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Admissions Policy

This policy can be downloaded as a Word Document here.

The pupil admission number (PAN) for Black Horse Hill Junior School is 240. We currently have 202 pupils in school.

The full Wirral Council policy on admissions can be downloaded as a PDF here.

1. Applications for school places in the normal admissions round (that is, for admission in Foundation 2)

Wirral Authority will act as the co-ordinating authority for all applications.

1.2 All applications from parents resident in Wirral for a school maintained by Wirral Authority must be made on the common Primary School Application Form. Forms will be generated and distributed centrally by the Mainstream Admissions & Transport Section of the Children & Young People’s Department in September.

The form provides an opportunity for the parent to:

apply for up to 3 schools
rank the schools applied for in order of preference

1.2 Applications for all schools including Voluntary Aided schools must also be made on the common Primary School Application Form.

1.3 Schools in the scheme should not deal with application forms. They should forward them directly to the Children and Young People’s Department.

Parents must return forms to the Children and Young People’s Department by the 18th December to ensure the allocation of a school place on the last weekday in March. Applications received after the published deadline of 15th December will be dealt with once the offer of places has been sent to parents on the last weekday in March.

Parents can apply for school places only from the 1st September preceding admission to Foundation 2, that is, at the beginning of the academic year in which their child’s 4th birthday falls. Children are admitted to school at the beginning of the academic year in which their 5th birthday falls.

Applications from separated parents. We will accept only one application form per child. It is essential that agreement is reached by the parents of a child as to the preferences for school places. If agreement cannot be reached, or if neither parent has been granted a Specific Issues Order in this respect, then we will accept the application from the parent with whom the child is “ordinarily resident”.

1.7 Parents who wish a different address to be used because they are moving house must provide verification of the move, i.e. independent evidence such as tenancy agreement or an exchange of contracts in a house purchase and proof of sale of their previous property.

1.8 Parents applying for a school place in an area of another Local Authority will be required to complete that Authority’s application form.

Dealing with preference forms

2.1 The Authority will, by applying the Council’s admissions criteria, rank the order of priority of each application for community schools and voluntary controlled schools.
2.2 The Authority will provide Voluntary Aided Schools with copies of those preference forms which include an application for their school by 15th January.

2.3 The Governing Bodies of voluntary aided schools will rank each application by applying the school’s admission criteria and notify the Mainstream Admissions & Transport Section of their ranking.

2.4 Where a pupil is eligible to receive an offer of two or more school places then the Authority will allocate the highest priority preference.

The Mainstream Admissions & Transport Section will notify the Governing Body of Catholic and Church of England voluntary aided primary schools of those pupils who will be allocated places at their school and those who will not be allocated places because they will be allocated places at a higher preference school by 23rd March annually.

2.6 On the 23rd March we will inform neighbouring LEA’s of any pupils who are not resident in Wirral and to whom the Authority will be offering a place at a Wirral schools.

3. Determination of Applications for Community and Controlled Schools

3.1 Applications for all Community schools and also for Holy Trinity Primary School (Hoylake), St Bridget’s CE Primary School (West Kirby) and Bidston CE Primary School will be determined on the following basis:

All children who live in the school’s catchment area will be eligible for a place so long as they have applied before the 18th December so long as there is space within the school’s admission number. If there are more applications than there are places available then eligibilty will be determined in accordance with the following scheme of priorities:

1st priority to:
Children in care.

2nd priority to:
Children who already have older brothers or sisters at the school when they are due to start school. If there are more children with older brothers or sisters at the school than there are places available, we will give priority to children with the youngest brothers or sisters at the school.

3rd priority to:
Children who have valid medical reasons for going to the school

4th priority to:
Children who live nearest to the school

3.1.2 If children do not live in the school’s catchment area and if places remain available, their eligibility will be determined in accordance with the following scheme of priorities.

1st priority to:
Children in care.

2nd priority to:
Children who already have older brothers or sisters (including half or step-brothers and sisters living in the same household) at the school when they are due to start school. If there are more children with older brothers or sisters at the school than there are places available, we will give priority to children with the youngest brothers or sisters at the school.

