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CO-ORDINATED ADMISSIONS SCHEME FOR ADMISSION TO TAMESIDE SCHOOLS 2017/18


1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 This scheme applies to arrangements in Tameside whereby children are to be admitted to primary and secondary schools in the normal admissions round for the academic year 2017/18. It also applies to in-year transfers outside of the normal admissions round, throughout the academic year 2017/18. Tameside will operate an equal preference scheme.

2 INTERPRETATION

2.1 In this scheme –

2.2 “admission arrangements” means the arrangements for a particular school or schools which govern the procedures and decision making for the purposes of admitting pupils to the school;

2.3 “admission authority” in relation to a community school means the Local Authority and, in relation to a voluntary aided school or academy, means the governing body of that school;

2.4 “eligible for a place” means that a child has been placed on a school’s ranked list at such a point which falls within the school’s published admission number;

2.5 “school” means a community, voluntary controlled or voluntary aided school (but not a special school) or an academy;

2.6 “nearest appropriate school” is defined by distance measured as a straight line from the child’s home address, using the address point assigned by the National Land and Property Gazetteer, to the main gate to the school property. Measurements will be made using the local authority’s school admissions data mapping software, which employs a Geographical Information System based on Ordnance Survey. The address from which distance will be measured will be the permanent residential address, at the time of application, of the parent with whom the child is normally resident. Where a child lives with parents with shared responsibility, each for part of a week, the home address is the address from which the child travels to school for the majority of school days per week.

2.7 “primary education” has the same meaning as in Part 1, Chapter 1, section 2(1) of the Education Act 1996;

2.8 “secondary education” has the same meaning as in Part 1, Chapter 1, section 2(2)(a) of the Education Act 1996;

2.9 “the Local Authority” means Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council acting in their capacity as local education authority;

2.10 “the Local Authority area” means the area in respect of which the Local Authority is the local education authority;

2.11 “the specified year” means the school year commencing with 1st August and ending with next 31 July;

3. THE SCHEME

3.1 The following admission authorities are covered by the scheme:

Primary

Admissions Authority Number and Type of School
Tameside Local Authority 37 x community primary schools
Tameside Local Authority 1 x community junior school
Tameside Local Authority 9 x voluntary controlled Church of England primary schools
Tameside Local Authority 1 x voluntary controlled Methodist primary school
Individual Schools 9 x voluntary aided Church of England primary schools
Individual Schools 12 x voluntary aided Roman Catholic primary schools
Individual Schools 8 x Academy Primary schools

 

Secondary

Admissions Authority Number and Type of Schools
Tameside Local Authority 6 x community high schools
Individual Schools 2 x Roman Catholic voluntary aided high schools
Individual Schools 7 x Academy schools


4 ADMISSION TO PRIMARY SCHOOLS

4.1 This part of the scheme (paragraphs 4 -10) applies to arrangements in Tameside whereby children are to be admitted to primary schools in the normal admissions round for the academic year 2017/18 (i.e. children who will be commencing primary education in Reception in September 2017).

4.2 The application must be used as a means of expressing up to six preferences for the purposes of section 86 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (as amended), by parents wishing to express a preference for their child to be admitted to any primary school excluding independent schools.

4.3 The application will –
• invite the parent to express preferences for up to 6 schools;
• invite the parent to rank the schools applied for in order of preference;
• invite parents to give their reasons for each preference;
• specify that all applications should be submitted by 15 January 2017, the closing date.

4.4 The Local Authority will make appropriate arrangements to ensure:
• that the application is available on request from the Local Authority;
• that parents can apply online;
• that there is a written explanation of the coordinated admissions scheme; and

4.5 Parents are invited to register their child’s details at any time at any Tameside primary school. Parents may be asked to confirm their details in the spring term of the school year prior to application and schools will forward the details to the Local Authority Admissions Section. In order to identify children resident in Tameside, the Local Authority will request neighbouring authorities to provide details of children who are eligible to start Reception in September 2017, who are resident in Tameside and who have registered an interest with them. Tameside will in turn provide information to other Local Authorities about children resident in their areas who have registered their details at a Tameside school.

