Community Secondary Schools admissions policy | Oldham Council
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Community Secondary Schools

Admission Policy September 2022

Statutory Framework

Oldham Council is the admission authority for all community and voluntary controlled schools in Oldham.

The statutory requirements of the school admission legislation and related regulations are published in the School Admissions Code 2014. The Code details the mandatory requirements and refers to the statutory requirements (i.e. those imposed by primary or secondary legislation) with which all admission authorities must comply.

The acts relevant to school admissions are:-

a) Equality Act 2010

b) Human Rights Act 1998

c) School Standards and Framework Act 1998

d) Education Act 1996

The Regulations relevant to school admissions are:-

a) The School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of

 Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2014

c) The School Admissions (Infant Class Sizes) (England) Regulations 2014

d) The School Admissions (Appeals) (England) Regulations 2014

Duty to comply with parental requests

Section 86 of the School Standards & Framework Act 1998 states the following:

“Subsection 1) A local education authority shall make arrangements for enabling the parent of a child in the area of the authority;

a) to express a preference as to the school at which he wishes education to be provided for his child in the exercise of the authority’s functions; and

b) to give reasons for his preference.

subsection 2) Subject to subsection (3), a local education authority and the governing body of a maintained school shall comply with any preference expressed in accordance with arrangements made under subsection (1).

subsection 3) The duty imposed by subsection (2) does not apply if compliance with the preference would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.”

Planned admission numbers

The PAN is set for each ‘relevant age group’ and is the maximum number of pupils that can be admitted to the school.

The planned admission numbers for all community secondary schools covered by this policy are listed at appendix A.

Application process

Oldham residents will apply for a secondary school place by using the on-line facility. The application period will run from 1 August 2021 to 31 October 2021.

Applications received after the closing date will be regarded as late unless, in Oldham Council’s judgment, there are significant and exceptional reasons for the lateness. Proof of exceptional circumstances will be required.

Late applications are not considered until all on-time applicants have been allocated places.

A child’s name will be automatically placed on the waiting list for any school where they have been refused a place in the allocation round. The waiting list will only be maintained by the Local Authority for the Autumn Term (until 31 December 2022).

Oldham residents, who wish to apply for a place in the first year at school after the first school day in September 2022, or to any other age group at any time, will apply for an in year transfer (this application is done online).

Oversubscription criteria for community secondary schools

The duty to comply with parental preferences requires that all applicants will be offered a place providing there are enough places in the school for everyone who applies.

If the number of applications exceeds the admission number, it will be necessary to determine which pupils can be offered a place by applying the following oversubscription criteria in priority order.

All schools are required by section 324 of the Education Act 1996 to admit to the school a child with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan that names the school. This is not an oversubscription criterion and all children with EHC Plans naming a school will be admitted before other children are offered places.

For all other applications the following criteria will be applied to prioritise children for admission to community and voluntary controlled secondary schools:-

Criteria 

Criterion 1

Looked after children or children who have previously been looked after will be given the highest priority for admission.

Criterion 2

Those children who are considered to have exceptional medical needs or exceptional welfare considerations which are directly relevant to the school concerned. Parents must submit evidence to support their application under this criterion (see note (a) below).

Criterion 3

Those children who will have a sibling (see note (b) below) attending the school when the younger child is admitted.

Criterion 4

Children of staff at the school (where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application is made and/or the member of staff has been recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage).

Criterion 5

Those children living within the geographical priority area of the school who are eligible for pupil premium. Children will be prioritised in proximity order, with those living next nearest to the school being admitted first (see note (c and d) below).

Criterion 6

Those children living within the geographical priority area of the school who are not eligible for pupil premium. Children will be prioritised in proximity order, with those living next nearest to the school being admitted first (see note (c) below).

Criterion 7

Those children living outside the geographical priority area of the school who are eligible for pupil premium. Children will be prioritised in proximity order, with those living next nearest to the school being admitted first (see note (c and d) below).

Criterion 8

Those children living outside the geographical priority area of the school who are not eligible for pupil premium. Children will be prioritised In proximity order, with those living next nearest to the school being admitted first (see note (c) below).

Notes;

(a) Exceptional medical reasons must be supported at the time of application by a letter from a GP, hospital consultant or other medical professional. Providing evidence does not automatically mean that a place will be allocated under this criterion. Each case will be moderated by Senior LA Officers.

Exceptional welfare considerations must be supported at the time of application by a letter from a supporting agency (social worker, family support worker) indicating how the circumstances relate to the school preference. Providing evidence does not automatically mean that a place will be allocated under this criterion. Each case will be moderated by Senior LA Officers.

(b) Siblings – A sibling is defined as a brother or sister, step-brother or step-sister and half-brother or half-sister. A sibling must be living at the same address and not be a cousin or other relative. This criterion will apply to children who already have a sibling currently in attendance at the preferred school and also to children who have a sibling applying for a place at the preferred school that can be offered a place but are not currently on roll.

(c) Tie breaker - Should it be necessary to distinguish between applicants with equal priority within any of the above criteria, children will be prioritised in proximity order, with those living nearest the school being admitted first. The distance is measured as a straight line from the child’s home address to the school property measured between the two central data points of the home postcode and school post code. Measurements are calculated using Geographical information System mapping software based on Ordnance Survey and Postcode data.

(d) Pupil Premium – Those children receiving pupil premium on a date specified by the LA, 12 November 2021 will be eligible to be prioritised in the relevant criteria above. Any children allocated pupil premium after this date will not qualify for the pupil premium criteria of the oversubscription criteria.

(e) Looked after / previously looked after children - This includes any "looked after child", “previously looked after children” and any child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order. ‘Looked after’ means that the child was (a) in the care of a local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions. This criteria also includes looked after children and all previously looked after children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.

Permanent address

The only address the LA can consider is the address of the adult with whom the child is permanently resident. Where a child stays with another parent for part of the week, further enquiries may be made in order to determine where the child is permanently resident.

If a childminder, grandparents or another member of the family cares for the child on a daily basis at another address, the LA cannot consider this address for the purpose of its admission process to schools. 

The LA will undertake any necessary investigations and an allocated place may be withdrawn if a false address is given or one where the child is not actually living when s/he is not at school.

Intention to move house

An intention to change address cannot be considered by the LA until such a move has actually taken place and proof is available to substantiate the change of address. Proof of change of address will be accepted up until 12 November 2021.

Twins or Triplets

In cases where twins, triplets, or other multiple birth siblings are split when allocations take place, they will be allocated a place over the Published Admission Number.

Flats and equal distances

In the event of two or more children living equal distant from the school, e.g. blocks of flats, the place will be decided by drawing lots, the first name drawn will be offered the place.

Unsuccessful Applications

On completion of the allocation of places on 1 March 2022 there may be applications where none of the parent’s preferences have resulted in the offer of a school place. If it has not been possible to comply with any of the parent’s preferences the LA will identify all the schools with vacant places and invite parents to submit a further preference.

The LA has a responsibility to ensure that there is a school place available for all children resident within the borough. Should parents fail to secure a school place for their child the LA will offer a place at a school that still has vacant places. If more than one school is identified the LA will determine the school to be offered by selecting the school with vacancies closest to the home. 

Appeals

All parents have the right to appeal against the refusal of a school place by submitting an appeal to the Independent Appeal Panel. If parents wish to appeal they can do so by completing a School Admission Appeal Form and returning it to Constitutional Services. Details of this process will be sent out with the offer of a school place e-mail.

Planned admission numbers for September 2022

Saddleworth Secondary School 

Estab. Number 4026

Number of planned admissions: 300