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Admission criteria

Admission to primary and secondary schools is not automatic. All schools have admission criteria which the school's admission authority uses to allocate places if they receive more applications than they have places available. It is the parent's responsibility to apply for a school place for their child. A place will not automatically be allocated.

Wherever possible you will be offered a place at one of your preferred schools, but this can't be guaranteed. Every school has an admissions limit, and this determines the number of children they will accept.

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If you are applying to a popular school, check how closely your child meets the criteria.

If your child meets one of the highest criteria for each of the schools you have chosen (for example, you live in the catchment area or have a child already at the school), your chances of being offered a place are much higher.

Be realistic - it is possible that not everyone who applies will be offered a place.

Whenever a child is refused admission to a school their name is automatically added to a waiting list for any voluntary controlled or community school.

If a child has been refused admission to a voluntary aided foundation school or to an academy you must contact the school directly to place the child's name on the waiting list. In all cases, where a child is refused admission parents have the right to appeal.

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The criteria

Every school is legally required to publish an over subscription criteria. This criteria will be used to detrmine the priorty order given to applications when there are more applications than places avaiable.

Each school has an admission authority which is the body responsible for deciding whether a place is available for a child to attend a particular school.

  • Wiltshire Council is the admission authority for community and voluntary controlled schools within Wiltshire.
  • The school's governing body is the admissions authority for foundation, voluntary aided schools and academies.
  • Independent schools decide their own admission criteria.  Applications for independent schools should not be made to the local authority. They should be made directly to the school

Each school has an admission authority which is the body responsible for deciding whether a place is available for a child to attend a particular school

Wiltshire Council is the admission authority for all the community and voluntary controlled schools within the county.

Where a school is oversubscribed, places are allocated to children in order of the ranked criteria listed below:

1. Looked After Children/Previously Looked After Children

The definition of Looked After Children - 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.  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 Section 22 of the Children’s Act 1989

2. Vulnerable Children

Children from families registered with the National Asylum Support Service; Children or families with a serious medical, physical or psychological condition where written evidence is provided at the time of application from a senior clinical medical officer, general practitioner or specialist showing that it would be detrimental to the child or family not to be admitted to the preferred school.

For the purpose of the above criteria the word ‘families’ is determined as living at the same address at the time of the application and also living at the same address on a permanent basis.  Proof will be required and must be submitted by the deadline

3. Linked Infants School (this criterion applies to infant-to-junior YR2  transfer applications only)

Children who are pupils attending year 2 at the linked infant school as at the deadline date, irrespective of the status of the school, i.e. F, A, C or VC.

4. Designated area siblings and shared area siblings

A child is considered under this criterion if a sibling is attending the school (or the linked junior school in the case of applications to an infants school) as at the deadline date and will continue to attend the school at the time of entry, and where the child lives within the designated area or shared area at the same address as the sibling.  Step, half and foster siblings are included in this category.      

5. Other children from the designated area or shared area   
  
Children resident within the designated area or shared area who do not qualify under one of the criteria above.

6. Other Siblings

A child is considered under this criterion if a sibling is attending the school (or the linked junior school in the case of applications to an infant’s school) at the deadline date and will continue to attend the school at the time of entry, and where the child lives at the same address as the sibling.  Step, half and foster siblings are included in this category.
  
7. Children of staff at the school   

A child is considered to fall under this criterion

  • where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made, and/or
  • the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.

If applicants wish to be considered under this criterion then a letter from the Headteacher confirming the above applies to the applicant must be provided at the time of application.  
     
8. Children eligible for service premium relocating to Salisbury Plain
The above criteria will only apply to the following schools:

Durrington CE Junior School,
Kiwi Primary School, Bulford,
Larkhill Primary School,
Collingbourne C E Primary School.
Amesbury C of E Primary School
Amesbury Archer Primary School

9. Other Children

Children to whom none of the above criteria apply.

If the school is oversubscribed within any of the listed categories the straight-line distance from the child’s home address to the school will be used as the determining factor.  Distances will be measured according to the Ordnance Survey eastings and northings for the child’s home address and the school.  Those living closer to the school will be given priority.


Tie Break
If two or more children with the same priority for admission live an indistinguishable distance from the preferred school, but cannot all be admitted then the available places will be decided by means of casting lots.The random allocation will be conducted independently by Democratic Services, Wiltshire Council.

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Each school has an admission authority which is the body responsible for deciding whether a place is available for a child to attend a particular school.

