Admissions Arrangements 2019-2020

Jesus Christ, in his relationships with children, always esteemed them and welcomed them. His famous saying in the gospel of Mark – Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them - is at the very root of our admissions policy, as it is of every policy. Whilst we respect church schools who have a “church attendance clause” in their oversubscription criteria, we have always chosen not to, believing that because the gospel of Jesus is for everyone without hindrance, then we would find it hard to be true to this and at the same time give preference to those who attend church. This has led to some unfortunate consequences in some schools, but at Christ the Sower has led to a wonderful mix of many cultures and languages, all of whom get the benefit of a church school education.

Thus, with the single difference that we respect the boundaries of the large parish in which we sit, and which exceeds our defined area by some size, our admissions policy seeks to mirror that of any other Milton Keynes local school, and we work as closely as we can with the Milton Keynes Local Authority, particularly with their in-year admissions arrangements. What follows is technical and specific, in the interests of clarity, but the heart of our admissions policy is simply this – come, visit, and see if this is the school who would serve your children in the way you want them to learn!

Huw Humphreys

Headteacher

Admission Arrangements for Sept 2019 – Aug 2020

The Governing Body of the school, not Milton Keynes Local Authority (the LA), is responsible for deciding on admissions to this voluntary aided school, but works closely with the LA who co-ordinate admissions to all maintained schools in Milton Keynes.  Details of the Co-ordinated Scheme for Admissions (2017) are available in the Local Authority’s Booklet, available from the school, or downloadable at School Admissions – Milton Keynes Council.  This booklet explains how parents can express a preference for a school and give reasons for that preference. 

Applications for entry to Christ the Sower Ecumenical Primary School (VA) in September 2019 must be made online to the LA in whose area the parents live at the time of application (the home LA), which may not be Milton Keynes. It must be returned to the home LA by the deadline of 15 January 2019. After the closing date for applications your home authority will liaise with the Education Access Team at Milton Keynes Council about the availability of places. Decisions on which children are to be offered a place will be made by the Admissions Committee of the school. Offers of a place will be made by the home LA on the date indicated in that LA’s admissions guide. Parents will be given a time in which to accept the offer of a place for their child. Applications received after the deadline will be considered after all the applications received by the deadline date have been considered.

If no places are left after considering all the applications received by the deadline, places will not be available even if the application fulfils a higher criterion than that under which places have been offered to other applicants.

THIS POLICY IS COMPLIANT WITH THE 2014 SCHOOL ADMISSIONS CODE and UPDATES

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

It is the Governors’ intention to ensure equality of opportunity for all children seeking places at the school, subject to the criteria listed below in the event of over subscription, and that the school should reflect the diversity of the local community. All children including those from other than Christian backgrounds admitted within the Priority Criteria will be assured of an inclusive education which respects other religious traditions. The school’s Single Equality Scheme (2016) is available from the Headteacher.

The Governors will operate a single point of entry policy at the beginning of the school year (1 September) in which the child reaches their fifth birthday. Entry in September 2019 is therefore open to all children born between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2015.

Children at Christ the Sower will be offered a full time place at the start of the Autumn Term if they have their fifth birthday between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020. There are 60 places available.

Summer born children entering infant or primary schools’ reception classes

Parents of a child whose fifth birthday falls between 1 September 2019 and 31 March 2020 may defer entry until their child reaches compulsory school age (the term beginning in January or April after his/her firth birthday). The school will hold the deferred place for the child (providing that it is taken up during the school year 2019-2020), although, in the majority of cases, we find that children benefit from starting at the beginning of the school year, rather than part way through it.

For children whose fifth birthday falls between 1 April 2020 and 31 August 2020 (summer-born children), parents who do not wish them to start school in the school year 2019-20, but to be admitted to the Reception Year in September 2020, should proceed as follows:

  • They should apply at the usual time for a place in September 2019 together with a written request that the child is admitted outside his or her normal age group to the Reception year in September 2020. NB parents would need to provide strong supporting reasons for seeking a place outside the normal age group and should discuss the position with the head teacher as early as possible. The school will consider the request carefully and:
    • If their request is agreed, and this should be clear before the national offer day (16 April 2019), their application for the normal age group may be withdrawn before any place is offered. They should then reapply in the normal way (no later than 15 January 2020) for a Reception place in September 2020.
    • If their request is refused, the parents must decide whether to wait for any offer of a place in September 2019 (NB it will still be subject to the over-subscription criteria below) or to withdraw their application and apply in the second half of the summer term 2020 for a Year 1 place in September 2020. Parents should be aware that the Year 1 group may have no vacancies as it could be full with children transferring from the previous year’s Reception Year cohort.

