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Determined Co-ordinated Scheme for Secondary School Admissions for 2023/24

Determined Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme for secondary school admissions for year 2023/24

Introduction

1. This scheme for co-ordinated admissions is pursuant to section (89b) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, for co-ordinating the arrangements for the admission of pupils to secondary schools within the LA area. It applies to all secondary schools in Wiltshire with effect from September 2023 intakes. There will be an annual review of the scheme as per the School Admissions Code in force at the time.

Interpretation and Glossary

2. In this scheme - "the LA" means Wiltshire Council acting in their capacity as a local (education) authority;

"the LA area" means the County of Wiltshire;

The definitions of "primary education", "primary school", "secondary education" and "secondary school" can be found in sections 2 and 5 of the Education Act 1996.

"school" means a community, (C) voluntary controlled, (VC) foundation, (F) or voluntary aided (VA) school or academy (A) school.

"Academy" means a state funded, non-fee paying independent school set up under a Funding Agreement between the Secretary of State and the proprietor of an Academy (most commonly and hereafter referred to as an Academy Trust). Academy Funding Agreements require them to comply with the Code and the law relating to admissions, though the Secretary of State has the power to vary this requirement where there is a demonstrable need;

"admission authority" in relation to a community or voluntary controlled school means the LA and, in relation to an F or VA school or UTC (University Technical College) means the governing body of that school/college and in relation to an Academy it is the governing body / academy trust.

"the specified year" means the school year beginning September 2023;

"admission arrangements" means the determined arrangements which govern the procedures and decision making for the purposes of admitting pupils to a school;

"first round application" means any application for a place in the first year of secondary education that is received before the deadline of 31 October 2022.

"Second and third round application" means any application for a place in the first year of secondary education that is received after the deadline of 31 October 2022.

"eligible for a place" means that a child's name has been placed on a school's ranked list within the school's published admission number (PAN).

The application round for entry into YR7 - 2022 opens on 1 September 2022. The deadline date for applications to be submitted is midnight on 31 October 2022. The home address given for the child must be the address where the child is resident as of the deadline date.

Raising of participation age

Government legislation states that young people have to stay in education or training until their 18th birthday. This will usually be at secondary school until the academic year in which they are 16 (some students may transfer to Further Education or a University Technical College at 14). Students can then choose from one of the following options post-16; full-time education, such as school or college; an apprenticeship; employment or volunteering alongside part-time education or accredited training. It is compulsory that they participate in education or training until their 18th birthday. The only exception is early achievement of level 3 qualifications for example if they take A level exams in year 12. 

General information

3. Parents will be able to make an online application. If an online application has been submitted, a written application is not necessary. The online facility will be available from 1 September 2022 up until the deadline of 31 October 2022.

4. There will be a standard application form known as the Secondary Common Application Form (SCAF). This form must be used to apply for the admission of pupils, into the first year of secondary education in the specified year, unless an online application has been submitted.

5. The SCAF must be used as a means of expressing one or more preferences by the parent wishing to apply for a school place for their child (either within or outside the county). The child must live in Wiltshire.

6. The LA will make arrangements to ensure

a. the SCAF is accompanied by written guidance notes

b. that copies are available on request from the LA

c. that an electronic version of the form is available for parents to make an online application.

7. The SCAF and accompanying guidance notes will invite the parent to express up to three preferences in rank order and give reasons for their preferences. Preferred schools may be state funded schools inside or outside Wiltshire. They will also explain that the parent will receive no more than one offer of a school place and specify the closing date and the address to which the SCAF must be returned. They will also confirm that;

a. a place will be offered at their highest ranked school at which they are eligible to be offered a place; or

b. if a place cannot be offered at any one of their preferred schools, and the child is living within Wiltshire, a place at an alternative school will be allocated.

8. Any school which operates criteria for selection by ability or aptitude must ensure that its arrangements for assessing ability or aptitude enable decisions to be made in accordance with the scheme's timescale as set out in the back of this policy.