Wiltshire Council is the admission authority for all the community and voluntary controlled schools within the county.

This is the priority order given to applications when there are more applications than available places.


1. Looked After Children/Previously Looked After Children

The definition of Looked After Children - 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.  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 Section 22 of the Children’s Act 1989

2. Vulnerable Children

Children from families registered with the National Asylum Support Service; children or families with a serious medical, physical or psychological condition where written evidence is provided at the time of application from a senior clinical medical officer, general practitioner or specialist showing that it would be detrimental to the child or family not to admit to the preferred school.

For the purpose of the above criteria the word ‘families’ is determined as living at the same address at the time of application and also living at the same address on a permanent basis.  Proof will be required and must be submitted by the deadline date.

3. Designated Area Siblings and Shared Area Siblings

A child is considered under this criterion if a sibling is attending the school as at the deadline date and where the child lives within the designated area or shared area at the same address as the sibling.  The sibling must not be in year 11, 12 or 13 of the school at the deadline date.  Step, half and foster siblings are included in this category;

4. Other Children from the Designated Area or Shared Area

Children resident within the designated area or shared area who do not qualify under one of the criteria above.

5. Other Siblings

A child is considered under this criterion if a sibling is attending the school as at the deadline date and where the child lives at the same address as the sibling.  The sibling must not be in years 11, 12 or 13 at the school as of the deadline date. Step, half and foster siblings are also included in this category;

6. Children of staff at the school

A child is considered under this criterion:

  • where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made, and/or 
  • the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.

If applicants wish to be considered under this criterion then a letter from the Headteacher confirming the paragraph i) or ii) applies to the applicant must be provided at the time of application.

7. Children eligible for service premium relocating to Salisbury Plain
The above criteria will only apply to  Amesbury - Stonehenge

8. Other children

Children to whom none of the above criteria apply.

If the school is oversubscribed within any of the above categories the straight-line distance from the child’s home address to the school will be used as the determining factor.  Distances will be measured according to the Ordnance Survey eastings and northings for the child’s home address and the school.  Those living closer to the school will be given priority.

Tie Break

If two or more children with the same priority for admission live an indistinguishable distance from the preferred school, but cannot all be admitted then the available places will be decided by means of casting lots.

The random allocation will be conducted independently by Democratic Services, Wiltshire Council.

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Primary

  • A summary of the admission criteria for foundation, voluntary aided and academy primary schools in Wiltshire can be found in the relavent area insert which should also be read alongside the guide to finding a primary school place. However, for full versions of the admission policies please visit the schools individual website. These inserts also shows how many places there are at each school, how many children can be admitted this year, how many children were admitted last year and how places were allocated.

Secondary

  • A summary of the admission criteria for foundation, voluntary aided and academy secondary schools in Wiltshire can be found in the secondary insert which should also be read alongside the guide to finding a secondary school place. However, for full versions of the admission policies please visit the schools individual website. The secondary school insert shows how many places there are at each school, how many children can be admitted this year, how many children were admitted last year and how places were allocated
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These schools select children based on academic ability which in effect becomes their first over subscription criteria for any admissions. Grammar schools are allowed to ask children to sit a test as part of the admissions process and can leave spaces empty at the school if not enough children pass the test.

There are two selective grammar schools in Wiltshire:

  • Bishop Wordsworth’s for boys (aided)
  • South Wilts for girls (foundation)

Both are in Salisbury. The test for 2017 entry will be held in September 2017. If you are considering any grammar school for your child then you are advised to contact that school directly in early September to enquire about their testing arrangements.

It is important that if you live in Wiltshire and wish your child to start at a grammar school in September 2018 you must complete an application form and return it to Wiltshire Council by 31 October 2017.

If you apply after this date your child will have to sit a late test and you may find the school is oversubscribed, even if your child passes the selection test.

Please note: if you name a grammar school as a second preference but we can offer your first preference school, we will do so even if your child passes the selection test.

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Children who have a statement of SEN or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are placed in schools through the arrangements set out in the SEN Code of Practice and not through any admission criteria.

All admissions to schools for students who have a statement or an EHCP are handled by Central SEN Services at Wiltshire Council. Their contact number is 01225 718095.

Children who may need additional learning help but do not have a formal statement of SEN, must follow the usual process when applying for a school place and the normal admission criteria will apply.

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Last updated: 29 August 2017 | Last reviewed: 29 August 2017