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Countess-Anne

ADMISSIONS POLICY

2025-2026

Countess Anne School

A Church of England Academy

School Lane, Hatfield, AL10 8AX

 Admissions Policy for Academic Year 2025-2026

 

 

Our school

 Our school is a place that will be known for….

  • Academic provision that recognises the need for excellence in teaching and learning.
  • Holistic provision that encourages Christian hope, building spirit and soul through faith orientated pastoral care.
  • Inspirational provision through a modern curriculum that celebrates diversity and provides new opportunities.

 

Countess Anne School is a Church of England Academy within the Diocese of St Albans. It has a dual purpose: both to offer a Christian education to the children of Christian parents and also to fulfil an inclusive mission to educate the children of its local community of whatever faith or no faith at all.

Parents considering applying for a place should be aware that the school aims to provide an education based on Christian principles and, therefore, the Governing Body hopes that all pupils will take part in the Christian worship of the school and will attend religious education lessons.

In addition to the Reception intake, the school will accept casual in-year admissions (for example where a family has newly moved into the area) to any classes where there are spaces available. Where no place is available, the child may be put on a Continuing Interest list.

The governing body of the school is the admission authority and is required to abide by the maximum limits for infant classes (5, 6 and 7 year olds) of 30 pupils per class. The Published Admission Number is 30.

 

How to apply for a place in Reception

Parents should apply online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions. Information on completing the online application and notification dates of admission decisions are published in the Hertfordshire LA admissions literature, which is also available from their website at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions.

Parents living outside of Hertfordshire should use their home Local Authority’s online system.

The closing date is 15 January 2025.

Parents/carers are asked to complete our Supplementary Information Form (SIF) and return it to the school office by the date given above. If a SIF is not completed the Governing Body will apply their admission arrangements using the information submitted on the LA application only, which may result in your application being given a lower priority if applying under Criterion 4.

Children can be admitted in the September following their 4th birthday. However, please note the following:

  1. Parents offered a place may defer the date of their child’s admission until later in the year, but not beyond the date on which the child reaches compulsory school age. Summer-born children (1 April – 31 August) must take up their Reception place by the start of the summer term at the latest.
  2. b. Where parents so wish, a child may attend on a part-time basis until the child reaches compulsory school age.
  3. Where the parents of a summer-born child do not wish their child to start school until after the child’s fifth birthday, they must normally make an in-year application for a place in year 1.

However, where a parent of a ‘summer-born’ child wishes to delay their entry to Reception until the September after the child turns five, they should make a request in writing to the Admissions Governors at Countess Anne School, by 15th January 2025, for education out of year group. Supporting evidence must be provided for the request. Governors will consider each application on a case-by-case basis and in the best interests of the child and will notify parents of their decision within one month. If the parent’s request for education out of year group is accepted, a new application for a Reception place will need to be made in the following year’s main admission round, which will be considered alongside all other applications for that year group. There is therefore no guarantee a place will be offered the following year.

  1. If you think your child should be educated in a different year group, when you apply send us supporting evidence from relevant professionals and family stating why your child must be placed outside their normal age group. There is no guarantee your application for your child to be taught in a different year group will be accepted. If your application is not accepted, it does not mean that your child will be refused a school place. It just means your application will be processed for the usual year group. There is also no right to an independent statutory appeal for a place in a specific year group at a school. How a school places pupils in classes is for the head teacher and individual school to decide. Please apply in writing via the school office.

 

How Places are offered

Governing bodies are required to admit a child with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) that names their school. Thereafter the remaining available places will be allocated according to the following priorities.

 

  1. Children looked after and children who were previously looked after, including those 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.
  2. Children who will have a sibling in the school at the time of admission.
  3. Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school.
  4. Children whose home address is within the AL9 or AL10 postcode area and whose parent, living at that address, has an active participation in a Christian Church (see definition 4 on page 6).
  5. Any other children

 

Procedure when there are more applications than places

Where the application of the above criteria results in a situation where there are more children with an equal right to admission to the school than the number of available places, the tie-break will be distance from the school, measured using the computerised, ‘straight line’, mapping system operated by the LA as described in their admissions literature and website. Distances are measured using a computerised mapping system 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. Where this distance measurement results in more than one child having an identical claim to the last available place, priority will be given to the one resident at the lowest house number.