9. The governing body of an Academy (A), Foundation (F), or Voluntary Aided (VA) School, can ask parents who have expressed a preference for their school on the SCAF, to provide additional information on a supplementary form, but only if the additional information is required in order to apply their oversubscription criteria to the application.

10. Where a school receives a supplementary form, it will not be regarded as a valid application unless the parent has also completed a SCAF which expressed a preference for that school. The SCAF or an online application must have been returned to the LA by the deadline date.

11. The deadline date for applications is 31 October 2022. All completed SCAFs are to be returned directly to the LA by the deadline date. Any SCAFs which are incorrectly returned to schools, must be forwarded to the LA to be submitted by the deadline. Forms returned to schools and not received by the LA by 31 October 2022 will be treated as late applications. 

12. The LA will send out an acknowledgement of receipt for each SCAF and all online applications. Applicants will be advised to contact the LA if they have not received an acknowledgement with 15 school days of posting their paper application.

Address

13. The child's address provided on the application form should be that of the child's normal place of residence. Only one address can be considered for application purposes. The address provided will be used to determine the child's priority for a school place. The Local Authority reserves the right to confirm the address provided by the applicant using the council tax reference number which is provided as part of the application.

For YR 7 September 2023 entry, the address used to determine priority of school places for on time applications submitted in the main round, will be the child's normal place of residence as at deadline date of 31 October 2022. A future address from an applicant who is moving can be considered if the Local Authority receives evidence in the form of an exchange of contracts or a tenancy agreement of a minimum of six months by the 16 December 2022.

Where children spend time with parents at more than one address then the address given on the form should be the one at which they are normally and habitually resident, i.e. sleep at, for the majority of term-time school nights (Sunday night to Thursday night). If children spend time equally at different addresses, then the address which will be used for admissions purposes will be the one registered for child benefit. The Local Authority may request proof of the registered address, which must pre-date the application.

Future addresses from applicants who currently own a property that is unoccupied or rented out, for which they plan to return to, will not be used when allocating places, unless a formal notice to terminate the rental agreement has been received by the deadline date/ exceptional circumstances date. Such applications will be checked to confirm the applicants have returned to the property. If the applicant has not returned to the address, it will be considered a fraudulent application and the place will be taken away, even if the child has already started school. If no proof is provided, the current address will be used to determine the child priority of a school place.

For in year transfer applications the current address at the time of application will be used.

Designated Area (if applicable)

14. A designated area is a discrete geographical zone served by a school. The address that determines a child's designated area is the place where the child is ordinarily resident with their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) for the majority of the school week. Most schools have a discrete designated area but some addresses fall within areas shared by two or more schools. Children who live outside the designated area for the school may still express a preference for the school.

In the case of children from the boating community (Boaters) proof of mooring will be required. Those without a permanent mooring, must provide details/proof of their sorting office, post office/poste restante address and this will be used for admissions criteria and allocation purposes.

Applicants will only be considered from the address as of the deadline date (for applications into YR7, unless proof of future address is provided) and this will be used to determine the child's priority for a school place. For in year transfer applications the current address at the time of application will be used.

If there is a tie-break situation, then the criteria of the relevant admissions authority will be applied.

Shared Parental Responsibility

15Where two (or more) adults have parental responsibility for a child, it is preferable that they should agree which school(s) to name as their preference(s) schools before submitting an application form. In cases of dispute, or where two application forms are submitted, the LA will process the application received from the adult who has a residence order. If no such order has been made, preference will be given to the parent with whom the child is normally living with for the majority of the school week.

If both parents are in dispute as to whom the child lives with the majority of the school week, the LA will process the application received from the adult who is in receipt of the child benefit, if this is not available then the address used on the NHS card will be used.

In the event of a further dispute regarding the application, parents may wish to take independent legal advice on whether they should seek a specific issue order from the court to decide on where the child is schooled. For an in-year transfer application, the placement will continue in the best interests of securing educational provision for the child, with a minimum of disruption, until any such order is made.

For year of entry, where possible, a place will be offered in accordance with the preferences to the parent who can provide evidence that they are in receipt of child benefit.

