Local Authority Co-ordinated Dates for School Admissions 2023-2024
|Relevant Year Group||Reception (Yr. 0)|
|For children born between||1 September 2019
31 August 2020
|Applications can be made from||1 September 2023|
|Maximum number of preferences||3|
|Deadline for on time applications||Friday 15 January 2024|
|Deadline for proof and changes of address to be received||10 March 2024|
|Offers made to Swindon residents||16 April 2024|
|Deadline for parents to accept place||28 April 2024|
Ferndale Primary & Nursery School is part of the Blue Kite Academy Trust. The Academy is the Admitting Authority for the school and is therefore responsible for determining its own admission policy and arrangements in line with the Admissions Code of Practice and Swindon Local Authority’s Admissions Schemes. Swindon Local Authority administers all admissions for the school, on behalf of the Governing Body for the school.
Timing of Admission
Pupils will normally be admitted at age four in the September of the school year in which they reach their fifth birthday. Parents have the right to defer their child’s start date at school until the term after their child’s fifth birthday. A child must legally be in full-time education in the term following their fifth birthday.
Applications must be made through the Local Authority’s Coordinated Scheme and all instructions and deadlines in the scheme should be adhered to by applicants. Late applications are dealt with in accordance to the scheme procedures.
Full details of the scheme can be found on their website at www.swindon.gov.uk . In brief the scheme is outlined below:
Parents / carers are able to make an online application or apply using a hard copy application form. All applications must be submitted to Swindon Local Authority and the Admissions Team. If you make an online application you do not need to also make a hard copy application. Parents can express a preference for up to 3 schools.
The closing date for all applications is 15 January 2024. All applications must be submitted by this date.
Offers will be made to parents by Swindon Local Authority on the 16 April 2024.
Any child refused a place at a school will be put on a waiting list for that school and informed of their right to appeal against this decision.
Parents / carers must accept or refuse the offer of a school place by the 28 April 2024
Please see Appendix 1 for more information on key dates.
Published Admissions Number (PAN)
The published admission number for Reception in September 2024 will be 60. The PAN for every other year group at the school is 60.
Oversubscription Criteria and Catchment Area
When applications for admission exceed the number of places available in any year group the oversubscription criteria is applied, to decide which students to admit. The oversubscription criteria and catchment area are used to allocate any places that become available for in year admissions.
A child who has a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is required to be admitted to the school named on the child’s statement.
- A looked after child or previously looked after child.
Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order
- Any child who has a sibling attending Ferndale Primary School at the time of admission
- Children that live within the catchment area for Ferndale Primary School.
- Children that do not live within the catchment area for Ferndale Primary School.
In all cases where schools are oversubscribed, distance measured as a straight line will be used to prioritise applications within the over-subscription criteria. If the direct distance does not separate applicants, places will be offered by random allocation. The random process will be repeated and any previous random order will be discarded. In the case of multiple births the Governing Body of Ferndale Primary School may decide to admit all children.
Distance will be determined from the applicant’s home address to Ferndale Primary School on the following basis:
The distance between the applicant’s home and Ferndale Primary School is taken as a straight line between the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) address point of the applicant’s home address and of the school with those living closest to school receiving higher priority.
The oversubscription criteria listed above will continue to be used to allocate any places that become available for in year admissions.
Definitions and Details
Children with statements of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
Pupils with a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) at the time of allocation are required to be admitted to the school named on their statement or plan. Once a statement reaches the formal proposed stage the administration of the admission of the young person becomes the responsibility of Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (SENAT) at which point this policy no longer applies.
A sibling is defined as a child attending Ferndale Primary School at the same time as he or she is due to be admitted, who is a;
- brother or sister;
- half brother or sister;
- adopted brother or sister;
- step brother or sister, or
- the child of the parent/carer’s partner where the child for whom the school place is sought is living in the same family unit at the same address as that sibling.
Where the sibling of the child making the application is under assessment for a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health and Care Plan, then they will be counted as a sibling from the time that the school is named on the final plan.
