Admissions

Simon Balle All-through School Admissions

Appeals

Please see below the current guidance document

Schools Admissions Appeal Panel Guidance for parents 2017

 

2017-18

You will find below a link to download a copy and the text of the document regarding admission arrangements for 2017-18  These rules are currently being used for In Year Admissions.

Simon Balle Admissions Arrangements 2017-18

 

Simon Balle All-through School

Admission Arrangements 2018-2019

 Admissions Policy

 Simon Balle All-through School is an all ability mixed school for students aged 5-18 years.  The number of students admitted at 5 (Rising 5) years of age to Reception is 60 and the number of students admitted at 11 years of age to Year 7 is 180.

From 2022/23 the school will continue to have 180 Year 7 places but only 120 places will be available for external students.  60 places will be taken by pupils already on roll in Year 6 at the school.  If fewer than 60 pupils transfer the additional places will be offered to external students.  If more than 60 pupils transfer (for example because Year 6 is over number as a result of successful appeals) the school will allocate 120 external places but will not allocate additional places until the number of pupils allocated falls to 179 or below.

Students can be admitted at aged 16+ to our Sixth Form provided they meet the entry qualifications for their proposed programme of study.

 Admission Arrangements for entry into Simon Balle All-through School in September 2018 for both Reception (Rising 5s) and Year 7 Students

The school is proposing to introduce the same admission arrangements for both primary and secondary pupils.  These arrangements replicate the oversubscription criteria used by Hertfordshire County Council for secondary admissions, with the addition of a rule prioritising children of staff.

The school participates in the Local Authority Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme and to apply for a place at this school parents must complete the Hertfordshire County Council’s (HCC) Primary Application Form. Applications should be made online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions, or parents can request an application form from the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043.  As required by Section 324 of the Education Act 1996, Simon Balle All-through School will offer a place to children with a Statement of Special Education Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) that names the school.

Over-subscription

If applications for admission exceed the number of places then the following criteria will be applied, in the order set out below, to decide which pupils to admit.

Rule 1 Children looked after (children in public care) and children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order) *(see explanatory notes).

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.

HCC officers will determine on behalf of the Governing Body 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.

Rule 3 Children of Staff.  A member of staff is defined as a person who has a permanent contract of employment with the Governing Body of the School at the time of application, and qualifies under the following circumstances; (a) the member of staff has been employed at the school for two years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made, or (b) the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage  In all cases the child must be the child, adopted child or step-child of the member of staff and living with the staff member at the same permanent address.

Rule 4 Sibling:  Children who have a sibling (living at the same permanent home address) at the school at the time of application (Siblings must be in Reception to Year 12 and exclude pupils who first joined the school in the 6th form, Years 12 and 13) (see explanatory notes).

Rule 5 Children who live in the priority area for whom it is their nearest Hertfordshire maintained school or academy that is non-faith, co-educational and non-partially selective. Note: Non-partially selective means that the school does not offer any places based on academic ability.

Rule 6 Children who live in the priority area who live nearest to the school.

Rule 7 Children living outside the priority area on the basis of distance, with those living nearest to the school given priority.

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 tiebreak will be used by applying the next rule to those children. Where there is a need for a tiebreaker where two different addresses measure 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.

HCC allocates places on behalf of the School’s Governing Body.

Twins/Multiple Birth

In the event that one child of a multiple birth is awarded a place but one or more other children of that same multiple birth, who have applied for a place at the school are not awarded a place, the school will take in all children in that multiple birth who have applied.

Priority Areas

On conversion to Academy, the Governing Body agreed Simon Balle All-through School would not then change the parishes in its priority area.

Bayford, Bengeo Rural, Bramfield, Brickendon Liberty, Great Amwell, Hertford, Hertford Heath, Hertingfordbury, Hunsdon, Little Berkhamsted, Little Munden, Sacombe, Stanstead St. Margarets, Stapleford, Tewin, Thundridge, Ware, Wareside, Watton-at-Stone and Widford.  Parish information is available from the “Find Your Nearest School” facility available at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions or from your Council Tax bill.

Distance Measurement

The distance is measured using a straight line home-school measurement system as outlined in the definitions.

Late Applications for Year 7 Applications

All applications received after the national deadline, 31st October 2017, will be treated as late applicants. They will be considered in keeping with the ‘Late Applications’ arrangements set out in Hertfordshire’s Admissions Arrangements as part of the Co-ordinated Admissions arrangements.

Late Applications for Reception Applications

All applications received after the national deadline, 15th January 2018, will be treated as late applicants. They will be considered in keeping with the ‘Late Applications’ arrangements set out in Hertfordshire’s Admissions Arrangements as part of the Co-ordinated Admissions arrangements.

Fair Access

The school participates in the county council’s Fair Access protocol and will admit children under this protocol before children on continuing interest and over PAN if necessary.