Where children spend time with parents at more than one address then the address given on the form should be the one at which they are normally and habitually resident, i.e. sleep at, for the majority of term-time school nights (Sunday night to Thursday night). If children spend time equally at different addresses, then the address which will be used for admissions purposes will be the one registered for child benefit. The Local Authority may request proof of the registered address, which must pre-date the application.

Applications for children of UK Service Personnel (UK Armed Forces)

16. Applications for children of service personnel with a confirmed posting to the county, will be considered in advance of the family moving into the county. Where possible, an application must be included in the normal admissions round.

17. An official letter, such as a posting note or letter of support from the commanding officer should be sent to the LA as soon as possible. This should include the relocation date and unit postal address or quartering area address.

18. Until a fixed address is available, the unit postal address will be used and a school place allocated accordingly. For service personnel moving back to a property that they own and this is currently rented out, then this address can be considered providing a signed letter from the Commanding Officer or a formal notice to terminate the rental agreement is received stating the future address.

19. The LA will not refuse a child of UK service personnel a school place because the family does not currently live in the area. It is also not permitted to reserve places for these children. If a place is not secured at the preferred school and the applicant has provided proof of a Wiltshire address, then an alternative place will be allocated. This will be at the next nearest school to the unit postal address or quartering address with available places.

20. Children will be considered to be siblings if any brother or sister (including step siblings living at the same address) has been formally offered a place at the school which has been accepted. The sibling link will not apply if the child on roll is in Yr11, YR12 or YR13 for VC & C's schools. Parents should view individual admissions policies for VA, F and A schools for information about sibling priority/YR11, YR12 and YR13 pupils. Their position on any waiting list will be set accordingly.

Applications for a Child from overseas (Not UK Armed Forces)

21. All applications for a child from overseas will be considered in accordance with the relevant legislation at the time of application.

22. Applications on behalf of a child currently living outside the UK will be considered, but until the child is resident in the UK, their home address outside the UK, will be considered as being their place of residence. Exceptions to this would be instances where the child of a parent(s) returning from foreign postings, such as UK service personnel and other crown servants who have been posted abroad on a fixed term contract and who are returning to live within the UK or if an exchange of contract or signed tenancy is received to support the application. Proof of the future UK residency will be required.

Future addresses from applicants who currently own a property that is unoccupied or rented out, for which they plan to return to, will not be used when allocating places, unless a formal notice to terminate the rental agreement has been received by the deadline date/ exceptional circumstances date. Such applications will be checked to confirm the applicants have returned to the property. If the applicant has not returned to the address, it will be considered a fraudulent application and the place will be taken away, even if the child has already started school. If no proof is provided, the current address will be used to determine the child priority of a school place.

Selection test for Grammar Schools

23. Where a selection test of any kind is part of the school's admission arrangements, the admission authority is required to allow the child to sit the entrance exam and inform parents of the outcome prior to preferences being made.

The Application Process

First Round Applications for Secondary YR7 2023 Intake (applications submitted by the deadline of 31 October 2022)

24. The LA will act as a clearing house for the allocation of places by the relevant admission authorities in response to the SCAFs. The LA will only make a decision with respect to the offer or refusal of a place in response to any preference expressed on the SCAF:

a. it is acting in its separate capacity as an admission authority, or

b. an applicant is eligible for a place at more than one school, or

c. an applicant is not eligible for a place at any of the schools for which a preference was expressed.

25. The process by which the LA will allocate places is explained at paragraphs 27-37.

26. 31 October 2022 - closing date for all SCAF to be submitted to the School Admissions Team at County Hall. Applications submitted by this date will be classed as first round/on time applications.

27. By 16 November 2022where parents have nominated a secondary school outside the LA area, the LA will notify the relevant LA.

28. By 23 November 2022 the LA will notify all A, F and VA schools of every preference that has been expressed for that school.

29. 16 December 2022: Exceptional circumstances deadline.

