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Admissions Policy - details

We are able to admit up to 60 pupils in any one year group.  If the number of places in a particular year group is not sufficient to meet the requests of all parents the governors will admit pupils on the following basis:   

  1. All ‘looked after’ children or children who were previously ‘looked after’
  2. Pupils living in the catchment area with siblings at the school
  3. Other pupils living in the catchment area
  4. ‘Very exceptional’ medical grounds
  5. Other siblings 
  6. Any other children

Admission into the Nursery Class (3+) 

Admission Number to Nursery Class (3+): 1:13

The Hills Academy has a Nursery class all year round and currently has places for 26 children in the morning and 26 children in the afternoon.

Children may be admitted into the Nursery class the term after their third birthday.  They may attend for up to five government funded sessions a week and additionally extra sessions can be paid for by the parent. The morning session starts at 8.40am until 11.40am.  If you would like your child to stay for lunch there are places for 26 children.  You may collect your child at 1pm. The afternoon session starts at 1pm until 3.20pm unless your child is having lunch before the session.  

Please complete the Nursery Application form below to indicate your interest and the sessions required.

The school administers applications into the Nursery class.  Acceptance into the Nursery class does not guarantee a place in the Reception Classes in the September.

Admission into the Reception classes

Those children whose fourth birthday falls between 1st September and 31st August are admitted straight into the Reception classes in the September after their fourth birthday.

There is no obligation to send your child to school full time at the stated time if you feel it is not in the best interests of your child to do so.  However, once your child reaches statutory school age (5 years), full time attendance is compulsory.

The Local Authority administers all applications for admission into the school each September (statutory applications).  Applications for September must be with The School Admission Service at Borough Hall no later than 10th January.  (Admission criteria below.)

Separate application forms have to be filled in for each child in a family.  The forms can be obtained from any school or preferably completed on line @ www.bedford.gov.uk/admissions

Parents will be notified in writing by the Borough Council at the end of April if they have been allocated a place in the Reception year at The Hills Academy for the following September.

Bedford Borough Admission Policy

The Bedford Borough Admissions Forum has agreed the following exceptions which may result in the admission number for a school being exceeded:

  • The admission of catchment area pupils, where the parent has expressed a preference (whether first, second or third), for the catchment school as part of the normal admissions round and in accordance with the published admission arrangements;
  • The admission of pupils who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs which names the school, when that pupil has either been assessed or moved into the area outside the normal admissions round;
  • The admission of pupils in accordance with the In-Year Fair Access Protocol;
  • The admission of pupils who have moved into the area, where there is no other suitable school within a reasonable travelling distance, or where the admission of an additional catchment area child would not prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.  Before admitting children under this exception, governing bodies that are their own admission authority should consult their Local Authority who will be able to advise whether the first of these conditions applies;
  • The admission of a looked after child outside of the normal admission round as a result of a direction by the local authority acting as corporate parent.
  • The admission of a child in very exceptional circumstances in which the Local Authority and the Headteacher are in agreement that not to agree to admit the child would be perverse.
  • The admission of a twin or children from multiple births provided the admission would not cause a breach of infant class size limits.


The Local Authority will apply the following criteria (in the rank order shown) to decide the order in which places will be allocated when there are more requests from parents/carers than the number of places available:

  1. All ‘looked after’ children or previously 'looked after' children (see definition);
  2. Pupils living in the catchment area with siblings at the school;
  3. ‘Very exceptional’ medical grounds (see definition);
  4. Other siblings (see definition);
  5. Any other children

Guidelines

  1. If applying these criteria results in there being more children with an equal right to admission to the school than the number of available places, the tie break will be the distance the pupil lives from the school, measured in a straight line, using the Local Authority’s computerised measuring system, with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority.  The Local Authority will measure the distance from the address point of the pupil’s home to a central point on the school site agreed with the governing body of the school.  The Local Authority will not give priority within each criterion to children who meet other criteria.
  2. The Local Authority will normally offer a place at the catchment area school if parents apply for a place at that school during the normal admissions round.  If a pupil moves into the catchment area outside the normal admissions round (or after the allocation process has been completed) it may be more difficult to offer a place at the catchment area school if this would mean exceeding the admission number at the school.  In this case, a place will normally be offered at the next nearest maintained school which caters for pupils of the same age and has places available.
  3. Pupils who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs are required to be admitted to the school which is named on the statement, even if the school is full.  Pupils identified for admission through the In-Year Fair Access Protocol will also be admitted even if the school is full.


Definitions

‘Looked after’ children
The Children Act 1989 defines a child who is ‘looked after’ as a child or young person who is accommodated by the local authority (Section 20) or a child or young person who is the subject of a full care order (Section 31) or interim care order (Section 38).
Sibling
A sibling refers to a brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister or the child of the parent/carer’s partner, and in every case, the child should be living at the same address.  The sibling must be in the school at the time of application and be likely to remain in the school at the proposed date of admission.
‘Very Exceptional’ Medical Grounds
‘Very exceptional’ medical grounds refers to cases where there are exceptional medical reasons which make it essential that a child should attend a particular school and where the preferred school is the only school locally that could meet the child’s needs.  A medical report from the child’s doctor or consultant must be submitted with the application form, setting out valid medical reasons why it is essential for the child to be admitted to the school in question and the difficulties that would be caused if the child had to attend another school.  The comments of the Authority’s medical officer may be sought to decide whether it is essential for a child to be admitted to the preferred school on medical grounds.  Admission on medical grounds cannot be considered where the medical condition relates to that of a parent/carer, brother or sister or other relative/childminder.
Home Address
A pupil’s home address will be regarded as the address of the parent/carer with parental responsibility with whom the child normally lives.  This will not usually include grandparents, aunts or uncles.  Where a child spends time with parents/carers at more than one address, the address used to allocate a school place will be the one at which the pupil is ordinarily resident and where the child spends the majority of the school week (Monday to Fridays) including nights.  If there is any query on the home address this will be checked against original official documentation, e.g. council tax bill, a recent utility bill (gas, electricity or water) a rental agreement, child benefit annual statement or family tax credit information.