Admissions - the basics

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DfE Guidance on temporary changes: attendance recording for educational settings whilst closed due to the coronavirus 

We have put together key information and resources for schools to help maintain provision during the COVID-19 situation.

+++ Please see latest information on the primary and junior allocation process in Phase transfer information +++

4. What should I say to parents? advice for schools

What should I say to parents?
School staff are often asked for advice on school admission matter whether it is for admission to your school or for admission to the child’s next school. 

The first point to make is that you, personally, will not be involved in the decision making process in determining the outcome of parents’ preferences. You need to explain that the decision will be made either by the local authority or by an own admissions authority by ranking children against the admission criteria. 

You should advise parents to read and understand the relevant admissions criteria and make them aware that these could change annually. Do not offer an opinion as to the application outcome. 

The arrangements for all schools are on our website

While we know you are keen to help parents, to avoid mixed messages or confusion, you should direct them to the Admissions team with any queries. 

If you are a community or controlled school, please note that medical or social reasons are no longer part of the criteria and current attendance plays no part in the admission criteria.

All parents must apply when wishing to move their children between schools or phase transfer aged 4,7 and 11 - this will not happen automatically.

Please be clear to parents that all preferences are treated equally, and that first preferences do not receive any advantage.

Parents of summer-born children have the right to defer their child’s entry until the following September but they would normally go into Year 1. If they want to start in Reception the following the year, they need to apply and request a deferral. It is the decision of the school’s admission authority whether or not to agree this. All parents can choose to delay their child’s start until the term after their 5th birthday, however if they don’t start by the first day of summer term they will lose their place.

After National Offer Day we are unable to amend any applications (unless an error has been made) until the deadline for waiting lists and appeals has passed. After that point we will try and allocate places where available as soon as possible but this does take time so please be patient. Do not offer places when under co-ordination.

We appreciate schools are keen to get all children onto 'Taster Days' but sometimes it is not possible to resolve applications before these take place. Please do not allow children to attend Taster Days who have not been offered a place as this will lead to confusion on the part of the child and parents and may lead to issues at School Appeal hearings.

Sometimes parents ask head teachers or school staff to write supporting letters for an appeal hearing. All places will have been filled so you are essentially endorsing bigger classes. I’m sure you’ll agree this isn’t in the best interests of children or staff. You cannot support an appeal for your own school.

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