Only in exceptional circumstances such as those listed here will a late application be considered at the same time as applications received by the deadline of 31 October 2022.

a. where there has been a change of family circumstances after the deadline date which has a significant effect on the preferences given on the original application. (If this is a house move, this must have been completed with an exchange of contracts before 16 December 2022).

b. a move into Wiltshire from outside the county after the deadline date but before 16 December 2022. Confirmation of the new address (in the form of an exchange of contracts or a tenancy agreement of a minimum of six months) must be provided before 16 December 2022.

c. service personnel moving to a Wiltshire address after the deadline date. A posting notice must be provided before 16 December 2022.

Documentary evidence should be provided with the application (or at the latest by 16 December 2022) to verify the circumstances which caused the late application to be made. If evidence cannot be provided, the application will not be treated as an exception.

Change of preference order for applications received by deadline date 31 October 2022

Prior to deadline date, if a change of preference is required applicants must log back into the online system and update the order of their preference or submit a new paper application.

Following the deadline date, any applicant who has submitted an on-time application may change the order of their preferences by informing the admissions team in writing. This must be received by 13th January 2023. 

The order of the preferences can only be changed. No additional preferences can be added after the deadline date.

30. By 6 January 2023the LA will provide a final list to all admissions authorities of every preference that has been expressed for their school(s) including those considered as exceptional as outlined in paragraph 29 and those residents in other LA areas.

31. By 13 January 2023 all A, F and VA schools must have considered all the preferences for their school and provided the LA with a ranked list of all applicants in accordance with the oversubscription criteria.

32. The LA will then match this ranked list against all other ranked lists and:

  • Where the child is eligible for a place at only one of the preferred schools, a place at the school will be offered to the child.
  • Where the child is eligible for a place at two or more of the nominated schools, they will be offered a place at whichever school was their highest available preference.
  • Where the child is not eligible for a place at any of the nominated schools and they live in Wiltshire, a place will be allocated at the next nearest school to the home address with available places.
  • Should this place subsequently be declined then it is the parent's responsibility to apply for an alternative school place.

33. By 3 February 2023the LA will inform other LAs of any places in Wiltshire schools which will be offered to their residents.

34. By 24 February 2023the LA will inform Wiltshire schools of the pupils to be offered places at their schools.

35. On 1 March 2023 (National Offer Date)letters will be despatched to all parents who submitted an application form by 31 October 2022 offering a place at one school.

36. These offer letters will give the following information:

a. the name of the school at which a place is offered;

b. the reason why the child is not being offered a place at any of the other schools nominated on the SCAF;

c. information about their statutory right of appeal against any decision to refuse places at other preferred schools;

37. 15 March 2023the deadline for parents to accept the place offered. Parents should confirm their acceptance online if they have applied online, or if they have applied by paper return the acceptance/decline slip directly to the Local Authority.

If the parent does not respond to the Local Authority to confirm if they wish to accept or decline the offer by 15 March 2023, the Local Authority will send a second letter to the parent informing them that they have seven days in which to accept or decline the place which has been offered. They will also be advised in this letter that failure to respond could result in the offer of the place being withdrawn. If there is still no response a third letter will be sent to the applicant informing them that the offer of a place has been withdrawn. It will then be the parent's responsibility to apply for an alternative school place. 

Second Round Applications for Secondary YR 7, 2023 Intake (applications received between 1 November 2022 and 09 March 2023)

38. Second round applications, i.e. those received between 1 November 2022 and 9 March 2023 (except those covered by paragraph 29) for the YR 7 Intake round will not be considered until after all first round on time applications have been processed. Second round applications will be considered together with any applicant previously refused a place in the first round and if necessary will be prioritised using the oversubscription policy in place at the time.

Additional applications

Only one offer of a school place for each child can be held at any one time. If the Local Authority receives a further application for a child who has already secured a place in an earlier round, the new stated preferences will automatically supersede any earlier preferences stated.

During the second round of applications parents should note that the school initially allocated will be retained for their child pending the outcome of the later application and that there is no guarantee of gaining a place at the preferred school named on the new application.

Parents can only hold one offer. Therefore, if an offer is made to a child during the second round of allocations any offer made in the first round will automatically be withdrawn. 

