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Admission to community primary, secondary and ‘all-through’ schools

The County Borough Council is the admission authority for all community maintained primary, secondary and ‘all-though’ schools, (including Welsh-medium schools and sixth form provision).

All admissions to mainstream schools are approved by the Admissions Officer, School and Family Support Team. Children are admitted to reception classes in the September following their fourth birthday. Parents may defer entry until the term following their child’s fifth birthday. Children transfer to secondary phase education in the September following their eleventh birthday.

Application forms are available from the School Admissions Section, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council which the parent should complete and return to the Admissions Officer, School and Family Support Team, Port Talbot Civic Centre, Port Talbot SA13 1PJ or parents can apply online at www.npt.gov.uk. Requests for a place will be granted unless to do so would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.

Those parents who apply on time for a place at any school will be given priority over those who apply late.

The closing date for applications is 26th November 2021.

Parents of pupils due to transfer from one educational phase to another at the end of the academic year will be sent an admission application letter by the Council during the Autumn Term. Parents will be advised of their child’s allocated secondary phase education place on 1st March 2022 and primary phase education place on 19th April 2022.

Attendance at a nursery class does not automatically entitle a child to a reception class place in the same school.
Children who are in receipt of a statement of special educational needs/ IDP which identifies mainstream education within a community school will be guaranteed a place at that school.

Oversubscription criteria primary phase education

Parents have the right to express a preference which will be considered individually and complied with wherever possible. Some schools have more requests for places than there are places available. Where a school is oversubscribed preferences will still be considered but the priorities set by the Council will be applied. In deciding which children to admit to a school the Council applies the criteria set out below in the order of priority shown -a) being the highest priority.

The Council will only admit up to a school’s admission number and will not breach the Infant Class Size Regulations of 30 or less, save exceptional circumstances.

a) Children looked after or previously looked after by a local authority in Wales, section as defined in 74 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 or England as defined in Section 22 of the Children Act 1989.

b) Children who live within the catchment area of the school for which an application is made.

c) Children who have an older sibling / a sibling of statutory school age (statutory school age is defined as pupils who are between the age of 5 and 16 i.e. pupils in any year group between and including reception to year 11) who will be on the register at the school at which the nursery class is based when they are admitted. A “sibling” is defined as a full sibling, a half sibling (i.e. one shared parent), a step sibling (i.e. the child of a person co-habiting with a parent), a fostered sibling or an adopted sibling. In each case, at the time of the application the sibling must reside at the same address as the child or young person. Any sibling connection must be clearly stated in the application. In the case of multiple births, if it is not possible to offer all children a place in the school, the parents will be asked to decide which child should be offered a place first or the parents may wish to consider an alternative setting for all children.

d) Children who live outside the preferred school’s catchment area

If children are equally entitled to a place in the school in categories -a) to d) above, then priority will be given to the child living nearest. This is measured by the shortest suitable walking/travel route between the home and the school. The Council uses a Geographical Information System to calculate the shortest distance.

Only applications received by the published closing date for receipt of application forms will be considered in the initial round of allocation of places. Application forms received after the closing date will be considered as late applications. These will be considered on a weekly basis once the initial allocation is complete and places will be allocated in accordance with availability.

In all cases evidence of permanent residence of the pupil at time of application must be supplied.

Once an offer of a school place has been made the Council will only withdraw that offer where the place offered has been on the basis of a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application from a parent or young person (for example, a false claim to residence in a catchment area) which effectively denied a place to a child or young person with a stronger claim. A school place will not be withdrawn once a child or young person has started at the school except where that place was fraudulently obtained. In deciding whether to withdraw the place the length of time that the child had been at the school will be taken into account. Where a place is withdrawn on the basis of misleading information the application will be considered afresh and a right of appeal offered if a place is refused.
The home address is considered to be the child’s along with their parents’ principal place of residence on the published date, i.e. where they are normally and regularly living. If a child is resident with friends or relatives (for reasons other than fostering arrangements) the friends or relatives address will not be considered for allocation purposes.

Where parents have shared responsibility for a child and the child lives with both parents for part of the school week then the home address will be determined as the address where the child lives for the majority of the school week, e.g. 3 out of 5 days. Parents will be required to provide documentary evidence to support the address they wish to be considered for allocation purposes.

Right of Appeal

Parents/carers will be informed, in writing, as to whether their application has been successful. Where their application has been refused parents/carers will be informed in writing that they have right of appeal to an Independent Admission Appeals Panel. In the case of Primary phase education admission appeals to be submitted by 20th May 2022. Any decision made by the Panel being binding on the Council If the appeal is not successful a further application for a place at the same school will not be considered for the same academic year unless the Admissions Officer, School and Family Support Team, determines that there are significant and material changes to the circumstances.

