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Admissions Policy 2019-2020:
Notre Dame Catholic Primary School is a voluntary aided school in the Diocese of Southwark. It is the trusteeship of the Diocese Southwark. 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 school exists 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, the Diocese and other admission authorities, the Governors intend to admit into the Reception Class, up to a total of 30 pupils without reference to ability or aptitude.
Where the number of applications exceeds 30, the Governors will offer places using the following criteria in the order stated:
- Looked After Catholic Children or Looked After Children in the care of Catholic families (inclusive of children who have been previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence, or special guardianship order)
- Baptised Catholic children of practising members of the Catholic Church with siblings attending the school at the time of admission*
- Baptised Catholic children of practising members of the Catholic Church who reside within the parish of St. Joseph’s, Shooter’s Hill*
- Baptised Catholic children of practising members of the Catholic Church who reside within the parish of The Holy Cross, Plumstead Common*
- Baptised Catholic children of practising members of the Catholic Church who reside within the parishes other than St. Joseph’s and The Holy Cross*
- Other children baptised in the Catholic faith**
- Children enrolled in the catechumenate***
- Other Looked After Children (inclusive of children who have been previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence, or special guardianship order).
- Children who are members of Eastern Orthodox Churches*
- Children of other Christian denominations that are part of Churches Together in England****
- Any other child whose parent(s) / carer(s) are in sympathy with the aims of the school
- All other applicants
The following order of priorities will be applied when it is necessary to decide between applications within any of the above categories:
i. Children with a sibling living at the same address attending the school at the time of the child’s admission
ii. For categories 2, 3, 4 & 5 'Practising members of the Catholic Church' is defined by frequency of Mass attendance as shown on the Supplementary Application Form. Thus, applications will be ranked weekly, fortnightly, monthly, occasionally for Mass attendance
iii. For categories 9, 10 & 11 ‘Church Attendance’ will be ranked, as with Mass attendance, on a weekly, fortnightly, monthly or occasional attendance
iv. Children whose parents are members of the armed forces
v. Distance from the child's home to the school using a straight-line measurement supplied by Royal Greenwich Local Authority derived from their geographical information system. The computerised mapping system measures from a single fixed point in the centre of the home address to the centre of the school. If more than one applicant lives in a multi-occupancy building, e.g. flats, priority will be given to the applicant whose door number is the lowest numerically and/or alphabetically. The home address is where the child lives as the only or principal residence. If your child resides equally between both parents, we consider the principal home address as being the address at which your child is registered whilst attending early years provision, with a GP and , if applicable, the address of the parent who is in receipt of Child Benefit or Child Tax Credits for your child. 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 last remaining place will be decided by the drawing of lots.
Although every effort will be made to accommodate children with disabilities, the internal and external layout of the building and grounds are not ‘access friendly’. Please contact the school and visit to see if we suitable for your child.
*The Governors will require evidence of Baptism and a reference from the Parish Priest or clergy of your church. In addition, children admitted at times other than Reception Intake require a birth certificate/passport and proof of residence and address.
** Evidence of baptism will be required.
***Evidence of enrolment in the catechumenate will be required from the Parish Priest
****Evidence of membership of the faith provided by a priest, minister or religious leader of a designated place of worship will be required
Parents A parent is any person who has parental responsibility for or is the legal guardian of the child. Our admission refers to ‘practising members of the Catholic Church; it is sufficient for just one parent to attend.
Family members include only parents, as defined above, and siblings.
Siblings are defined as natural brothers/sisters, adopted brothers/sisters, step-brothers/sisters and foster-brothers/sisters, but not other relatives (e.g. cousins) or unrelated children who live at the same address.
Parish boundaries are as set out be the Diocese of Southwark and details are available from the parish priest.
Home residence is defined as the permanent home address- that which the child lives at for the majority of his/her time and with the parent who is in receipt of benefit. For children who spend part of the week with one parent and part with another, home residence is defined as being where the child resides as his/her only or principle residence. If a child resides equally between both parents, the principle home address will be considered to be the address of the parent who is in receipt of benefit for the child. For children who reside with a relative or carer other than a parent, a residence order or other court order will be required.
Looked After Children A looked after child 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 (see the definition in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989).
Catholics include members of the Ordinariate and the Latin and Oriental Rite Churches that are in union with the Bishop of Rome. Reference to other Christian denominations refers to denominations that are full members of Churches Together in England.
In addition to the online or paper Common Application Form (CAF) supplied by the home local authority our Supplementary Information Form (SIF) must be completed and submitted to the School Office for applicants wishing to be considered under the faith criteria. Both this and the ‘Royal Borough of Greenwich Common Application Form’ will both need to be submitted ON TIME in accordance with the deadlines published by Royal Borough of Greenwich, the maintaining Local Authority. The Home Local Authority will contact all parents/carers informing them of the outcome of their application.
In-year applications for a place at the school must be made using the school’s Supplementary Information Form (SIF), submitted to the School Office directly. This will enable 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 in all cases except for those children whose parents are members of the UK Armed Forces. In these cases, due to high family mobility, applications will be ranked after priority i (i.e. children with a sibling living at the same address) and before all subsequent priorities. The offer of a place at the school will be made by the school 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.
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.
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 and updated termly, 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 sent to the Admissions Appeal Clerk at the school address within 20 school days of the outcome of the application having been sent. Parents/Carers have the right to make oral representations to the Appeal Panel having been sent.
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:-
- a) the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit; or
- b) 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
- c) 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.
Any late applications will be considered by the Governors' Admissions Committee, in the event of there being any available places using the above criteria. If all places have been filled, parents/carers will be offered the opportunity of placing their child’s name on the waiting list. This does not prevent parents/carers from exercising their right to appeal against the decision not to offer a place.
This information is published by the Governors of Notre Dame Catholic Primary School in accordance with the relevant sections of the Education Act 1996 and the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. Admission criteria may change from one year to the next.