Important dates

Closing date for school place applications – 31 October 2021

Closing date for exceptional circumstance applications and all supplementary information – 3 December 2021

Secondary Admission outcome emails will be sent to those who applied online. Outcome letters will be sent out by second class post – 1 March 2022

Closing date for receipt of appeal applications from parents who were notified of their outcome on 1 March 2022 – 29 March 2022

Ofsted are changing the way they inspect and report on schools.
With the new Education Inspection Framework, Ofsted have written a short explainer text for parents on how these changes will affect them

Important things to think about before you apply

Important things to think about

Your address is important
The home address is very important, as school places are allocated on the basis of the permanent home address of each child. A child’s permanent home address is considered to be where the child spends most of their time with parents or carers. Where the child spends equal time with both parents, the admission authority may ask for more information, including evidence of which parent or carer is in receipt of child benefit and the name of the GP surgery where the child is registered

Documentary evidence of home ownership or suitable rental agreement may be required, together with proof of permanent residence at the property concerned. Places cannot be allocated on the basis of an intended future address, unless the house move can be confirmed through the formal ‘exchange of contracts’ or the signing of a minimum of a six month formal tenancy agreement from a letting agency.

Please note – private letting agreements may not be accepted as proof of residence. An address change due to a move to live with other family members or friends will not be considered until the move has taken place and you have given us suitable proof of residency. Proof that a move from the previous address has taken place may also be required, for example proof of exchange of contracts, a tenancy agreement showing the end date of the tenancy or a notice to quit from the landlord or repossession notice. We reserve the right to seek more documentary evidence to support any claim of residence, which could include contacting the estate agent, solicitor, landlord or relevant professional. We may carry out home visits without prior notice to verify a child’s home address.

An address used for childcare arrangements cannot be used as a home address for the purpose of applying for a school place.

Proof of address for Voluntary Controlled and Community schools will not be required for traveller families where the address is confirmed by the Traveller Education Service. A foster carer will not be required to supply proof of address for a child placed with them by an local authority.

For admission allocation purposes, in most cases the address that will be taken into consideration is the address at which the child is resident at the closing date or an address at which the child will be resident before the start of the new academic year in September 2021, providing the change of address is notified and evidence provided before the exceptional circumstance deadline of 3 December 2021. However, own admission authority schools’ arrangements may vary.

It is very important that you notify the local authority of an intended change of address in these circumstances as this will determine the catchment or nearest school for the child concerned.

Fraudulent or misleading claims relating to the home address of a particular child may lead to the withdrawal of the offer of a school place.

Choosing a school
Parents have a legal right to express a preference for any schools they would like their child to attend. In Somerset you can choose up to 3 preferences in ranked order.

Finding out more about local schools before you apply
The best way to find out more about schools is to visit them. Contact the school direct for more information.

You can also

Stating your catchment school as one of your preferences
If you would like your child to be considered for your catchment school, you will need to include it as one of your preferences. But, this does not guarantee a place at this school. You can find your catchment school on our website.

Some schools and academies that are their own admission authority do not prioritise children living in the catchment area of the school in their over-subscription criteria. If you think you live in the catchment area of a school or academy but the school or academy does not include catchment area in their over-subscription criteria, it is recommended that one of the preferences expressed is for the nearest school to your home address. However, please note this does not guarantee your child a place at this school. Please contact us if you are not sure which school is nearest.

important

If your catchment school is not stated as one of your preferences and becomes over-subscribed, we cannot guarantee your child a place at that school.

Writhlington School (Bath and North East Somerset)
A special arrangement exists for children living in Holcombe, Hemington, Coleford and Kilmersdon. The catchment school is Writhlington School which is in Bath and North East Somerset. Please contact Bath and North East Somerset local authority to get the school’s over-subscription criteria.

More important things to think about

More important things

Supplementary Information Form (SIF)
Where additional information to support your school place application is required, you may need to fill in a Supplementary Information Form (SIF). For example, a SIF must be completed by your church representative if you are applying for a school place under religious grounds.

You can get SIFs from the particular school website or for VC schools here.

You can upload any supporting information, such as a SIF onto your online application.

