Through the Education and Skills Act 2008 the statutory admissions framework has been strengthened to ensure that all schools adopt fair and lawful admissions practices. The changes to the 2010 School Admissions Code (the Code) will require all admission authorities to provide parents with this choice of a school place for entry from September 2011 onwards. This policy reflects these changes.
LEA Admissions Policy
The Admissions Authority for our school is the LEA, which publishes its entry regulations every year. Parents and carers can receive a copy of these regulations directly from the LEA.
The LEA’s annual admissions prospectus informs parents and carers how to apply for a place at the school of their choice. Parents and carers have a right to express their preference, but this does not, in itself, guarantee a place at that particular school. Application should be made on a form that can be obtained from the local Education Department, and should be returned by the date stipulated on that form.
Admissions into Reception Class
Parents and carers who would like their child to be admitted to Reception class during the year their child is five should ensure that they return the necessary application form by the deadline stipulated by KCC, even if they do not wish the child to commence school the following September.
Parents can request that the date their child is admitted to the school is deferred until later in the school year or until the child reaches compulsory school age in that school year.
Parents can also request that the date their child attends part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age in that the child reaches compulsory school age in that school year.
Induction into Reception Class
In term 6 of the school year prior to year in which the child is due to commence in Reception, parents and children are invited a meeting with the Reception teacher in the Reception classroom. This provides parents with an opportunity to meet the teaching staff and answer any questions or concerns the parent may have about them starting school and to explain about school rules, uniform etc. It also provides parents with the opportunity to meet each other.
In term 6 of the school year prior to year in which the child is due to commence in Reception children are invited to attend school on 3 consecutive afternoons. This allows the children to get to know the teacher and the teaching assistant and provides an introduction to the classroom environment and routines. In line with LEA guidelines, Reception children will start school part time for the first week and full time thereafter.
During their children’s first term in Reception, parents are encouraged to bring their children into, and collect children from, the classroom to ensure the child settles in well. After this first term, the school’s normal “drop and go” policy applies as for the rest of the school.
During Reception year regular formal and informal meetings are held with parent to discuss aspects of school life. There are many opportunities for visits out of school where parents are encouraged to accompany their children.
All children in Reception class, Years 1& 2 are offered participation in the Free Fruit & Vegetable scheme and the Governments Free School Meals scheme.
In-Year Admissions, other than Reception
The school will communicate the availability of places to the local authority when requested. This may be when the LA receives an application for a place, at regular intervals or whenever a child leaves the school. Any offer of a school place must be made by the local authority. The local authority, as admission authority, will be best placed to communicate with parents who have children on the waiting list. A school may exceed its admission number if both it and the local authority agree that it would not adversely affect the school in the longer term and it will not have a detrimental affect on neighbouring schools or as part of the Fair Access Protocol. This is line with the government policy that proposals to expand successful and popular schools should be approved.
There is an expectation that the admission number will continue to be applied as the year group progresses through the school, but this is not a legal requirement. However, if circumstances have changed since the year of entry, it is permissible to refuse admission without the admission number having been reached if it would prejudice efficient education or efficient use of resources.
It is expected that the local authority will allow admission authorities five school days to make a decision in the majority of cases, and a maximum of 10 school days in more complex cases.
If a child is not offered a place at this school, this will be because to do so would prejudice the education of other children by allowing the number of children in the school to increase too much.
If parents and carers wish to appeal against a decision to refuse entry, they can do so by applying to the LA. An independent panel considers all such appeals, and its decision is binding for all parties concerned. If the appeals panel decides that we should admit a child to whom we had refused a place, then we will accept this decision and continue to do all we can to provide the best education for all the children at our school.
The standard/published admissions number
The ‘standard number’ is the number of children the LA considers the school can accommodate. The standard number for our school is 10 We keep this number under review, and the governors will apply to change the number if circumstances change.
The published admission number applies only to the normal year of admission. A child cannot be refused admission to the normal year of entry at a school on the grounds of prejudice to efficient education or efficient use of resources unless the published admission number has already been reached. This applies even if the application is made after the start of the school year.
Sizes of classes for infants
In line with government policy, we teach infant children in classes that have a maximum number of 30 children. In practice this number is never reached due to the physical size of the classrooms.
Monitoring and review
This policy will be monitored by the governing body, who will always take due note of the guidance provided by the local Admissions Forum. The policy will be reviewed every two years, or earlier in the light of any changed circumstances, either in our school or in the local area.
The criteria for Rodmersham is:
Children in Local Authority Care or Previously in Local Authority Care;
Attendance at a linked school (only relevant to infant and Junior schools where they are linked – See table on page 15 for details);
Current Family Association (sibling);
Health, Social and Special Access Reasons;
Nearness of Children’s Homes to School.
Right of Appeal
In the event of parents' being unhappy with the process or wishing to appeal against a refusal due to the standard number being reached, the Education Office should be contacted. The address to contact is:
East Kent Area Education Office
Kent CT5 3QZ Tel: 01227 772992
Admissions once pupils have reached Statutory School Age
From September 2010, all applications will be processed through the LA and parents must apply for the school through the local authority. They are, of course, still welcome to visit the school and meet with the headteacher prior to this.