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Bickerstaffe C.E Primary School – Determined Admission Policy 08/018


Making an application

Applications for admission to the school should be made on the online admissions system accessed via (search A-Z for ‘school admissions’) or from your relevant council website. (This depends on your address.)

Letters informing parents of whether or not their child has been allocated a place will be sent out by the Local Authority in April, 2024. Parents of children not admitted will be informed of the reason and offered an alternative place by the Authority.

Admission procedures

The number of places available for admission to the Reception class in the year 2024 will be a maximum of 15. . The governing body will not place any restrictions on admissions to the Reception class unless the number of children for whom admission is sought exceeds this number. By law, no infant class may contain more than thirty children.

The Governing Body operates a system of equal preferences under which they consider all preferences equally and the Local Authority notifies parents of the result. In the event that there are more applicants than places, after admitting all children with a statement of educational need naming the school, the governing body will allocate places using the following criteria, which are listed in order of priority:

1a) Children in public care and previously looked after children.  This includes any “looked after child”, “previously looked after children” and any child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order.  ‘Looked after’ means that the child was (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.

This criteria also includes looked after children and all previously looked after children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.

1. A) Looked after children and those who have been previously looked after, (see note (x) below), then

B) Looked after children and those who have been previously looked after - those legally adopted from overseas (see note (x) below), then

2. Children for whom the Local Authority accepts that there are exceptional medical social or welfare reasons which are directly relevant to the school concerned (see note (i) below, then

3. Children with older brothers and sisters attending the school when the younger child will start, (see note (iii) below), then

4. Remaining places are allocated according to where a child lives. Those living nearest to the preferred school by a straight line (radial) measure will have priority


  1. Professional supporting evidence from e.g. a doctor, psychologist, social worker, is essential if admission is to be made under the criterion for special medical or social circumstances, and such evidence must set out the particular reasons why the school is the most suitable school and the difficulties which would be caused if the child had to attend another school.
  2. Siblings include step, half, foster, adopted brothers and sisters living at the same address and full brother and sister living apart.
  3. Where there are more applicants for the available places within a category, then distance between the Ordnance Survey address points for the school and the home, measured in a straight line, will be used as the final determining factor, nearer addresses having priority over more distant ones. This address point is within the body of the property and usually located at its centre. Where the cut off point is for addresses within the same building, then the single measure between address points will apply and the Local Authority’s system of a random draw will determine which address(es) receive the offer(s).

 Admissions information:

Last year the school was able to admit all pupils whose parents applied.

Late applications for admission

Where there are extenuating circumstances for an application being received after the last date for applications, and it is before the governors have established their list of pupils to be admitted, then it will be considered alongside all the others.

Otherwise, applications which are received after the last date will be considered after all the others, and placed on the waiting list in order according to the criteria.

Waiting list

Where we have more applications than places, the admissions criteria will be used. Children who are not admitted will have their name placed on a waiting list. The names on this waiting list will be in the order resulting from the application of the admissions criteria. Since the date of application cannot be a criterion for the order of names on the waiting list, late applicants for the school will be slotted into the order according to the extent to which they met the criteria. Thus it is possible that a child who moves into the area later to have a higher priority than one who has been on the waiting list for some time. If a place becomes available within the admission number, the child whose name is at the top of the list will be offered a place. This is not dependent on whether an appeal has been submitted.

This waiting list will operate for the full autumn term in the academic year of admission.

Address of pupil

The address used on the school’s admission form must be the current one at the time of application. If the address changes subsequently, the parents should notify the school. Where the parents live at different addresses, the current-at-the-time-of-application, normal address of the child will be the one used. This will normally be the one where the child wakes up for the majority of Monday to Friday mornings. Parents may be asked to show evidence of the claim that is being made for the address, e.g. identity cards of various sorts showing the child’s address as the one claimed. Where there is dispute about the correct address to use, the governors reserve the right to make enquiries of any relevant third parties, e.g. the child’s GP. For children of UK Service personnel and other Crown Servants returning to the area proof of the posting is all that is required.