If a school has a catchment area, it is a geographical area set around the school from which children are admitted. Subject to consultation, a map of the proposed catchment area is available for inspection by parents at the school and on the school website. The address that determines a child’s catchment area is the place where s/he is ordinarily resident with his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s). (If there is a joint address please see the Home Address section below to determine which address will be used.)
Looked After Child
A ‘Looked After Child’ is a child who is:
- in the care of a local authority, or
- being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see the definition in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989) at the time of making an application to a school.
This also applies to a ‘Looked After Child’ or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order. If children have ever been Looked After or Adopted or subject to a residency or special guardianship order evidence would need to be provided and the LA reserve the right to ask the parent to provide this.
A 'previously looked after child' is a child who:
- ceased to be looked after because they were adopted (under the Adoption Act 1976 (see section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under the Adoption and Childrens Act 2002 (see section 46 adoption orders).
- became subject to a child arrangements order (defined in s.8 of the Children Act 1989, as amended by s.12 of the Children and Families Act 2014) or
- became subject to a special guardianship order (see Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 - an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians)).
The school will endeavour to place siblings born at the same time (e.g. twins, triplets etc). If necessary the school will admit over it’s PAN to accommodate such children. In the case of Infant Class Sizes (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) class sizes must not contain more than 30 pupils with a single school teacher. However, additional children may only be admitted in limited exceptional circumstances, and in accordance with the School Admissions Code, twins and children from multiple births are classed as ‘excepted pupils’ to this legislation. Therefore, if one child of a multiple birth is offered the last available space at the school (according to the PAN), then offers will be made to all the children of that particular multiple birth. Those children would remain an exception to infant class size for the entire time they are in an infant class size or until the class numbers fall back to the current infant class size limit.
The home address given on the application form must be the address where the child resides for most of the week with his or her parent or carer. The school will not accept more than one address as the child’s home address. The terms of a residency order may clarify the home address. Where necessary to determine which address to recognise and in the absence of a residency order, the school will consider the home address to be with the parent with primary day to day care and control of the child. In reaching this decision, evidence may be requested to show the address to which any Child Benefit is paid and from which the child is registered with a medical GP. If the Child Benefit letter is not available, a copy of the most recent bank statement where the Child Benefit is credited may be taken as residency, or the address stated on the NHS Medical Card of the child. Any other evidence provided by parents will also be considered in reaching a decision on the home address for admissions purposes. This may be necessary for instance where parents do not agree on the child’s home address. Parents are urged to reach agreement but where they do not, the school will determine the home address.
If your child has been refused a place at Ferndale Primary & Nursery School, he or she will automatically be placed on the school’s waiting list which is held at the Borough. Names can only be removed from the list if a parent has requested that we do so or if a place has been offered. Placing a child’s name on a waiting list does not affect the parent’s right of appeal against an unsuccessful application. Please note that waiting lists are created according to the over-subscription criteria and no preference is given to the amount of time spent on the list. Your child could move down the list as a result, as well as up.
The closing date for applications is the 12 January 2023. Applications may be submitted after this date but they will be considered as a late application, which means they will not be considered until all the on time applications have been considered. The LA will endeavour to deal with late applications before the offer date, but it may not be possible to do this in every circumstance.
This is defined as a person with parental responsibility (PR) or legal residency of the child. This could include a person who is not a parent but who has a Court Order giving parental responsibility to them.
Where two adults have shared responsibility for a child they should agree before submitting an application form which school(s) to name as their preference(s). In cases of dispute, or where two applications from the adult with whom the child is living are received, the school will ask parents to agree on the school applied for, or if that is not possible the LA will ask the parent to seek a Specific Issues Order through the Courts to gain the authority to make an application.
In the absence of a parental agreement or either of the parents obtaining a Court order determining the issue, the school will be required to decide which preference(s) to be recorded and this will be done by using the application made by the person who lives at the property where the child is resident at their home address as defined below;
(In reaching a decision on the address to use as the ‘home address’, evidence may be requested to show the address to which any Child Benefit is paid and from which the child is registered with a medical GP. Any other evidence provided by parents will also be considered by the school in reaching a decision on the home address for admissions purposes.)