Appeals

Parents have a right to appeal against non-admission to Simon Balle All-through School.  If a child is not offered a place at Simon Balle All-through School, the home Local Authority should offer the child a place at another school.  The parents have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel.  At transfer time parents wishing to appeal who applied online should log into their online application and click on the link ‘register an appeal’.  For those who did not apply online please contact the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 to request an appeal pack.

In Year Admissions

The In Year process will be co-ordinated by HCC on behalf of the school.  Parents must fill in the home Local Authority In Year Form when applying for an In Year place.  Hertfordshire parents should complete the online application form available at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions.  Places will be offered only if spaces are available and the over subscription rules will be applied.  If a child is not offered a place at Simon Balle All-through School, it is the responsibility of the home Local Authority to ensure the child has a school place. The parents have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel. Details can be obtained by contacting the Admissions Officer at the school.

The school will hold a Continuing Interest list for each year group and at the end of each academic year students will be automatically removed from the list. To retain a continuing interest place parents must make a new In Year application.  More information is available at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk.

The Governing Body reserves the right, in exceptional circumstances to admit a student out of their age group (refer to Children Out of Year Group below).

Supplementary Information Form

The school does not have an additional form to fill in.  Parents must make an application direct to Hertfordshire county Council and should complete the online application form at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions by 31st October 2016.

 

6th Form Arrangements

Simon Balle All-through School will accept applications from external students.  The number of admissions to Simon Balle All-through School from outside will be up to 50 students depending on capacity within subject areas.

Further information regarding entry requirements and pathways and the current 6th Form Prospectus is available on the school website at www.simonballe.herts.sch.uk.

In the event of more external applications than places available, Simon Balle All-through School will admit students using the following rules:

Rule 1 Children looked after (children in public care) and children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order) *(see explanatory notes).

Rule 2 Sibling:  Children who have a sibling (living at the same permanent home address) at the school at the time of application. (Siblings must be in Reception to Year 12 and exclude pupils who first joined the school in the 6th form, Years 12 and 13) (see explanatory notes).

Rule 3 Children who live in the priority area for whom it is their nearest Hertfordshire maintained school or academy that is non-faith, co-educational and non-partially selective. Note: Non-partially selective means that the school does not offer any places based on academic ability.

Rule 4 Children who live in the priority area who live nearest to the school.

Rule 5 Children living outside the priority area on the basis of distance, with those living nearest to the school given priority.

 

Explanatory notes for the admission arrangements for Simon Balle All-through School

The following explanation of terms used in the admissions rules applies:

 Children looked after (in public care):

Places are allocated to children in public care according to Part 3 of the School Admissions (Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012.

These children will be prioritised under rule 1.

Highest priority will also be given to children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted, or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order.

A “child looked after” is a child who is

  1. a) in the care of a local authority, or
  2. b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (section 22(1) of The Children Act 1989)

All children adopted from care who are of compulsory school age are eligible for admission under Rule 1.  This definition has been amended in accordance with guidance issued by the DfE in May 2014, “School admission of children adopted from local authority care”.

Child Arrangements Order – under the terms of the Children and Families Act 2014, which amended section 8 of the Children Act 1989, residence orders have now been replaced by child arrangements orders which settle the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live.

Special guardianship order – under 14A of The Children Act 1989, an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian or guardians.

Children in the process of being placed for adoption are classified by law as children looked after providing there is a Placement Order and the application would be prioritised under Rule 1.

Children who were not “looked after” immediately before being adopted, or made the subject of a child arrangement order or special guardianship order will not be prioritised under rule 1. Applications made for these children, with suitable supporting professional evidence, can be considered under rule 2

Rule 2: Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school:

Rule 2 applications will only be considered at the time of the initial application, unless there has been a significant and exceptional change of circumstances within the family since the initial application was submitted.

All schools in Hertfordshire have experience in dealing with children with diverse social and medical needs. However in a few very exceptional cases, there are reasons why a child has to go to one specific school. Few applications under Rule 2 are agreed. All applications are considered individually but a successful application should include the following:

  • Specific recent professional evidence that justifies why only one school can meet a child’s individual needs, and/or
  • Professional evidence that outlines exceptional family circumstances making clear why only one school can meet the child’s needs
  • If the requested school is not the nearest school to the child’s home address clear reasons why the nearest school is not appropriate
  • For medical cases – a clear explanation of why the child’s severity of illness or disability makes attendance at only a specific school essential.

Evidence should make clear why only one school is appropriate. Applications under Rule 2 can only be considered when supported by a recent letter from a professional involved with the child or family. For example, a doctor, psychologist or police officer. The supporting evidence needs to demonstrate why only one named school can meet the social/medical needs of the child.

