St Patrick’s RCVA Primary School was founded by the Catholic Church to provide education for children of Catholic families. The school is conducted by its governing body as part of the Catholic Church in accordance with its trust deed and instrument of government and seeks at all times to be a witness to Jesus Christ. Whenever there are more applications than places available, priority will be given to Catholic children in accordance with the oversubscription criteria listed below.
As a Catholic school, we aim to provide a Catholic education for all our pupils. At a Catholic school, Catholic doctrine and practice permeate every aspect of the school’s activity. It is essential that the Catholic character of the school’s education be fully supported by all families in the school. We, therefore, hope that all parents (see note 11) will give their full, unreserved and positive support for the aims and ethos of the school. This does not affect the right of an applicant who is not Catholic to apply for and be admitted to a place at the school in accordance with the admission arrangements.
The governing body is the admissions authority and has responsibility for admissions to this school. The local authority undertakes the coordination of admission arrangements.
The admission policy criteria will be dealt with on an equal preference basis.
Parishes served by the school
The school serves the parish of St Patrick’s in Ryhope, Sunderland.
Published Admission Number
The governing body has set its admission number at 25 pupils to be admitted to the reception class in the school year which begins in September 2017.
Children with an Education, Health and Care plan or a statement of Special Educational Need
Children who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or a statement of Special Educational Need where the school is named as the most appropriate educational setting for the child will be admitted.
Application Procedures and Timetable
To apply for a place at this school, the parent must complete a common application form (CAF) available from the local authority in which the child lives. The parent will be advised of the outcome of the application on 16 April or the next working day, initially by a letter or email from the local authority on behalf of the governing body.
If the parent is required to provide supplemental evidence to support the application (e.g. a baptismal certificate), this evidence should be provided at the time of application. If not provided, evidence may be sought by the governing body following the closing date for applications. This information must have been correct at the date of closing for applications.
All applications will be considered at the same time and after the closing date for admissions which is 15 January 2017.
Late applications will be administered in accordance with the local authority primary coordinated admissions scheme. Parents are encouraged to ensure that their application is received on time.
Admission of Children below Compulsory School Age and Deferred Entry
A child is entitled to a full-time place in the September following their fourth birthday. A request may be made for the date at which a child, below compulsory school age, is admitted to the school, to be deferred to later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age, or beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year. A child may take up a part-time place until the child reaches compulsory school age. Upon receipt of the offer of a place a parent should notify the school in writing, as soon as possible, that they wish to either defer their child’s entry to the school or take up a part-time place.
Admission of Children outside their Normal Age Group
A request may be made for a child to be admitted outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health.
Any such request should be made in writing to the headteacher of the school. The governing body will make its decision about the request based on the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child. In addition to taking into account the views of the headteacher who has statutory responsibility for the internal organisation, management and control of the school, the governing body will take into account the views of the parents and of appropriate medical and education professionals.
Summer Born Children
The parents of a summer born child, i.e. a child born between 1 April and 31 August, may request that the child be admitted out of their normal age group, to the reception class in the September following their fifth birthday and that that the child will remain in this cohort as they progress through school.
Parents who want to make this request should make an application for their child’s normal age group at the usual time. The application to the local authority should include this request and in addition it should be made in writing to the headteacher of the school. The local authority will liaise with the governing body who will make its decision about the request based on the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child. In addition to taking into account the views of the headteacher, who has statutory responsibility for the internal organisation, management and control of the school, the governing body will take into account the views of the parents and of appropriate medical and education professionals.
Parents will be informed of the outcome of the request before primary national offer day.
If the request is agreed by the governing body, the application for the normal age group may be withdrawn before a place is offered. If the request is refused, the parent must decide whether to accept the offer of a place for the normal age group, or to refuse it and make an in year application for admission to year one for the September following the child’s fifth birthday.
Where a parent’s request is agreed, they must make a new application as part of the main admissions round the following year.
One admission authority cannot be required to honour a decision made by another admission authority on admission out of the normal age group. Parents, therefore, should consider whether to request admission out of the normal year group at all their preference schools, rather than just their first preference schools.
In addition to their right of appeal, applicants will be offered the opportunity to be placed on a waiting list. This waiting list will be maintained in order of the oversubscription criteria set out below and not in the order in which applications are received or added to the list. Waiting lists for admission will operate throughout the school year. The waiting list will be held open until the last day of the summer term. Inclusion on the school’s waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available.
Infant Class Size Regulations
Infant classes may not, by law, contain more than 30 pupils with a single qualified teacher (subject to the provisions in the School Admissions Code for ‘excepted children’). Parents do have a right of appeal in accordance with the infant class size regulations if the school is oversubscribed and their child is refused a place.