Until the child reaches compulsory school age, he/she may attend part time. If parents wish to exercise this right they should discuss detailed arrangements with the headteacher.


 

Foundation 2 (Reception)

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

60

60

60

60

60

60

60

 

 

 

 

 

The admission number is the number of places that will be offered in the Foundation 2 (Reception) Year group for September 2019.  The table indicates the number of places in each year group.

School Admission Applications received in 2016-17 (the most recent year for which we have full data)

Year Group

Foundation 2

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Applications received

94

8

8

8

12

12

7

Appeals received

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

Successful appeals

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 


Over-subscription

Children with a statement of special educational need or an Education Health Care Plan (EHC) naming Christ the Sower Ecumenical Primary School will always be offered places. In the event of there being greater demand for admission than there are places available, places will be allocated in accordance with the following over-subscription criteria:

  1. Looked-after children and children who were previously looked after, but ceased to be so because, immediately after being looked after, they became subject to an adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order.
  • Note: By a “looked-after child” we mean one in the care of a local authority or being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of its social services function. An adoption order is one made under the Adoption Act 1976 (Section 12) or the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Section 46). A ‘child arrangements order is one settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live (Children Act 1989, Section 8, as amended by the Children and Families Act 2014, Section 14). A ‘special guardianship order’ is one appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian/s (Children Act 1989, Section 14A). Applications under this criterion must be accompanied by evidence to show that the child is looked after or was previously looked after (e.g. a copy of the adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order).
  1. A child with exceptional medical or social needs whose parents can demonstrate that admission to Christ the Sower is necessary for the medical and social well-being of their child and whose application is supported by a letter from a registered health professional such as a doctor or social worker.  The letter should explain particular reasons why the school is the most suitable one and any difficulties that would be caused if the child had to attend another school.  This evidence will be assessed objectively by members of the Foundation and Admissions Committee.
  1. A child with a normal home address in the defined area (see note b); Grange Farm, Medbourne, Oakhill and with a sibling (see note d) in attendance at the school at the time of application and who is expected still to be in attendance at the time of admission.
  1. A child with a normal home address in the defined area: Grange Farm, Medbourne, Oakhill, without a sibling in attendance at the school.
  1. A child with a normal home address outside the defined area but in the area of the Watling Valley Ecumenical Partnership – bounded by H2 Miller’s Way in the North, H8 Standing Way in the South, the A5 in the East and the borough boundary on the West and with a sibling in attendance at the school at the time of application and who is expected still to be in attendance at the time of admission.
  1. A child with a normal home address outside the defined area but in the area of the Watling Valley Ecumenical Partnership – bounded by H2 Miller’s Way in the North, H8 Standing Way in the South, the A5 in the East and the borough boundary on the West but with no sibling in attendance at the school at the time of application.
  1. Children whose normal home address is outside that of the Watling Valley Ecumenical Partnership (defined in 6. And 7.) with a sibling in attendance at the school at the time of application and who is expected still to be in attendance at the time of admission.
  1. All other children.

In the case of over-subscription in any category the deciding factor will be the proximity of the child’s home to the school as measured by the nearest available route from the front door of the child’s home to the school’s nearest entrance gate with those living nearer being accorded the highest priority. The system used for measuring distance and proximity to the school will be the straight-line distance between the child’s home address and the school. In the case of two identical distances being measured, we would use random allocation in the presence of an independent witness.

In cases where there is one place available, and the next child on the list is a twin, triplet, etc., we would admit both twins (and all the children in the case of other multiple births) even if this meant exceeding the agreed admission number or the number of places available in a year group. The exception to this is that will not break the KS1 class size rule (30 per class).