Home address

The address provided on the application form must 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 that address for at least a year

Where a family has not lived at an address for a year at the time of application, they must be able to demonstrate that they own the property or have a tenancy agreement for a minimum of 12 months and the child must be resident in the property at the time of application. If, because of the nature of the agreement, it is not possible to provide a 12-month tenancy agreement, alternative proof of address will be requested. It is for the Governing Body (as the admission authority) to determine the address to be used for admission purposes.

The application can only be processed using one address. If a child lives at more than one address (for example due to a separation) the address used will be the one where the child lives for the majority of the school week. If a child lives at two addresses equally, parents/carers should make a single joint application naming one address. If the child’s living arrangements change after you apply and they now spend the majority of the school week living at a different address, you must provide evidence of the new permanent address. Addresses will be verified as necessary with Hertfordshire County Council’s Shared Anti-Fraud Service.

Applications made as part of the main Reception admissions round are processed by Hertfordshire County Council (“HCC”) on behalf of the Governing Body, in accordance with HCC’s published coordinated admission scheme.

If a child’s permanent residence is disputed, parents/carers should provide court documentation to evidence the address that should be used for admission allocation purposes. If two applications are received, with different addresses, neither will be processed until the address issue is reconciled.

If HCC receives two different main admission round applications for the same child from the same address e.g. containing different preferences, parents/carers will be invited to submit a joint application or provide court documentation to evidence the preferences that should be used for the admission process. Until the preference issue is reconciled, neither application will be processed. For the main Reception admission round, if the initial differing applications (one or both) were received by HCC “on-time”, an amended joint application will also be considered “on-time” if received before 3rd February 2025 (the late deadline). If the joint application is received after 3rd February 2025 it will be treated as late.

The governors cooperate with the Fair Access Protocol of the LA which is designed to ensure children who are considered hard to place and/or vulnerable are secured a school place. See https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/media-library/documents/schools-and-education/admissions/fair-access-protocol/hcc-fair-access-protocol-2018.pdf. Children allocated a place at the school under the Fair Access Protocol will be prioritised above those on the Continuing Interest List and over the Published Admission Number (PAN) if required.

 

Every effort will be made to accommodate twins and other ‘multiple-birth’ applications. Where the last available place is offered to a twin or multiple birth sibling the other twin or sibling(s) will be offered a place as exceptions to the infant class size rule.

Please note that the Governors have the same understanding of the term ‘sibling’ as HCC. Please see Definitions below.

 

Unsuccessful Applications Appeals

Parents who have not been allocated a place for their child have the right of appeal to an independent panel.

 Parents will be informed of their right to appeal in the allocation letter from the home L.A. Parents wishing to appeal who applied through Hertfordshire’s online system should log in to their online application and click on the link ‘register an appeal’.

 Out of county residents and paper applicants should call the Customer Service Centre on 03001234043 to request their registration details and log into www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolappeals and click on the link ‘log into the appeals system’

 

In Year Applications

We will write to you with the outcome of your application and, if you have been unsuccessful, the county council will write to you with registration details to enable you to log in and appeal online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolappeals

 

Continuing Interest (waiting) List

In the event of more applications than available places, the governors will maintain a Continuing Interest list (waiting list). These and late applications will go onto this list in a position determined by the criteria and the list will be re-ranked each time a child’s name is added to or removed from the list. If a place becomes available in the school, it will be offered to the child that best meets the published admission rules.

To remain on the Continuing Interest list, parents must renew their interest annually.

 

How to apply for in-year applications

Contact the school and ask for an Application Form for in-year admission to the School. However, if you wish to see the school first and talk to the Head Teacher, please arrange an appointment either in person or by telephone. You will then be shown around the school and can ask any questions.

If a place is available, the applicant can be offered a place, to be taken up at the earliest point of mutual convenience. Note that the school will notify the Local Authority of any ‘in year’ applications because they have a duty to prevent duplicate offers, ensure that all children are offered places and to ensure parents are informed of their right of appeal. Parents wishing to appeal should contact the school.