4.6 The Local Authority will send out details of how to apply for a primary school place in November 2016 including details of where to view the composite prospectus Starting Out. Starting Out will be available on Tameside’s website.

4.7 Parents applying for a place at a voluntary aided school, or a school in another Local Authority, may be required to provide additional information on a supplementary form and/or complete supplementary application details only where the additional information is required for the governing body to apply their oversubscription criteria to the application. Where a supplementary form is required it must be submitted in accordance with school guidelines. Where applicable, supplementary forms can be obtained from the school or the Local Authority.

4.8 Where a school receives a supplementary form it will not be regarded as a valid application unless the parent has also completed a Common Application and the school is listed as a preference.

4.9 Parents of children resident in other authorities must submit an application to the home authority on the form provided by that authority.

4.10 The closing date by which parents must submit their applications is 15 January 2017.

5 PROCESSING OF APPLICATIONS

5.1 Parents who approach a voluntary aided school or academy directly about admissions, must be advised to complete and submit a Common Application.

5.2 The Local Authority will forward details of the application, together with any additional information provided by the parent, to all voluntary aided schools and academies where the school is a parental preference, and to other local authorities if the parent has expressed a preference for a school in their area. All applications will be dealt with on an equal preference basis.

5.3 All admission authorities will consider all applications for their schools regardless of the preference order, apply the school’s oversubscription criteria and provide the Local Authority with a list of applicants ranked according to the school’s oversubscription criteria. For those schools for which the Local Authority is the admission authority, it will apply the school’s oversubscription criteria to produce a list of applicants ranked according to the oversubscription criteria.

5.4 The Local Authority will collate all information. Tameside Local Authority has agreed with other local education authorities to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that a parent receives only one offer of a school place.

5.5 Tameside Local Authority will inform other local authorities whether or not a place can be offered at a Tameside school to pupils resident in their area. Where Tameside Local Authority has forwarded an application to another Local Authority, that authority will advise Tameside Local Authority whether or not a place could be offered at a school within its area.

5.6 If a place can be allocated at only one of the schools named, that school will be offered. If a place can be allocated at more than one school, the offer will be for whichever school has been ranked highest on the application. This may not be the first preference school. Where a school is oversubscribed and the Local Authority is not able to offer any of the parental preferences, the Local Authority will allocate a place at the nearest appropriate primary school to the child’s home with a place available.

5.7 Tameside Local Authority will notify all Tameside schools of the names of children allocated places in their school.


6 CHANGE OF PREFERENCE

6.1 Admission authorities will not allow preferences, ranking order or pupil details, to be changed after the closing date of 15 January 2017 except in exceptional circumstances for example, if the family has recently moved address. Evidence must be provided to support the request. No changes can be considered even where there are exceptional circumstances once information has been exchanged with the other admission bodies by the Council, because the allocations process has commenced. In the case of primary schools this date is the 10 February 2017.

7 ADMISSION OF CHILDREN OUTSIDE THEIR NORMAL AGE GROUP

7.1 Parents of gifted and talented children, or those who have experienced problems or missed part of a year, for example due to ill health, can seek places outside their normal age group. Admission authorities must make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case and on the basis of evidence provided from appropriate professionals, for example educational psychologist. Parents will be informed parents of their statutory right to appeal. This right does not apply if they are offered a place in another year group at the school.

8 SUMMER BORN CHILDREN

8.1 In December 2014, the government issued non-statutory guidance to help admission authorities deal with parental requests for summer born children to be admitted out of their normal age group.

8.2 School admission authorities are required to provide for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday, but flexibilities exist for children whose parents do not feel they are ready to begin school before they reach compulsory school age.

8.3 Where a parent requests their child is admitted out of their normal age group, the school admission authority is responsible for making the decision on which year group a child should be admitted to. They are required to make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case and in the best interests of the child concerned.

8.4 There is no statutory barrier to children being admitted outside their normal age group, but parents do not have the right to insist that their child is admitted to a particular age group.

