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Admissions

If your child will be five between 1 September 2022 and 31 August 2023 inclusive and you wish him/her to attend Balgowan School.  You should submit a common application form online to the Local Authority in line with the timetable and procedures laid down by the local Co-ordinated Admission Scheme.

A child attains compulsory school age at the beginning of the term following his or her fifth birthday, e.g. a child whose fifth birthday occurs on 14 June, becomes of compulsory school age at the beginning of the following Autumn term in September. Although there is no legal obligation on parents/carers to send their children to school before they attain compulsory school age, the NEST policy is to admit children before they reach five. This policy allows for early entry to reception, i.e. before compulsory school age is reached.

A parent/carer is any person who has parental responsibility for care of the child. Further information can be found in the Local Authority’s “Admission to Primary School in Bromley” booklet which is available on-line on the Local Authority Website.

Age of Admission

In line with legislation, all children will be permitted to start in reception in the September following their fourth birthday.

Parents/carers can request that the date their child is admitted to the school is deferred until later in the school year or until the child reaches compulsory school age in that school year. Where entry is deferred, admission authorities must hold the place for that child and not offer it to another child. The parents/carers would not however be able to defer entry beyond the beginning of the term after the child's fifth birthday, nor beyond the academic year for which the original application was accepted. Children born after 1 April will be expected to join the school by the start of the Summer Term. 3

Parents/carers can also request that their child attends part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age but this must be in discussion with the Headteacher and in the best interest of the child.

Pupils will be admitted without reference to ability or aptitude.  The number of intended admissions for Balgowan for eh year commencing 1 September 2022 is 90.

Children with a full statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) are dealt with under a separate process by the Special Educational Needs team. The published admission number of all Bromley schools is inclusive of students with a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) that are admitted to the school pursuant to the school being named in their statement or EHC plan.

Admission of Children outside of their normal age group.

Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child has experienced problems such as ill health.

The school and Trust will consider applications outside of the child's normal age group on an individual basis taking into account any information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; where relevant, their medical history and the views of a medical professional; whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group; and whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely. Parents wishing to apply for a place outside of the normal age group should contact the Headteacher in writing in the first instance.

Admission of Summer Born Children outside of their Normal Age Range

Parents of summer born children (i.e. born between 1st April to 31st August) may request that their child is admitted the following year outside of his or her normal age range into Reception Year instead of Year 1, however there is no automatic right to this. Any place already achieved for the child in the Reception Year in the usual way 4 cannot be deferred (i.e. held for that child) for the duration of that school year, and if deferral is agreed parents will need to re for admission the following year.

The school in consultation with the Trust will make a decision, having taken into account the circumstances of each case, together with the opinion of the Headteacher. Where the request is agreed by the school, the application will be considered with all other applications in the usual way, applying the oversubscription criteria as necessary.

Application Procedure

Application for admission to Reception must be made in accordance with the published Primary Co-ordinated Admission Arrangements for each relevant year and will only be accepted from parent/cares with proven parental responsibility. Change of parental responsibility, unless exceptional circumstances through a Court Order, will not be accepted during the co-ordinated admission process.

Over-subscription

Where applications for admission exceed the number of places available, the following criteria will be applied, in the order set out below, to decide which children to admit:-

  • Looked After Children: A “child looked after” is a child who is (a) in the care of a Local Authority or being provided with accommodation by a Local Authority in the exercise of their social services functions. These children must still be "looked after" when the child starts school unless (b) applies. b) or a child who was previously looked after by an English or Welsh local Authority, and immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence, or special guardianship order. This includes children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 (see section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under the Adoption and Children’s Act 2002.
  • In exceptional circumstances there is discretion to admit children on the grounds of their or their family’s acute medical or social needs for that particular school and who would not otherwise qualify for admission. The application must be supported by a letter from a hospital consultant, the special support service, social worker or similar professional, setting out the reasons why the school is the only one to meet the child’s needs, before an admission decision is made. The admission decision will be considered in consultation with teaching and medical professionals. Medical professionals provide advice on applications made under medical conditions and teaching professionals advise on applications made for social or special reasons. Supporting evidence must be provided before the closing date for applications.
  • Sibling: Children with a sibling still on roll at the same school or linked school as above at the time of entry. Sibling refers to brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or the child of the parent/carer’s partner, and in every case, the child should be living in the same family unit at the same address.
  • Each individual school may at its discretion admit children of members of staff in what the school considers to be appropriate circumstances, where:

a) Where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application of admission to the school is made and/or

b) The member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.

  1. Proximity to each school: Distance will be measured (in a straight line) from the unique national grid reference (Easting and Northing) of the child’s home address (including flats) to the main entrance of the school building, using the Local Authority’s computerised measuring system that identifies the unique national grid reference for the property. Those living closer to the school receiving higher priority. The furthest distance reached is checked to confirm it is unique. Where the next applicant measures the same the system will go to further decimal places within a measurement to qualify who is nearer. Where applications are received from flats that have the same “easting and northing” measurements, places will be allocated by door number; the lower the number the higher the priority. If there are two identical distance measurements for different addresses of separate applicants, the tiebreak will be done by drawing lots.  

