Admission policy 2017-2018

Bristol Diocese Academies Trust (DBAT) are the admitting authority for Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy and are responsible for their own admission policy and arrangements. Swindon Local Authority administers all admissions for Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy, on behalf of the Local Board. 

The school opened in September 2014 and is opening on a phased basis. In September 2017, the school will operate with Reception, Key Stage One and Year Three groups (PAN 60) and proposes to open Year 4 and Year 5 (Both PAN 30)

This policy applies to admissions in the 2017-18 academic year. 

Admissions Procedure 

Applications must be made through the Local Authority’s Co-ordinated Scheme and all instructions and deadlines in the scheme should be adhered to by applicants. Late applications are dealt with in accordance to the scheme procedures. 

Full details of the scheme can be found on their website at www.swindon.gov.uk. In brief the scheme is outlined below: 

  • Parents / carers are able to make an online application or apply using a hard copy application form. All applications must be submitted to Swindon Local Authority and the Admissions Team. If you make an online application you do not need to also make a hard copy application. Parents can express an equal preference for up to 3 schools. 
  • The closing date for all applications is the 15th January 2017. All applications must be submitted by this date. 
  • Offers will be made to parents by Swindon Local Authority on the 18th April 2017. 
  • Any child refused a place at a school may request to be put on a waiting list for that school and they will be  informed of their right to appeal against this decision. 
  • Parents / carers must accept or refuse the offer of a school place by the 3rd May 2017

Published Admission Number

The published admission number for the reception intake is 60. The school will accordingly admit up to 60 pupils in the relevant age group each year, up to Year 3, and up to 30 pupils in each of Years 4 and 5. All applicants will be admitted if fewer than the PAN apply.


Oversubscription Criteria

If there are more applications than there are places at the school, then the oversubscription criteria will be applied in the following order.

A child who has a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is required to be admitted to the school named on the child’s statement.

A. A ‘Looked After Child’ or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order. 

B. Any child who has a sibling attending the Tadpole Farm C of E Primary Academy at the same time as he or she is due to be admitted;

C. Any other child by distance from the school, with priority for admission given to children who live nearest to the school.

Tie- Breaker

In all cases where schools are oversubscribed, distance measured as a straight-line from the centre point of the rooftop of the home address to the centre point of the rooftop of the school will be used to prioritise applications within individual oversubscription criteria. If the direct distance measurement does not separate applicants, places will be offered by random allocation.

Definitions and Details

Children with statements of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan
Pupils with a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan at the time of allocation are required to be admitted to the school named on their statement or plan. Once a statement reaches the formal proposed stage the administration of the admission of the young person becomes the responsibility of Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (SENAT) at which point this policy ceases to apply.

Looked After Child

A ‘Looked After Child’ is a child who is:
(a) in the care of a local authority, or
(b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see the definition in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989) at the time of making an application to a school.

This also applies to a ‘Looked After Child’ or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order. If children have ever been Looked After or Adopted or subject to a residency or special guardianship order evidence would need to be provided and the LA reserve the right to ask the parent to provide this.


A 'previously looked after child' is a child who:

(a) ceased to be looked after because they were adopted (under the terms of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 Section 46 (adoption orders)), or
(b) became subject to a child arrangements order (under the terms of the Children and Families Act 2014 - an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live), or
(c) became subject to a special guardianship order (see Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 - an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians)).

Sibling

Sibling refers to brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or the child of the parent/carer’s partner where the child for whom the school place is sought is living in the same family unit at the same address as that sibling.

Catchment area

The school does not have a defined catchment area. Priority within each oversubscription criteria is determined according to distance from the school.

Distance 

Distance is measured in a straight line from the centre point of the rooftop of the child’s home address to the centre point of the rooftop of the school, using the LA’s computerised system, with those living closest to the school receiving higher priority.

Co-ordinated scheme

Any application for a place within the normal round of admissions is made through Swindon Borough Council. Tadpole Farm CE Primary Academy operates within the LA’s co-ordinated scheme.

The Local Authority are responsible for determining key dates for the admissions round.

Late application

Any application received after the closing date for the normal round of admissions will be treated as late and will be considered after all ontime applications have been considered.

Availability of place

All children are entitled to a full time place in the September following their 4th birthday.

Parents can defer parents can defer the date their child is admitted to school until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age or, for children born between 1 April and 31 August, not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the offer was made; 

Where parents wish, children may attend part-time until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age. Where a parent wishes for their child to attend part time, this should be discussed with the Head Teacher.

Summer born children

A parent of a child born between 1st April and 31st August defined as “summer born” may request for the child to be admitted to a year group later than that of their natural cohort. The Local Authority with Tadpole Farm CE Primary School will take into consideration the individual circumstances of the case to determine whether the request can be granted.  This may include but not be limited to include whether they were born prematurely, whether delayed social, emotional or physical development is adversely affecting their readiness for school, the possible impact of attending a year group which is not their natural cohort.

Evidence will be required to be able to assess the individual case from a Senior Medical Consultant, Educational Psychologist and/or other relevant professionals.