8.5 A parent who chooses not to send their summer born child to school until they have reached compulsory school age may request that their child is admitted outside their normal age group - to reception rather than year 1. A decision will be made taking account of parents’ wishes, information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; and whether they have previously been educated outside their normal age group. Each request will be treated on an individual basis having regard to the views of an educational professional who will be involved in educating the child. Parents should complete the online application and include details of their request to defer entry for their child. They may also contact the School Admissions Team for further information.

9 NOTIFICATION OF DECISION TO PARENTS/CARERS

9.1 Notification of offers of a single school place will be sent out to parents on 17 April 2017. These notifications will also inform parents of their right of appeal, and who to contact, if an application has not been successful.

9.2 Parents will be asked to confirm within 10 working days whether they intend to accept the place.

9.3 Where parents are not offered their highest ranked school, they will be informed of the reasons for this decision in the offer letter, which will also inform them about their statutory right of appeal, who to contact to make an appeal, and about the operation of waiting lists.

9.4 Parents/carers of pupils resident in other Local Authority areas who are allocated a place at a Tameside school will be informed of the offer by their home authority.

9.5 Schools must not contact parents about the outcome of their application until after these offers have been received. Only the Local Authority can make an official offer.

10 LATE APPLICATIONS

10.1 The closing date for applications in the normal admissions round is 15 January 2017. Applications submitted after this date will be considered after all applications received on time have been processed. If there is a good reason why an application could not be submitted on time, such as moving into Tameside after the closing date, bereavement, hospitalisation or serious illness, it may be considered as 'on time' if it is received by 10 February 2017 together with evidence to support the reason for lateness with the application form. Each case will be decided on an individual basis based on the evidence provided.

10.2 Applications received after the closing date must be submitted to the Local Authority immediately. Where only the supplementary form is received the school must inform the Local Authority immediately so it can verify whether a Common Application has been received from the parent and, if not, the Local Authority will contact the parent and ask them to complete a Common Application. The Local Authority will enter the details onto its central database and, after consultation with the relevant admission authority, offer a place at the highest ranked school with a place available or, if this is not possible, at the nearest appropriate school with a place available.

11 WAITING LISTS

11.1 If any school is oversubscribed the admission authority will maintain a waiting list. The waiting list will operate until the end of the relevant school year (or longer if specified in the admission arrangements for individual schools). Parents who have expressed the school as a preference and have not been offered a place at the school, or at a higher preference school, will automatically be placed on the waiting list. All pupils on the waiting list will be ranked according to the oversubscription criteria. When a place becomes available children who have been referred under the local authority’s Fair Access protocol or who are the subject of a direction by the local authority to admit will be given precedence over any other children on the waiting list. Then any places will be offered to the highest ranked application received by the date the place becomes available. If new or late applications have a higher priority under the oversubscription criteria, they will be ranked higher than those who have been on the list for some time. If the circumstances of children on the waiting list change (eg they move house) they should inform the admission authority immediately and provide appropriate supporting evidence).

12 TIMETABLE OF CO-ORDINATED PRIMARY ADMISSIONS SCHEME 2017/18

End of October 2016 Letters to be distributed to parents/ online application available
2 November 2016 Online Application system is available
15 January 2017 Closing date for applications to be submitted to the Local Authority and supplementary forms to be submitted to VA schools if required
3 February 2017 Details of applications and any relevant supplementary forms to be sent to other Local Authorities, if a preference for one of their schools has been expressed
10 February 2017 Local Authority provides voluntary aided schools with details of all those who have named the school as a preference
10 February 2017 This is also the last date by which, exceptionally, changes to preferences or pupil details may be made
3 March 2017 Voluntary aided schools provide the Local Authority with ranked lists of applicants
Process The Local Authority will match the ranked lists of all the schools and allocate places
10 March 2017 Begin exchanging offer status
24 March 2017 The Local Authority will notify other Local Authorities of its determination with regard to children living in their area
31 March 2017 On this date the Local Authority will notify schools which pupils have been allocated places at their schools
17 April 2017 Notification of offers sent to parents
28 April 2017 Last date for acceptance by parents of offers
15 May 2017 Any places that have become available are allocated to parents in priority order
12 May 2017 Closing date for receipt of appeals
21 July 2017 Last date for hearing of appeals

13 ADMISSION TO SECONDARY SCHOOLS

13.1 This part of the scheme ([paragraphs 11 – 17) applies to arrangements in Tameside whereby children are to be admitted to secondary schools in the normal admissions round for the academic year 2017/18 (i.e. children who will be commencing secondary education in Year 7 September 2017).

