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Determined Admission Arrangements for Community and Voluntary Controlled Primary Schools for 2025/26

1. General Information

This policy applies solely to applications for places at Voluntary Controlled (VC) and Community (C) Primary, Infant and Junior Schools. Foundation (F), Voluntary Aided schools  (VA)  and  Academies  (A) are their own admissions authorities, and the governing bodies are responsible for determining their own procedures and policies.

Determined arrangements for the co-ordination of  primary admissions are drafted with the determined co-ordinated admissions scheme 2025/26.

The application round for entry into Reception and Junior Year 3 2025, opens on 1 September 2024. The deadline date for applications to be received is midnight on 15 January 2025.  The home address given for the child must be the address where the child is resident as of the deadline date.

a. Designated Area

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 he or she is ordinarily resident with his or her  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 living outside the county boundary are treated as if the children live within Wiltshire but outside the designated area for the school(s) in question.

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.

b. Preferences

Parents will be invited to state up to three ranked preferences.  Each preference will be considered equally. This means that Wiltshire Council will consider all applications against the published admissions criteria without reference to how the school applied for  has  been  ranked on the application  form. As far as  possible  applicants will be offered a place at a school to which they have expressed a preference. Where the applicant has made more than one preference the LA will make an offer for the highest ranked  preference  school possible with available  places in accordance with the standard  admission criteria. Where it is  not  possible to offer  a  place at  a  preferred school, and the applicant lives in Wiltshire, the LA will allocate a place at an alternative school.   Allocations will be made after all expressed preferences have  een considered. An applicant will normally be offered a place at the designated school for their home address. An alternative school may be allocated in cases where the designated school is full and the alternative school is within the safe statutory walking distance and has places available or it is a school to which free home to school transport would be provided.

In the case where there are more children living within an area, than there are places available  and  the parent has not named the designated school(s) as one of  their preferences, the remaining places will be randomly allocated.

c. Children with an education, health and care plans

All children whose education, health and care plan names a school must be admitted.

d. Published Admission Number

A Published Admission Number (PAN) is agreed for each school annually and defines the number of places available for the year of entry.  All applications must be agreed until the PAN has been reached and this figure will not be exceeded other than in exceptional circumstances, for example, a child living in the designated area for who there is no reasonable alternative place available. In this circumstance, reasonable is defined as a school within the statutory safe walking distance from the applicant's home address of two miles for children aged under eight and three miles for children aged eight or over, or it is a school to which free home to school transport would be provided.

A list of PAN's for Voluntary Controlled and Community Schools can be found at the back of this policy document.

e. Address

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 R and Junior Yr 3 September 2025 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 15 January 2025. 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 7 February 2025.

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.

f. Shared Parental Responsibility

Where 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) 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 living 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 used, 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 in year transfer applications,until any such order is made, the placement will continue in the best interests of securing educational provision for the child with a minimum of disruption.

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.

g. Multiple Births

The LA will endeavour to place siblings born at the same time (eg. twins, triplets etc)in the same  school. If  necessary, schools will be required to admit over PAN to accommodate such children. In accordance with paragraph 2.16 of  the  School Admissions Code 2021, twins and multiple births will be classed as permitted exceptions to the Infant Class Size Regulations. This will only be the case when one of the siblings is the 30th or the 60th child admitted.

h. Children of UK Service Personnel (UK Armed Forces)

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

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.

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 that is currently rented out, then this address can be considered provided a signed letter from the Commanding Officer is received stating the future address or a formal notice to terminate the rental agreement. This should be received by the deadline / exceptional circumstances deadline.

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

The LA will not refuse a child of UK service personnel a 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.

Children will be considered to be siblings if any brother or sister (including step siblings living at the same address) have been formally offered and have accepted a place at the  school.  The sibling link will not apply if  the child on roll is in Yr 6 for VC &  C's schools. Their position on any waiting list will be set accordingly.

All applications will be dealt with in accordance with these admission arrangements. If a reasonable alternative cannot be offered, the child may be admitted as an 'excepted pupil' under the School Admissions (Infant Class Sizes) (England) Regulations.

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