Please note that Governors are responsible for the management of in-year applications and application forms should be sent to the school marked for the attention of the Chair of the Admissions Committee.

 

Definitions:

  1. Rule 1 - Children looked after and children who were previously looked after, including those who appear (to the Governors) to have been in state care outside of England, and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. Previously looked after children are those who were looked after but ceased to be because of being adopted or becoming subject to a child arrangements order¹ or a special guardianship order².

Places are allocated to children in public care according to Chapter 2, Section 7 of the School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012.

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.

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 3.

 

 

¹ Child arrangements order

Under the provisions 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

 

² 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 previously looked after abroad and subsequently adopted will be prioritised under Rule 1 if the child’s previously looked after status and adoption is confirmed by Hertfordshire’s “Virtual School”.

The child’s previously looked after status will be decided in accordance with the definition outlined in The Children & Social Work Act 2017: i. to have been in state care in a place outside England and Wales because he or she would not otherwise have been cared for adequately, and ii. to have ceased to be in that state care as a result of being adopted.

A child is in “state care” if he or she is in the care of, or accommodated by –

(a) a public authority,

(b) a religious organisation, or

(c) any other organisation the sole or main purpose of which is to benefit society.

 

  1. Rule 2: Sibling

‘A sibling is defined as: the sister, brother, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, child of the parent/carer or partner or a child looked after or previously looked after and in every case living permanently² in a placement within the home as part of the family household from Monday to Friday at the time of this application.

A sibling must be on the roll of the named school at the time the younger child starts or has been offered and accepted a place.

If a place is obtained for an older child using fraudulent information, there will be no sibling connection available to subsequent children from that family.

²A 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 a respite placement or very short term or bridging foster placement. If an applicant lives at more than one address, the sibling must also reside at the same address for the majority of the school week. The sibling’s address will be verified by the school.’

 

  1. Rule 3: Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school.

 

Rule 3 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 3 are agreed.

 

All applications are considered individually by the governing body but a successful application should include the following:

  1. a) Specific recent professional evidence that justifies why only one school can meet a child’s individual needs, and/or
  2. b) Professional evidence that outlines exceptional family circumstances making clear why only one school can meet he child’s needs.
  3. c) If the requested school is not the nearest school to the child’s home address clear reasons why the nearest school is not appropriate.
  4. d) 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.

 

A Rule 3 application will generally not be upheld in cases where more than one school could meet the child’s need. In exceptional cases relating to a disability, where more than one school in the county can meet the child’s specific needs, a clear and compelling case can be made for the “nearest” school with the relevant facilities, environment or location.

 

You must clearly explain why attendance at the “nearest” school with these facilities is essential.

Applications under Rule 3 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 who were not “looked after” immediately before being adopted or made the subject of a child arrangement order or special guardianship order may be made under this rule.

This admissions policy and the associated appendices have been revised by the Governors and are effective for children starting school from September 2025.

 

 

  1. Applications under criterion 4 require evidence that the child’s parent is a faithful and regular worshipper in a local Christian Church. Christian Church means an Anglican Church or any other church which is a member of Churches Together in England, Affinity or the Evangelical Alliance. Written evidence of the parent’s commitment to their place of worship should be in the form of a clergy letter verifying the level of attendance and confirming “active participation” in the Church. This means attendance at a service of public worship at least once a month over a period of 6 months immediately prior to the date of application. In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church or relevant place of worship has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, the requirements of these admissions arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church or alternative premises have been available for public worship. The parent whose attendance is being counted must live at the same home address as the child who is applying for a place at the school (where this child lives at more than one address, the parent must live at the child’s home address as defined below).

 

The Governors anticipate that involvement with the church would be ongoing for families offered a school place under these categories.

It is important for category 4 applications to submit a properly completed “Supplementary Information Form (SIF) Foundation Place” form to the school at the same time of making an admission application to the Local Authority.

 

A maximum of 15 places will be allocated under Category 4 after the allocation of Categories 1 to 3. (This will be fewer in the unlikely event that the total number of children admitted under Categories 1 to 3 is greater than 15 because the maximum class size is 30.) Should more children apply under Category 4 than there are spaces, then they will be prioritised according to distance from the home to school as described below. Applications then in excess of 15 will be considered equally with Any Other Children (Category 5).

