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Admissions policy for community primary schools

Information about the admissions criteria we use to allocate primary school places for oversubscribed schools.
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Admissions criteria

We will offer school places using the following criteria. For the exact legal wording of the criteria, read our determined admissions policy.

1. Looked-after children

We will offer places to looked-after children, or children who were previously looked after but, immediately after being looked after, became subject to an adoption order, child arrangements or a special guardianship order.

A looked-after child is a child who is:

  • in the care of a local authority, or

  • being provided with accommodation by a local authority.

Confirmation of a child's looked-after status must be supplied by the allocated social worker or foster carer with the application, along with a copy of the adoption order, care order or special guardianship order.

Children who were adopted from overseas do not qualify under this criterion.

2. Medical or social need

In exceptional circumstances, we can admit a child to a school where they would not normally qualify for a place on the grounds of their, or their family’s, severe medical or social need.

When you apply, you must include a letter from a hospital consultant, social worker or similar professional, saying why the school is the only one to meet your child's needs. You must submit this evidence along with your application before the closing date.

We will make a decision about admission in consultation with a panel of teaching and medical professionals. The medical professional gives advice about applications made for medical reasons, and teaching professionals advise on applications made for social or special reasons.

3. Siblings

We will offer places to children whose brother or sister attends the school on the closing date for applications, and will still be attending the school at the intended date of admission (or the junior school in the case of separate infant and junior schools, this applies to: Sandhurst Infant and Junior Schools, Stillness Infant and Junior Schools and Torridon Infant and Junior Schools).

The younger child does not qualify for sibling priority if their older sibling will have transferred from Year 6 to secondary school by the time the younger child is admitted.

Who is a sibling

Siblings must all live at the same address as the child applying. You may need to provide proof of the sibling relationship. Siblings include:

  • all blood and adoptive siblings

  • half-siblings

  • foster siblings of looked-after children

  • step-siblings.

If schools are oversubscribed entirely with siblings

If schools are oversubscribed entirely with siblings, priority will be given to:

  • those with exceptional social and medical need, and

  • to those living nearest the school.

4. Distance to school

We offer places to children who live nearest to the school. We measure distances from a central point in the school premises, using digital mapping software of the area, to a point in your permanent home address. If more than one applicant lives in a multi-occupancy building, such as flats, we will give priority to the applicant whose door number is the lowest (numerically or alphabetically).

Transferring from nursery

Although children attending a nursery class in a primary school often transfer to the main school, this is not automatic and these children are not given priority. If your child goes to the nursery of a primary school you want them to attend, you must still go through the application process.

Twins, triplets and other multiple births

If twins, triplets or children from other multiple births qualify for the last school place to be allocated, we will admit all of the qualifying siblings.

Tie break

On rare occasions where two or more identical applicants qualify for the last available place, we will draw lots to decide which child is offered the place.

Waiting lists

You cannot be added to the waiting list for a lower preference school than the one you were offered, unless we (or the home local authority) have agreed to your request to change the order of preferences. If we have agreed to change your preference order, we will withdraw your original application, including any offers we have made, and you will need to apply again.

Waiting lists for our community schools include children who have moved to the borough after the application closing date and were therefore unable to apply on time. Waiting lists will be held in criteria order, and children's names may go up, as well as down, a list as new applicants are added.

The admissions process continues until the end of the summer term 2023. If you apply for reception class after the end of the summer term 2023, your application will be considered as in-year applications.
Waiting lists will be held for the first term of the reception year only (until the end of December 2023). If you want to apply for a school place after this, you must make an in-year application.


Primary School Admissions and Appeals

Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, SE6 4RU