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Admissions Policy 2024-2025

Co-op Academy Failsworth

Admissions Arrangements

Academy: Co-op Academy Failsworth  Approved by: Academy Governing Council  Approved date: February 2022  

Effective Date: Sept 2024 - Aug 2025  Next Review Date: Autumn term 2023  

Next Consultation Date: No later than 2028/29

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Contents  

Contents 2 Introduction 3 Consultation 3 Education, Health and Care Plan 3 How to Apply for a Place 3 Year 7 Admissions 4 General Information 4 Application Forms 4 Late Admissions 4 Oversubscription 5 Tie Breaker 6 Waiting List 6 In-Year Admissions 8 Application Process 8 In-Year Waiting List 8 Further Information 10 Which address to use 10 Admission of Children Outside Their Normal Age Group 10 Making an Appeal 10 Challenging behaviour 11 Fair Access Protocol 11

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Introduction 

Co-op Academy Failsworth (the academy) is part of The Co-op Academies Trust (the Trust). The Trust is the  admissions authority for the Academy, and is therefore responsible for ensuring that these arrangements are  compliant with the Admissions Code 2021.  

This document aims to provide information on how to apply for a place at the academy, how places are  allocated, and how to appeal against a decision not to offer your child a place.  

This document is based on the following documents from the Department for Education:  

School Admissions Code 2021  

School Admission Appeals Code  

As an academy, the school is required by its funding agreement to comply with these codes, and with the law  relating to admissions as set out in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.  

Consultation

These arrangements were consulted on between 17th December 2021 and 31st January 2022. During  this consultation, we asked for feedback from governors, parents, staff, the local authority,  neighbouring local authorities and other key stakeholders.  

In-line with the requirements set out in the Admissions Code, unless any changes are made in the interim,  these arrangements will next be consulted on in December 2028.  

Education, Health and Care Plan

All children whose Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) names the school must be admitted. These children  will be admitted ahead of any oversubscription criteria being applied.  

How to Apply for a Place 

The next section of the document is separated into the following sections:  

Year 7 Admissions  

In-year Admissions

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Year 7 Admissions 

General Information  

Our Published Admissions Number (PAN) is 300.  

This means that we admit 300 children into year 7 each year.  

Application Forms  

Our academy is part of Oldham Council’s coordinated admissions process, and as such, allocation of places for  year 7 is completed by them according to the criteria set out below.  

All parent/carers are required to apply to their home Local Authority (LA) regardless of  where the academy they are applying for is situated.

For example Oldham residents will apply to Oldham Council, whilst Manchester residents will apply to  Manchester City Council. The LA will liaise with other Admissions Authorities in Manchester and other LAs  where required. The home local authority will inform parent/carers in writing of the outcome of their  application on 1st March or the next working day.  

Information on how to apply can be found here:  

Oldham Council 

Manchester City Council 

If you live in another area find your local council here 

All children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) that names our academy will automatically be  given a place before any other applications are considered.  

Late Admissions  

If you apply after the national closing date (usually early November each year), we cannot guarantee to  consider your preferences at the same time as those received on time. For applications submitted or changed  after the national closing date, we will follow any dates set by the home local authority in their coordination  scheme.

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Oversubscription  

If we receive more applications than the PAN, places will be allocated according to the following criteria:  

Criteria 1 – Looked after and previously looked after children

Children in care or have previously been in care are highly vulnerable children and will be given the highest  priority for admission as required by part 3 of the Admission Arrangement Regulations. This will include  children who were looked after or in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of  being adopted.  

Criteria 2 – Children with exceptional social or medical needs that can only be met at  our school

Those children who are considered to have exceptional medical or social reasons as to why they should attend  a particular academy. Parents will be required to submit evidence to support their application under this  criterion.  

Notes:  

Exceptional reasons for priority over other applicants - Decisions must be consistent and based on objective  evidence, which must be provided in writing by suitably qualified professionals. Section 2.29 of the School  Admissions Code 2009 states clearly that admission authorities must not give higher priority to children  under this criterion if the required documents have not been produced.  