Nursery attendance. There is no automatic right of entry to the school for pupils attending the nursery at Christ the Sower School. Separate admissions policies apply for the nursery and the school.

All other admissions

In year applications. In year applications for all year groups for the school year 2019-2020 should be made directly to Milton Keynes Council who will then pass the information to the school. The final decision for admitting pupils remains with the governing body. Admission to the school during the school year depends on whether or not there are places available.  All year groups at the school have 60 places.  Applications must be made directly to the school on a form available from the school.  If there is a vacancy, and there is no child on the relevant waiting list with a higher priority (according to the over-subscription criteria 1-6 above), a place will be offered.  In-year admissions or admissions at the beginning of school years other than Reception will only be considered by the Governing Body up to half a term in advance of the desired date for entry.  For example for entry in January, the application will not be considered until after the October half term break.

If parents are moving house, the school will ask for evidence of the move, when considering any application for a place.  Documentary evidence in the form of a solicitor’s letter to confirm exchange of contracts, or a rental agreement for at least a period of six months will be required (Armed Forces personnel are exempt).  If you are returning from elsewhere, to live in a home that you own, we will require evidence to show that you have returned.  We will also ask for evidence that any previous house owned has been sold or is being sold.   We would not accept an address where the one given is that of a second home with the main home being elsewhere.  If there are two or more homes, we will check which is the main home, and may refuse to base an allocation of a place on an address which might be considered only temporary.  Nor would we accept an address where the child was resident other than with a parent or carer unless this was part of a fostering or formal care arrangement.  We would not normally accept an address where only part of a family had moved, unless connected with a divorce or permanent separation arrangement, in which case we would require proof.

Admission outside normal age group. Requests from parents for places outside a normal age group will be considered carefully, e.g. for those who have missed education due to ill health.  Each case will be considered on its own merits and circumstances. However, such admissions will not normally be agreed without a consensus that to do so would be in the pupil’s interests. It is recommended that parents discuss their wishes with the head teacher in advance of applying for a place.  The governors may ask relevant professionals for their opinion on the case.  It should be noted that if a place in the requested age group is refused, but one in the normal age group is offered, then there is no right of appeal.

Waiting Lists. The school maintains waiting lists for those children who are not offered a place, and the parents ask for the child’s name to be added to the waiting list.  The order of priority on the waiting list is the same as the list of criteria for over-subscription, and does not depend on the date on which an application is received.  No account is taken of length of time on a waiting list.  The school periodically seeks confirmation that parents wish a child to be kept on the waiting list.

Fair Access. The school participates in Milton Keynes’ Fair Access Protocol.  Children qualifying under the Fair Access Protocol may be offered a place even if there are no places available in the relevant year group and also take priority for admission over any child on the waiting list. 

Appeals. There are established arrangements for appeals against non-admission.  Details are available from the school, including the date by which an appeal should be submitted.  In the event of an unsuccessful appeal against non-admission to the school, the school will not consider any further application in the same school year (1 September – 31 August), unless there has been a material change in circumstances (e.g. a change of address which results in a move from outside the catchment area to inside it.)

Notes

Note 1   “Parent” is defined in law (The Education Act 1996) as either:
  1.  any person who has ‘parental responsibility’ (defined in the Children Act 1989) for the child or young person; or
  2.  any person who has care of the child or young person.

If you are in any doubt, please contact the school for advice.

Note 2   By a “looked-after child” we mean one in the care of a local authority or being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of its social services function.  An adoption order is one made under the Adoption Act 1976 (Section 12) or the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Section 46).  A ‘child arrangements order is one settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live (Children Act 1989, Section 8, as amended by the Children and Families Act 2014, Section 14).  A ‘special guardianship order’ is one appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian/s (Children Act 1989, Section 14A).  Applications under this criterion must be accompanied by evidence to show that the child is looked after or was previously looked after (e.g. a copy of the adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order).