Where the request is granted, a place will not be allocated prior to the normal admissions round for the year of entry and  the parent will be required to reapply during the admissions round in order to ensure that they are fairly considered against the admission criteria for the schools they wish to apply for.

Where a parent of a summer born child wishes to admit their child into a year group lower than that of their natural cohort, they should contact the Local Authority and school as soon as possible. 

Multiple births

The school will endeavour to place siblings born at the same time (e.g. twins, triplets etc.) at the school, if necessary the school will admit over its PAN to accommodate such children. In the case of Infant Class Sizes (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) class sizes must not contain more than 30 pupils with a single school teacher, however, additional children may only be admitted in limited exceptional circumstances, and in accordance with the School Admissions Code, twins and children from multiple births are classed as ‘excepted pupils’ to this legislation. Therefore, if one child of a multiple birth is offered the last available space at the school (according to the PAN), then offers will be made to all the children of that particular multiple birth. Those children would remain an exception to infant class size for the entire time they are in an infant class or until the class numbers fall back to the current infant class size limit. 

Children of UK Service Personnel

Applications for children of service personnel with a confirmed posting to the area will be considered in advance of the family arriving in the area provided the application is accompanied by an official letter from the commanding officer that declares a relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address. Until a fixed address is provided, the LA will accept the Unit Postal Address or Quartering address as the Home Address for allocation purposes. All applications must be included in the normal admissions round if possible. 

In line with the Swindon Borough Council policy, an in-year application will be considered in the normal way and if a reasonable alternative cannot be offered, the child may be admitted as an ‘excepted pupil’ under the School Admissions (Infant Class Sizes) (England) Regulations 2012. In this circumstance, if this would mean admitting above the PAN, the school will take into account the organisational structure of the school to determine whether it is the best interests of the child and children already attending the school. 

A reasonable alternative is defined as a school which is within the statutory maximum walking distance of 2 miles for a child who is under 8 years old and 3 miles for a child who is over 8 years old.

Parent/Carer

This is defined as a person with parental responsibility (PR) or legal residency of the child. This could include a person who is not a parent but who has a Court Order giving parental responsibility to them. An application will only be considered if made by a person who has PR.

Where two adults have shared responsibility for a child they should agree before submitting an application form which school(s) to name as their preference(s). In cases of dispute, or where two applications from the adult with whom the child is living are received, the LA or the school will ask parents to agree on the school applied for, or if that is not possible the LA or school will ask the parent to seek a Specific Issues Order through the Courts to gain the authority to make an application.

(In reaching a decision on the address to use as the ‘home address’, evidence may be requested to show the address to which any Child Benefit is paid and from which the child is registered with a medical GP. Any other evidence provided by parents will also be considered in reaching a decision on the home address for admissions purposes.)

In-year applications 

Applications for a place at the school outside the normal admission round should be made to Swindon Borough Council using the In-year Admission Form.

Applications will be considered for children who are resident within the United Kingdom with the exception of UK Service Personnel.

The LA will consider applications on behalf of the school according to the published admission number and oversubscription criteria the school.

The outcome of the application will be notified by letter. If the child is accepted then it is expected that the place is accepted within 10 days and the parent should contact the school to arrange a mutually agreed start date. The child is expected to start within 28 days.

If a child is refused they will be placed on the waiting list as indicated below.

Waiting lists 

Waiting lists will be maintained from the initial point of entry until the end of that academic year. For the September 2017 intake this will be from the offer date until 31st August 2018. For all other year groups (Years 1 and above) the waiting list will be discarded on 31st August 2017 and new applications will be invited from 1st September 2017.

Placement will be determined by applying the oversubscription criteria published above. Names will be removed from the lists if requested or if the offer of a place that becomes available is not accepted. Positions on waiting lists may change due to new applications received.

Placing a child's name on a waiting list does not affect the parents’ right of appeal against an unsuccessful application.

Parents may only apply and appeal once per school per academic year. The school may consider a fresh application if there is a significant and material change in circumstances of the parent, child or school since the original application was made. An example of this may be that the family have moved house.

Appeals procedure 

Parents have a right of appeal to an independent panel against any decision made by or on behalf of the LA as to the school at which education is to be provided for their child. Information about the appeal procedure will be provided where a place at one or more of the preferred schools has been refused.

Appellants should contact the Swindon Borough Council Admissions Team to obtain an appeal form, which should be returned to Appeals Clerk at Civic Offices, Euclid Street, Swindon, SN1 2JH.

Appendix 1 - LA co-ordinated Dates

For children born between 1st September 2012 and 31st August 2013
Applications can be made from 1 September 2016
Deadline for ontime applications Friday 15th January 2017
Deadline for proof and changes of address to be received Friday 18th March 2017
Offers made to Swindon residents Monday 18th April 2017
Deadline for parents to accept place Tuesday 3rd May 2017

 

Appendix 2 – Document Control

Document Drafted September 2015
Agreed by Governors 29 September 2015 
Public Consultation closed 20th December 2015
Determined By DBAT Main Board 1st March 2016