The LA will contact all Foundation, Aided Schools and Academies named as a preference on the application form, to determine whether or not a place is available. An offer will be made for the school named as the highest preference where there is an identified place. Where the child is not eligible for a place at any of the nominated schools, and the child lives in Wiltshire, the child will be allocated a place at their designated school if possible, unless an alternative place is available within a safe statutory walking distance from their home address.

39. 21 March 2023 details of second round applications received between the 1 November 2022 and 9 March 2023 to be sent to, Academies, Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools.

40. 31 March 2023Academies, Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools to provide the LA with a ranked list of second round applications.

On receipt the LA will match the returns from all schools and will make an allocation of one place for each applicant:

  • Where the child is eligible for a place at only one of the preferred schools, a place at the school will be offered to the child.
  • Where the child is eligible for a place at two or more of the nominated schools, they will be offered a place at whichever school was their highest available preference.
  • Should this place subsequently be declined then it is the parent's responsibility to apply for an alternative school place.
  • LA to send schools a list of late applicants being offered a place on 27 April 2028.

41. 28 April 2023 the LA will send out the second round offers to schools for applications received between 1 November 2022 and 9 March 2023.

42. 12 May 2023is the last date for second round offers to be accepted by parents. Parents should complete the slip attached to the decision letter and return it to the Local Authority to confirm if they wish to accept or decline the place.

If the parent does not respond to the Local Authority to confirm if they wish to accept or decline the offer by the date stated in the letter, the Local Authority will send a second letter to the parent informing them that they have seven days in which to accept or decline the place which has been offered. They will also be advised in this letter that failure to respond could result in the offer of the place being withdrawn. If there is still no response a third letter will be sent to the applicant informing them that the offer of a place has been withdrawn. It will then be the parent's responsibility to apply for an alternative school place. 

Third Round Applications for Secondary YR 7, 2023 Intake (applications received after 9 March 2023)

43. Third round applications, i.e. those received after 9 March 2023 for the YR7 Intake round will not be considered until after all the second round applications have been processed. Third round applications will be considered together with any applicant previously refused a place and if necessary will be prioritised using the oversubscription policy in place at the time. 

Only one offer of a school place for each child can be held at any one time. If the Local Authority receives a further application for a child who has already secured a place in an earlier round, the new stated preferences will automatically supersede any earlier preferences stated.

During the third round of applications parents should note that the school initially allocated will be retained for their child pending the outcome of the later application and that there is no guarantee of gaining a place at the preferred school named on the new application.

Parents can only hold one offer. Therefore, if an offer is made to a child during the third round of allocations any offer made in the first or second round will automatically be withdrawn.

The LA will contact all Foundation, Aided schools and Academies named as a preference on the application form to determine whether or not a place is available. An offer will be made for the school named as the highest preference where there is an identified place. Where the child is not eligible for a place at any of the nominated schools, and the child lives in Wiltshire, the child will be allocated a place at their designated school if possible, unless an alternative place is available within the safe statutory walking distance from their home address.

44. Applications received after the 9 March 2023 will be considered in date order of receipt and will be looked at after 18 May 2023 (i.e. once the second round of applications have been processed). 

45. Any applications received by the LA after 9 March 2023 will be dealt with as soon as possible with allocations to a single school being made and offer letters sent out from the LA as soon as is practicably possible.

Parents should return the acceptance slip attached to the letter to the LA to inform them if they are accepting or declining the place.

If the parent does not respond to the Local Authority to confirm if they wish to accept or decline the offer by the date stated in the letter, the Local Authority will send a second letter to the parent informing them that they have seven days in which to accept or decline the place which has been offered. They will also be advised in this letter that failure to respond could result in the offer of the place being withdrawn. If there is still no response a third letter will be sent to the applicant informing them that the offer of a place has been withdrawn. It will then be the parent's responsibility to apply for an alternative school place. 

46. Any applications received by any school should be forwarded to the LA within five days of receipt.

Applications for Secondary YR7, 2023 Intake (applications received after 25 July 2023 - end of term)

47. Any applications received by the LA after 25 July 2023 which express a preference for an Aided, Foundation School or an Academy will be forwarded to the school/college within two school days of receipt at which time the process for in year applications will apply.