Applying for a church school on religious grounds
Confirmation of church attendance or any involvement with the work and worship of the church must be confirmed on a SIF and returned by the published deadline. For VC schools you can find this here.

For own admission authority church schools, please see the individual school website for a definition of religious criteria and where to get a SIF (see our glossary for definitions of different school types).

For VC schools the SIF states that The Diocese of Bath and Wells recommends to the clergy that the child or a parent has attended actual worship and that attendance at toddler groups or other activities that are held at the church does not meet the requirements.

Please note that in the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the relevant place of worship has been closed for public worship and alternative premises for that worship have not been provided, the requirements of these admission arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the relevant place of worship or alternative premises have been available for public worship.

If you have special reasons for wanting a place at a particular school
If a Community or VC school is over-subscribed, the local authority will allocate places by applying the local authority over-subscription criteria which does not take into account individual reasons (for example, medical conditions or social reasons)

For academies or schools that are their own admission authorities, you must check the individual over-subscription criteria for each school.

If you do not need a place at a local authority school or academy
If you are making alternative arrangements for your child’s education, such as an independent school or home education, please email us – schooladmissions@somerset.gov.uk – as soon as possible so that we can update your child’s record.

If your child will be attending an independent school, please include the name of the school.

If you are moving out of Somerset, please provide your child’s new address.

You can find information about home education here

information

Please note, if you are considering a place at an independent school, you must make your application directly to the school concerned. For more information please contact the Independent Schools Council.

Applying for a secondary school if your child is in the last year of a middle school
We can not consider requests for places into a secondary school as part of the transferring to upper school process.

This is because a secondary school already has established year groups running from Year 7 to Year 11 and therefore this would be an in year admission.

If you wish to request a year 9 place at a secondary school for your child for September 2022, you must make an in-year application.

Does my child’s current school influence their next school place?
Priority is given in our over-subscription criteria for out of catchment children who are transferring to an upper school and are attending the middle school within that school’s catchment area.

Some schools, where the governing body is the admissions authority, prioritise specific named feeder schools as part of their over-subscription criteria. Please check the over-subscription criteria for the schools you wish to apply for.

SEND information - part of our Local Offer

Applying if your child has an Education, Health and Care plan

If your child has an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC), their school placement will be dealt with by the Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) Team. You must contact the SEND team to make sure a plan is in place for your child’s transition.

There would also have been an opportunity to discuss your views on your child’s next placement at their last Annual Review meeting.

If a child has an Education, Health and Care plan which names a particular school, then the admissions authority for that school has a duty to admit the child. Where possible, the admissions authority will take these admissions into account before the published offer day and will include these admissions in the published admission number.

The local authority has a duty to make suitable provision for children who have Special Educational Needs and to make appropriate education available in mainstream or specialist schools. Wherever possible, the local authority will try to place children with Special Educational Needs in mainstream schools. The needs of the majority of children can be met from the resources available to the schools, including advice from the area support services.

For information, advice and support about Special Educational Needs and Disability, please visit the Somerset SENDIAS website. You may also find it helpful to visit Somerset’s Local Offer.

If your child does not have an Education, Health and Care plan but has special needs

In Somerset, Community and VC schools give priority to children who do not have an Education, Health and Care plan but whose needs can be verified by a multi-agency professional team, where it is recognised that a particular school is required to meet their specific needs.

Evidence to support this application must be received by the Admissions and Entitlements Team on or before 3 December 2021. An on-time application form must previously have been submitted for the child concerned. For more information about these arrangements please phone us.

For Academies, Free schools, Voluntary Aided and Foundation schools, you must check the individual over-subscription criteria to see if this applies.

Applying for a local authority maintained school outside Somerset

If you live in Somerset please apply online, list the names of any schools you wish to apply for on the application form and make sure it is received by Somerset local authority by 31 October 2021.

Please note that the published admission arrangements for another county may be different from those in Somerset. You must make sure you fully understand the published admission arrangements and over-subscription criteria applying to the school concerned before you make your application and to find out if you need to complete a SIF.

All-through schools

An all-through school covers Reception through to the end of Year 11 – primary and secondary phase combined.

