Admissions Arrangements 2017-18
These admission arrangements comply with the requirements of the 2014 School Admissions Code and the 2012 School Admission Appeals Code issued by the Department for Education under Section 84 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 and are reviewed and published annually by the Steiner Academy Exeter, Academy Trust (The Admissions Authority). Should the Trust propose to alter any aspect of policy or practice, a public consultation will be conducted in accordance with the statutory requirements set out in the School Admissions Code.
Any concern relating to the statutory compliance of these admission arrangements, or the fairness and equality of local policy/practice, should initially be raised with the School Office. If the concern cannot be resolved locally, a complaint may be lodged with the Office of The Schools Adjudicator.
1.0 General information
1.1 The School
The Steiner Academy Exeter is an all through school currently providing two form entry at reception and single form entry at year 7. The school is growing incrementally each year and will eventually emerge into an all through school for children and young people aged 4 to 16. Our vision is for a nurturing, creative and environmentally conscious school that combines the values of Steiner education with a fully inclusive and community-centred ethos.
1.2 Who can apply for a school place?
A parent, registered carer, or another person(s) who has an assigned responsibility for the child concerned (referred to throughout this document as 'the parent') may submit a school admission application on behalf of that child for any United Kingdom (UK) state funded school.
1.3 The child
A child of statutory school age who resides within the UK has a right to receive an education. The child must, at the time of applying for a school place, be a UK citizen, or have European Economic Area Citizenship, or hold an appropriate Home Office Visa entitling him/her to reside in the UK.
1.4 The home address
For admission purposes, the Admission Authority will consider the home address to be the address at which the child concerned is living, at the time of application, for more than 2.5 school days per week, with the person(s) who has legal responsibility for this child. The home address should be clearly stated on the application form.
Where the child will be moving to a new home address and the parent wishes this to be taken into account, one of the following documents, depending on the circumstances of the case, must be made available at the time of application:
- A legal 'exchange of contract' which confirms the purchase of the property
- A copy of a formal tenancy agreement (minimum six month term) signed and dated by the applicant and the landlord for the property
- Where the child will be living at an address other than the parental family home for more than 2.5 school days per week (for example, with an extended family member, or in emergency or other public accommodation), a formal written letter, signed and dated by the person responsible for the address in question. This must explain the living/care arrangements for the child and state how long these arrangements are expected to remain in place.
- For children of UK service personnel with a confirmed posting to the area or Crown servants returning from overseas, an official letter confirming a relocation date and Unit postal address or quartering area address
The oversubscription criteria set out in section 5.2 of these admission arrangements prioritise applications for children with a sibling attending the school at the time of application who will still be on roll at the time of admission.
If a parent wishes a sibling connection to be taken into account, the sibling's details must be provided on the admission application form and he/she must qualify as a full, half, step or adoptive brother or sister, or a child living for the majority of his/her school time (more than 2.5 school days per week) within the same family unit and at the same home address.
The Published Admission Number or admission limit will be exceeded, where necessary, in order that multiple birth siblings of the same family (twin, triplet etc.) can all be offered places, where otherwise one or more of these children would be refused.
1.6 Waiting lists
When an admission application is refused because the year applied for is full, the child's name will be entered onto a waiting list for that year group, which will be maintained by the Admission Authority until the end of the school year and then shut down. Names on waiting lists are held strictly in ranked order according to the child's compliance with the oversubscription criteria. Each time a name is added, the waiting list concerned will be re-ranked. If a place becomes available in the appropriate year, this will be offered for the child ranked highest on the waiting list at that time. A child's name will be removed from the waiting list if a place is offered and accepted or offered and declined, or the parent requests the school, in writing, to remove his/her child's name.
1.7 Misleading or false information
Should the Admission Authority become aware that a place was secured for a child at the school on the basis of misleading or false information, it will consider withdrawing the offer, or where a child has already started to attend the school may remove the child from the school roll. The circumstances of the case will be fully discussed with the parent and, if the decision is taken to withdraw the offer of a place, the application will be considered afresh, taking account of any new information.
2.0 Starting School in Reception in September 2017 (The 'normal' Admissions round)
2.1 The Published Admission Number (PAN)
The PAN for Foundation (reception) is 52. This is the number of places that can be provided according to the resources available and the need to maintain the size of infant classes within the requirements of Infant Class Size legislation (30 children to each qualified teacher unless a child qualifies as a permitted exception in accordance with section 2.15 of the 2014 School Admissions Code). If 52 or fewer reception applications are received for September 2017, every applicant will be offered a place for their child, without condition. If more than 52 applications are received, the Admission Authority will apply the oversubscription criteria in order to rank all the applications and identify a priority for the offer of places up to the PAN.