Right of Appeal - Main round applications

48. Parents who are refused a place at a school for which they have applied have the right of appeal to an independent Admission Appeal panel. All appeals will be heard in accordance with the timescales which have been determined and are explained in the School Admissions Appeals Code.

The deadline dates for lodging appeals for VC & C Schools for the main round entry is:

First round appeals

For applications received from 1 September 2022 - 31 October 2022 and for offers made on National Offer Date, appeals must be received by the Local Authority no later than 30 March 2023.

Second round appeals

For applications received from 1 November 2022 - 9 March 2023 and for offers made on 28 April 2023, appeals will be heard as soon as possible

Third round appeals

For applications received after the 9 March 2023 and for offers made as soon as possible after 18 May 2023, appeals will be heard as soon as possible.

Own admission authority appeal timetables will be provided within the individual school's admissions policy or on the schools website.

All appeals will be heard in accordance with the timescales which have been determined and are explained in the School Admissions Appeals Code.

Final List of expected Secondary Yr7 pupils to schools

49. On or before 31 August 2023 the LA will send out a list to all maintained schools in Wiltshire showing those pupils expected to start in the school at the beginning of the 2023/24 school year.

Admitting in area children above Published Admissions Number (PAN)

50. Wiltshire Council will always try and allocate a space at a child's designated school whenever this is possible. It must be noted we cannot reserve places at any school nor can we guarantee that a space will be available at the designated school. Having enough spaces in schools for local children is a service priority for the School Buildings and Places team.

51. The LA has the responsibility for the strategic management of school places across the county and has to ensure admissions do not compromise its ability to provide efficient and effective use of resources. It is often more economic to admit local children to their designated school because this does not incorporate any additional transport costs which would be required, were an alternative school to be allocated.

52. For some schools, the next nearest school does not provide a reasonable alternative because it is beyond the statutory walking distance or the route to it is unsafe or there may not be available transport. Any children who move into these areas might have to be admitted to the designated school despite any existing pressures upon it.

53. It may not always be possible to find a space at the designated school if this is already oversubscribed. If a school is oversubscribed, then Looked After Children will be given the highest priority on any waiting list. Following this in area children will be given priority on any waiting list over out of area children at all VC & C schools. If the designated area school is unable to accommodate any more children within the year group, then the LA will allocate an alternative school which will be the next nearest school which has places available.

54. Transport would be made available for any children who had to be allocated a school because their designated school was full and the school that has been allocated is outside of the statutory safe walking distance for the age of the child.

In-Year Transfer Applications for year groups other than Yr7 Secondary 2023 intake  

Details of where to submit an application for your preferred school can be found on the Wiltshire Council website.

All applications received by Wiltshire Council via post or email will be date stamped on the date they are received by the school admissions team, unless the application is received over the weekend in these cases the form will be stamped as being received on the next working day.

For in-year transfer applications co-ordinated by Wiltshire Council, the following process applies.

55. The LA will make available copies of the 'Finding a School Place Guide' online and hard copies on request from County Hall.

56. All applicants who wish to apply for a school place must complete an application form which should be returned to the LA. The applicant may or may not live in Wiltshire.

57. Should a parent living in Wiltshire wish to apply for a school in another authority, they must contact that authority directly for details on how to apply.

58. Should any Wiltshire school receive an in-year application form expressing a preference for that school the form should be forwarded to the LA within two school days of receipt.

59. Where the LA receives an in-year application form expressing a preference for a VC or C school the application will be forwarded to the school within three school days of receipt. The school is then required to advise the LA if a place can be offered within two school days or receipt.

60. Where the LA receives an in-year application form expressing a preference for an Academy, F or VA school the application will be forwarded to the school within three school days of receipt.

61. For an Academy, F or VA school, the school's governing body is responsible for deciding the outcome of the application and advising the LA accordingly within two school days of the date of which the information was received by the school.

62. In all cases, a decision letter will be sent out by the Local Authority within 15 school days of receiving the application form and this will provide information, if appropriate, about the statutory right of appeal.

