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Policies and Law affecting Admissions

How does the County Council meet my parental preference?

Are there class size limits in schools?

Why do you need to know about parental responsibility for my child?

Legal/known name/s of child

What are the rights of children from overseas?

What are my rights of appeal?  

How can I find out about Free School Meals entitlement?   

 

i)  How does the County Council meet my parental preference?

The County Council is required by law to make arrangements for parents to express their preference for the school where they wish their child to be educated, and provide an opportunity to give reasons for their preference before any places are offered.  The Admissions Authority must meet your preference if it can, but certain factors may prevent this.  These include:

  • the efficient use of resources and accommodation
  • the efficient provision of education
  • statutory class size limits

All schools have an Admission Number, which is used as a guide in deciding whether any year group within a school is full or has places available.  If there are more applications than places available then the oversubscription criteria are applied (see Choosing a School and Applying for Admission section viii). The Admission Number for each school is shown in the List of Schools.

Parents may express a preference for their child's education at:

Age 3 - early years classes/units attached to infant or primary schools (where these are available).  Three year olds attend part time only

Age 4-5 - infants schools or infant departments of primary schools

Age 7 - junior schools

Age 11 - secondary education

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ii)  Are there class size limits in schools?

Yes.  The law says that, apart from some very limited exceptions, no infant class may contain more than 30 pupils being taught by one teacher.  The Welsh Assembly Government has also set a target that no junior class should exceed 30 pupils. 

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iii)  Why do you need to know about parental responsibility for my child?

The Authority needs to know who has ‘parental responsibility' for each child and the person signing the declaration on the form is required to confirm their status. This is to ensure that proper authority is given when the school needs parental permission. It will also make sure that people with parental responsibility who do not live with a child can be provided with school reports and given an opportunity to take part in the child's education, as they are entitled to receive this information unless there is a specific court order preventing this.

Where more than one person has parental responsibility for a child, the person completing the application for a school place must take all reasonable steps to discuss and agree the application with others with parental responsibility, where their whereabouts are known. If the whereabouts of others with parental responsibility are unknown, this should be stated in writing. The place may be lawfully withdrawn if the information given is fraudlent or misleading, including parental responsibility disputes.

Who has parental responsibility for the child?

  • Mothers always have parental responsibility
  • Fathers also have parental responsibility for a child if married to the mother at the time of the child's birth even if the child lives apart from them (this continues after any divorce/separation/remarriage)
  • Unmarried fathers do not have automatic parental responsibility, but may obtain it by marrying the mother or having their name registered or re-registered on the birth certificate or through the courts
  • Step-parents, relatives and other people can obtain legal parental responsibility but they do not have it automatically.  You should talk to a solicitor or Citizens' Advice Bureau if you need to obtain parental responsibility.

Parents are asked to co-operate with the Admissions Officer by providing details of those people with parental responsibility for a pupil. Your child's school should be informed of any changes in the arrangements for parental responsibility or in the day to day care of your child. Any reference to parents within this booklet includes anyone having legal parental responsibility.

The County Council may request proof of parental responsibility and/or the child's birth certificate, if it considers it necessary to do so.

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iv)  Legal/known name/s of child

The legal name of your child is that which is shown on his/her birth certificate.  Please ensure that this is given on all admission and transfer application forms.  Should your child be known by another name, then this should also be included on the relevant forms.  There are specific procedures to be followed for changing a child's legal name, and this can be undertaken by Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration.  Please take legal advice before considering this and ensure that your child's school is made aware of any subsequent changes to the child's legal name by providing a copy of the relevant documentation.

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v)  What are the rights of children from overseas?

Children from overseas, who are lawfully resident in the UK, whether they are accompanied or unaccompanied by parents, have the same rights to education as British Citizen children.  As a result, the Authority will treat such applications for admission to schools in the same way.  However, the applicant's passport must be provided to show evidence of British Citizenship or Legal Residency, and whilst a copy of the relevant ‘Entry Clearance' is normally acceptable, the Authority reserves the right to request sight of the original.  

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vi)  What are my rights of appeal?

If your child is not allocated a place at your preferred school, then an alternative school place may be offered. Acceptance of an alternative place does not prejudice your right of appeal. However, there is no right of appeal for nursery admissions.

Appeals can be submitted for applications for a Reception place and above and must be made in writing, setting out the grounds on which it is made, and sent to the Director for Children and Schools within 14 days (10 working days) of notification of your application for a school place being unsuccessful. Appeals will be heard and considered by the Independent Appeals Panel within 30 school days of the specified closing date for the receipt of appeals, or within 30 school days of the appeal being received in writing if the appeal is made outside the timetabled admissions process. Appeals received during the summer holidays will be heard within 30 working days. You will have the right to present your - 24 - case to the Panel in person. The Panel may allow you to be accompanied by a friend or to be represented; in addition, children are permitted to give evidence where they wish to do so. The decision of the Appeals Panel is binding on the County Council and on schools' governing bodies.

If you are refused a place at a voluntary aided school, the school concerned will advise you of its appeals procedure.

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vii)  How can I find out about Free School Meals entitlement?

As a parent or legal guardian, your child could be eligible for free school meals if you receive:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance - Income based only
  • The Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credits, with an Annual Household income of under £16,190 p.a. (please note that Working Tax Credit does not qualify even if received in addition to these benefits)
  • Income related Employment Support Allowance Only  Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

For further information please see Free School Meals.

Further information on the Catering Service in general can be found in School Meals and in the annual menu booklet which is distributed to each pupil.

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ID: 20318 Revised: 2/2/2017