‘A Caring Christian Community Committed to Achievement’
Admissions Policy 2016-17
St Mary’s School is a Church of England Voluntary Aided School. If a North Somerset Church of England school is Voluntary Aided, it is owned by the Church of England, in trust vested in the Bath and Wells Diocesan Board of Finance. This gives the Governing Body responsibility for maintaining Religious Education using the Agreed Syllabus as recommended by the Diocese of Bath and Wells and also for the external upkeep of the building. They are also responsible for setting the school’s Admission Policy.
St Mary’s school has the capacity to have 105 pupils on roll aged between four and eleven years old. When full the school is usually organised into four classes as follows:
Reception Class - 15 pupils
Year 1 and 2 Class 30 pupils
Year 3 and 4 Class 30 pupils
Year 5 and 6 Class 30 pupils
North Somerset Council currently offers admission to any child who has reached their fourth birthday before 1st September of the year of entry.
To ensure a happy start at school, we have a carefully planned programme of pre-school visits for parents and children during the summer term before the child begins school. We also liaise closely with any Preschool or Nursery a child has attended prior to their entry into Reception to ensure a smooth transition.
- The following information should be read in conjunction with the 2016-17 Coordinated Admissions Scheme published by the Local Council in which area the child subject to the application lives (the home Council). For those living within North Somerset. This school’s admission arrangements for Reception Intake are in conjunction with the North Somerset Co-ordinated Admission Scheme for new intake primary admissions for 2016-17. To see a copy of the scheme contact North Somerset Council (see No.8 below for contact details).
- St Mary’s Church of England VA Primary School’s Governing Body, in accordance with the School’s Voluntary Aided status, is responsible for admissions to the school.
- It is the intention of the Governing Body to provide and develop Christian education in the Portbury area.
The over-subscription criteria will be reviewed by the Governing Body and published after consultation with other local admission authorities including North Somerset Council.
- The Admission Number for St Mary’s Church of England VA Primary School is 15 and this is the number of places available in each year group.
- If the school is not over-subscribed for Reception Intake all new intake applicants will be offered a place. If the school receives more Reception Intake applications than the Admission Number the following criteria will be used to determine who will be allocated the places. All applications will be ranked in accordance with the criteria below given in order of priority:-
- Children in Care at the time of application and children who were previously in Care but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order) immediately following having been in Care.
- Children with a brother or sister who will be attending the school at the time of admission.
- Children who live within the ecclesiastical parish boundaries of St Mary’s, Portbury. (A map showing the boundaries is available at the school).
- Children who or children with parent(s) who regularly attends a Church of England church.
- Children who or children with parent(s) who regularly attends a church or place of Christian Worship of another Christian denomination.
- Children living closest to the school. The distances will be measured in a direct line between the address point of the child’s home and main entrance marker for the school indicated on North Somerset Council’s computerised system(s).
For criteria (d) and (e) it will be essential for you to obtain a reference from your parish Priest/Minister/Religious Leader to confirm your regular attendance at your place of worship. All church references, whether paper or electronic must be submitted by the closing time and date in order to be considered in the first round of allocations. The Governing Body expect regular attendance to be at least once a month over the previous year. The reference must confirm this.
Priority within criteria (a) and (b) will be given by applying the remaining criteria in order of priority. Therefore when applicable, the reference meeting either criteria (d) or (e) should also be provided.
For criteria (c) to (e) priority within each criterion will be determined by applying criterion (f).
Where the direct line distances are equal, the ranking of applications will be made by drawing lots.
- Where a school is named in a child’s Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, health and Care Plan, the Admission Authority is legally required to admit the child to the school. Where St Mary’s C of E Primary School is named in the Statement or Plan. Such children will therefore be allocated places before the over-subscription criteria are applied. Applications of this type will take priority over all other requests for places.
- The school will hold a list of those Reception applicants still seeking a place at the school, until the 31 December 2016. All applications will be ranked in line with the school’s over-subscription criteria and allocations will be made in accordance with it. Each added child to the list will require the list to be ranked again in line with the above published oversubscription criteria. Priority will not be given on the basis simply of the date an application was added to the list. Children who are the subject of a direction by a Council to admit, Children in Care, Children previously in Care or those who are allocated a school in accordance with a Fair Access Protocol for school places, will take precedence over those on the waiting list.