63. If an application has been passed on to a selective school, it is recognised that such a school will not be able to make a response to the LA until after the result of an appropriate selection test has been received. The selective school will inform the LA of the outcome of the application as soon as practicable after the result of any selection test is known. A decision letter will be sent out by the LA and will provide information, if appropriate about the statutory right of appeal.

64. Waiting lists for schools must be kept and will be managed as per the admission arrangements for the particular school involved. Waiting lists will be kept in order of the relevant oversubscription criteria and not in date order of receipt.

65. The Local Authority will maintain waiting lists for all year groups for VC & C schools.

66. The school/academy will maintain waiting lists for all year groups for A, F & VA schools.

If an own admission authority school does not wish the LA to co-ordinate its in year, applications, the admission authority must officially confirm this to the LA by 31 August.

It will then be the responsibility of that admissions authority to ensure that applications are processed in line with the School Admissions Code.

The admissions authority will then have to process the application and inform the parent of the outcome and where necessary their statutory right of appeal. In all cases, it also required to forward a copy of the application, along with the decision, to the LA within two school days.

Where a school has opted in to the in-year co-ordination process, then all places offered at one of these schools must be taken up within 28 working days of the date stated on the initial application form, unless the school has an alternative timescale for this on their website. If the place has not been taken up with 28 working days, then the offer could be withdrawn.

Right of Appeal for In-Year Transfer Applications

67. Parents who are refused a place at a school for which they have applied have the right of appeal to an independent Admission Appeal panel. All appeals will be heard in accordance with the timescales which have been determined and are explained in the School Admissions Appeals Code.

Applications for transfer at a future date

68. Applications for transfer for VC and C schools will be considered no more than a maximum of one term in advance. All requests for admissions to VC and C Schools will be processed in line with the timetable below.

This table gives the earliest date that applications can be sent and when they are considered. Decision letters should be posted within 15 school days of either the date in the last column or, if your application is later than this, our receipt of your form.

Date admission being soughtEarliest application should be submittedApplications will be processed from
January to March1 September31 October
April to July1 January15 February
September to December1 April31 May

69. Applications for transfer for VA and F schools and Academies will be forwarded when received directly to the schools named for consideration in accordance with the schools own admissions policy.

Sixth Form Admissions

70. Parents or students wishing to enrol for sixth form courses should contact the school and ask for a copy of the sixth form prospectus. This will detail the courses offered at the school and any specific entry requirements for any of those courses. The school will require an application form to be completed should the parent or student wish to make a formal application to join the school's sixth form.

Proof of address

71. The LA reserves the right to ask parents for proof of their address. If the parents' current address is different to that held on the LA's computerised system, the LA may ask parents to provide proof of the new address. Acceptable proof of address includes:

  • A formal exchange of contracts, a signed solicitor's letter or email stating contracts have been exchanged and specifying a completion date.
  • A signed and dated tenancy agreement plus proof of residency (e.g. copy of a recent utility bill)

If parents fail to provide proof of a new address, the LA will use the old address for admission purposes. If parents notify the LA that they will be moving house, even if they provide the relevant proof of that address, they must move into that property by no later than the end of the first term following the notification. The LA reserves the right to check that parents are living in the address indicated within that timescale. If parents are not living there, the applications will be investigated and the allocated place may be withdrawn. The parent will then have the statutory right of appeal.

In-Year Fair Access Protocol

72. All Wiltshire Schools will act in accordance with the Fair Access Protocol which has been adopted to give access to educational provisions for hard to place children. Further information on the In-Year Fair Access Protocol, as well as a copy of the protocol, can be viewed at www.wiltshire.gov.uk.

Early or Delayed Transfer

73.a. Early transfer

Children may only transfer early to a secondary school if it can be shown that not to do so would be detrimental to their academic progress or social wellbeing. Each such request involves consultation with the current school, the school to which the child wishes to transfer and where appropriate, the Authority's professional adviser(s). The application will not be agreed if one or more parties consider that the transfer would be inappropriate. Agreement to such a request would be considered exceptional.

b. Delayed transfer

All requests must be submitted to the Local Authority by 31 October 2021, the year in which the child would have chronologically transferred to secondary school.