13.2 The application must be used as a means of expressing up to six preferences for the purposes of section 86 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (as amended), by parents wishing to express a preference for their child to be admitted to any secondary school excluding independent schools.

13.3 The application will –
• invite the parent to express preferences for up to 6 schools;
• invite the parent to rank the schools applied for in order of preference;
• invite parents to give their reasons for each preference;
• specify that all applications should be submitted by 31 October 2016, the closing date.
• Invite all Tameside residents to apply for a school place regardless of the primary school attended

13.4 The Local Authority will make appropriate arrangements to ensure:
• that the Common Application Form is available on request from the Local Authority
• that parents can apply online
• that there is a written explanation of the coordinated admissions scheme

13.5 The Tameside composite prospectus ‘Moving On’ will be made available to parents/carers early September 2016. In order to identify all pupils resident in Tameside, the Local Authority will request neighbouring authorities to provide details of year 6 pupils resident in Tameside and attending their schools. Tameside will in turn provide information to other Local Authorities about pupils resident in Tameside attending schools in their areas. Moving On will be available on Tameside’s web site.

13.6 Parents applying for a place at a voluntary aided school or academy, or a school in another Local Authority, may be required to provide additional information on a supplementary form and/or complete supplementary application details only where the additional information is required for the governing body to apply their oversubscription criteria to the application. Where a supplementary form is required it must be submitted in accordance with school guidelines. Where applicable, supplementary forms can be obtained from the school or the Local Authority.

13.7 Where a school receives a supplementary form it will not be regarded as a valid application unless the parent has also completed an application and the school is listed as a preference.

13.8 Parents of children resident in other authorities must submit an application to the home authority on the form provided by that authority.

13.9 The closing date by which parents must submit their applications is 31 October 2016.

14 PROCESSING OF APPLICATIONS

14.1 Parents who approach a voluntary aided school or academy directly about admissions, must be advised to complete and submit a Common Application.

14.2 The Local Authority will forward details of the application, together with any additional information provided by the parent, to all voluntary aided schools and academies where the school is a parental preference, and to other local authorities if the parent has expressed a preference for a school in their area. All applications will be dealt with on an equal preference basis.

14.3 All admission authorities will consider all applications for their schools regardless of the preference order, apply the school’s oversubscription criteria and provide the Local Authority with a list of applicants ranked according to the school’s oversubscription criteria. For those schools for which the Local Authority is the admission authority, it will apply the school’s oversubscription criteria to produce a list of applicants ranked according to the oversubscription criteria.

14.4 The Local Authority will collate all information. Tameside Local Authority has agreed with other local education authorities to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that a parent receives only one offer of a school place.

14.5 Tameside Local Authority will inform other local authorities whether or not a place can be offered at a Tameside school to pupils resident in their area. Where Tameside Local Authority has forwarded an application to another Local Authority, that authority will advise Tameside Local Authority whether or not a place could be offered at a school within its area.

14.6 If a place can be allocated at only one of the schools named, that school will be offered. If a place can be allocated at more than one school, the offer will be for whichever school has been ranked highest on the application. This may not be the first preference school. Where a school is oversubscribed and the Local Authority is not able to offer any of the parental preferences, the Local Authority will allocate a place at the nearest appropriate primary school to the child’s home with a place available.

14.7 Tameside Local Authority will notify all Tameside schools of the names of children allocated places in their school.

15 CHANGE OF PREFERENCE

15.1 Admission authorities will not allow preferences, ranking order or pupil details, to be changed after the closing date of 31 October 2016 except in exceptional circumstances; for example, if the family has recently moved address. Evidence must be provided to support the request. No changes can be considered even where there are exceptional circumstances once information has been exchanged with the other admission bodies by the Council, because the allocations process has commenced. In the case of secondary schools this date is the 18 November 2016.