Further places will only be offered where there is sufficient resource available to enable this.
2.2 Ensuring an 'on time' Reception application
For a child to start school in September 2017, the parent must complete the Common Application Form (CAF) available from the home local authority. In order for the application to be considered as 'on time' the CAF must be submitted to this local authority by 23:59 hours on 15 January 2017. The CAF may be completed and submitted using the home local authority's 'on line' procedure, or as a paper form. Full details about the application process and information about the schools in the local authority area are explained in the 'Composite Prospectus' document, which each local authority must make available on 12th September annually.
For families living in Devon, the home local authority is Devon County Council
2.3 Late applications
Local authorities must coordinate 'normal admission round' Foundation (reception) applications until 31 August 2017. If an application form is submitted to the home local authority after the application deadline of 15th January 2017, it will be considered as a 'late' application and will not be administered until all on time applications have been processed, at which point there may no longer be a place available at the preferred school(s).
2.4 Notifying the application decision
Parents will receive an admission decision in writing from the home local authority on or about 16 April 2017, according to the procedure set out in this local authority's Composite Prospectus.
2.5 Education Health and Care Plan
A place will be provided for a child who has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) agreed at the time of application, which names Steiner Academy Exeter as the education provider. This place will be allocated within the Published Admission Number (PAN) before the consideration of any other applications, or above the PAN if places have already been offered at that time.
2.6 Starting school on a full- or part-time basis
A parent may apply for his/her child to start school for the first time in the September following the fourth birthday and, where a place is offered, may choose for the child to start full-time from day one, or to attend on a part-time basis until statutory school age is reached, which is during the term following the child's fifth birthday.
2.7 Deferred entry to school
While a child is below statutory school age, the parent may choose to defer his/her child's entry to school until later in the school year. However, parents cannot defer beyond the point at which the child reaches statutory school age, or beyond the start of the last term in the school year, if later. The school operates on the basis of a six-term year.
2.8 Applying for 'delayed entry' on behalf of a summer born child (born 1 April - 31 August)
A parent of a 'summer born' child entitled to start school in September 2017, may choose to delay his/her entry to school until September 2018, where the parent considers this arrangement to be in the best educational interests of the child. The parent may also choose to apply for the reception year in September 2018 rather than year 1.
Please note: Although the Admission Authority must agree to a 'delayed entry' application being submitted for a reception place in September 2018, there can be no indication given as to whether a place will be available until the 2018 'normal admissions round' allocation exercise is complete. The following process will apply:
- The parent must submit an application to the home local authority during the 2017 'normal admissions round', making it clear in the text box on the application form that he/she wishes to delay the child's entry until September 2018. Where the intention is for the child to start with the 2018 reception cohort, this must also be clearly stated on the form. The Admission Authority will formally note the parent's instruction and will not process the 2017 application. Effectively, the child will no longer be part of the 2017 'normal admissions round'.
- The parent(s) must then wait and make an entirely new application to the home local authority as part of the 2018 'normal admissions round' in accordance with the application process described in the home local authority 2018 Composite Prospectus document. This will be made available by the local authority on 12th September 2017. The parent should also take account of the 2018/19 Admission Arrangements applying to the school.
- If the school is undersubscribed with reception applications for September 2018, the applicant will receive the offer of a place, without condition, for his/her child on or around 16th April 2018. If the school is oversubscribed with applications for September 2018, the published oversubscription criteria will be applied in order to rank all the applications received (including delayed entry applications) and identify a priority for the offer of available reception places. Whether a place can be offered will depend on the outcome of the 2018 application ranking exercise.
- If the September 2018 reception application is refused, the right of appeal will apply.
- Where a parent delays a child's entry until 2018 and decides that the child should join year 1 rather than reception, he/she will need to make an in-year application within six school weeks of the place being required.
3.0 Transferring to Year 7 in September 2017 (the 'normal admissions round')
3.1 The Year 7 Published Admission Number (PAN)
The PAN for Year 7 is 26. This is the number of places that can be provided according to the resources available. If 26 or fewer applications are received, every applicant will be offered a place for his/her child, without condition. If more than 26 applications are received, the oversubscription criteria will be applied in order to rank all the applications and identify a priority for the offer of places up to the PAN.