Non-routine admissions

It sometimes happens that a child needs to change school other than at the “normal” time; such admissions are known as non-routine admissions. Parents wishing their child to attend this school should arrange to visit the school. They will be provided with an application form once they have a definite local address. If there is a place in the appropriate class, then the governors will arrange for the admission to take place. If there is no place, then the admissions committee will consider the application and information about how to appeal against the refusal will be provided. Appeals for children moving into the area will not be considered until there is evidence of a permanent address, e.g. exchange of contracts or tenancy agreement with rent book.

Please note that you cannot re-apply for a place at a school within the same school year unless there has been relevant, significant and material change in the family circumstances.


Where the governors are unable to offer a place because the school is over subscribed, parents have the right to appeal to an independent admission appeal panel, set up under the School Standards and Framework Act, 1998, as amended by the Education Act, 2002. Parents should notify the clerk to the governors at the school within 14 days of receiving the letter refusing a place. Parents will have the opportunity to submit their case to the panel in writing and also to attend in order to present their case. You will normally receive 14 days’ notice of the place and time of the hearing.

If your child was refused a place in Reception or Key Stage 1 because of government limits on Infant class sizes, the grounds on which your appeal could be successful are limited. You would have to show that the decision was one which in the circumstances no reasonable governing body would have made, or that your child would have been offered a place if the governors’ admissions arrangements had been properly implemented. Please note that this right of appeal against the governors’ decision does not prevent you from making an appeal in respect of any other school.

Fraudulent applications

Where the governing body discovers that a child has been awarded a place as the result of an intentionally misleading application from a parent (for example a false claim to residence in the catchment area or of involvement in a place of worship) which effectively denies a place to a child with a stronger claim, then the governing body is required to withdraw the offer of the place. The application will be considered afresh and a right of appeal offered if a place is refused.

Deferred admission

If your child is due to start school during the next academic year, it is important that you apply for a place for September. If your child’s fifth birthday is between the months of September and December, then, if you wish it, admission may be deferred until January; if it is between January and April, then admission may be deferred until the start of the summer term though it is likely to be in your child’s interest to start no later than January. You may also request that your child attend school part time until he/she reaches his/her fifth birthday.

Twins etc.

Where there are twins, etc wanting admission and there is only a single place left within the admission number, then the governing body will exercise as much flexibility as possible within the requirements of infant class sizes. In exceptional circumstances cases we are now able to offer places for both twins and all triplets, even when this means breaching infant class size limits. This may also apply to siblings who are in the same year group.

Admissions for 2024/2025 will open in September 2024

Children start school in the September following their fourth birthday. Parents must complete the online council admission application for a place in Reception class. (Please click the council logo at the bottom of the page to link directly to the application process).  Please note, if your child lives in another local authority, parents must apply through their local authority, for a place in our Lancashire school. 

During the summer term prior to a child starting school, the children will be invited into the Reception class for a series of induction activity sessions. 

The admission process for primary school places for September 2025 opens on the 1st September 2024 and closes on the  15th January 2024. Applicants will be informed of their allocation by email in April 2025. 

If you are interested in a school place for your child in the future please click below for our In-School Admission Request Form, to allow us to keep you updated about upcoming school events.

In-Year Admissions

Children from other year groups can be admitted at different times throughout the year, if there are spaces available. Prospective parents may contact the school office to arrange to visit the Headtacher and our school at any time.

Parents of Reception age children up to Year 6, from the Spring term onwards, should apply directly to school for a place; those applying to join other year groups should do so any time from the Autumn term.

Children will be admitted where space allows and when a year group is over-subscribed parents have the right to appeal, but must do so through the Local Authority.

A waiting list will be created if a year group is over-subscribed.

The school has an official intake number of 15 children for each age group. If school is oversubscribed, then the following LCC admissions priorities apply in order:

  1. Looked after children and those who have been previously looked after/adopted.
  2. Children for whom the Local Authority accepts that there are exceptional medical social or welfare reasons which are directly relevant to the school concerned.
  3. Children with older brothers and sisters attending the school when the younger child will start.
  4. Remaining places are allocated according to where a child lives. Those living nearest to the preferred school by a straight line (radial) measure will have priority.