3rd priority to:
Children who have valid medical reasons for going to the school

4th priority to:
Pupils who live nearest to the school. We measure distances from home to the school gate nearest to the child’s home using the shortest road route, unless it is possible to use a footpath which we consider to be a safe walking route.

Places will be allocated up to the school’s admission number to children who live out of zone according to their place in the rank determined by the scheme of priorities set out above.

3.2 Christ Church CE School in Birkenhead has different priorities for accepting pupils if there are not enough places at the school. It shares its zone with three other schools – Cole Street Primary School, Woodchurch Road Primary School and Woodlands Primary School. We give priority as detailed below in 3.2.1 and 3.2.2.

3.2.1 All children who live in the school’s catchment area will be eligible for a place so long as they have applied before the 18th December. If there are more children in this category than places available, the following criteria will be used to decide priorities.
children in public care (children who are looked after by a local authority)

children with brothers or sisters at the school (including half or step-brothers and sisters living in the same household) when they are due to start school. If there are more children with older brothers or sisters at the school than there are places available, we will give priority to children with the youngest brothers or sisters at the school.

children with particular medical or social needs; and

iv) children living nearest to the school. We measure distances from home to the school gate nearest to the child’s home using the shortest road route, unless it is possible to use a footpath which we consider to be a safe walking route.

3.2.2 If children do not live in the school’s catchment area and if places remain available, their eligibility will be determined in accordance with the following scheme of priorities.

1st priority to:
Children in care.

2nd priority to:
Children who already have older brothers or sisters (including half or step-brothers and sisters living in the same household) at the school when they are due to start school. If there are more children with older brothers or sisters at the school than there are places available, we will give priority to children with the youngest brothers or sisters at the school.

3rd priority to:
Children who have valid medical reasons for going to the school

4th priority to:
Pupils who live nearest to the school. We measure distances from home to the school gate nearest to the child’s home using the shortest road route, unless it is possible to use a footpath which we consider to be a safe walking route.

Places will be allocated up to the school’s admission number to children who live out of zone according to their place in the rank determined by the scheme of priorities set out above.

3.3 For community and voluntary aided schools, where the final place in a year group is offered to one of twins (or triplets etc) it will be our policy to admit the other twin too even if that means going above the admission number but not if it would require the Authority to take qualifying measures.

3.4 Applications for the Catholic and Church of England voluntary aided schools will be determined by the governing bodies of these schools in accordance with their published admission criteria.

Where it is not possible to allocate a place at any of the schools applied for, children resident in Wirral will be allocated a place at the nearest appropriate school where there are places available. “Appropriate “ means community school if the parents’ preferences indicate preferences for non-denominational education; or a Catholic school or C of E school if the parents indicated a preference for education in a school of that denomination.

3.6 All schools will be required to admit a pupil if he or she has a Statement of special educational needs naming the school.

4. Offer of Places

4.1 Parents will be informed by the Director of Children’s Services of the school allocated in writing on the last weekday in March. The letter will also inform the parent of their right to appeal to an independent panel and who to contact to make an appeal.

4.2 If places become available before the start of the autumn term, the Authority will allocate them to children whose parents have either lodged an appeal but not been successful or who have expressed a continuing interest in a place at the school concerned. Parents can do this by indicating so on the reply slip attached to the allocation letter. If there are more children interested in a particular school than places available, the Authority will use the same criteria to determine priorities as is used for the initial allocation.

4.3 Children whose parents applied before 18th December will have priority over children whose parents applied after that date, provided they tell us that they continue to want a place at that school.

Late Applications

5.1 Applications received after the published deadline of 18th December will be dealt with after the offer of places have been sent to parents. We will send preference forms which include applications for voluntary aided schools to the governors of the schools concerned in the first week in April or if received after that date, within five days.

5.2 We will deal with preferences for community and controlled school in the date order we receive them. We will allocate places up to the school’s admission number. If we receive several applications on the same day for the same school, we will use the following scheme of priorities

children living in the school catchment area with priority being given to:

1st priority to:
Children in care.

