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Help understanding admission criteria please

(14 Posts)
Zingy123 Tue 30-Apr-13 08:17:14

My DD1 will be starting school next September so I need to apply this year for her. The admissions policy below is for our first preference school. I am struggling to understand how they decide on who gets a place. Priority 1 and 2 are quite clear to me. However after that does it go Priority 3, 4 and 5 or is 3,4 and 5 one category on it's own? e.g. if there are two families who go to church weekly the one with the least distance away from the school would get the place?

Thanks in advance.

Over-subscription Criteria
If there are more applications received within either category than there are places available, and in compliance with the School Admissions Code in force, the following over-subscription criteria will be applied to prioritise all applications received:

Priority 1 – Looked After Children
Priority will be given to children who, at the time of admission:
•are in the care of a local authority, or
•are provided with accommodation by the authority (Looked After Children), or
•children who were previously looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted, or became subject to a residence order or a special guardianship order.

A Looked After Child is defined in Section 22 of the Children Act 1989.

Priority 2 - Siblings
Priority will then be given to children who, at the time of application:
•have an older sibling currently attending the school in Year 7 to Year 13,
•and, the older sibling joined the school in Year 7 to Year 11,
•and, the older sibling will still attend the school at the time of admission,
•and, the faith commitment of the parent, as evidenced in the SIF (and Support Form) has been maintained since the original application for entry for the older sibling.

This priority applies equally to brothers, sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, half-brothers, half-sisters and adopted brothers and sisters, provided that they are living at the same address as the applicant.

Any place offered may be withdrawn if the older sibling leaves the school before the younger sibling attends.

Priority 3 - Faith Commitment of Parent and Child
Priority will then be given to those with the highest level of commitment to the worshipping life of their faith community. This will be done by ranking the information provided within the SIF and Support Form to determine the level of attendance at Worship, Sunday School or Religious Instruction by one parent or guardian, and the child.

In the event of a number of applications having the same level of faith commitment, priority will be given to those with the highest:
(i)attendance of parent
(ii)attendance of child
in that order.

Where either the parent and/or applicant child have attended their current place of worship for less than 12 months, or where they consider that they are members of more than one worshipping community, or where they attend separate places of worship, a Support Form is required from each place of worship attended within the last 12 months.

Attendance arranged as part school based church worship or education is not included, neither is attendance by other members of the applicant’s family.

Priority 4 – Distance from Home
Priority will then be given by reference to distance between home and the school. A straight-line measurement will be made from the child’s home address to the centre of the school site on the basis of information provided to the school by the Local Authority. The shortest measurement will have the highest priority.

The address used must be the child’s permanent home address. Where the child lives with separated parents, it will be the address where they sleep for the majority of the school week.

Any place offered may be withdrawn if it subsequently found that this information is incorrect.

Priority 5 – Random Allocation
Where all other listed criteria are equal, and the school is not able to admit all such children, lots will be drawn decide the priority order for admission. This process will be independently verified.

Important Notes
a.Where the last available place in either category (Church Place or Open Place) is offered to one sibling of a multiple birth, the remaining siblings will also be admitted.
b.Children are normally admitted at the start of the school year in which they become twelve (school Year 7) and remain until they are of statutory school leaving age.
c.Applications will also be considered at other times and into other years if there are places available, using the process set out above.
d.Applications for post-16 courses of study may be made by either parents or prospective students themselves. Please see the school’s separate post-16 admissions policy.

LIZS Tue 30-Apr-13 08:21:27

I think within 3. a longstanding parent attendee of the church would be higher priority than a relative newcomer. Have you looked at the allocation figures to see how many places were allocated in each category this/last year and whether any got in from 4 ?.

senua Tue 30-Apr-13 08:25:56

I wouldn't try to interpret or second-guess. Phone Admissions and ask them!