3.2 Ensuring an 'on time' Year 7 application
In order for a child to transfer school in September 2017, the parent must complete the Common Application Form available from the 'home' local authority (this is the local authority in whose area the child concerned lives). In order for the application to be considered as 'on time' the Common Application Form must be submitted to the home local authority by 23:59 hours on 31 October 2016. The Common Application Form may be completed and submitted using the home local authority's 'on line' application system, or as a paper form. Full details about the application process and information about the schools in the home local authority area are explained in the Composite Prospectus document, which each local authority must make available on 12th September annually.
For families living in Devon, the home local authority is Devon County Council www.devon.gov.uk/admissions
3.3 Late Year 7 'normal round' applications
Local authorities must coordinate Year 7 'normal admission round' transfer applications until 31 August 2017. However, if an application is submitted to the home local authority after the initial application deadline of 23:59 hours on 31 October 2016, it will be considered as a 'late' application and will not be administered until all on time applications have been processed, at which point there may no longer be a place available at the school.
3.4 Notifying the Year 7 application decision
Parents will receive an admission decision in writing from the home local authority on or about 1 March 2017, according to the procedure set out in the home local authority's Composite Prospectus.
3.5 Education Health and Care Plan
A year 7 place will be provided for any child who has an agreed Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), which names The Steiner Academy Exeter as the education provider. Depending on when the EHCP is issued, the place will be allocated within the Published Admission Number (PAN) before the consideration of any other applications, or above the PAN if places have already been offered at that time.
4.0 Changing school - The 'In-Year' application process
4.1 The Admission Limit
For each year group other than the reception year of entry, the Admission Authority will set a non-statutory admission limit as a guideline to the number of places available. Admission limits will be set in order to ensure 'the efficient delivery of education and the efficient use of resources' taking into account factors such as: the statutory Infant Class Size limit, available budget, accommodation, the needs of the children and the specific resources required to support the children. Consequently, admission limits may be varied from time to time and so the number of places available may vary.
4.2 Submitting an In-Year application
If a parent wishes to apply for his/her child to join the school during the 2017/18 school year, the In-Year application form (Appendix B) must be completed and submitted directly to the school. This is available to download from the school website or a paper copy can be provided by the School Office. The In-Year Application Form may be submitted at any time but will only be administered during school term time and within six school weeks of the place being required, unless the application is for a child from a Service family or the parent is a Crown Servant returning from overseas. In these circumstances, an application may be considered further in advance if an official letter is provided with the application, which confirms a relocation date and Unit postal address or quartering area address.
4.3 Applying for a year group other than the child's relative (chronological) age
The In-Year application will usually be submitted for the year group associated with the child's age, although a parent may apply for an alternative year if he/she considers this would be in the best educational interests of the child. In these circumstances, the application must be accompanied with as much information as possible to support the case for 'retaining' or 'accelerating' the child. It is for the Admission Authority to decide whether to support such a request, which will be considered according to the information provided, the circumstances of the case and what is deemed to be in the best educational interests of the child concerned. If an application for a retained or accelerated year is refused, the Admission Authority will consider whether a place can be offered in the relative (chronological) age year group. The parent has the right to appeal the decision where a place cannot be offered in the relative year group. Retained and accelerated places secured through the In-Year admissions process will be reviewed annually.
4.4 The decision
On receipt of a signed and dated In-Year Application Form, the Admission Authority will evaluate whether a place can be made available without prejudicing 'the efficient delivery of education or the efficient use of resources' and/or breaching the statutory Infant Class Size Limit. The decision will be notified to the applicant in writing within ten school days of receipt of the In-Year Application Form.
4.5 Accepting the offer of a place
Where a place is offered, the parent will be asked to confirm acceptance in writing (by letter or email) within ten school days of receipt of the offer letter, following which the place will remain available for the remainder of six school weeks from the date of this letter. If the child concerned is not attending school within this time frame, the Admission Authority will write to the applicant requesting an update and may, depending on the circumstances, withdraw the offer.
4.6 Applying the Fair Access Protocol
Where it has not been possible to offer a place, the Admission Authority will consider the application against the criteria set out in the Devon County Council Local Authority Fair Access Protocol (FAP), which is published on this authority's website. If the child concerned satisfies any of the FAP criteria, the In-Year application will be referred to the local authority, which may then decide to engage with the family in order to identify a suitable educational placement.
The outcome of all In-Year applications will be notified to the 'home; local authority as soon as possible after the admission decision is taken. Where the child concerned lives within the Devon LA maintained area and the applicant has indicated that the child qualifies against one or more of the criteria set out in the Devon Fair Access Protocol this local authority will be notified, in order that it may determine whether the child is eligible for action under its Fair Access Protocol.