- Reception Intake only:
- i) Applications can be made online or on paper and should be submitted to your home council. If you live in North Somerset you should apply to:
North Somerset Council,
People and Communities,
School Admissions and Transport Team, Town Hall
Walliscote Grove Road, Weston super Mare, BS23 1UJ
Tel No: 01275 884078 Fax No: 01275 884753
Applications must be submitted by the closing time and date of 23:59 on 15 January 2016 in order to be considered in the first round of school place allocations
- Applications submitted after the closing time and date will be treated as a late application and so will not be considered in the first round of allocations except where both of the following are the case:
- Such late applications are received before North Somerset Council has sent details of applications to other councils;
- The applicant’s home council has accepted them as if they had been submitted by the closing time and date.
All other late applications will not be considered until after the first round of allocations; this may mean that all of the places have been allocated. On-time applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application on 18 April 2016 by their home council.
- In-Year applications
If there are more applicants than vacancies for any year group, In-Year applications will be considered in accordance with the above over-subscription criteria. An In-Year application form is available upon request from the school and/or North Somerset Council.
The school will, where appropriate, consider allocations for children identified as being from vulnerable groups in accordance with North Somerset Council’s Fair Access Protocol (full details available from North Somerset Council).
- Children in Care
‘Children in Care’ are children who are (a) in the care of a local council or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local council in the exercise of their social services functions (see the definition in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989).
For Children previously in Care:
- this includes children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 (see section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (see section 46 adoption orders)
- child arrangements orders are defined in s.8 of the Children Act 1989, as amended by s.12 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Child arrangements orders replaced residence orders and any residence order in force prior to 22 April 2014 is deemed to be a child arrangements order
- in accordance with Section 14A of the Children Act 1989, a Special Guardianship Order is defined as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).
- Brothers and sisters.
To be considered as a brother or sister, a child must be living at the same address for the majority of the time* as a full, half, step or adoptive brother or sister. Full and adoptive brothers/sisters are defined as children who have the same either biological or adoptive parents. Half brothers/sisters are defined as children who share only one either biological or adoptive parent. Step brothers/sisters are defined as children who are not necessarily related biologically (including Foster children) but are living in the same household for the majority of the time* at the address considered to be the address of the child for whom the application is made.
* A child must be living at an address for at least 50% of the time to be considered as living there for the majority of the time.
A brother or sister must be attending (or is expected to be attending) the school at the time of admission.
- Home address.
A child’s home address is considered to be the place where the child permanently and ordinarily resides for the majority of the time. This would normally be the same address as the person who has parental responsibility for the child as their main carer. Those moving should normally provide independent confirmation of the new address.
Parent: This includes all of those people, including carers, who have parental responsibility for a child as set out in the Children Act 1989.
- Right of Appeal
Parents whose school place application is refused have the legal right to appeal against this decision. Details concerning how to appeal will be explained in the decision letter.
- Admissions of children outside their normal age group
The governors will consider applications for delayed or accelerated entry in cases where parents would like their child to be admitted to a year group either side of the chronological age year group. The reasons for the request must be fully explained in writing and included with the school place application form (or submitted separately where applying via an on-line service). Parents of summer born children (born on or between 1 April and 31 August) can ask the Admission Authority to admit their child into the Reception year one year after they would normally enter the school.
Decisions will be made on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child, taking into account the social, emotional and academic development of the child as often supported by education and other professionals the views of the Head Teacher, where relevant the child’s 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 they were not born prematurely..
Where a request for a summer born child to be admitted into the Reception Year Group, one year after they would normally enter the school is not agreed, the parent may apply for their child to be admitted with their chronological age group for admission at the time they would normally enter the school. Such children who do not start school in the school year that they become 5 will normally be placed in a Year 1 class and will miss the Reception year. Parents should be aware that the school might become full in the Reception age group with pupils whose parent applies for a place during the 2015-16 school year. There may be no places available for those who delay their child’s admission until Year 1. These parents will need to apply for a Year 1 school place for their child and these applications will be considered from 1 July 2016 onwards.
- Deferred Entry
Parents offered a place for children who have not yet reached their fifth birthday have the right to apply for a deferred entry to school. In these circumstances, parents can request that their child start school in the Reception year group at a later stage in the academic year, however, must be in full time education by the start of the term (term 1, 3 or 5 as appropriate) following his/her fifth birthday.
- All children offered a place are entitled to a full-time place in the September following their fourth birthday. Parents may also request that that their child takes up their place on a part time basis until the child reaches compulsory school age.
- Children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan.
There is a different procedure for Children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan. Their parents should apply for a place via the service dealing with Special Education Needs in their home council.
- All applications will be considered equally regardless of the ranking of a parent’s preference for the school.
- Contact Details
St Mary’s Church of England VA Primary School
Church Road, Portbury, North Somerset, BS20 7TR
Web site: www.stmarysprimaryportbury.co.uk
Telephone: 01275 372066