Parents who have children on roll at an all-through school do not need to make a separate secondary school application for the same school.

However, if your child is not currently on roll at an all-through school and you would like to apply for the secondary phase, you must make an application by the published deadline.

Applying for a place at a University Technical College (UTC) or a studio school

You can choose to apply for a Year 9 or Year 10 place at a studio school or a UTC for your child. University Technical Colleges (UTCs) are set up by universities and businesses and specialise in one or two technical subjects. At GCSE they offer a similar curriculum to a typical secondary school, including the basics of English and Maths, as well as their specialist subject.

Studio schools are similar to UTCs in that they have employer involv­ement in the curriculum and focus on developing the skills needed for employment, involving personal coaching and work experience, along­side a similar curriculum to a typical secondary school.

There are no studio schools or UTCs in Somerset, but please see the list below of the ones in neighbouring authorities. For more information please visit the individual school website or if you would like to apply for any of these schools please contact the School Admissions Team or check the school website to find out whether you need to make an application through Somerset local authority or di­rectly to the school.

If you decide that you would like to apply for a place at any of these schools for your child, you must complete an application form. The list of schools below states what the entry year group is for the school (Year 9 or Year 10) and whether you need to apply directly to the school (details can be found on their website) or whether you should apply through our website.

Bristol Technology and Engineering Academy
New Road, Stoke Gifford, Bristol, BS34 8SF
Year of entry – Year 10
Apply directly to the school

Digitech Studio School
Tower Road North, Warmley, Bristol, BS30 8XQ
Year of entry – Year 10
Apply to Somerset County Council

South Devon UTC
Kingsteignton Road, Newton Abbott, TQ12 2QA
Year of entry – Year 10
Apply directly to the school

SGS Berkeley Green UTC
Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park, Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park, Berkeley, GL13 9FB
Year of entry – Year 10
Apply directly to the school

Atrium Studio School
Balland Lane, Ashburton, Devon, TQ13 7EW
Year of entry – Year 9
Apply to Somerset County Council

Mendip Studio School
Knobsbury Lane, Writhlington, Radstock, BA3 3NQ
Year of entry – Year 10
Apply directly to the school

IKB Academy
68 Bath Road, Bristol, BS31 1SP
Year of entry – Year 10
Apply directly to the school

Applying for a school

If you are applying online, please choose the No UID (Unique Identification Number) option on the online form, because we do not use these.

Complete the online application form on our website stating your preferred schools in ranked order. This will remain active until 11.59pm on the published closing date, 31 October 2021.

If you choose to make a paper application, you will not receive email notification of your school place application on National Offer Day. Instead, a letter will be posted 2nd class to your home address on this date. Outcomes will not be given out over the phone.

Make sure you have completed any necessary SIFs that are required. Please make sure you have fully completed your application form, and if you have applied online make sure it has been submitted properly and you have received a confirmation email. You will need to re-submit your online form if you view or make any changes at a later date.

If you have not made a school place application for your child and the deadline is approaching, we will try to contact you by text or letter to remind you to make an application by the deadline.

Supporting information for on-time applications will be accepted up to 3 December 2021 under the following circumstances:

moves into or across Somerset where evidence of a property move is required (evidence of exchange of contracts or proof of tenancy or rental agreement for a minimum 6 months will be necessary)

If relevant in the school’s over-subscription criteria; where a parent carer considers their child to have Special Educational Needs or other specific needs, but the child does not have an EHC plan naming a particular school.

If an application is made to us in error, we will attempt to pass this on to the correct local authority or contact the applicant direct. However, please note that it remains the responsibility of the applicant to apply to the correct home local authority.

important

Any change of preference submitted online or by paper application on or before the published deadline date will over-ride any previous applications.