4.7 Children issued with an Education Health and Care Plan
If a child is the subject of an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), which names a particular school, his/her parents should consult the local authority that issued the EHCP before applying for the child to change school.
5.0 The Oversubscription Criteria
If there are more applications received at any one time than there are places available within the preferred year group (oversubscription), the Admission Authority will assess every application against the oversubscription criteria set out in section 5.2 in order to rank these applications in priority order, before any places are offered. The oversubscription criteria will also be applied in order to rank children's names on a waiting list.
5.2 The Oversubscription Criteria
- A 'looked after child' or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements, or special guardianship order. A looked after child is a child who, at the time of application, 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 (section 22 (1) of the Children Act 1989 applies)
- Children with a sibling attending the Academy at the time of application, who will still be on roll at the time of admission and who lives at the same address for more than 2.5 school days per week
- Children of newly appointed staff where the appointment is made in order to satisfy a demonstrable skills shortage
- Children of staff who have been employed by the Steiner Academy Trust on a permanent contract and have worked at the School for a minimum of two years prior to submitting an admission application
- Children not satisfying a higher criterion
- Refer to section 1.4 of these Admission Arrangements for the definition of 'home address'
- Refer to section 1.5 of these Admission Arrangements for the definition of 'sibling'
5.3 Prioritising applications by distance measurement
In the event of oversubscription (more applications received than places available), the admission application ranking exercise (described in section 5.1) will be applied and this may indicate that the Admission Number/limit is reached part way through a particular criterion. In these circumstances, the ranked order for applications satisfying this 'cut off' criterion and any lower criterion will be determined according to a straight line distance measured between the child's home and the West entrance of Exeter Cathedral. This will determine a priority order for the applications.
Distances will be calculated electronically, using digital mapping software and Ordnance Survey 'National Address Base' data, to determine a straight line measurement between a reference datum point taken at the centre of the West entrance of Exeter Cathedral and the child's home address. Measurement will be to a minimum of three decimal places accuracy. In the case of a multi-dwelling building, such as a block of flats, the same distance will apply for all occupants.
Note: Exeter Cathedral has been used for the purpose of calculating straight line distances in connection with admission applications since the Steiner Academy was established in Exeter in 2013.
5.4 Applying a tie-breaker
Where two or more distances are exactly the same and it proves necessary to rank the relevant applications, a priority for admission will be determined by the drawing of lots. This activity will take place at the school and be supervised by a person entirely independent of the Admissions Authority and the school.
6.0 Lodging an appeal
6.1 The legal right to an appeal hearing
The administration of school admission appeals is subject to statutory procedure set out in the 2012 School Admission Appeals Code issued by the Department for Education. A parent whose child is refused admission to the school is legally entitled to lodge an appeal against this decision. The refusal letter issued by the Admission Authority will explain how to complete this process using the Appeal Form, which is available to download from the school website, or by request from the School Office.
6.2 The basis on which an admission application may be refused
The Admission Authority can refuse to admit a child where a further admission would 'prejudice the efficient delivery of education or the efficient use of resources' or where the admission would breach the Government's statutory Infant Class Size (ICS) Limit, resulting in an infant teaching group of more than 30 children to one qualified teacher for part or all of the school day. In the case of an ICS refusal, specific conditions set out in section 4 of the 2012 School Admission Appeals Code are 'tested' at the appeal hearing by an independent appeal panel. The range of circumstances whereby an appeal panel might find in favour of an appellant are limited to the appeal panel's review of these conditions and the reasonableness of the decision.
6.3 The Appeals Timetable
The Appeals Timetable is published on the school website by 28 February each year. This sets out the statutory time frame within which an appeal must be heard, as well as the administrative timeframe within which the Admission Authority will process any appeal lodged with the school.
6.4 Complaints about the administration of the appeal process
The decision of an independent appeal panel is binding on all parties. However, where there is concern that the appeal process has not been properly administered in accordance with the 2012 School Admission Appeals Code, a complaint should be raised via the School. Where no local resolution is reached the parent may escalate the matter to the Education Funding Agency.
If you are unsure or need assistance with any aspect of the admissions process, please do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone us on 01392 757371 or write to us at Thomas Hall, Cowley Bridge Road, Exeter, EX4 5AD. We aim to respond to admissions enquiries within five working days. Please note that the admissions clerk works Monday to Wednesday during term time.
For families resident in Devon, the ‘home’ local authority is Devon County Council
Devon County Council, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter, Devon. EX2 4QD
'My Devon' School Admissions Service
The Office of the Schools Adjudicator
The Education Funding Agency
The Department for Education
Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith St, London SW1P 3BT