Criteria 3 – Children attending a partner primary school

Those children who attend a former trust primary partner who have now signed a Memorandum of  Understanding, namely Higher Failsworth, Woodhouses, South Failsworth, Propps Hall, Mather Street.  Criteria 4 – Children with a sibling at the school

Notes:  

Siblings - The Local Authority (LA) accepts that in some family units (1 or 2 parents/carers and children), the  children may not be natural brothers and/or sisters. Other children from the same family unit can be  considered as a sibling link under this criterion provided that proof is available to demonstrate that the  children are permanently resident at the same address and part of the same family unit. Co-op Academy  Failsworth accepts this guidance.  

Criteria 5 – All other children

If none of the other priorities apply, your application will be considered under this priority.  

Within each of these categories, children will be prioritised according to the distance between the child’s  permanent home address and the school. Distance will be measured by a straight line between the two  properties, with those living closer being given a higher priority for allocation of places.

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Tie Breaker  

In any priority, if multiple children meet the same priority but there are not enough places left for all of them,  the places will be allocated based on distance from our school. For example, if there are 4 places remaining at  our school and 5 children all live in the priority catchment area, the 4 priority catchment children living closest  to the school will be allocated those places.  

The school will use the distance between the school and a child’s home as a tie breaker to decide between  applicants. Priority will be given to children who live closest to the school.  

Distance will be measured in a straight line from the child’s home address to the school’s front gates on  Brierley Avenue. A child’s home address will be considered to be where he/she is resident for the majority of  nights in a normal school week.  

Where the distance between 2 children’s homes and the school is the same, random allocation will be used to  decide between them. This process will be independently verified.  

We will not draw lots for twins or other multiple birth siblings from the same family. Where they are tied for  the final place we will admit them all, exceeding the Published Admissions Number for our school.  

Waiting List  

A waiting list for year 6 students going into 7 children is maintained by Oldham local authority up until 31st  August as part of their co-ordinated admissions process. If your child is not initially offered a place in year 7 at  our academy, your child’s name will be added to our waiting list by the Local Authority. Your child’s name will  remain on our waiting list until:  

A. You are offered a place at a higher preference school,  

B. You are offered a place at our academy,  

C. The end of August prior to your child starting secondary school.  

On the 1st of September each year, Oldham Local Authority transfers the responsibility for the waiting list to  the Academy. All those on the waiting list at this point will remain on the waiting list until 31st December  unless you contact us to tell us otherwise.  

We will maintain a clear, fair, and objective waiting list from 1st September until the 31st December each  admissions year. The waiting list will be ordered in line with the published oversubscription criteria. Priority  will not be given to children based on the date their application was received. Looked after children or  previously looked after children allocated a place at the school in accordance with a Fair Access Protocol will  take precedence over those on a waiting list.  

After the 31st December, you may re-apply for an in-year admission place (please see below). If no spaces are  available at the time of application, you will be added to the in-year admissions waiting list for the appropriate  year group.

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You may re-apply for an in-year admission place in year 8 if you are not allocated a place during year 7 - please  see below. If no spaces are available at the time of application, you will be added to the in-year admissions  waiting list for the appropriate year group.  

Please note:  

You will automatically be transferred to our Academy waiting list after 31st August if you have not yet  been offered a place at our Academy.  

Your child’s place on our waiting list is decided by the oversubscription criteria listed above.  

Each time a child is added or removed, the waiting list is ranked again and your child can move down if  another child meets higher criteria.  

Looked after children, previously looked after children and those allocated a place at the school in  accordance with a Fair Access Protocol take priority over those on a waiting list.

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In-Year Admissions 

Application Process  

You can apply for a place in any year group at any time. This might happen because you are moving to the area  and your child has already started school elsewhere, or because you feel our academy would be a better fit for  your child.  

You can contact us to find out if we have spaces in specific year groups before you apply. If we don’t have  space in the requested year group, you can still apply. If you apply for a place and there are currently no  places available, your child’s name will automatically be added to the waiting list. Your child’s name will be  kept on the waiting list until the end of the academic year.  

To make an ‘in-year’ application for years 7 -11, you should complete an ‘in-year’ application form online via  the application form on our Academy website. You will be contacted in writing within 15 days of your  application to notify you of the outcome.  

Our Academy Governing Council is responsible for making decisions regarding in-year admissions.  