An application can be made for a place for a child at any time outside the admission round and the child will be admitted where there are available places. Applications should be made to the school by contacting the Headteacher at St Patrick’s RCVA School. Parents will be advised of the outcome of their application in writing.
Where there are places available but more applications than places, the published oversubscription criteria will be applied.
If there are no places available, a request can be made that the child is added to the waiting list (see above).
Right of Appeal
Where a parent has been notified that a place is not available for a child, every effort will be made by the local authority to help the parent to find a place in a suitable alternative school. Parents who are refused a place have a statutory right of appeal. Further details of the appeals process are available by writing to the chair of governors at the school address.
Fair Access Protocol
The school is committed to taking its fair share of children who are vulnerable and/or hard to place, as set out in locally agreed protocols. Accordingly, outside the normal admission round the governing body is empowered to give absolute priority to a child where admission is requested under any local protocol that has been agreed by the governing body for the current school year. The governing body has this power, even when admitting the child would mean exceeding the published admission number.
The governing body reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a place where false evidence is received.
Where there are more applications for places than the number of places available, places will be offered according to the following order of priority.
First priority in each category will be given to children who will have an older sibling attending the school in September 2017.
1. Catholic looked after and previously looked after children (see notes 2, 3&4)
2. Catholic children who are resident in the parish of St Patrick’s (see note 4)
3. Other Catholic children (see note 4)
4. Looked after and previously looked after children (see notes 2&3)
5. Catechumens and members of an Eastern Christian Church (see notes 5&6)
6. Children of other Christian denominations (see note 7)
7. Children of other faiths (see note 8)
8. Any other children
Where there are places available for some, but not all applicants within a particular criterion priority will be given to children living closest to the school determined by the shortest distance. Distance from home to school when measured by the shortest walking route will be the deciding factor. Measurements will be calculated using the Local Authority’s Geographical Information System, (GIS.)
In the event of distances being the same for two or more children where this would determine the last place to be allocated, random allocation will be carried out in a public place and supervised by a person independent of the school.
NOTES AND DEFINITIONS
1. An Education, Health and Care Plan is a plan made by the local authority under section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014, specifying the special educational provision required for a child. A Statement of Special Educational Needs is a statement made by the local authority under section 324 of the Education Act 1996, specifying the special educational provision for a child.
2. 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 (see the definition in section 22 (1) of the Children Act 1989):
An adoption order is an order under section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A child arrangements order is an order outlining the arrangements as to the person with whom the child will live under the provisions of section 14 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
A special guardianship order is an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian or guardians.
3. A previously looked after child is a child who immediately moved on from that status after becoming subject to an adoption, child arrangement order or special guardianship order.
4. Catholic means a member of a Church in full communion with the See of Rome. This includes the Eastern Catholic Churches. This will be evidenced by a certificate of baptism in a Catholic Church or a certificate of reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church. Those who have difficulty obtaining written evidence of baptism or reception should contact their parish priest who, after consulting with the Diocese, will decide how the question of baptism or reception is to be resolved and how written evidence is to be produced in accordance with the law of the Church.
5. Catechumen means a member of the catechumenate of a Catholic Church and is a person who is receiving instruction in preparation for baptism. This must be evidenced by a certificate of reception into the order of catechumens.
6. Eastern Christian Church includes Orthodox Churches, and must be evidenced by a certificate of baptism or reception from the authorities of that Church. Those who have difficulty obtaining written evidence of baptism or reception should contact the Diocese who will decide how the question of baptism or reception is to be resolved and how written evidence is to be produced in accordance with the law of the Church.
7. Children of other Christian denominations means children who are members of a Church or religious community that practises Trinitarian baptism recognised by the Catholic Church. Applicants must provide a baptismal certificate or where child baptism is not practised, a letter confirming their church membership from their minister or faith leader.
8. Children of other faiths means children who are members of a religious community that does not fall within the definitions above. Applicants must provide a letter of support to confirm their faith membership from their minister or faith leader.
9. Home address is the primary parental address which will be used in applying the admission criteria. This means that, when stating the choice of school, the parental address at the time of application should be given. The address of childminders or other family members who may share in the care of the child must not be used as the home address. Documentary evidence may be requested.
10. Brother or sister means a child who lives as a brother or sister in the same house, including natural brothers or sisters, adopted brothers or sisters, stepbrothers or sisters, foster brothers or sisters, or the child of a parent’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. It also includes natural brothers or sisters where the child for whom the school place is sought is not living in the same family unit at the same address as that sibling.
11. Parent means all natural parents, any person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility for the child, or who has care of the child (having care of a child means that the child lives with and is looked after by that person).
This policy should be read in conjunction with the local authority’s admission guidance for parents.