Applications for children previously ‘looked after’ but not meeting the specific criteria outlined in Rule 1, may be made under this rule.

Further details on the Rule 2 process can be found in the ‘Rule 2 protocol’ available at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions.

 

Definition of sibling:

A sibling must be on the roll of the named school at the time the child starts.

A sibling means the sister, brother, half-brother or half-sister, adopted brother or sister, or child of the parent/carer or partner, child of the parent/carer or partner or a child looked after or previously looked after* and in every case living permanently** in a placement within the home as part of the family household from Monday to Friday at the time of application.

*Children previously looked after are those children adopted or with a special guardianship order or child arrangements order.

**A sibling link will not be recognised for children living temporarily in the same house, for example a child who usually lives with one parent but has temporarily moved or a looked after child in respite placement or very short term or bridging foster placement.

Where a place is obtained and the child admitted to the school and it is subsequently identified that this place was gained fraudulently, there will be no sibling connection available to subsequent children from that family.

 

Multiple births:

The governing body of Simon Balle All-through School, as the admission authority will admit over the school’s published admission number when a single twin/multiple birth child is allocated the last place at a school.

 Home address:

The address provided should be the child’s current permanent address at the time of application. ‘At the time of application’ means the closing date for applications.  ‘Permanent’ means that the child has lived at the address for a least a year and/or the family own the property or have a tenancy agreement for a minimum of 12 months.

The application can only be processed using one address. If the child lives at more than one address (for example due to a separation) the address used will be the one which the child lives at for the majority of the time.  If a child lives at two addresses equally, the address of the parent/carer that claims Child Benefit/Child Tax Credit will be considered as the child’s main residence.

If a family is not in receipt of Child Benefit/Tax Credit alternative documentation will be requested.

If a child’s residence is in dispute, parents/carers should provide court documentation to evidence the address that should be used for admission allocation purposes.

 

Fraudulent Applications

The school, in conjunction with the county council, will do as much as possible to prevent applications being made from fraudulent addresses.  Address evidence is frequently requested, monitored and checked and school places will be withdrawn when false information is deliberately provided.  Action will be taken in the following circumstances:

  • When a child’s application does not match the address of that child at their current school’
  • When a child lives at a different address to the applicant;
  • When the applicant does not have parental responsibility;
  • When a family move shortly after the closing date of applications when one or more of the following applies:
    • The family has moved to a property from which the application was less likely to be successful
    • The family has returned to an existing property
    • The family lived in rented accommodation for a short period of time (anything less than a year) over the application period
    • Council tax information shows a different residence at the time of application
  • When a child starts at the allocated school and their address is different from the address used at the time of application.

 

Home to school distance measurement for purposes of admissions:

A ‘straight line’ distance measurement is used in all home to school distance measurements for admission purposes for Simon Balle All-through School.  The county council’s computerised mapping system is used and distances are measured to two decimal places.  The measurement is taken from the AddressBase Premium address point of your child’s house to the address point of the school.  AddressBase Premium data is a nationally recognised method of identifying the location of schools and individual residences.

Definition of “nearest school”

For primary admissions

The nearest school is defined as the nearest school or academy using Hertfordshire County Council’s admission rules.  A list of all own admission authority schools included in this definition is available at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions.

For secondary admissions

The “nearest school” is “the nearest Hertfordshire maintained school or academy that is non-faith, co-educational, and non-partially selective (note-non-partially selective means that the school does not offer any places based on academic ability”).

Applications from children from overseas

All children of compulsory school age (5 to 16 years) in the UK have a right of access to education. However, where a child is in the England for a short period only, for example less than half a term, it may be reasonable to refuse admission to a school.

*Children who hold full British Citizen passports (not British Dependent Territories or British Overseas passports), have a passport endorsed to show a right of abode in the UK or are European Economic Area nationals normally have unrestricted entry to the UK.*

An application for a school place will only be accepted for such children currently overseas if, for In Year applications, proof is provided that the child will be resident in Hertfordshire within two weeks. In Year allocations are made on the assumption that the child will accept the school place and be on roll within that timescale.

For the Primary and Secondary transfer processes, applications will not normally be accepted from, nor places allocated to, overseas address.  The exception to this (for both In Year and the transfer processes) is for children of UK service personnel and crown servants (and from military families who are residents of countries with a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK).  In these cases HCC will allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date and a HCC Unit postal address or quartering area address, for consideration of the application against oversubscription criteria.  If the family already has an established alternative private address, that address will be used for admission purposes.

HCC will consider accepting applications from children* (as defined above) whose family can evidence intent to return to and/or permanently reside in Hertfordshire prior to the start of the new academic year.  These applications, if accepted, will be processed from the overseas address until sufficient evidence is received to show the child is permanently resident in Hertfordshire.  Evidence must be submitted at the time of application.  Evidence submitted after the date of late applications (5 December 2017 or secondary transfer and 5 February 2018 for the Under 11s process – tbc) cannot be taken into account before the National Allocation Day.  Decisions on these applications will be made by a panel of senior officers and communicated with parents within 6 weeks of the closing date for applications.