School place application check list

  1. Research the schools that you are considering applying for (for example, by viewing the school’s website, contact the school for a visit, look at the school prospectus, attend open days or evenings, visit the OFSTED website, view the GCSE results on the DfE website).
  2. Think about how your child will get to school.
  3. Express a preference of 3 schools in preferred, ranked order.
  4. Seriously consider stating your catchment or nearest school as one of your preferences.
  5. Make sure you fully complete the question about siblings if relevant (if not, your application may not be considered under this criterion).
  6. Make sure you have completed the appropriate SIF for each school you have applied for and returned to the correct address (if not, your application may not be considered under the appropriate criterion).
  7. Make sure your application is received by the closing date of 31 October 2021

How places will be allocated

The Published Admission Number (PAN)
Every school has a legal Published Admission Number (PAN) applicable to the year of entry, which indicates the maximum number of places available in the year group concerned.

The PAN is set to maximise parental preference within the resources and accommodation available.

If there are less applications than the PAN – places available – every child will be allocated a place. But, if a school receives more applications than the PAN (over-subscribed) the published over-subscription criteria will be applied to determine which children should be offered the available places.

Places will be allocated using the ‘Equal Preference with Ranking’ method. This requires the admissions authority to consider all preferences received for a particular school (1st, 2nd and 3rd) equally, and where the school is over-subscribed apply the over-subscription criteria. Where more than one of your preferences can be met the local authority will offer you a place at your highest ranked preference.

Unfortunately, at some schools, there will not be enough places for all the children whose parents would like them to go there. When all places have been allocated up to the PAN, the admission authority may refuse any further requests.

What you should do if your child has not been offered a place at one or more of my preferred schools
It may not be possible for the admission authority to offer your child a place at your highest preference school, however you may still be offered a place at your second or third preference school. On some occasions it may not be possible for an admissions authority to offer your child a place at any of your preferred schools. If this is the case, we would normally offer the catchment school if there are places available. If this is not the case we would try to offer a place at the nearest alternative school with places available within statutory walking distance of the child’s home address (3 miles for children aged 8 years and over).

Admission arrangements and over-subscription criteria

You can find the criteria used to allocate places at schools and academies on their websites. We have a list of schools on our Local Offer site which have links to Admission policies. Just search for the school you are interested in and click on the admissions policy link.

For Voluntary Aided (VA) and Foundation (F) schools the governing body is the admissions authority and for Free Schools (FS) and Academies (A), the Academy Trust are the admissions authority. For VC and C schools the local authority is the admission authority.

All admission decisions will be made in accordance with the published admission arrangements for the school or academy in question. Parents are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the criteria relevant to the schools they are considering as preferences and relate this to their own circumstances, in the event that these schools might become over-subscribed.

School and Academy information and statistics
This information includes a full list of all secondary and upper schools in Somerset. For your information, the age ranges are

Secondary Schools – age 11 to 16 or 18 years
Upper Schools – age 13 to 16 or 18 years

The following document shows

  • contact details
  • type of school and age range
  • the PAN for 2022
  • the PAN for 2021
  • the number of 1st preferences received in 2021
  • the total number allocated in 2021
  • the number of on-time appeals heard in 2021 and the number successful.

Allocation summaries for September 2021
You can find a summary of how the places were allocated at schools for September 2021 on our website or by contacting the school or academy direct.

Abbreviations

A – Academy
C – Community School
F – Foundation School
FS – Free School
VA – Voluntary Aided School
VC – Voluntary Controlled School
PAN – Published Admission Number

For a full explanation, see our glossary

Appeals

If you are not offered one or more of your preferences you will be advised of your legal right to appeal for a place at your preferred school. Information about the appeal process will be sent to you with your outcome letter or email, detailing your options.

Please note that your appeal will not affect any offer you have already received in respect of another school, unless you are successful at your appeal.

Places becoming available
For every over-subscribed school a ranked waiting list will be held in order of over-subscription criteria by the admissions authority until at least the end of the autumn term.

For VC and C schools, make a written request to us for your child to remain on the waiting list after this time. For own admission authority schools you will need to check the individual school or academy’s admission arrangements on their website.

If places subsequently become available within the PAN they will be re-allocated to the highest ranked child on the waiting list. The waiting list will include all applications refused, whether they were on-time or late, and will be ranked according to the school’s over-subscription criteria.

important

You must make sure that your appeal application form is completed and returned by the published appeal application closing date (29 March 2022).

If your appeal application is late, then it may not be considered until all ‘on time’ appeal applications have been heard.

