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Infant Admissions Policy 2018-2019

St Joseph’s Camberwell Catholic Schools’ Federation

Infant Admissions Policy 2018-2019

St Joseph’s Camberwell Catholic Schools' Federation (Infant & Junior School) is a voluntary aided school in the diocese of Southwark. It is in the trusteeship of the diocese of Southwark. The school is conducted by its governing body as part of the Catholic Church in accordance with its trust deed and Instrument of Government, and seeks at all times to be a witness to Jesus Christ. The school exists primarily to serve the Catholic community and Catholic children always have priority of admission. However, the Governing Body welcomes all applications, subject to the availability of places, from those of other denominations and faiths who support the religious ethos of the school.

Having consulted with the local authority and other admission authorities the Governors intend to admit into the Reception classes up to 60 pupils each without reference to ability or aptitude.  Children will be admitted at the beginning of the autumn term following their fourth birthday.

Catholic children always have priority of admission where the parents have indicated that St Joseph’s Camberwell Catholic Schools' Federation (Infant & Junior School) is their preferred school.

Where the number of applications exceeds 60, the Governors will offer places, in the order stated, using the following criteria:-

  1. Looked after Catholic children or looked after children in the care of Catholic families and previously looked after Catholic children who have been adopted or who have become the subject of a residence or guardianship order  (see footnote a)

  2. Baptised practising Catholic children who reside in the Sacred Heart Parish Camberwell. Evidence of Baptism will be required - (see footnote b and c)

(Parish boundary maps may be viewed in the school office or your local church)

  1. Baptised practising Catholic children who reside in St Wilfred’s or St Philip & St James’ parishes.

Evidence of Baptism will be required - (see note b and b)

(Parish boundary maps may be viewed in the school office or your local church)

  1. Baptised practising Catholic children who reside in other parishes.

Evidence of Baptism will be required - (see note b and c)

  1. Baptised Catholic Children.

Evidence of Baptism will be required.

  1. Children enrolled in the catechumenate.

Evidence of enrolment in the catechumenate will be required.

  1. Other Looked after children and previously looked after children who have been adopted or who have become the subject of a residence or guardianship order.

  2. Children who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Evidence of Baptism will be required.

  1. Children who are members of other Christian Denominations.

Evidence of membership of the church provided by a priest or minister where the family regularly worship will be required.

  1. Children of other faiths.

Evidence of religious membership provided by a priest, minister or religious leader of a designated place of worship will be required.

  1. Any other children

The following order of priorities will be applied when applications within any of the above categories exceed the places available and it is necessary to decide between applications.

  1. For Category 2, 3 and 4 above – The strength of evidence of commitment to the faith as demonstrated by the level of the family’s Mass attendance on Sundays using the frequency of Mass attendance asked for on the supplementary form. Applications will be ranked in the order shown on the supplementary form. Firstly those who attend Mass weekly, then those who attend once or twice a month etc. This evidence should be provided by the parents/carers and be endorsed by a priest at the church(es) where the family normally worship. Applications will be ranked in the order below:

    A

    Regular weekly attendance for 3 years or more

    B

    Regular weekly attendance for 2 to 3 years

    C

    Regular weekly attendance for less than 2 years

    D

    Occasional attendance of 2 or 3 times a month for 3 years or more

    E

    Occasional attendance of 2 or 3 times a month for 2 to 3 years

    F

    Occasional attendance of 2 or 3 times a month for less than 2 years

    G

    Irregular attendance of once a month or less

  2. The presence of a brother or sister on either school roll at the time of admission will take priority over applications within each criterion. Evidence of the relationship may be required. (see footnote e)

  1. Medical or social/pastoral grounds which make the school particularly suitable for the child in question. Strong and relevant evidence must be provided by an appropriate professional authority at the time of application (e.g. qualified medical practitioner, education welfare officer, social worker or priest).

  2. Children living nearest to the school as measured by a straight line from the child’s home to the main school gate situated at the corner of Toulon Street and Pitman Street. The LA uses the eastings and northings linked to an applicant’s address to calculate a straight line route distance measurement to all of our community schools in Southwark which is generated by our Capita pupil database. If a child lives in a block of flats where a communal entrance is used, the LA will use the grid references for the block, not for the individual flat. When dealing with multiple applications from a block of flats to the same community school, lower door numbers will take priority.

  3. Where the last remaining place is to be allocated and two or more children are deemed to live at the same distance from the school the place will be decided by the drawing of lots.

Appeals

Parents whose applications for places are unsuccessful may appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel set up in accordance with section 94 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. Appeals must be made in writing and must set out the reasons on which the appeal is made. Appeals should be made to the Admissions Appeal Clerk at the school address. Appellants have the right to make oral representations to the Appeal Panel.

