Admissions

Nursery Provision

1.1 All but three of the primary schools in Stoke on Trent have nursery provision attached. In addition, Stoke on Trent has six nursery schools. Children aged three years by the 31 August are able to attend a nursery class or school in September. From September, 2014, this will consist of the statutory provision of 15 hours per week, with access to additional hours based on specific criteria which are being developed. (Weston Heights Infant School will publish our Nursery provision offer on the website). Attendance at school is not a requirement at this age but is at the discretion of parents until a child becomes five years old, then s/he must start school in the following term.

1.2 Oversubscription Criteria

Where there are more applications for a nursery setting than there are places the following priorities will be used, in order, to allocate places:

1. Children in the care of the local authority and children who were previously looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).

2. Children living within the catchment who have an elder brother or sister at the school who will still be attending at the time of admission (or at the linked junior school in the case of infant schools).

3. Other children living within the catchment.

4. Children living outside the catchment who have an elder brother or sister at the school who will still be attending at the time of admission (or at the linked junior school in the case of infant schools).

5. Children who live nearest to the school as determined by a straight line measurement from the front door of the child’s home address to the main entrance of the school.

1.3 Once the class is full a waiting list based on these criteria will be held until the end of September of that academic year.

1.4 Attendance at a particular nursery setting will not guarantee admission to a reception class at the same school.

1.5 As nursery education is not compulsory there is no right of appeal against the refusal of a place. However, every effort will be made to accommodate the wishes of parents.

Primary Provision

2.1 Full time places in Foundation 2 (reception) classes in schools in Stoke-on-Trent are available in the September of the academic year in which a child becomes five years old. All applications for admission to community, voluntary controlled, voluntary aided schools and academies at 4+ are managed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Preferences made by parents living in Stoke-on-Trent for schools in other local authority areas should also be made through the Council. This is known as the co-ordinated admission scheme. To help this process applicants are required to fill out a common application form. This can be done on-line.

2.2 Schools have a Pupil Admission Number (PAN) for each year group, including the Foundation 2 (reception) class. The PAN is expected to be based upon the school’s net capacity. Places will be offered up to but not exceeding the PAN. Regulations also require that Foundation 2 (reception) and infant classes must have no more than 30 pupils to each teacher.

2.3 Parents are asked to name three schools, in order of preference, which they would like their child to attend. Admissions authorities have to consider preferences in accordance with their published admissions criteria. They cannot take account of where the school is placed in the order of preferences.

2.4 Oversubscription Criteria

Where there are more applications for a community or voluntary controlled primary school than there are places available, the Council will use the following priorities, in order, to allocate places:

1. Children cared for by a local authority and children who were previously looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).

2. Children living in the catchment area of the school who have an older brother or sister attending at the time of admission (or at the linked junior school in the case of infant schools).

3. Other children living within the catchment area of the school.

4. Children living outside the catchment area of the school who have an elder brother or sister at the school at the time of admission (or at the linked junior school in the case of infant schools).

5. Children who live nearest to the school as determined by a straight line measurement from the front door of the child’s home address to the main entrance of the school.

2.5 If priorities have to be decided within any of these categories, children will be placed in order of priority using distance from their home to the main entrance of the school as measured by straight line. The Council will also consider any reasons put forward by parents in support of their preference. These reasons should be supported with evidence wherever possible. If the reasons concern the child’s health or social wellbeing, the evidence should be provided by a medical practitioner or other social care professional. If the Council considers that the reasons for a place at a particular school are sufficiently strong, it will place the child on the school list above those whose position is based upon the distance criterion.

2.6 The Council also has to comply with the “Infant Class Size” regulations which say that infant classes must not exceed 30 pupils. If an infant class is full, a waiting list based on the above criteria will be held until the end of December of that academic year. Parents must ask to be placed on the waiting list of a school or schools – it will not happen automatically.

2.7 For admission purposes, an older brother or sister is defined as a child who lives at the same address and who is the brother/sister, half-brother/sister (i.e. share one common parent), or step brother/sister (i.e. related by parent’s marriage) of the child for whom the place is being requested. It also includes any other child living at the same residence under the terms of a Residence Order.

2.8 Special arrangements will apply if there is space for only one of a set of twins or triplets or other multiple-birth. In this circumstance the Council will usually admit above the admission number (AN) unless it is impossible to accommodate siblings in such a way, when the parents will be asked make a decision on behalf of the family.

2.9 Deferred places – For admission to the 2012–13 school year, and subsequent years, children have to start school in the September following their fourth birthday. Parents of children who are offered a place at school before they are of compulsory school age are allowed to defer their child’s entry until later in the school year. Parents may apply for a deferred place at a school offering them a place in the Foundation 2 (Reception) year at 4+ and they will be treated in the same way as all other applicants. On request, the place will be held but a parent cannot defer entry beyond the beginning of the term after the child’s fifth birthday, nor beyond the academic year for which the original application was accepted.

2.10 Part-time provision – parents can request that their child takes up the place part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age.

2.11 Where applicants are unsuccessful in securing a place at their preference school, an appeal against the decision can be made to an independent appeals panel set up by the City Council.

Additional Notes

4.1 Pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Need are considered separately and before everyone else and must be accepted by the school named on their Statement. They will count towards the school’s admission number.

4.2 For admission purposes, an older brother or sister is defined as a child who lives at the same address and who is the brother/sister, half-brother/sister (i.e. share one common parent), or step brother/sister (i.e. related by parent’s marriage) of the child for whom the place is being requested. It also includes any other child living at the same residence under the terms of a Residence Order.

4.3 Late applications will be considered alongside those received by the closing date only in the event of one of the following:

1. the family moved into the area after the deadline for the receipt of applications

2. exceptional circumstances, stated in writing with evidence, prevented the form from arriving on time; or

3. an error on the part of the school.

4. The application is received before Own Admission Authority schools have ranked their application.

Such considerations will be the exception rather than the rule. Otherwise late applications will be considered at the end of the allocation process.

4.4 Withdrawing an offer or a place – An admission authority must not withdraw an offer unless it has been offered in error, a parent has not responded within a reasonable period of time, or it is established that the offer was obtained through a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application. Where the parent has not responded to the offer, the admission authority must give the parent a further opportunity to respond and explain that the offer may be withdrawn if they do not. Where an offer is withdrawn on the basis of misleading information, the application must be considered afresh, and a right of appeal offered if an offer is refused.

4.5 Copies of school catchment area maps are available from the Local Authority or individual schools.