16 ADMISSION OF CHILDREN OUTSIDE THEIR NORMAL AGE GROUP

16.1 Parents of gifted and talented children, or those who have experienced problems or missed part of a year, for example due to ill health, can seek places outside their normal age group. Admission authorities must make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case and on the basis of evidence provided from appropriate professionals, for example educational psychologist. Parents will be informed parents of their statutory right to appeal. This right does not apply if they are offered a place in another year group at the school.

17 NOTIFICATION OF DECISION TO PARENTS/CARERS

17.1 Notification of offers of a single school place will be sent out to parents on 1 March 2017. These notifications will also inform parents of their right of appeal, and who to contact, if an application has not been successful.

17.2 Parents will be asked to confirm within 10 working days whether they intend to accept the place allocated.

17.3 Where parents are not offered their highest ranked school, they will be informed of the reasons for this decision in the offer letter, which will also inform them about their statutory right of appeal, who to contact to make an appeal, and about the operation of waiting lists.

17.4 Parents/carers of pupils resident in other Local Authority areas who are allocated a place at a Tameside school will be informed of the offer by their home authority in a letter posted on the same day.

17.5 Schools must not contact parents about the outcome of their application until after these offers have been received. Only the Local Authority can make an official offer.

18 LATE APPLICATIONS

18.1 The closing date for applications in the normal admissions round is 31 October 2016. Applications submitted after this date will be considered after all applications received on time have been processed. If there is a good reason why an application could not be submitted on time, such as moving into Tameside after the closing date, bereavement, hospitalisation or serious illness, it may be considered as 'on time' if it is received by 18 November 2016 together with evidence to support the reason for lateness with the application form. Each case will be decided on an individual basis based on the evidence provided.

18.2 Applications received after the closing date must be submitted to the Local Authority immediately. Where only the supplementary form is received the school must inform the Local Authority immediately so it can verify whether a Common Application has been received from the parent and, if not, the Local Authority will contact the parent and ask them to complete a Common Application. The Local Authority will enter the details onto its central database and, after consultation with the relevant admission authority, offer a place at the highest ranked school with a place available or, if this is not possible, at the nearest appropriate school with a place available.

19 WAITING LISTS

19.1 If any school is oversubscribed the admission authority will maintain a waiting list. The waiting list will operate until the end of the relevant school year (or longer if specified in the admission arrangements for individual schools). Parents who have expressed the school as a preference and have not been offered a place at the school, or at a higher preference school, will automatically be placed on the waiting list. All pupils on the waiting list will be ranked according to the oversubscription criteria. When a place becomes available children who have been referred under the local authority’s Fair Access protocol or who are the subject of a direction by the local authority to admit will be given precedence over any other children on the waiting list. Then any places will be offered to the highest ranked application received by the date the place becomes available. If new or late applications have a higher priority under the oversubscription criteria, they will be ranked higher than those who have been on the list for some time. If the circumstances of children on the waiting list change (e.g they move house) they should inform the admission authority immediately and provide appropriate supporting evidence).

20 TIMETABLE OF CO-ORDINATED SECONDARY ADMISSIONS SCHEME 2017/18

September 2016 Letters to be distributed to parents/ online application available
1 September 2016 Online Application system is available
31 October 2016 Closing date for applications to be submitted to the Local Authority and supplementary forms to be submitted to VA schools if required
11 November 2016 Details of applications and any relevant supplementary forms to be sent to other Local Authorities, if a preference for one of their schools has been expressed
18 November 2016 Details of applications and any relevant supplementary forms to be sent to voluntary aided schools and academies
18 November 2016 This is also the last date by which, exceptionally, changes to preferences or pupil details may be made
9 December 2016 Voluntary aided schools and academies provide the Local Authority with ranked lists of applicants
Process The Local Authority will match the ranked lists of all the schools and allocate places
13 January 2017 Begin exchanging offer status
3 February 2017 The LA will notify other LAs of its determination with regard to children living in their area
24 February 2017 The Local Authority will notify schools which pupils have been allocated places at their schools
1 March 2017 Notification of offers sent to parents
13 March 2017 Last date for acceptance by parents of offers
31st March 2017 Closing date for receipt of appeals
3 April 2017 Any places that have become available from this date are allocated and notification sent to parents
30 June 2017 Last date for hearing of appeals