Children with an EHCP that names our academy will be given a place regardless of whether the year group has  spaces or whether there is a waiting list.  

In-Year Waiting List  

The academy and its governors may decide to admit above the stated PAN in any year group, as long as the  admittance of additional children does not prejudice the education of those children already in the academy,  and as long as those admitted are done so in accordance with the oversubscription criteria shown in these  admissions arrangements.  

A waiting list for each year group is maintained by the academy in-line with the oversubscription criteria  outlined above. If your child is not offered a place at our academy, your child’s name will automatically be  added to our waiting list. Your child’s name will remain on the waiting list until  

A. You are offered a place at our academy,  

B. The waiting list closes (end of each term),  

C. You request, in writing, to be removed from the waiting list.  

After the end of the academic term, you may re-apply for an in-year admission place for the following term. If  no spaces are available at the time of application, you will be added to the in-year admissions waiting list for  the appropriate year group.  

You will automatically be added to our in-year waiting list if you make an in-year application.  Your child’s place on our waiting list is decided by the oversubscription criteria listed above.  Priority is not given to children based on the date their application was received.

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Each time a child is added or removed, the waiting list is ranked again and your child can move down if  another child meets higher criteria.  

Looked after children, previously looked after children and those allocated a place at the school in  accordance with a Fair Access Protocol take priority over those on a waiting list.

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Further Information 

Which address to use

When you apply you must use the child's permanent address, where they usually live with their parent(s) or  carer(s). You must not use any other address on your application.  

Using the address of a childminder, a relative or renting a property for a short period of time in order to secure  a school place is considered as a fraudulent application. We will investigate all queries about addresses and  could change the school place offer.  

If we find out that an intentionally misleading or false address has been given to get a school place, the school  place may be withdrawn even if the child has already started at the school.  

Only one address can be used on your application for a school place, and this should be the address where the  child lives for the majority of the week. In cases of equal shared care, both parents must agree which address  will be used on the application.  

Admission of Children Outside Their Normal Age Group

Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted  and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health.  

We will make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child  concerned. This will include taking account of the parent’s views; information about the child’s academic,  social, and emotional development; where relevant, their medical history and the views of a medical  professional; whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group; and whether they  may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely. Our headteacher’s  views will also be considered in this decision making process.  

If you wish to make an application for your child in these circumstances, please contact the school and arrange a meeting with the headteacher to discuss this further. Following this meeting we will encourage you to apply  for a place via the normal application process (via your home local authority) and we will work closely with  them to carefully consider your application. Your application, regardless of whether your child is offered a  place in their chronological year group or another year group, will be offered based on the criteria used for all  applications (e.g. our oversubscription criteria).  

Parents/Carers have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have  applied. This right does not apply if they are offered a place at the school, but it is not in their preferred age  group.  

Making an Appeal

If your child’s application for a place at the school is unsuccessful, you will be informed why admission was  refused and given information about the process for hearing appeals. Oldham Council operates an appeals  process for Co-op Academy Failsworth, full details of which are available here.

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You can find details of the school’s appeals timetable on our website.  

Challenging behaviour

We will not refuse to admit a child on behavioural grounds in the normal admissions round or at any point in  the normal year of entry. We may refuse admission in certain cases where the specific criteria listed in the  School Admissions Code (paragraph 3.8) apply, i.e. where section 87 of the School Standards and Framework  Act 1998 is engaged.  

We may refuse admission for an in-year applicant for a year group that isn’t the normal point of entry, only in  such a case that we have good reason to believe that the child may display challenging behaviour that may  adversely affect the provision we can offer. In this case, we will refer these pupils to the Fair Access Protocol.  We will not refuse admission on these grounds to looked-after children, previously looked after children and  children with EHC plans listing the school.  

Fair Access Protocol

All schools have an active role in admitting pupils under the Fair Access Protocol. The protocol operates  outside the boundaries of the Admissions policy. It is a statutory requirement. The aim is to make sure the  most vulnerable children are offered a place at a suitable school as quickly as possible, and that no school,  including those with places, is asked to take a disproportionate number of vulnerable children.  

The fair access protocol is overseen by Oldham Council and details are available here.

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