Admissions

Darlington Community and Voluntary Controlled Primary Schools Admissions Policy

How places are allocated

Admission Number – All schools have an admission number (ie the number of places available).. The Admission number for each Darlington primary school can be found with the school details on pages 40 to 43.

Indicated Admission Limits – When setting the admission number for community schools, Darlington Authority has taken into account the indicated admission limit for each school – a suggested admission number based on an assessment of the teaching space in the school.

Oversubscription Criteria for Darlington Community and Voluntary
Controlled Schools – If there are more applicants than the number of places available in a particular school, then the school is deemed to be oversubscribed.

When stating a preference you are entitled to state a reason for doing so. However the only criteria used to allocate places are those published in this guide.

After the admission of pupils with a statement of Special Educational Need where a maintained school is named on the statement, the following criteria will be applied in order of priority, for deciding how places will be allocated:

Priority 1 – Looked After Children – A ‘looked after’ child is a child who is in the care of a local authority or provided with accommodation by that Authority.

Priority 2 – Medical Reasons – Children with very exceptional medical factors directly relating to school placement. Applications under this criterion should be supported by written evidence from a doctor.

Priority 3 – Family Links – Children who have a brother or sister already attending the school and are expected to be on roll at that school at the time of admission. In the case of associated schools a family link would exist if a brother or sister would be expected to be on roll of either school at the time of admission.

Priority 4 -Associated Schools – Pupils who are transferring from a Darlington Infant to a Junior school will be given priority over pupils from other schools.

Priority 5 – Rural – Children living within the rural wards of the Borough of Darlington who have been unsuccessful in obtaining a place at one of their preferred schools AND for whom the nearest alternative school would otherwise be more than two miles from their home will be given priority over other children for places at certain schools (see ‘Rural Wards’ explanation).

Priority 6 – Distance – Urban Wards of Darlington Borough Council – Children who live nearest the preferred school measured from the front door of the home address (including flats) to the main school gate, by the shortest walking route. This will be based on the home address of the child. To remain consistent the LA uses a Geographical Information System to measure all distances. The LA’s priority when measuring a route is to identify the shortest route judged to be safe (safe is lit at regular intervals, paved/tarmacked).

Rural Wards of Darlington Borough Council – Pupils who live nearest the preferred school measured from the front door of the home address (including flats) to the main school gate, via the shortest route which is paved/tarmaced*. This will be based on the home address of the child. To remain consistent the LA uses a Geographical Information System to measure all distances. *In the rural wards, the Council is aware that the shortest route may not be a safe route to walk. Therefore, if a child living in a rural ward, is successful in gaining a place at a school; where the route taken when measured by the LA, is paved/tarmacked but not also lit at regular intervals, then the LA will provide assistance with transport, even if it is less than the statutory distance for a child of the appropriate age.

Tiebreak

In the event of a tiebreak, the LA will carry out a thorough investigation, which may involve an Officer walking the route using a pedometer, as distance will be the deciding factor.

Multiple Births

Where there is only 1 place available, then through consultation with the parents/carers, the place will be offered to the chosen child.

Medical Criterion

If you state a preference for a school and indicate your reason for doing so is ‘medical’, then you are required to send a supporting letter from a professional practitioner. The supporting evidence should set out the particular reasons why the school in question is the most suitable school and the difficulties it would cause if your child had to travel to another school. The LA reserves the right to make contact with the District Medical Officer for independent information regarding your child’s condition.We may also seek advice from other qualified professionals, e.g. Psychologists or other specialists where necessary.

Family Links

Children have a family link if:
They are half or full brother or sister.
They are adoptive brother or sister.
Their carers are married/co-habiting and
children live together in the same household.
They are children of the same household (e.g.carers have special Guardianship).

Waiting Lists for Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools

Your child’s position on a waiting list(s) will be determined by the oversubscription criteria. If you want your child’s name to be added to a waiting list for any school then you must complete the options form attached to the refusal/offer letter issued in April 2012.

