ADMISSIONS POLICY 2021-22
ST WINIFRED’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL
For admissions in September 2021
ST WINIFRED’S CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL
St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School is a Voluntary Aided school in the Archdiocese of Southwark. It was founded by the Catholic Church to provide education for children of Catholic families. 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 Governing Body has sole responsibility for admissions to this school and intends to admit 60 pupils to the Reception Class in the school year, which begins in September 2021.
The school participates in the Co-ordinated Admission Scheme for primary schools, operated by Lewisham LA.
When a vacancy arises, a place will be allocated to an applicant on the waiting list. Where there are more applicants on the waiting list for places than the number of places available, places will be offered according to the following order of priority:
- Looked after baptised Catholic children or looked after children in the care of Catholic families and previously looked after baptised Catholic children who have been adopted or who have become the subject of a residence or guardianship order. See note (i)
- Baptised Catholic children who have a brother or sister at St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School at the intended date of admission. See note (ii)
- Baptised Catholic children from practising Catholic families who are resident in the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, Lee.
- Other Baptised Catholic children from practising Catholic families.
- Other Baptised Catholic children.
- Children enrolled in the catechumenate. Evidence of enrolment in the catechumenate will be required.
- Non-Catholic children who have a brother or sister at either St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School at the intended date of admission. See note (ii)
- Other looked after children and other previously looked after children who have been adopted or who have become the subject of a residence or guardianship order (see note i).
- Children who are members of Eastern Orthodox churches.
- Children of families who are members of other Christian denominations that are part of Churches Together in England. Evidence of Baptism (or dedication) provided by a priest or minister of a designated place of worship will be required.
- Children of other faiths.
- Other applicants.
Where the offer of places to all the applicants in any one of the sub categories listed above will lead to oversubscription, the places will be allocated up to the admission number will be offered according to the following criteria:
- Evidence of an exceptional social, medical, pastoral or other need of the child, supported by a statement from a relevant professional body which sets out the reasons why this school is the most suitable for the child in question and the difficulties that would be caused if the child had to attend another school.
- Frequency of Mass attendance, with those who attend more often being ranked higher (see note v).
- Those living nearest to the school (see note vi).
- 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.
Notes (these notes form part of the Admission criteria)
(i) ‘a looked after child’ or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after, became subject to an adoption, child arrangements, or special guardianship order. A looked after 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 (see definition in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989).
(ii) ‘brother or sister’ means children who live as brother and sister, including natural brothers and sisters, adopted siblings, step-brothers or sisters and foster brothers or sisters
(iii) ‘families’ are defined as being the child’s natural or adoptive parents or officially designated carers
(iv) ‘Catholic’ In the context of school admissions Catholic children are defined as children who are baptised or received into the Catholic Church, children baptised or received into the Eastern Churches in union with Rome and children of members of the Ordinariate. This will normally be evidenced by a certificate of baptism in a Catholic Church or evidence of reception into the Catholic Church. Evidence of Baptism will be required and an original baptism certificate (or a copy certified as a correct copy) should accompany the Supplementary Form. Any offer of a place may be withdrawn if evidence of baptism is shown to be false.
(v) ‘practising Catholic families’ means those who worship at Mass and whose application is supported by a Catholic priest. This practice must be verified by a reference from a priest and the child’s Baptismal certificate. Applicants will be ranked according to how often they attend Mass with those who attend more often being ranked higher. If a family practices at more than one church it may be beneficial to their application to get verification from ALL the churches attended on a regular basis.
Proposed variation for admissions in September 2021 into YR as given below:
On the advice of the Education Commission of the Archdiocese of Southwark the governing body of St Winifred’s Catholic School has agreed the following statement in order to clarify how its faith-based oversubscription criteria will be interpreted whilst churches are closed or attendance at church is not possible due to COVID19. This statement has been shared widely with parishes in order to ensure that determinations made by parish priests concerning regular practice of the faith are being made on a consistent basis.
The suspension of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass was announced on 18th March 2020 by Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. If a parent/carer attended Mass at particular parish (or parishes) prior to 18th March 2020 then they will be considered to have attended Mass in that parish (or parishes) regularly since that time. This will remain the case until the Sunday obligation is reintroduced by the Bishops.
(vi) ‘resident in the parish means living and having a permanent address within the parish boundary (see attached map and notes). For the purposes of this policy, parish boundaries are as shown on the attached map. All distances will be measured to a central nodal point in the school premises, using digitised mapping software of the area, from a nodal point in the applicant’s permanent home address.
(vii) proof of address will require the production of current council tax or utility bills. If a false address has been given and an offer made on the basis of that information, the offer of a place may be withdrawn.
(viii) ‘Eastern Orthodox Church’ is usually evidenced by a certificate of baptism or reception from the authorities of that church.
(ix) for non-Catholic faiths, evidence of baptism (or dedication) and of religious commitment provided by a priest, minister or religious leader where the family regularly worships will be required.
THERE IS NO AUTOMATIC RIGHT OF TRANSFER FOR CHILDREN WHO MAY CURRENTLY HAVE A PLACE IN ST. WINIFRED’S NURSERY.
Application Procedure and Timetable
The closing date for applications is 15th January 2021. Applications should be completed on line at www.eadmissions.co.uk
Full details of the Coordinated Admission Scheme together will be available from the school or from Lewisham’s website at www.lewisham.gov.uk
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.
Admission of children above normal age group applications
In very exceptional circumstances the governors of the school will consider a request for admission out of cohort for an older child, including those born in the summer term. The application may be supported by the child’s nursery/primary Headteacher and/or an educational psychologist/specialist confirming that the child has learning delay or difficulty or their social maturity is well below that of his or her peers. In coming to a decision the governors will consider the grounds presented by the parent to support their request as well as the views of the Headteacher and any evidence s/he provides. Parents must consider the implications of a deferred transfer as primary/secondary schools are not required to continue to keep the child out of year group and may decide to later educate the child in the correct year. If the school does agree to consider the request, the application will then follow the usual oversubscription criteria.
Please note, a completed Supplementary Form is required to enable the Governors to apply their admission criteria. The Supplementary Form is not mandatory, however, if one is not received, the application will be considered under Criteria 10, page 2 the ‘other applicants’ category’. Supplementary Forms, available from the school should be returned to St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School by 15 January 2021.
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 12 months 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.
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 Appeals Clerk at the school address. Parents/Carers 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:-
- 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 decides that the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.
Appeals must be made within 20 school days of the date of refusal of a place.
In-year (casual) admissions
Applications for a place at the school in-year must be made using Lewisham’s common application form. 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.
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.
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.
The closing date for applications in the normal admissions round is 15 January 2021. As far as is reasonably practicable, applications will be accepted up to 17 February 2021 provided the applicant can prove that they have just moved into the area.
False information – please note that if an offer of a place is made on the basis of information that is shown to be false, including information provided on any Supplementary Form, then the offer of a place may be withdrawn.
Other late applications, received after 15 January 2021, will be considered after the places are allocated in April 2021.
St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School
London SE12 0SJ Tel 020 8857 8792