Zingy123 Tue 30-Apr-13 08:30:40

Thanks. They have so many church places and so many open places. They only list how many of each category they don't put e.g. Priority 1 - 3 pupils Priority 2 - 50 pupils. I will give admissions a ring today.

lougle Tue 30-Apr-13 08:59:18

Yes. If, inexplicably, they found that all the

lougle Tue 30-Apr-13 09:55:45

Yes. If the last two applicants to meet the faith criteria had exactly the same level of faith committment, length of time that parents attended and length of time the child attended, then it would go on distance as a tie-breaker.

It's interesting to see the criteria of '(ii)attendance of child'

Would that be length of time? Surely that would discriminate against younger children?

Take the following example:

Joe is September born. His parents serve at the church and attend weekly, plus they run a homegroup and arrange the flowers.

Amy is August born. Her parents also serve at the church and attend weekly, plus they run a homegroup and arrange the flowers.

They both meet the criteria for faith, and there is only one place left.

The criteria moves on: (i)attendance of parent

Both Joe and Amy have very committed parents. In fact, they are friends. Their parents are friends and they all joined the church at the same time.

They both have equal parent attendance.

The criteria moves on: (ii)attendance of child

Both Joe and Amy have attended church weekly since they were born.

NOW does the criteria move on at this point to distance, or does Joe get the place because he has attended church for almost 1 year longer than Amy, despite both of them having gone for their entire lives?


Zingy123 Tue 30-Apr-13 10:16:37

Just rang the LEA and they said it is done on a points system. They put children in order of points and then distance on a list and places are given in that order.

We get only 3 preferences here so I don't want to put any schools down that would be a waste of my time.

prh47bridge Tue 30-Apr-13 11:22:55

The points system will be for faith commitment.

Lougle is correct. So if two families have the same level of faith commitment they look at the parent's attendance. If they are both the same they look at the child's attendance. If they are also both the same they look at distance. If that still fails to separate the two applicants they use a random draw.

That is for the church places. The open places are decided on distance with a random draw if distances match.

lougle Tue 30-Apr-13 11:42:27

prh47bridge, what do you think about the child attendance rule? Do you think there is potential for a child to miss out simply because they are born later in the year than another child?

prh47bridge Tue 30-Apr-13 12:16:05

It depends what they actually mean by that rule. It isn't entirely clear from the information the OP has given but I suspect they are referring to attendance in the preceding 12 months rather than lifetime attendance. That would fit with the fact they want a support form from each place the parent or child has worshipped within the previous 12 months. If that is the case date of birth is irrelevant. If they mean lifetime attendance I would agree that is unfair and I would expect the Schools Adjudicator to overturn any such rule.

admission Wed 01-May-13 22:11:43

It is this kind of admission criteria which drives me mad. You can't understand it and neither can most other people and worse still different interpretations can be put on it, which is only going to lead to confusion.
The only people who really know what it means are the admission panel of the governing body who have responsibility for ensuring that the admission criteria is correctly administered.
This bit under criteria 2 siblings I suspect would not get past the school adjudicator as it is introducing the actions of somebody other than the pupil concerned into the admission process.
"the faith commitment of the parent, as evidenced in the SIF (and Support Form) has been maintained since the original application for entry for the older sibling."
My guess would be that if you are not sure that you can adequately meet the faith requirement that you are probably unlikely to get a place and it would be a waste of one of your preferences

Zingy123 Wed 01-May-13 22:38:56

Thanks. We do go to church weekly but are quite far away from the school. It is an excellent school so think we will take the chance and put it first.

louisea Thu 02-May-13 10:23:08

Does the SIF form not give any idea of what attendance is required. Our form gives very specific dates that are required, all within the previous few months of application. Some places of worship keep a detailed record of attendance, others sign the form telling the applicant that it is on their own conscience.

Zingy123 Thu 02-May-13 12:37:57

No it just asks how long your attendance has applied. The minister then has to sign it. It is a CofE school but we attend Catholic Church.

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