Infant classes are restricted by the legislation to 30 children. Parents should be aware that an appeal against refusal of a place in an infant class may only succeed if it can be demonstrated that:

    1. The admission of additional children would not breach the infant class limit; or

    2. The admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law or had not been correctly and impartially applied and the child would have been offered place if the arrangements had complied or had been correctly and impartially applied; or

    3. The panel decides that the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case

Waiting Lists

For the parents of children who have not been offered a place at the school may the LA ask for their child’s name to be placed on a waiting list. The waiting list will be operated using the criteria listed above.   Placing a child’s name on the waiting list does not guarantee that a place will become available.   This does not prevent parents from exercising their right to appeal against the decision not to offer a place. A waiting list will be maintained by the LA until 31st August and subsequently by the school until 31st January as stated in the Southwark co-ordinated scheme. When a child is directed under the local authority’s fair access protocol they will take precedence over those children already on the list.

Late Applications

Any late applications will be considered by the Governors' Admissions Committee, in the event of there being any available places using the above criteria. If all places have been filled parents will be offered the opportunity of placing their child’s name on the waiting list. This does not prevent parents from exercising their right to appeal against the decision not to offer a place.

Applications during the year/ in-year applications

Pupils whose parents apply for a place at other times (for example, on moving into the area) but for whom a place is not available will be placed on the list within the relevant criterion. In–year applications for a place at the school must be made using the local authority (LA) common application form where the child resides. This form must be returned to the LA The school’s supplementary form should also be completed to enable the governors to rank the application in the event of there being more than one application for a place. The governors will use the same criteria to rank the application as listed above. The offer of a place at the school will be made by the LA on behalf of the governors. In the event of the governors deciding that a place cannot be offered parents will be offered the opportunity of placing their child’s name on a waiting list. This does not prevent parents from exercising their right to appeal against the decision not to offer a place.

Pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
The admission of pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or with an EHC Plan is dealt with by a completely separate procedure.  The procedure is integral to the making and maintaining of statements and EHC plans by the pupil’s home local authority.  Details of this separate procedure are set out in the SEND code of practice.  Pupils with a statement or EHC plan naming the school will be admitted without reference to the above criteria.

Admission of children below compulsory school age
The governors will provide for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday.  Parents can defer the date their child is admitted to the school is deferred until later in the school year or until the child reaches compulsory school age in that school year; parents may also request that their child attends part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age.

Admission of children outside their normal age group
Parents who are seeking a place for their child outside of their normal age group, e.g. the child has experienced problems such as ill health or the parents of a summer born child preferring not to send their child to school until the September following their fifth birthday, may request that they are admitted out of their normal age group – to reception rather than year 1.
Governors will make decisions on the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned.  This will include taking account of the parent’s views; information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; where relevant, their medical history and the views of a medical professional; whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group, and whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely.  They will also take into account the views of the school’s head teacher.  When informing a parent of the decision which year group the child should be admitted to, the governors will set out clearly the reasons for their decision.
Where the governors agree to a parent’s request for their child to be admitted out of their normal age group and, as a consequence of that decision, the child will be admitted to the age group to which pupils are normally admitted to the school the local authority will process the application as part of the main admissions round, (unless the parental request is made too late for this to be possible) and on the basis of the determined admission arrangements, including the application of oversubscription criteria where applicable.  Parents have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied.  This right does not apply if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred age group.

Footnotes.

Catholics include members of the Latin and Oriental Rite Churches that are in union with the See of Rome. Reference to other Christian denominations refers to denominations that are full members of Churches Together in England.

  1. Looked after Catholic Children” has the same meaning as in section 22 of the Children’s act 1989, and means any child in the care of the local authority or provided with accommodation  by them (e.g. with foster parents). Please note that children in private fostering arrangements are not considered looked after children.

  2. The frequency of Sunday Mass attendance by the applicant together with either parent

  3. For the purposes of the Admission Criteria, the term “Catholic” is taken to denote a baptised person who is in full communion with the Catholic Church, that is to say, a member of any Catholic Church that is in full communion with the See of Rome.

  4. The attendance at services by the applicant together with one or both parents.

  5. Children with siblings who are already on roll at the school and will still be on roll at their date of entry. Sibling includes full, half, step, foster and adopted brother or sister living in the same family unit and at the same home address as the child. The home address is where the parent/carer lives and the child permanently resides unless otherwise directed by a Court Order. This will also apply to informal care arrangements. Where a child spends time with both parents/carers in separate homes and both have parental responsibility, the school will need to establish where the majority of school nights (Sunday to Thursday) are spent. This will then be treated as the home address. Siblings in Year 6 who will be transferring to secondary school will not be regarded as a sibling under this criterion.”



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