Help and support
The Somerset Choice Advice Service is a free impartial service to help families with school admissions and appeals. For more information please visit their website.

Late applications

You can apply on our website

Any applications received after 31 October 2021 will be considered as a late application.

For applications received between 1 November 2021 and 21 March 2022, we will aim to send outcomes on 3 May 2022. After this date, applications will be processed in strict date order of receipt.

If a change of preference is received and can be offered, the previous school place offer will automatically be withdrawn. It is not possible to withdraw a late application with a change of preference once the closing date has been passed.

General information

How long your child’s place will remain available
Your child’s place will remain available for 20 school days from the first day of the autumn term.

Children in care or previously in care and now adopted
The admissions authority has a duty to give the highest priority within the over-subscription criteria to children in local authority care (Looked After Children) or children who were previously looked after and are now formally adopted or subject to a residence or child arrangement order or special guardianship order. Previously looked after children also includes 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. You may be required to submit a copy of the adoption order, child arrangement order or special guardianship order and a letter from the local authority that last looked after the child confirming that he or she was looked after immediately before that order was made. Further information may be requested,

Free school meals information

Transferring school early or late

If you feel there are exceptional reasons why your child should be kept back a year (delayed admission) or transfer school a year early you may request this.

This is an important decision and a number of factors need to be taken into consideration.

You must still make an on-time school place application but may apply for your child’s admission to be delayed or for them to transfer school a year early at the same time.

If it is agreed that your child’s admission can be delayed or they can transfer a year early, this will only apply specifically to that school. Therefore we recommend that you request delayed admission or to transfer a year early at all your preferred schools, not just your first preference school. We would also recommend that you include your catchment school as one of your preferences. This does not guarantee a place but does provide a priority in most cases.

Your school place application will be considered against the published admission number for each school and the over-subscription criteria will be applied if the school has more applicants than there are places available. If we are unable to offer a place at any of your preferences there is no guarantee that delayed admission or to transfer school a year early would be agreed at an alternative school.

Decisions will be made on a case by case basis by the admission authority of each school. The headteacher of each school will be consulted as part of this process. The admissions authority must clearly set out the reasons for the decision in writing.

As long as you have made an on-time school place application we will make sure you receive an outcome to your request before the secondary national offer date.

If your request for delayed entry is agreed, your school place application will be withdrawn before a place is offered and you must then make a new school place application for the following year.

If your request for early admission is agreed, your school place application will be processed and you will receive an outcome on the National Offer Day.

If your request is refused, there is no right of appeal against the decision not to allow your child to be admitted outside of their normal age group.

If your child has had delayed admission or a request to transfer school early agreed, you may be unable to apply online, as the system will not recognise your child’s date of birth. Please contact us for advice in these circumstances.

Siblings

Priority is given in the published local authority admission arrangements for siblings where there is an existing sibling link at the time of admission. But, no guarantee is given that siblings can attend the same school when the school is over-subscribed.

For academies or schools which are their own admission authorities, you will need to check the individual over-subscription criteria for each school.

If children of multiple births (twins and triplets) are tied for the final place, these siblings will usually be admitted over PAN (sibling definition applies).

In Year Admissions

Applications for children of school age moving to an existing year group in another school outside of the starting or transferring school process are called In Year Admissions.

Some schools are part of the In year Coordination Scheme and whilst applications are normally submitted to each individual school, for those that are part of the coordinated scheme, applications must be sent directly to the School Admissions Team. Please check the In Year Admissions webpage for more information about this process before applying.

You can get an application form directly from the school or from the local authority. Decisions will be taken by the admissions authority, who must also inform parents of their right to appeal against the refusal of a place.

If your child is refused a place at a VC or C school, they will be placed on a waiting list until the end of the academic year. If your child is refused a place at an own admission authority school, that is not part of the coordinated scheme, you must contact the school or check the admission arrangements on their website to find out if they keep a waiting list. All waiting lists must be held in order of over-subscription criteria and re-ranked every time a child is added to or leaves the waiting list.

For information on availability of school places, please phone us.