Waiting lists

The Council will keep a waiting list of unsuccessful applicants ranked in order of priority according to the Council's oversubscription criteria. As places become available these will be offered on the basis of the ranked order of priority. A waiting list will be maintained until 30th September in the school year in which the applicants applied.

Although a separate policy provision, the Council recognises the inter-relationship between admission and home to school transport and advises parents to refer to the Council’s Home to School Travel policy when applying for a place at a school for their child. The policy is available at www.npt.gov.uk

Oversubscription criteria secondary phase education

Parents have the right to express a preference which will be considered individually and complied with wherever possible. Some schools have more requests for places than there are places available. Where a school is oversubscribed preferences will still be considered but the priorities set by the Council will be applied.

In deciding which children to admit to a school the Council applies the criteria set out below in the order of priority shown a) being the highest priority.

The Council will only admit up to a school’s admission number.

Parents/carers can apply for a place at the catchment school or express a preference for a placement at an alternative school. Requests for a place will be granted unless to do so would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources
Those parents who apply on time for a place at any school will be given priority over those who apply late.

a) Children and young people looked after or previously looked after by a local authority in Wales as defined in section 74 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 or England as defined in Section 22 of the Children Act 1989.

b) Children and young people attending a partner primary school* who live within the catchment area of the school for which the application is made.

c) Other children and young people who live within the catchment area of the school for which the application is made but do not attend a partner primary school.

d) Children and young people who have an older sibling who will be on register at the school when they are admitted. A “sibling” is defined as a full sibling, a half sibling (i.e. one shared parent), a step sibling (i.e. the child of a person co-habiting with a parent), a fostered sibling or an adopted sibling. In each case, at the time of the application the sibling must reside at the same address as the child or young person. Any sibling connection must be clearly stated in the application. In the case of multiple births, if it is not possible to offer all children a place in the school, parents will be asked to decide which child should be offered a place first or parents may wish to consider an alternative setting for all children.

e) Children and young people attending a partner primary school*, but who live outside the catchment area of the school for which the application is made.  If children are equally entitled to a place in the school in categories -a) to e) above, then priority will be given to the child living nearest. This is measured by the shortest suitable walking/travel route between the home and the school. The Council uses a Geographical Information System to calculate the shortest distance.

Only applications received by the published closing date for receipt of application forms will be considered in the initial round of allocation of places. Application forms received after the closing date will be considered as late applications. These will be considered on a weekly basis once the initial allocation is complete and places will be allocated in accordance with availability. In all cases evidence of permanent residence of the pupil at time of application must be supplied.

Once an offer of a school place has been made the Council will only withdraw that offer where the place offered has been on the basis of a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application from a parent or young person (for example, a false claim to residence in a catchment area) which effectively denied a place to a child or young person with a stronger claim. A school place will not be withdrawn once a child or young person has started at the school except where that place was fraudulently obtained. In deciding whether to withdraw the place the length of time that the child had been at the school will be taken into account. Where a place is withdrawn on the basis of misleading information the application will be considered afresh and a right of appeal offered if a place is refused.
The home address is considered to be the child’s along with their parents’ principal place of residence on the published date, i.e. where they are normally and regularly living. If a child is resident with friends or relatives (for reasons other than fostering arrangements) the friends or relatives address will not be considered for allocation purposes.

Where parents have shared responsibility for a child/young person and the child/young person lives with both parents for part of the school week then the home address will be determined as the address where the child lives for the majority of the school week, e.g. 3 out of 5 days. Parents will be required to provide documentary evidence to support the address they wish to be considered for allocation purposes.

Right of Appeal

Parents/carers will be informed, in writing, as to whether their application has been successful. Where their application has been refused parents/carers will be informed in writing that they have right of appeal to an Independent Admission Appeals Panel. In the case of Secondary phase education admission appeals to be submitted by 25th March 2022. Any decision made by the Panel being binding on the Council. If the appeal is not successful a further application for a place at the same school will not be considered for the same academic year unless the Admissions Officer, School and Family Support Team, determines that there are significant and material changes to the circumstances.

The Council will keep a waiting list of unsuccessful applicants ranked in order of priority according to the Council's oversubscription criteria. As places become available these will be offered on the basis of the ranked order of priority. A waiting list will be maintained until 30th September in the school year in which the applicants applied.

The LA will be under no duty to comply with preference expressed otherwise than in accordance with its arrangements.
Although a separate policy provision, the Council recognises the inter-relationship between admission and home to school transport and advises parents to refer to the Council’s Home to School Travel policy when applying for a place at a school
for their child. The policy is available at www.npt.gov.uk

* Reference to a partner primary school is in relation to the school for which the application is made. For the definition of a partner primary school see para. 8