The Governors reserve the right to seek further information if required. Note that if an application under categories 1 to 4 are incomplete or lack the necessary evidence it will be considered as an application under category 5.

 

 

 

Tie break

‘When there is a need for a tie break where two different addresses are 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. Every child entered onto the HCC admissions database has an individual random number assigned, between 1 and 1 million, against each preference school. When there is a need for a final tie break the random number is used to allocate the place, with the lowest number given priority.’

 

Countess Anne School

A Church of England Academy

School Lane

Hatfield, Herts. AL10 8AX, Telephone: 01707 262840

 

 

Supplementary Information Form (SIF)

Foundation place at Countess Anne School

Reception Class entry (Academic Year 2025/26)

Closing date for applications: 15 January 2025

 

THIS IS NOT AN APPLICATION FORM BUT PROVIDES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR THE SCHOOL. TO APPLY FOR A PLACE YOU MUST COMPLETE THE COUNTY COUNCIL APPLICATION FORM OR APPLY ON-LINE

 

Full name of child: ...................................................................... Date of birth ..................…………………..

Address.....................................................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................... Post code…….……………...……………..…

Telephone number(s) ...........................................................................................................………………..

Parent’s e-mail …………………………………….............................................………………………………………………….

We do not ask you to share with us your first, second and third preferences of school. It is a matter between you and the Local Authority so it is important to remember that, regardless of your preference for Countess Anne, it is a legal requirement that the Local Authority application form must be completed and submitted to them. The School cannot accept applications made only to the school.

 

Governing bodies are required to admit a child with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) that names their school. Thereafter the remaining available places will be allocated according to the following priorities.

 

  1. Children looked after and children who were previously looked after, including those 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.
  2. Children who will have a sibling in the school at the time of admission.
  3. Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school.
  4. Children whose home address is within the AL9 or AL10 postcode area and whose parent, living at that address, has an active participation in a Christian Church (see definition 4 on page 6).
  5. Any other children

 

 

Please circle relevant criteria

Applications under category 4 require evidence that the pupil’s families are faithful and regular worshippers in a local Christian Church. Written evidence of the applicants’ commitment to their place of worship should be in the form of a clergy letter verifying the level of attendance and confirming “active participation” in the Church. This is attendance of at least once a month over a period of 6 months prior to the date of application.

In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church [or, in relation to those of other faiths, relevant place of worship] has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, the requirements of these [admissions] arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church or alternative premises have been available for public worship”. The parent whose attendance is being counted must live at the same home address as the child who is applying for a place at the school (where this child lives at more than one address, the parent must live at the child’s home address as defined in the Admissions Policy). 

The Governors anticipate that involvement with the church would be ongoing for families offered a school place under these categories.

It is important for category 4 applications to submit a properly completed “Supplementary Information Form (SIF) Foundation Place” form to the school at the same time of making an admission application to the Local Authority.

A maximum of 15 places will be allocated under Category 4 after the allocation of Categories 1 to 3. (This will be fewer in the unlikely event that the total number of children admitted under Categories 1 to 3 is greater than 15 because the maximum class size is 30.) Should more children apply under Category 4 than there are spaces, then they will be prioritised according to distance from the home to school as described below. Applications then in excess of 15 will be considered equally with Any Other Children (Category 5).

The Governors reserve the right to seek further information if required. Note that if an application under categories 1 to 4 are incomplete or lack the necessary evidence it will be considered as an application under category 5.

 

 

 

Name and address of Church: ..............................................................................................................................................................

Name of Vicar/Minister: ......................................................................................................................

Telephone number(s)............................................................................................…….………………………

Please note, a clergy letter is required for Foundation Application - these details are for office use only.

Name of parent(s)/guardian (s):

.............................................................................................................................................................

Signature of parent/guardian .............................................................Date ....….................................

 

Please note that application does not guarantee a school place; places are allocated in accordance with the Admissions Policy on the basis of information given on this form. Your application will be stored in compliance with General Data Protection Regulations and will be considered at the appropriate time. Please let us know if you wish to cancel your application at any time e.g. because of a move away from the area.