The LA holds waiting lists only for schools within Darlington Borough and names can be added to a waiting list at any time. When pupil numbers fall below the published admission number, children will be admitted from the waiting list in accordance with the oversubscription criteria but without reference to preferences expressed in the initial round of offers. The Authority does not take into account the length of time on the waiting list. Vacancies often arise at short notice and those on the waiting list should be prepared to accept a place as soon as it occurs. Places will not be held for later consideration. The LA will maintain waiting lists for Reception year pupils only until the end of December 2012 (the end of the first term of the academic year of admission). Thereafter, normal transfers/in-year admission arrangements will operate. Waiting lists for schools for which Darlington Borough Council is the admissions authority will not be held after December of the year of entry. Waiting lists for Academy Schools will be held until the end of December, it will then be at the discretion of each Academy School to decide whether they continue to hold a list.

Primary Academy Schools

From September 2011, the schools listed below will have become academy schools and as such the decisions on the allocation of places will be made by the governing body of the school. However the oversubscription criterion for these schools will remain the same as those of Community Schools for the 2012 intake. The notification of the decision about your application will by made by the LA acting on its behalf as part of the co-ordinated admission arrangements. Waiting lists for academy schools will be held until the end of December, it will then be at the direction of each academy school to decide whether they continue to hold a list.

Abbey Infant School Abbey Junior School

Bishopton/Redmarshall CE PrimaryHeighington CE Primary

Reid Street PrimaryWest Park Academy

Darlington Voluntary Aided Primary School Details and Admission Policies

Parents/carers who express a preference for a place at a Voluntary Aided Church School or Academy should follow the same procedures as for Community schools. However, in Voluntary Aided and Academy schools, decisions on admissions are made by the governing body of the school. You will be notified of the decision about your application by the LA acting on its behalf. The admissions oversubscription criteria for Voluntary Aided and Academy schools will differ from those which apply in Community schools. Primary pupils who attend a church school but are not of that particular denomination will not be entitled to free school transport to a church school when they transfer to the secondary phase of their education. Details of the admissions policies of the Voluntary Aided schools are Darlington Borough are detailed on the following pages.

 

Admission Appeals Timetable

Secondary School

  • Secondary School Allocation Day – Wednesday 1 March 2017.
  • Deadline for Receipt of a Secondary School Admission Appeal Form – Friday 31 March 2017.
  • Secondary School Admission Appeals must be heard within 40 school days of deadline to lodge appeal and will be held between Monday 8 May and Friday 16 June 2017.
  • Notification of appeal hearing date – At least 10 school days before the appeal hearing.
  • Deadline for the Admission Authority to submit their case papers to the Clerk to the Independent Appeals Panel – At least 9 working days before the date of the appeal hearing.
  • Clerk to send appeal papers to Appellants, Panel and the Admission Authority – At least 7 working days before the date of the appeal hearing.
  • Deadline to submit additional information to the Clerk to the Independent Appeals Panel – At least three days prior to your appeal date.
  • Decision Letter sent to appellants and Admission Authority within 5 school days of the decision being made.

Primary School

  • Primary School Allocation Day – Friday 18 April 2017.
  • Deadline for Receipt of a Primary School Admission Appeal Form – Friday 26 May 2017.

  • Primary School Admission Appeals must be heard within 40 school days of deadline to lodge appeal and will be held between Monday 12 June and Friday 14 July 2017.
  • Notification of appeal hearing date – At least 10 school days before the appeal hearing.
  • Deadline for the Admission Authority to submit their case papers to the Clerk to the Independent Appeals Panel – At least 9 working days before the date of the appeal hearing.
  • Clerk to send appeal papers to Appellants, Panel and the Admission Authority – At least 7 working days before the date of the appeal hearing.
  • Deadline to submit additional information to the clerk to the Independent Appeal Panel – At least 3 days prior to your appeal date.
  • Decision Letter sent to appellants and Admission Authority within 5 school days of the decision being made.

 

In Year Appeal

  • Deadline for Receipt of an In Year Admission Appeal Form – Within 25 school days of the date of your refusal letter.
  • In Year Appeals will be held within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged.
  • Notification of Appeal Hearing date – At least 10 school days before the appeal hearing.
  • Deadline for the Admission Authority to submit their case papers to the clerk to the Independent Appeals Panel – At least 9 working days before the date of the appeal hearing.
  • Clerk to send appeal papers to Appellants, Panel and the Admission Authority – At least 7 working days before the date of the appeal hearing.
  • Deadline to submit additional information to the Clerk to the Independent Appeal panel – At least 3 days prior to your appeal date.
  • Decision Letter sent to appellants and Admission Authority within 5 school days of the decision being made (usually within one school day of the decision being made).