2nd priority to:
Children who already have older brothers or sisters (including half or step-brothers and sisters living in the same household) at the school when they are due to start school. If there are more children with older brothers or sisters at the school than there are places available, we will give priority to children with the youngest brothers or sisters at the school.

3rd priority to:
Children who have valid medical reasons for going to the school
then
out of zone priorities (as per paragraph 3.1.2)

5.3 Parents will be notified in writing by the Children and Young People’s Department. The letter will also inform the parent of their right to appeal for any Wirral school and who to contact to make an appeal.

Applications for Catholic or Church of England Aided Primary Schools received after the published deadline of 18th December will be determined by reference to the schools’ published admission arrangements and the governors will inform the Children and Young People’s Department of the outcome of the applications. Parents will be notified in writing by the Children and Young People’s Department. The letter will also inform the parent of their right to appeal and who to contact to make an appeal.

Waiting Lists

If at the end of the Summer Term a school is believed to be full, the Authority will close the procedures and make no more reallocations. However, it may be that places will become available at the beginning of or during the Autumn Term. The Authority will keep a waiting list of children whose parents are interested in obtaining a place at the school if a place becomes available. The Authority will write to the parents of those children included in 4.2 who have expressed a continuing interest. This waiting list will be held open during the Autumn Term. Priority on the waiting list for community and controlled schools will be given to children in accordance with the following criteria:

children living in the school’s catchment area; if priorities have to be determined the Authority will use the out of zone criteria children living out of zone, if priorities have to be determined the Authority will use the out of zone criteria listed in paragraph 3.1.2

The Authority will contact parents directly if a vacancy does occur. The Authority will cease to hold the waiting list at the end of the Autumn Term.

7. Applications outside of the normal round of admissions

7.1 Applications for all schools including Voluntary Aided schools must also be made on the common Primary School Application Form.

7.2 Schools should not deal with application forms. Any forms received by schools should be forwarded to the Children and Young People’s Department.

7.3 The Authority will provide Voluntary Aided Schools and Academy with copies of those application forms which include a preference for their school.

7.4 The Governing Bodies of Voluntary Aided schools and Aademy will consider each application by applying the school’s admission criteria and notify the Pupil Services Section of their decision.

Where a pupil is eligible to receive an offer of two or more school places then the highest priority preference will take precedence.

All parents will be informed by the Children and Young People’s Department of the school place allocated by letter. The letter will also inform the parent of their right to appeal and who to contact to make an appeal.

We arrange for children in Years 1 and 2 to start at a community or controlled primary school in a similar way as reception-age children. The appropriate year group is determined by the chronological age of the child.

Key Stage 1 – We will offer children places at their catchment school as long as this will not bring the class size to more than 30 and if we cannot offer an alternative school place within two miles of the parents home address.

We will agree a place in an out-of-zone school as long as:

there is room within the admission number; and
there are not already 30 children in the class.

Where a school, which is below its admission number, has organised its Key Stage 1 into classes of 30 and the only way to admit another child would require the Authority to take Qualifying Measures (that is would require the Authority to provide additional resources in terms of staff and accommodation at the school.), these are grounds on which the Authority may refuse an application.

Key Stage 2 – Children are automatically entitled to a place at their catchment school even though the school may be on or above its admission number.

We will agree a place in an out-of-zone school as long as there is room within the admission number.

The Authority will not keep waiting lists for places in Year 1 and above.

8 Determination of Pupils transferring from Infant to Junior Schools

8.1 All children who are on roll at the Infant School listed below are eligible to transfer to the junior school linked with that infant school even if they do not live in the school’s catchment area.

Black Horse Hill Infant School to Black Horse Hill Junior School
Brackenwood Infant School to Brackenwood Junior School
Greasby Infant School to Greasby Junior School
Overchurch Infant School to Overchurch Junior School
Town Lane Infant School to Higher Bebington Junior school

8.2 Admissions to St John’s Junior School are detailed by the governing body in accordance with the school’s admission arrangements.

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