21 APPLYING FOR A PLACE OUTSIDE OF NORMAL TRANSFER TIMES

21.1 Parents wishing to apply for an in year transfer to a school in Tameside should apply using the Common Transfer Application Form. The Common Transfer Application Form can be obtained from the Headteacher of the school the child currently attends, if in Tameside or it can be downloaded from the Tameside Council website: www.tameside.gov.uk/admissions. Forms should be returned to the School Admissions Team for community and voluntary controlled schools or direct to voluntary aided schools and Academies. Parents should ensure that the form is completed in full and submitted with any additional/supplementary documentation/evidence to enable their application to be considered as quickly as possible.

21.2 The School Admissions Team, on request, will provide information to parents about the places still available in all schools within its area, and a suitable form for parents to complete when applying for a place for their child at any school for which they are not the admission authority.


22 APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNITY OR VOLUNTARY CONTROLLED SCHOOLS

22.1 Applications for a community or voluntary controlled school will be processed by the School Admissions Team within 10 school days.

22.2 A place will be allocated if there is a place available (unless the school is exempt under paragraph 3.32 of the School Admissions Code).

22.3 If there are more applications than places available, the local authority will apply the oversubscription criteria to determine which children will be allocated a place.


23 APPLICATIONS FOR VOLUNTARY AIDED SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIES

23.1 Voluntary aided schools and academies should consider all applications without unnecessary delay. A place will be allocated if there is a place available (unless the school is exempt under paragraph 3.32 of the School Admissions Code). If there are more applications than places available governors are required to apply their oversubscription criteria.

23.2 If a parent applies to a voluntary aided school or academy, the school or academy must, on receipt of an in-year application, notify the local authority of both the application, and its outcome, to allow the local authority to keep up to date figures on the availability of places in the area. The admission authority must also inform parents of their right to appeal against the refusal of a place.


24 WAITING LISTS FOR COMMUNITY AND VOLUNTARY CONTROLLED SCHOOLS

24.1 Waiting lists for community and voluntary controlled schools will operate until the end of the relevant school year (or longer if specified in the admission arrangements for individual schools). Parents who have not been offered a place at a community and voluntary controlled school, will automatically be placed on the waiting list.

24.2 All pupils on the waiting list will be ranked according to the oversubscription criteria. Places will be offered, should any become available, to the highest ranked application received by the date the place becomes available. If new or late applications have a higher priority under the oversubscription criteria, they will be ranked higher than those who have been on the list for some time. A significant change of circumstances, such as a change of address, will be taken into account: evidence must be provided. Children who have been referred under the local authority’s Fair Access protocol (see below) or who are the subject of a direction by the local authority to admit must be given priority over any other children on the waiting list.


25 RIGHT OF APPEAL

24.1 Any parent who is refused a place at one of their preferred schools has the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.


26 FAIR ACCESS PROTOCOL

26.1 Tameside local authority has a Fair Access protocol for in-year transfers which ensures the speedy admission and fair distribution throughout the borough of pupils with agreed additional needs. With specific short term exceptions, all schools in Tameside participate in the protocol, which may in some cases result in schools admitting pupils over their Published Admission Number. All applications will be scrutinised to determine whether or not they meet the criteria for consideration under the protocol.


27 CHILDREN WITH STATEMENTS OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

27.1 Applications for children with a current Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care plan will be referred to the Inclusive Services Team of the local authority, which is responsible for arranging a school place.


28 PROVIDING INFORMATION ON PUPIL NUMBERS

28.1 All Tameside schools must forward migration reports, with a population analysis by year group, to the Admissions Team at the end of each calendar month. Primary schools must also send to the Admissions Team a breakdown of class organisation at the beginning of each school year.

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