Admissions Policy and Procedures 2023-24
The Medway Catholic Primary Schools are voluntary aided schools in the Diocese of Southwark. Each 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 schools exist primarily to serve the Catholic community and Catholic children always have priority of admission. However, the Governing Body also welcomes applications 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 class, in September 2024, up to the planned admission number 60 without reference to ability or aptitude.
All applicants need to complete the Medway Catholic Schools Supplementary Information Form (SIF) in addition to the Local Authority Application Form. The supplementary form can be downloaded below or obtained from the School Office, it must be returned to the school by the closing date for applications.
Where the number of applications exceeds the number of places, the Governors will offer places using the following criteria in the order stated:-
- Looked After Catholic Children. Evidence of Baptism will be required. (Catholics include members of the Ordinariate and the Latin and Oriental Rite Churches that are in union with the Bishop of Rome) (See Note i).
- Baptised Catholic Children. Evidence of Baptism will be required. (Catholics include members of the Ordinariate and the Latin and Oriental Rite Churches that are in union with the Bishop of Rome).
- Children enrolled in the Catechumenate (preparing to become Catholics). Evidence will be required.
- Other Looked After Children (See Note i).
- Children baptised or dedicated into other Christian denominations, Churches affiliated to or represented at “Churches Together in England.” Evidence will be required.
- Children who are members of other faiths, whose parents wish them to receive a Christian education. This should be supported by a letter and evidence of their faith will be required.
- 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.
- (i) A brother or sister on the school roll at the time of admission. Sibling means children who live as brother/sister in the same house and includes natural siblings, adopted siblings, foster siblings and step siblings. Extended family, for example cousins, living in the same house do not qualify as siblings. Please note that if the older sibling is in Year 6 at the time of application, the link cannot be considered, as they will not be in the school when the younger child would start in September.
- (ii) The child of a member of staff employed at the school.
- (iii) Distance from home to school. The distance calculated is the shortest available walking route between the child’s home and school using roads and footpaths known to the mapping layer used by the Student Services Admissions Team within the Geographical Information Software (GIS).
The start point – The centre point of the nearest road or footpath known to the GIS to the seed point of the child’s home (The seed point is a grid reference for the property taken from Ordnance Survey mapping data). This may not always be the postal address road, in rare circumstances where an alternative road or footpath is actually nearer to the seed point of the property this will be used.
The end point – A pre defined centre point of the road adjacent the school site or a pre defined centre point within the school site. The same end point is used for all distance calculations to the school concerned.
The distance – The distance calculated is the shortest available walking route known to the Medway GIS using the centre point of streets and other available walking routes. The Medway GIS may not know all footpaths that are in existence and certain new roads may not be known. Where a footpath or new road is not known to the GIS an alternative route will be used. Where a child’s home is situated on a new road the distance calculation will begin from the nearest available known road plotted in the GIS. New developments may be subject to this.
In certain cases it may not be possible to calculate a distance where the entire route is deemed as a walking route. In these circumstances the distance calculated is used purely to prioritise an application for admission. There is no expectation that the walk should be taken.
Tiebreaker – In the unlikely event that two or more children in all other ways have equal eligibility for the last available place at the school, the names will be issued a number and drawn randomly to decide which child should be given the place.
- (i) Looked after children are children who are (i) in the care of a local authority, or (ii) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (as defined in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989) at the time of making the application for a school.
Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (under the terms of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, Section 46) or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order (under the terms of the Children Act 1989, Section 8 and Section 14A).
Please note that the School may ask for a copy of the adoption/residence order to validate this criterion.
- (ii) Pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. The admissions of pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or with an EHC Plan are 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.
Offers of places will be sent to parents by the Local Authority on the common offer date as notified.
Parents whose applications for places are unsuccessful may appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel set up in accordance with section 85(3) 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. Parents/Carers have the right to make oral representations to the Appeal Panel. Infant classes are restricted by 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:
- The admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit; or
- The admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law or had not been correctly and impartially applied and the child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had complied or had been correctly and impartially applied; or
- The panel decided that the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.
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 request that 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.
In-year (casual) admissions
Applications for a place at the school in-year must be made using the common application form of the local authority (LA) 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 that 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 the waiting list. This does not prevent parents from exercising their right to appeal against the decision not to offer a place.
Parents of children who have not been offered a place at the school may ask for their child’s name to be placed on a waiting list. The waiting list, which will be maintained for up to one term, will be operated using the same admissions 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. It is possible that when a child is directed under the local authority’s fair access protocol they will take precedence over those children already on the list.
Fair Access Protocol
The school participates in the local authority’s Fair Access Protocol to allocate places to vulnerable and other children in accordance with the School Admission Code 2014. Admitting pupils under the protocol may require the school to admit above the planned admission number for the relevant year group.
If your child is born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020, they are due to start school in Reception Year in September 2024 and you need to apply now.
You need to apply for a place in Reception, even if your child is already a pupil in our Nursery.
Please also complete the Supplementary Information Form and return it to our school.
School applications open Monday 4 September 2023
School applications close Monday 15 January 2024 5pm
National Offer Day of allocated places Tuesday 16 April 2024
Deadline for lodging appeals by Tuesday 14 May 2024
Reallocation begins Monday 10 June 2024
Reallocation ends Tuesday 31 December 2024
In Year/Casual Admissions
For parents and carers who wish for their child to join our school in another year group other than Reception class/Early years, this is called an ‘in year/casual admission’.
An application must be made to the school by submitting Medway’s Local Authority ‘in year/casual admission form’ to the school alongside our Supplementary Information Form. (SIF)
Parents/carers will be notified of the application outcome with 15 days of receipt of the application forms.
Parents/carers who have been refused a place at the school for their child have the right to appeal.
The appeals form needs to be completed and sent back into the school.
Children may be admitted into our Nursery class at the beginning of the term following their 3rd birthday, if a place is available. St. Mary’s Catholic Primary offers five part time sessions (either morning or afternoon) each week throughout the school year.
Nursery places are limited. To be considered for a place in the Nursery, you will need to complete an application form. Any application will be considered using the school’s admission criteria as laid out in our Admissions Policy.
Medway Council is responsible for coordinating the allocation of school places in Medway and they provide detailed information about the application process.
Admissions Policy and Supplementary Form: