Summercroft Admissions Policy 2021-2022
Determined Admission arrangements for Summercroft Primary – an
Academy school - for the school year 2021/22
How to make an application
Parents/carers of children living in Hertfordshire can make an online application for a Reception place via the Hertfordshire County Council website www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions or contact the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 for a paper application form. Parents/carers should return the application form direct to the County Council. Parents/carers of children not living in Hertfordshire must make an application to their local authority. The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 15th January 2021.
The school’s published admission number will be 60.
Summercroft Primary will admit any child with an EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) that names the school. Such children will be admitted as part of the school’s published admissions number and before the following rules are applied. If the school has more applications than places available the following rules will be used to prioritise applications. If the school has fewer applications than places available all applicants will be offered a place.
Rule 1 Children looked after and children who were previously looked after, including (in respect of applications received on or after 1st September 2021) those who appear to the school to have been in state care outside of England, and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order1 or a special guardianship order2). Please see definitions below.
Rule 2 Medical or Social: Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school and (in respect of applications received before 1st September 2021) children previously from abroad who were cared for by the state because they would not otherwise have been cared for adequately and subsequently adopted.
The evidence for applications made under this Rule must be submitted to the school office and a panel of governors will determine whether the evidence provided is sufficiently compelling to meet the requirements of this Rule. The evidence must relate specifically to the school and must clearly demonstrate why it is the only school that can meet the child’s needs.
Applications under this Rule will only be considered at the time of the initial application unless there has been a significant and exceptional change of circumstances within the child’s family since the initial application was submitted. If the application is upheld but the year group is full the child will only be admitted if a place becomes available and the child has sufficient priority on the continuing interest list.
All schools in Hertfordshire have experience in dealing with children with diverse social and medical needs. However in a few very exceptional cases there are reasons why a child has to go to one specific school. Few applications under this Rule are agreed.
Applications received before 1st September 2021 for children adopted but previously looked after abroad will be considered under this Rule and accepted if the child’s previously looked after status and adoption is confirmed.
All applications are considered individually but must include the following
a) Specific recent professional evidence that justifies why only the school can meet the child’s individual needs and/or
b) Professional evidence that outlines exceptional family circumstances making clear why only the school can meet the child’s needs.
c) If the school is not the nearest school to the child’s home address clear reasons why the nearest school is not appropriate.
d) In medical cases a clear explanation of why the child’s severity of illness or disability makes attendance at only the school essential.
Evidence should make clear why only the school is appropriate. Applications will generally not be upheld in cases where more than one school could meet the child’s needs. In exceptional cases relating to a disability where more than one school can meet the child’s specific needs with the relevant facilities, environment or location and the school is the nearest of these a clear explanation is required why attendance at the school is essential.
Applications can only be considered when supported by a recent letter from a professional involved with the child or the child’s family, for example a doctor, psychologist, social worker or police officer, and the supporting evidence needs to demonstrate why only the school can meet the medical or social needs of the child.
Applications for children previously “looked after” but not meeting the specific criteria outlined in Rule 1 may be made under this Rule.
Applications without independent objective professional evidence will not be considered under this Rule and the application will be processed in accordance with the next highest appropriate Rule.
e) (In respect of applications received before 1st September 2021) Evidence that the child was previously cared for by the state abroad because they would not otherwise have been cared for adequately and has subsequently been adopted.
The decision of the panel of governors under this Rule is final but parents have the right of appeal if their application is unsuccessful.
Rule 3 Sibling: Children who have a sibling on the roll of the school at the time of application. This applies to Reception through to Year 5. Sibling is defined as the “sister, brother, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, child of the parent/carer or partner or a child looked after or previously looked after and in every case living permanently in a placement within the home as part of the family household from Monday to Friday at the time of the application”.
A sibling link will not be recognised for children living temporarily at the same house for example a child who usually lives with one parent but has temporarily moved or a looked after child in a respite placement or very short term or bridging foster placement.
A sibling must be on the roll of the school at the time the younger child starts or has been offered and accepted a place.
If a place is obtained for an older child using fraudulent information then there will be no sibling connection available to subsequent children from that family.
In Year admissions: the sibling may be in the school’s final year as long as they will still be in attendance at the time of admission.
Rule 4 Children of staff: Children of staff directly employed by the school in either of the following circumstances (provided that notice of termination of that employment has not been given):
- where the member of staff has been employed for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made, or • the member of staff has been permanently employed to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage and has held that post for less than two years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made.
Children of staff are those where the staff member is the child’s parent by blood or adoption, or the member of staff has legal parental responsibility for the child. The child must have lived at the same address as the parent employed by the school for at least one year at the time of application.
Rule 5 Nearest School: Children for whom it is their nearest school or academy. This includes all schools or academies (regardless of status) except those which prioritise applications and allocate places on the basis of faith.
Rule 6 Distance: Children who live nearest to the school.
These rules are applied in the order they are printed above. If more children qualify under any of Rules 1 to 5 than there are places available under that Rule then the available places will be allocated to those children that qualify under that Rule who live nearest to the school. Where there is a need for a tie-breaker where two different addresses measure the same distance from a school, in the case of a block of flats for example, the lower door number will be deemed nearest. If there are two identical addresses of separate applicants, the tie break will be random and undertaken independently of the school by Hertfordshire County Council. Every child entered onto the county council’s admissions database has an individual random number assigned between 1 and 1 million against each preference school and this number will be used to allocate the place with the lowest number given priority.
Hertfordshire County Council’s ‘straight line’ distance measurement system is used for all home to school distance measurements. Distances are measured using a computerised mapping system to two decimal places. The measurement is taken from the Address Base Premium address point of the child’s house to the address point of the school. Address Base Premium data is a nationally recognised method of identifying the location of schools and individual residences. The address used in the application must be the child’s current permanent address at the closing date for applications. “Permanent” means that the child has lived at that address for at least a year. Where a family has not lived at an address for a year, they must be able to demonstrate that they own the property or have a tenancy agreement for a minimum of 12 months and the child must be resident in the property at the closing date for applications. The application can only be processed using one address. If a child lives at more than one address (eg. due to a separation) the address used will be the one which the child lives at for the majority of the time. If a child lives at two addresses equally, the address of the parent/carer that claims Child Benefit/Child Tax Credit will be considered as the child’s main residence. If a family is not in receipt of Child Benefit/Child Tax Credit then alternative documentation will be requested. If a child’s residence is in dispute then parents/carers should provide court documentation to evidence the address that should be used for admission allocation purposes. If two different applications are received for the same child from the same address, e.g. containing different preferences then the application from the parent in receipt of Child Benefit/Child Tax Credit will be processed if the applications cannot be reconciled.
In Year Admissions
The school remains part of the county council’s coordinated In Year admissions scheme. Application forms can be accessed via www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions and can be completed and submitted on line or can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre 0300 123 4043 and should be returned to the County Council at the address on the form.
The county council will write to you with the outcome of your application and if you have been unsuccessful will include registration details to enable you to log in and appeal online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolappeals.
Continuing interest (waiting) list
In the event of more applications than available places the Local Authority will maintain a continuing interest list (waiting list). These and late applications will go onto this list in a position determined by these arrangements and a child’s place on the list can change as other children join or leave it. If a place becomes available in the school it will be offered to the child at the top of this list. A new ‘in year’ application must be made at the end of the school year to remain on the continuing interest list.
The school participates in the county council’s Fair Access protocol and will admit children under this protocol before children on the school’s continuing interest list. Children admitted under the protocol can be above the PAN (Published Admission Number).
If a single twin or multiple birth child is allocated the final place available, the school will also offer a place to the other single twin/multiple birth children who are excepted from the limit on infant class sizes under the School Admissions (Infant Class Sizes) (England) Regulations 2012.
Parents wishing to appeal who applied through Hertfordshire’s on line system should log on to their online application and click on the link “register an appeal”. Out of county residents and paper applicants should call the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 to request their registration details and log into www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolappeals and click on the link “log into the appeals system “.
Places are allocated to children in public care according to Chapter 7, Section 2 of the School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012. These children will be prioritised under rule1. Highest priority will also be given to children who were looked after, including in respect of applications received on or after 1st September 2021 those looked after outside England, but ceased to be so because they were adopted, or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order.
A “child looked after” is a child who is:
A) in the care of a local authority, or
B) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their
social services functions (section 22(1) of The Children Act 1989)
All children adopted from care who are of compulsory school age are eligible for admission under rule 1.
Children in the process of being placed for adoption are classified by law as children looked after providing there is a Placement Order and the application would be prioritised under Rule 1.
Children who were not “looked after” immediately before being adopted, or made the subject of a child arrangement order or special guardianship order, will not be prioritised under rule 1. Applications made for these children with suitable supporting professional evidence can be considered under Rule 2.
¹ Child arrangements order Under the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014, which amended section 8 of the Children Act 1989, residence orders have now been replaced by child arrangements orders which settle the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live.
² Special guardianship order
Under 14A of The Children Act 1989, an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian or guardians.
*Summer born children (1st April – 31st August) – Entry to Reception
Legally, a child does not have to start school until the start of the term following their fifth birthday. Children born on and between 1 April 2017 and 31 August 2017 are categorised as “summer born” and if parents/carers do not believe that their summer born child is ready to join Reception in September 2021 they should contact the school for guidance before making an application.
Summer born applications that are delayed for a year (for entry in September 2022) will be processed in exactly the same way as all other reception applications received at that time; there is no guarantee that a place will be offered at a child’s preferred school.
If parents wish to delay their application for a Reception place they are advised to discuss their child’s needs/development with their current early years or nursery provider. If parents wish their child to remain in their existing nursery school or class for a further year (rather than moving into the Reception year group) they must let their current school know before the end of the Spring term in 2021 (before the Easter break).
Children Out of Year Group (except applications for reception from summer born)
The school’s policy is for children to be educated within their correct chronological year group, with the curriculum differentiated as necessary to meet the needs of individual children. This is in line with DfE guidance which states that “in general, children should be educated in their normal age group”.
If parents/carers believe their child(ren) should be educated in a different year group they should, at the time of application, submit supporting evidence from relevant professionals working with the child and family stating why the child must be placed outside their normal age appropriate cohort. DfE guidance makes clear that “it is reasonable for admission authorities to expect parents to provide them with information in support of their request – since without it they are unlikely to be able to make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case”.
The school’s Governing body as the relevant admission authority will decide, through a panel process, whether the application will be accepted on the basis of the information submitted. The decision will be based upon the circumstances of the case including the views of parents and the headteacher, the child's social, academic and emotional development and whether the child has been previously educated out of year group. There is no guarantee that an application will be accepted on this basis. If the application is not accepted this does not constitute a refusal of a place and there is no right to an independent statutory appeal. Similarly there is no right of appeal for a place in a specific year group at the school. The internal management and organisation of the school, including the placement of pupils in classes, is a matter for the Headteacher and senior leadership of the school. The governing body are ultimately responsible for making this decision for applications made to the school. Age of Admission and Deferral of Places
The school’s policy is that children born on and between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017 would normally commence primary school in Reception in the academic year beginning in September 2021. The school provides for the full- time admission of all children offered a place in the Reception year group from the September following their fourth birthday.
Parents can defer the date their child is admitted to school until later in the same academic year or until the term in which the child reaches compulsory school age.
Summer born children are only able to “defer” entry to Reception class until the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the offer was made.
Where parents wish, children can attend part-time until they reach compulsory school age. Any parents wishing to take up a part-time place or deferred entry should contact the school to discuss their child’s requirements.
Applications from children* from overseas
All children of compulsory school age (5 to 16 years) in England have a right of access to education. However, where a child is in England for a short period only, for example less than half a term, it may be reasonable to refuse admission to a school. An application for a school place will only be accepted for such children currently overseas if, for In Year applications, proof is provided that the child will be resident in Hertfordshire within two weeks. In Year allocations are made on the assumption that the child will accept the school place and be on roll within that timescale.
For the Primary process, applications will not normally be accepted from, nor places allocated to, an overseas address. The exception to this (for both In Year and transfer processes) is for children of UK service personnel and crown servants (and from military families who are residents of countries with a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK). In these cases the county council will allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date and a HCC Unit postal address or quartering area address, for consideration of the application against oversubscription criteria Applications will also be considered, and places offered in advance for these families, if the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date but does not provide a quartering or unit address because the family will be residing in private accommodation. In these cases, if the family does not already have a permanent private address in Hertfordshire, the military base or alternative “work” address in Hertfordshire will be used for allocation purposes. If the family already has an established alternative private address, that address will be used for admission purposes.
The county council will also consider accepting applications from children* whose family can evidence intent to return to and/or permanently reside in Hertfordshire prior to the start of the new academic year. These applications, if accepted, will be processed from the overseas address until sufficient evidence is received to show the child is permanently resident in Hertfordshire. Evidence must be submitted at the time of application.
Evidence submitted after the date for late applications (3rd February 2021) cannot be taken into account before National Allocation Day. Decisions on these applications will be made by a panel of senior officers and communicated with parents within 6 weeks of the closing date for applications.
If an applicant owns a property in Hertfordshire but is not living in it, perhaps because they are working abroad at the time of application, the Hertfordshire address will not be accepted for the purposes of admission until the child is resident at that address.
Other children, than those mentioned above, from overseas do not generally have automatic right of entry to the UK. An application for a school place will not therefore be accepted until they are permanently resident in Hertfordshire. Proof of residency such as an endorsed passport or entry visa will be required with the application, in addition to proof of Hertfordshire address, for example a council tax bill or 12 month rental agreement.
* Children who hold full British Citizen passports (not British Dependent Territories or British Overseas passports), or have a UK passport describing them as a British citizen or British subject with the right of abode or are European Economic Area nationals normally have unrestricted entry to the UK.
The school works in close co-operation with Hertfordshire County Council to do as much as possible to prevent applications being made from fraudulent addresses, including referring cases to the Shared AntiFraud service for further investigation as necessary.
Address evidence is frequently requested, monitored and checked and school places will be withdrawn when false information is deliberately provided. Action will be taken in the following circumstances:
• When a child’s application address does not match the address of that child at their current school;
• When a child lives at a different address to the applicant;
• When the applicant does not have parental responsibility;
• When a family move shortly after the closing date of applications when one or more of the following applies:
The family has moved to a property from which their application was less likely to be successful;
The family has returned to an existing property;
The family lived in rented accommodation for a short period of time (anything
less than a year) over the application period;
Official/public records show an alternative address at the time of the
• When a child starts at the allocated school and their address is different from the address used at the time of application.
Parents/carers will need to show that they have relinquished residency ties with their previous property and they, and their child(ren) are permanently residing at the address given on the application form.