In Year Admissions – Children of UK service personnel

We endeavour to make sure that admission arrangements in our area support the Government’s commitment to removing disadvantage for service children.

For families of service personnel with a confirmed posting, or crown servants returning from overseas, the admission authority will:

  • Allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area (as long as one is available), provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date. Admission authorities must not refuse to process an application and must not refuse a place solely because the family do not yet have an intended address, or do not yet live in the area.
  • Use the address at which the child will live when applying their oversubscription criteria, as long as the parents provide some evidence of their intended address. Admission authorities must use a Unit or quartering address as the child’s home address when considering the application against their oversubscription criteria, where a parent requests this.

School transport

Considering travel arrangements when choosing a school for your child
Unless your child qualifies for free school travel assistance it is the parents’ or carers’ responsibility to get them to school.

We will provide free school travel assistance to children who attend their designated transport area or nearest school and who live more than the statutory walking distance of 3 miles from that school, for children aged eight years old and over.

It is your responsibility to check which school is your nearest or designated transport area school.

Finding out if you are entitled to free school travel assistance
If you applied for your child’s school place using a paper application form, this information will be included in your outcome letter. If you applied for your child’s school place online, you will receive a second email within 10 working days of your school place outcome email, if your child is entitled to travel assistance. If you do not receive a second email this means your child has been assessed as not entitled to free school travel assistance.

Travel assistance entitlement is only assessed to the designated transport area or nearest school over the statutory walking distance of 2 miles for children aged under 8 and 3 miles for children aged 8 and over. If you wish for your child’s travel assistance entitlement to be assessed under low income grounds, you will need to make a separate application. This can be done using our website.

School travel assistance entitlement to schools that have changed their catchment area
Transport areas for schools match the catchment area for that school as at September 2012. If an admission authority has changed the catchment area for their school, there is no automatic change to the transport area. Transport areas are set by the local authority and can only be changed following a full public consultation.

Accepting an offer of school travel assistance
You will be sent a medical needs form with the outcome letter or email offering travel assistance for your child. You must return this within 21 days to accept the offer of travel assistance and to inform us of any medical needs your child may have. There is no guarantee that travel assistance will be set up for the start of the academic year if your form is returned late.

Payseats
We also provide transport for paying passengers, if we have room on our vehicles.

You can apply online. You will be notified of the outcome before the start of the academic year but it is highly recommended that you have alternative travel arrangements in place in case there is not a seat available.

Full information on all home to school travel assistance provision, including low income transport, faith transport and exceptional transport, is available.

Useful contacts

Other local authorities

Bath and North East Somerset
Admissions and Transport Unit
Phone 01225 394312
Email admissions_transport@bathnes.gov.uk
Website

Devon
School Admissions Team
Phone 0345 155 1019
Email admissions@devon.gov.uk
Website

North Somerset
Admissions Team.
Phone 01275 884078 or 01275 884014
Email admissions@n-somerset.gov.uk
Website

Dorset
School Admissions Team
Phone 01305 221060
Email admissions@dorsetcc.gov.uk
Website

Wiltshire Council
School Admissions Team
Phone 01225 713010
Email admissions@wiltshire.gov.uk
Website

Independent schools in Somerset

Independent schools in Somerset
There are also a number of non LA maintained, fee paying schools in the county. The following organisation will be pleased to provide you with a list of schools in the South West area:

Independent Schools Council
First Floor,
27 Queen Anne’s Gate,
London,
SW1H 9BU
Switchboard: +44 (0)20 7766 7070
Website

Crewkerne and Ilminster Re-organisation

Crewkerne and Ilminster

Following a decision by Somerset County Council’s Cabinet in March 2021, the existing schools in Crewkerne and Ilminster are being reorganised to create primary schools (Reception to Year 6) and a secondary school (Year 7 to Year 13), which would be the same as in other areas nearby.

A legal challenge has been received and a decision will be made at the High Court in October. If the judge upholds the decision the changes will still be made by September 2022, as originally planned. If the decision is overturned, the judgement will be carefully reviewed and a decision made as to what steps to take in response.

For many children, they will not experience much that is different. However, some children will be more affected. The children who are most affected are those in

  • Misterton First School, which is due to close
  • Children in early years who will be able to choose to attend Maiden Beech as a new non-denominational primary school when they make their application in January
  • Year 4 pupils who will no longer go to middle school next September but will instead stay in their first school when it becomes a primary school
  • Year 6 pupils who will now need to apply to secondary school in October
  • Year 7 pupils who will be transferred to Wadham at the end of this year
  • Year 8 pupils who will still need to apply to upper school in October (in case the legal challenge succeeds)

In view of the legal challenge and to ensure no child is disadvantaged, all Year 8 pupils need to apply for upper school by the 31 October deadline. That way, regardless of the outcome of the legal challenge, all pupils who need to apply will have applied.

Glossary

Glossary

Academy (A) – Independently managed, all-ability schools. Set up by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups in partnership with the Department for Education (DfE) and the local authority. Together they fund the land and buildings, with the government covering the running costs.

Admissions arrangements – The overall procedure, practices and over-subscription criteria used in deciding the allocation of school places including any means used to determine whether a school place is to be offered.

Admissions authority – The body responsible for admissions to a school. For all C and VC schools, the local authority is the admissions authority. For all VA and F schools, the governing body is the admissions authority and for Academies and Free Schools it is the Academy Trust.

Catchment Area – A geographical area from which children may be afforded priority for admission to a school. A catchment area is part of a school’s Admission Arrangements and must therefore be consulted upon, determined and published in the same way as other admission arrangements. See our catchments map.

Catchment School – The school designated to your home address.

Community School (C) – Provided and maintained by the local authority.

C of E – Church of England.

Child Looked After – A ‘looked after’ child or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order. A looked after child is a child who is (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.

DfE – Department for Education – the central government Department responsible for Education in England and Wales.

Education, Health and Care plan – A legal document issued by the LA specifying the needs, resources and provision required to support the child and can include a named school that is suitable for providing education for that child.

Foundation School (F) – Maintained by the local authority.

Free School (FS) – Free Schools are non-profit making, independent, state-funded schools.

Home address – This is the child’s permanent address at which they live with a person who has parental responsibility as the main carer (as set down by law).

Home authority – The local authority area you live in.

Infant Class Size Legislation – The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 placed a duty on local authorities and schools to limit the size of infant classes for five-, six-, and seven-year-olds taught by one teacher to 30 or fewer pupils.

ISC – Independent Schools Council. Provides information about Independent Schools.

OFSTED – Office for Standards in Education – the school inspection service for Central Government. Reports of inspections are available from their website

Online application – An application made through our website.

Other local authority – an authority other than your home authority.

Over-subscribed – A school is over-subscribed where more applications are submitted than there are places available within the PAN.

Over-subscription criteria – The admissions authority for the school will apply the published over-subscription criteria to decide priority for places.

PAN – Published Admission Number – this is the maximum number of places an admissions authority can normally allocate in the intake year group. The PAN is reviewed each year by the admissions authority.

Parent or carer – Natural parents, whether they are married or not, any person who, although not a natural parent, has parental responsibility for a child or young person. Any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child or young person (having care of a child or young person means that a person who child lives with and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, is considered to be a parent in education law).

Preference – The schools you would prefer your children to attend.

RC – Roman Catholic.

Sibling – For the purposes of admissions, we define a sibling as a child living permanently at the same address as a half or full brother or sister, an adoptive brother or sister or children of the same household.

Statutory walking distance – The national standard used to measure entitlement to travel assistance to school and the availability of an alternative school, measured along the shortest available walking route.

Supplementary Information Forms (SIF) – A document that may be required to support your application for a preferred school under a specific criterion of the over-subscription criteria.

Transport Area – Area within which a family must live to be considered for travel assistance.

Under-subscribed – A school is under-subscribed if there are fewer applications received than places available within the PAN.

VA school – Voluntary Aided School – these are Roman Catholic or Church of England schools, provided by the Church and maintained by the LA.

VC school – Voluntary Controlled School – these are mainly church schools (Church of England).

Last reviewed:July 22, 2022 byElizabeth

Next review due:January 22, 2023

Back to top