Applications outside the Normal Age of Admission
Parents of gifted or talented children, or those who have experienced problems or missed part of a year, for example due to ill health, can seek places outside of their normal age group. Admission Authorities must make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case, informing parents of their statutory right to appeal. This right does not apply if they are offered a place in another year group of the school.
Evidence will be required in these circumstances from a Senior Medical Consultant, Educational Psychologist and/or other relevant professionals. The school will carefully consider applications for children outside the normal age group, and the decision will be made between the parents and the school based on the individual circumstances of each case.
In the instance that the child has not started school (or is not statutory school age), or it is before the child needs to apply for a school place, the Local Authority may have discretion to decide whether the child would need to be put back an academic year on the circumstances outlined above. Evidence may be required in these circumstances from a Senior Medical Consultant and/or Educational Psychologist. This discretion would only be used in exceptional circumstances where it would have to be proved that it was in the child’s interest to be put back an academic year. This may have already been picked up by the Special Educational Needs Assessment Team (SENAT) through the Early Years Panel.
Availability of School Place
All children are entitled to a full time place in the September following their 4th birthday.
Parents can defer the date their child is admitted to school until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age or, for children born between 1 April and 31 August, not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the offer was made;
Where parents wish, children may attend part-time until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age. Where a parent wishes for their child to attend part time, this should be discussed with the Head Teacher.
Summer born children
A parent of a child born between 1 April and 31 August defined as “summer born” may request for the child to be admitted to a year group later than that of their natural cohort. The school will take into consideration the individual circumstances of the case to determine whether the request can be granted. This may include but not be limited to include whether they were born prematurely, whether delayed social, emotional or physical development is adversely affecting their readiness for school, the possible impact of attending a year group which is not their natural cohort.
Evidence will be required to be able to assess the individual case from a Senior Medical Consultant, Educational Psychologist and/or other relevant professionals.
Where the request is granted, a place will not be allocated prior to the normal admissions round for the year of entry and the parent will be required to reapply during the admissions round in order to ensure that they are fairly considered against the admission criteria for the schools they wish to apply for.
Published Admissions Number
A Published Admission Number (PAN) is agreed for each school annually and defines the number of places available for the year of entry. All applications must be agreed until the PAN has been reached.
Any application for a place within the normal round of admissions is made through Swindon Borough Council. Ferndale Primary & Nursery School operates within the LA’s co-ordinated scheme. The Local Authority are responsible for determining key dates for the admissions round.
Any child who is refused a place at the school has the right to appeal against this decision to an independent panel. Parents would need to complete an appeal form, available from the school, and this would need to be submitted to the clerk of the independent appeals panel. Please contact the school or the Local Authority for further information.
Fair Access Protocol
Ferndale Primary & Nursery School recognises the Local Authority’s Fair Access Protocols and will adhere to these.
Children of UK Service Personnel
Applications for children of service personnel with a confirmed posting to the area will be considered in advance of the family arriving in the area provided the application is accompanied by an official letter from the commanding officer that declares a relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address. Until a fixed address is provided, the LA will accept the Unit Postal Address or Quartering address as the Home Address for allocation purposes. All applications must be included in the normal admissions round if possible.
Applications for a place at the school outside the normal admission round should be made to Swindon Borough Council using the In-year Admission Form through the In-year Coordinated Scheme.
- Applications will be considered for children who are resident within the United Kingdom with the exception of UK Service Personnel.
- The LA will consider applications on behalf of the school according to the published admission number and oversubscription criteria the school.
- The outcome of the application will be notified by letter. If the child is accepted, it is expected that the place is accepted within 10 days and the parent should contact the school to arrange a mutually agreed start date. The child is expected to start within 28 days.
- If a child is refused they will be placed on the waiting list.