Children may remain for a further year in a primary school if it can be shown that not to do so would be detrimental to their academic progress or social wellbeing,  The presence of special educational needs or underachievement are not in themselves sufficient reasons to delay transfer.

Children for whom a delayed entry to school or year group retention has already been agreed by the relevant parties, will continue in the lower year group unless it can be shown that it is in their best interests to rejoin their chronological year group. The continuation of this arrangement will continue on transfer to secondary school unless the parent/carer, the current school, the school to which the child would otherwise wish to transfer and, where appropriate, the LA's professional adviser, consider it in the child's best interest to rejoin the chronological year group. An application for transfer to secondary school must still be made in the same way as expected of other children in the year group in which they are working (rather than their chronological age group).

If a child is currently on a roll at a school and a delayed entry is submitted and cannot be agreed, then no alternative school will be offered.

Applications for delayed entry to out of county schools

Parents who wish to apply for a main round delayed entry to an out of county school should submit the request to Wiltshire Council. Wiltshire Council will pass this on to the other Local Authority for consideration. Wiltshire Council will then inform the parent of the decision of the request.

Parents who wish to apply for a delayed entry as an in-year transfer should contact the Local Authority where the preferred school is situated for details of how to apply.

Right of Appeal for theAdmission of children outside their normal age group

Parents who are refused a place at a school for which they have applied have the right of appeal to an independent Admission Appeal panel. They do not have a right of appeal if they have been offered a place and it is not in the year group they would like. However, if parents are dissatisfied with the outcome of the request for delayed entry, they have the right to complain against the decision through the Council's complaints procedure for decisions made by council officers. Where the school is its own admissions authority, parents can complain using the school's complaints procedure.

Appendix: 1 (2023/24) Timetable for Secondary Co-ordination (Wiltshire)

31 October 2022: Closing date for all Common Application Forms to be received by the School Admissions Team at County Hall.  Applications received by this date will be classed as first round applications.

16 November 2023: Details of applications which include preferences for school in other LAs to be sent to those LAs. 

23 November 2023: Details of applications to be sent to F, VA schools, Academies of all first round applicants.

16 December 2023: Last date for any exceptional applications to be considered.

6 January 2023: Final list sent out from LA to all admission authorities, including all applications which have been considered as falling under the exceptional circumstances criteria.

13 January 2023: Academies, Foundation and VA schools to provide the LA with ranked list of all first round applications.                      

Between 16 January and 1 February, the LA will match the ranked list of all the schools and allocate places.

3 February 2023: The LA will inform other LAs of any offers of places at Wiltshire schools to be made to applicants resident in their areas.

24 February 2023: By this date the LA will provide schools with details of those children to be offered places at the school.

1 March 2023: Notification letters for first round applicants will be despatched and sent to parents.

9 March 2023: Deadline for second round applications

15 March 2023: Last date for first round offers to be accepted by parents.  Parents should confirm their acceptance online if they have applied online, or if they have applied by paper return the acceptance/decline slip directly to the Local Authority.

21 March 2023: Details of second round applications received after deadline and before 9 March to be sent to Academies, Foundation and VA schools.  

31 March 2023: Academies, Foundation and VA schools to provide the LA with ranked list of late applications.

27 April 2023: LA to send all schools a list of second round applicants being offered a place.

28 April 2023: Notification letters sent out by the LA for all second round applications received between the deadline 1 November 2022 and 9 March 2023.

12 May 2023: Last date for second round offers to be accepted by parents.  Parents should confirm their acceptance or decline directly to the Local Authority.

18 May 2023: Applications received after the 9 March will be considered in date order of receipt and will be looked at from today.  Applications will be dealt with as soon as possible with allocations to a single school being made and offers being sent out by the LA as soon as practically possible.

31 August 2023: On or before the 31 August the LA will send out a list to all schools showing the pupils expected to join the school at the beginning of 2023/24 school year.

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