If an applicant owns a property in Hertfordshire but is not living in it, perhaps because they are working abroad at the time of application, the Hertfordshire address will not be accepted for the purposes of admission until the child is resident at that address.

Other children, than those mentioned above, from overseas do not generally have automatic right of entry to the UK.  An application for a school place will not therefore be accepted until they are permanently resident in Hertfordshire.  Proof of residency such as an endorsed passport or entry visa will be required with the application, in addition to proof of Hertfordshire address, for example a council tax bill or 12 month rental agreement.

Age of Admission and Deferral of Places

The school’s policy is that children born on and between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014 would normally commence primary school in Reception in the academic year beginning in September 2018.

All Hertfordshire infant, first and primary schools provide for the full-time admission of all children offered a place in the Reception year group from the September following their fourth birthday. If a parent wants a full-time place for their child from September (at the school at which a place has been offered) then they are entitled to that full-time place.

Parents can request that the date their child is admitted to school is deferred until later in the same academic year or until the term in which the child reaches compulsory school age. Summer born children are only able to ‘defer’ entry to Reception class until later in the same academic year.

Parents can also request that their child attends part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age.  Any parents interested in taking up a part-time place or deferring entry should contact the individual school(s) to discuss further.  When considering requests the school will take into account the individual circumstances of the child.

Legally, a child does not have to start school until the start of the term following their fifth birthday.  Where a parent of a ‘summer-born’ child (1 April – 31 August) wishes their child to start school in the autumn term following their fifth birthday they will need to make an In Year application for a Year 1 place.  Parents are advised to contact HCC as soon as possible in these situations.  (Also see ’Children Out of Year Group’)

Children Out of Year Group

The school’s policy is for children to be educated within their correct chronological year group, with the curriculum differentiated as necessary to meet the needs of individual children. This is in line with DfE guidance* which states that “in general, children should be educated in their normal age group”.

If parents/carers believe their child(ren) should be educated in a different year group they should, at the time of application, submit supporting evidence from relevant professionals working with the child and family stating why the child must be placed outside their normal age appropriate cohort. DfE guidance makes clear that “it is reasonable for admission authorities to expect parents to provide them with information in support of their request – since without it they are unlikely to be able to make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case”.

The school’s governing body, as the relevant admission authority, will decide whether the application will be accepted on the basis of the information submitted. The governor’s decision will be based upon the circumstances of each case including the view of parents, the Headteacher, the child’s social, academic and emotional development and whether the child has been previously educated out of year group. There is no guarantee that an application will be accepted on this basis. If the application is not accepted this does not constitute a refusal of a place and there is no right to an independent statutory appeal. Similarly there is no right of appeal for a place in a specific year group at a school. The internal management and organisation of a school, including the placement of pupils in classes, is a matter for the Headteacher and senior leadership of the school.

*Advice on the admission of summer born children” December 2014

Reception Entry and Summer born Children

Legally a child does not have to start school until the start of the term following their fifth birthday.

Recent guidance from the Minister of State for Schools, Nick Gibb MP, has indicated that the government intends to amend the School admissions code to allow summer born children to be admitted to the reception class at age 5 if it is in line with their parents’ wishes.  Summer born children are those born between 1 April and 31 August.  Currently summer born children are expected to start reception at the age of 4.

In anticipation of this change to School Admissions Code, which will require public consultation, Hertfordshire County Council has amended its policy regarding summer born children.  If your child was born between 1 April and 31 August 2014 and you do not believe they will be ready to start reception in the 2018/2019 academic year, you may instead make an application for your child to start reception in September 2019.

Nursery Education

Children are eligible to access a free early education (nursery) place from the term after which they are three until the child reaches compulsory school age, the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday. This entitlement is delivered in Hertfordshire by childminders, preschools, day nurseries, independent schools, maintained schools and academies. If a parent wants to defer their child’s entry into a ‘reception’ class until the term after which they are five, the setting where the child is accessing their free early education entitlement will continue to receive funding for the hours a child is attending up to 15 per week, 570 hours per year. Children will be admitted if they are eligible for funding and meet the relevant admission criteria.

The admission arrangements detailed in this document do not apply for those being admitted into any nursery or pre-school provision.  Should the school provide nursery provision in the future the school’s nursery arrangements will be outlined on the school website.

Parents of children who are admitted to a nursery provision at a school must apply in the normal way for a place at the school if they want their child to transfer to the reception class.  Attendance at the nursery does not guarantee admission to the school.

Admission Arrangements 2018-19