Note 3 When applying under criterion ii (exceptional medical or social needs), you must include supporting evidence from an independent professional person who is aware of the situation and supports your reasons for preferring XYZ School.  This supporting evidence must clearly demonstrate why the school is the most suitable and must illustrate the difficulties that would be caused if your child had to attend another school.  The person supplying the evidence should be a doctor, heath visitor, social worker, etc. who is aware of your child’s or your own case.  The school reserves the right to ask for further evidence or clarification where necessary and may seek the advice of appropriate educational professionals where necessary.

Note 4  By normal home address, we mean the child’s home address.  This must be where the parent or legal carer of the child lives with the child unless it is proved that the child is resident elsewhere with someone else who has legal care and control of the child.  The address should be a residential property that is owned, leased or rented by the child’s parent/s or person with legal care and control of the child. 

To avoid doubt, where a child lives with parents with shared responsibility, each for part of a week or month, the address where the child lives will be determined having regard to a joint declaration from the parents stating the exact pattern of residence.  If the residence is not split equally, then the relevant address used will be that at which we are satisfied that the child spends the majority of the school week.  Where there is an equal split or there is any doubt about residence, we will make the judgment about which address to use for the purpose of determining whether or not to offer a place.  We will take into account, for example, the following:

  • any legal documentation confirming residence
  • the pattern of the residence
  • the period of time over which the current arrangement has been in place
  • confirmation from any previous school of the contact details and home address supplied to it by the parents
  • where the child is registered with his/her GP
  • any other evidence the parents may supply to verify the position.

We may ask for evidence of the normal home address in the form of a recent bill.  This could be, for example, the most recent Council Tax bill, utility bill no more than three months old, a current TV licence, buildings and contents insurance, mortgage statement or rent book which shows the address concerned.  Parents who are unable to provide this evidence should contact the school to discuss what evidence might be acceptable.  If it becomes clear or if there is any doubt that the parents and child are not living at the address given on the application form, the school may seek further evidence.  The school works closely with the LA to ensure that places are not obtained at the school on the basis of false addresses, and, in cases of doubt, will take steps to verify the information provided.  If a place at the school is offered, and it later becomes clear that the offer was made on fraudulent or misleading information (e.g. a false claim to living in the catchment area), and the school has denied a place to a child with a stronger claim, the school will withdraw the offer of a place.  The offer can also be withdrawn even after the child has started at the school.

We regard a child’s home address to be where he or she sleeps for the majority of the school week (Monday to Friday).  We may ask to see official documentation, such as a child benefit book or medical card if there are reasons why a child does not live at his or her parent’s address.  For example, if he or she is resident with a grandparent, this needs to be made clear on the application form.  If such arrangements are not declared or a relative’s address is used on the application, we may consider that a false declaration has been made, and withdraw the offer of a place.  Childcare arrangements are not sufficient reason for listing another address. 

If parents move house after the application has been made, but before any offer of a place has been made, the home LA must be informed. If parents are moving, we will ask for evidence of the move, when considering any application for a place under the co-ordinated scheme.

We would not accept an address where the one given is that of a second home with the main home being elsewhere.  If there are two or more homes, we will check which is the main home, and may refuse to base an allocation of a place on an address which might be considered only temporary.  Nor would we accept an address where the child was resident other than with a parent or carer unless this was part of a fostering or formal care arrangement.  We would not normally accept an address where only part of a family had moved, unless connected with a divorce or permanent separation arrangement, in which case we would require proof.

Note 5  By sibling we mean a brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or the child of the parent’s/carer’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 is helpful if parents make it clear on the application form where the sibling has a different family name.  Where there is more than one sibling at the school, only the youngest should be listed on the application form.

Note 6 The straight line distance used to determine proximity of the home to the school will be measured by Milton Keynes LA’s Geographical Information System: Following recent OSA ruling you now need to copy this here, please check with your LA.

This policy was revised in January 2018 and complies with all relevant Admissions Code legislation including that on infant class sizes and equal opportunities, the Milton Keynes Fair Access Protocol (Jan 2015, revised 2017) and the 2014 School Admissions Code.

For further information, in the first instance, please contact the Admissions Manager at the school. 

Mrs Sharon Legg, Admissions Manager, Christ the Sower Ecumenical Primary School (V.A.),                  Singleton Drive, Grange Farm, Milton Keynes, MK8 0PZ