“Home" being where the child normally resides as their only or principal residence. Addresses involved in child minding (professional or relatives) will not be considered. Parents will be asked to provide documentary evidence to confirm an address and parental responsibility. Change of parental responsibility, unless exceptional circumstances through a court order, will not be accepted during the coordinated admission process.

Change of Address

It is expected that the applicant and pupil will still be resident at the same address when the child starts school. Evidence may be required to confirm the applicant is still living at the application address on National Offer Day and when starting at the offered school. Places may be withdrawn if address details do not match the information given on the application. Changes of address after offers have been made will be investigated and applications will be reconsidered on the basis of the new home address. If the offer was made under the proximity criterion and the new address falls outside of the offered distance of a school with a waiting list, the offer may be rescinded. In addition, applicants who retain ownership of a previous address cannot use a temporary address for applications.

Fair Access Protocol:

Each NEST school in common with all other schools in Bromley will admit pupils referred under the Fair Access Protocol. Subject to specific provisions in the protocol, a “Hard to Place” pupil will be given priority for admission over any others who are seeking or applying for a school place and the school can admit over their published admission number. The other criteria detailed in this document do not apply to pupils referred under the Fair Access Protocol.

Late Applications/Waiting Lists:

Late applications will be dealt with in accordance with the criteria above and administered by the Local Authority. Waiting lists will also be maintained by them and will be held until the Autumn Term 2022. This applies to the primary co-ordinated process.

In Year Admissions:

1. Applications that are made for admission to all year groups must be made to the Local Authority.

2. All applicants without a school place must be allowed to start at a school as soon as possible if a place is available. If no places are available, parents/carers are to be advised, in writing, of their right of appeal.

3. Parents/carers who request a school transfer mid-term and where no house move is involved will be advised that pupil(s) will not be able to start until the beginning of the next term, unless there are special circumstances to be considered and it is agreed between the present and new school.

4. In year waiting lists will be maintained by the Local Authority until the end of the academic year. Applicants wishing to remain on a school waiting list will be required to reapply at the beginning of the next academic year.

The Appeals Procedure:

All applicants have a statutory right of appeal in the event that their preferred school is unable to offer them a place. Unsuccessful applicants must be advised of their right of appeal to an independent Admission Appeals Panel, established by NEST, under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

Appeals for Reception places will be considered in light of the class size regulations that require infant class sizes do not exceed 30. The legislation will only permit class sizes above 30 in limited, specified, circumstances. The Education Act 1980 (Section 7) gives parents/carers the right to appeal against decisions regarding the schools their children should attend. The procedure is specified in Schedule 2 of the Act. NEST will set up the Independent Appeal Panel to hear appeals for places at the school. Parents have the right to be heard knowing that the decision will be binding on the school.

The receipt of an appeal form will be acknowledged. Formal notification of the date and time scheduled for the hearing will be sent by first class post 14 days in advance of the hearing.

Seven days before the hearing the Headteacher will send you a statement setting out the admission policy and the reasons for the decision regarding your child’s allocation.

Appeals will usually be heard during the day time. You will be invited to attend the hearing, but children should not accompany parents.

The Appeals Panel will consist of three members made up from the following:

1. A lay member with no personal experience in the management of any school or the provision of education in any school other than as a school governor or in any other voluntary capacity.

2. Persons who have experience in education; are acquainted with educational conditions in the area or are parents of registered pupils at a school.

3. At least one member must be eligible to be a lay member and is appointed as such and at least one must be a person falling within 2 above.

The proceedings, which will be as informal as possible, will normally be as follows:

1. The case for the school

2. Parents’/carers’ questions

3. Parents’/carers’ case

4. Questions by the Headteacher

5. Questions by the committee

6. Summing up by both sides, if necessary

The Headteacher of the school will attend the hearing. He/she will present the case and advise but will not be involved in making the decision.

The Headteacher will seek to prove that all available places in the school have been accepted by children who meet the published criteria, and to admit a further pupil would prejudice efficient education or the efficient use of resources.

You will need to tell the Panel why you think your child should attend the particular NEST school, but your case must be put forward on the following grounds only:

  1. Either that the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable authority would have made in the circumstances of the case; or
  2. that the child would have been offered a place if the school’s admission arrangement had been properly implemented.

If the Appeals Panel considers that your case is strong enough, the Panel can override the decision and allow your child a place in the named NEST school.

Decisions will not be made in the presence of the Headteacher or the parent/carers, but will be conveyed to both parties in writing as soon as possible after the hearing. Where there are several appeals for a school, parents/carers will not be informed of the decision until all the appeals for the particular school have been heard.

The hearing is the final appeal stage with the Trust. If you remain dissatisfied after the appeal hearing you have the right of complaint, in accordance with Sections 68 and 99 of the Education Act 1944, to the Secretary of State for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3BT.

The procedure relates to legislation and policies in force at the time of going to print.

Appeals forms in respect of any NEST school can be obtained from, and should be returned to:

Lisa Bromley
Worsley Bridge Primary School,
Brackley Road,
Beckenham BR3 1RF

Telephone: 020 8650 2977