under at their GP surgery.
Can each parent make an application for their child's school place?
We expect one application per child. If more than one application is received only one will be processed. If more than one parent has Parental Responsibility we are not required to obtain the agreement of both parents before processing an application.
What happens if parents cannot agree on which school their child should attend?
We can only offer one school place to each child so we are unable to process applications where there is a conflict between parents as to which school their child should attend. Where we receive different preferences from parents we will firstly write to the parents and explain that we cannot process the application until agreement is reached. In the transfer rounds if agreement is not reached by the latest date for consideration of “late applications”, all preferences will be frozen and a place will be offered at the nearest school to the child’s home address with places available. We will require evidence of parental agreement in the form of written confirmation from each parent confirming their agreement or a Court Order.
For in year admissions we will expect the child to stay at their current school until there is agreement by both of the parents in writing as to which school the child should attend or an Order is made by the Court. Where we have already offered a place and we are later informed of a dispute between parents we will withdraw the place offered and freeze the application until there is agreement between the parents or a Court Order unless the child has already started at the new school.
What if I move house after I have applied for a school place?
If you move after you have stated your preference, you must inform us. If it is after the closing date it may not always be possible to get a place at the local school for your new address. Let us know as soon as possible when you think you will be moving. You will need to provide evidence of the new address. We cannot take your new address into account until we have received evidence that your child lives at the new address. Even though you may know that you are moving to a new address in the future we cannot take this into account until your child is living there.
What if I move out of the catchment area for the school I have applied for before the offer letter is sent out?
You must notify us of any change of address as soon as you can as we must use your current address. If you are no longer living in your original home address at the date places are allocated and only tell us of your move after offer day we may have to withdraw the place.
Verification of Addresses
The local authority is concerned that the “permanent addresses” given by some parents may not be genuine, or is temporary for the specific purpose of securing a place at a particular school. The local authority is concerned to ensure that parents who provide misleading or fraudulent information for admission do not deprive other children of their rightful school place.
Any parent who has obtained a place using a fraudulent address will have the place withdrawn. If the fraudulent address is discovered after their child starts school the place will still be withdrawn and the child will be asked to leave the school.
Can I change my preferences after I have sent the form in?
If you wish to change the order of your preferences after completing your application you must email or write to us with your changes. You need to be aware that if you change your preferences after the closing date these will have a lower priority than those preferences received on time. You can only express three preferences in total.