Section 324 of the Education Act 1996 requires the governing bodies of all maintained schools to admit a child with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) that names their school.
If there are fewer applications than places available at a school all applicants will be admitted. If there are more applications than places available, the criteria outlined below will be used to prioritise applications.
Rule 1: Children looked after and children who were previously looked after, including those who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England, and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order.
Rule 2: Medical or Social
Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school. A panel of officers will determine whether the evidence provided is sufficiently compelling to meet the requirements for this rule. The evidence must relate specifically to the school applied for under Rule 2 and must clearly demonstrate why it is the only school that can meet the child’s needs (see notes)
Rule 3: Siblings - Children who have a sibling on the roll of the school at the time of application. This applies to reception through to Year 5 in primary schools - if the sibling is in Year 6 at the time of application, the applicant child will not be considered a sibling, because when the nursery child joins the school, the Y6 sibling will no longer be at the school.
Rule 4: Nearest School - Children for whom it is their nearest school or academy. This includes all schools except those which allocate places on the basis of faith (membership or practice) before allocating on the basis of distance/location. Find your nearest school (choose ‘for admission to reception class’)
Rule 5: Distance - Children who live nearest to the school. Children not considered under rule 4 will be considered under rule 5.
These rules are applied in the order they are printed above. If more children qualify under a particular rule than there are places available, a tie break will be used by applying the next rule to those children.
When there is a need for a tie break where two different addresses are the same distance from a school, in the case of a block of flats for example, the lower door number will be deemed nearest as logically this will be on the ground floor and therefore closer. If there are two identical addresses of separate applicants, the tie break will be random.