Countess Anne School

A Church of England Academy

School Lane

Hatfield, Herts

AL10 8AX

Telephone: 01707 262840

 

 

 

Application for In-Year Admission at Countess Anne School 2025/26

The school will inform Hertfordshire County Council of the application because of their duties to prevent duplicate offers, ensure that all children are offered places and to ensure parents are informed of their right of appeal.

 

I wish to apply for a place for my child

 

(Full name) ……………………………………………………………………...... Date of birth……………………….................

to commence school……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Address .................................................................................................................................…………………

.................................................................................................. Post code...............................................

Telephone number(s) ..............................................................................................................................

Parent’s email...........................................................................................................................................

School currently attended: ........................................................

Current year group: ................

 

You are not obliged to do so, but you may wish to state the reason for requesting a transfer. (When you do not give a reason, it does not have a bearing on the application criteria below. However, this information may help the head teacher ensure that the child’s full needs can be supported.)

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..........................................................

..................................................................................................................................................................

Please note that you should inform your child’s current Head Teacher of your wish to transfer your child. Contact will be made with your child’s present school, especially with regard to transfer between local schools.

If there is a vacancy because the appropriate year group has not reached its maximum of thirty and there is no current Continuing Interest list at the time of receipt of a written application, the applicant can be offered a place, to be taken up at the earliest point of mutual convenience.

If there is no current vacancy and the parent wishes it, the child’s application will be held on the school’s Continuing Interest list. The parent also has a right to appeal for a place. However, when a vacancy occurs the application will be ranked with any others held for that year group, according to the criteria, and if ranked highest the offer of a place will be made.

Please, therefore, complete the section below:

Admission category within which the application falls (please circle relevant criteria)

 

  1. Children looked after and children who were previously looked after, including those 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.
  2. Children who will have a sibling in the school at the time of admission.
  3. Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school.
  4. Children whose home address is within the AL9 or AL10 postcode area and whose parent, living at that address, has an active participation in a Christian Church (see definition 4 on page 6).

 

  1. Any other children

 

Applications under category 4 require evidence that the pupil’s families are faithful and regular worshippers in a local Christian Church. Written evidence of the applicants’ commitment to their place of worship should be in the form of a clergy letter verifying the level of attendance and confirming “active participation” in the Church. This is attendance of at least once a month over a period of 6 months prior to the date of application.

In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church [or, in relation to those of other faiths, relevant place of worship] has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, the requirements of these [admissions] arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church or alternative premises have been available for public worship”. The parent whose attendance is being counted must live at the same home address as the child who is applying for a place at the school (where this child lives at more than one address, the parent must live at the child’s home address as defined below). 

The Governors anticipate that involvement with the church would be ongoing for families offered a school place under these categories.

It is important for category 4 applications to submit a properly completed “Supplementary Information Form (SIF) Foundation Place” form to the school at the same time of making an admission application to the Local Authority.

A maximum of 15 places will be allocated under Category 4 after the allocation of Categories 1 to 3. (This will be fewer in the unlikely event that the total number of children admitted under Categories 1 to 3 is greater than 15 because the maximum class size is 30.) Should more children apply under Category 4 than there are spaces, then they will be prioritised according to distance from the home to school as described below. Applications then in excess of 15 will be considered equally with Any Other Children (Category 5).

The Governors reserve the right to seek further information if required. Note that if an application under categories 1 to 4 are incomplete or lack the necessary evidence it will be considered as an application under category 5.

 

Name(s)                                                                                                                         Date(s) of Birth

 

Name and address of Church: ..............................................................................................................................................................

Name of Vicar/Minister: ......................................................................................................................

Telephone number(s)............................................................................................…….………………………

Please note, a clergy letter is required for a Category 4 Application - these details are for office use only.

Name of parent(s)/guardian (s):

.............................................................................................................................................................

Signature of parent/guardian .............................................................Date ....….................................

 

Please note that application does not guarantee a school place; places are allocated in accordance with the Admissions Policy on the basis of information given on this form. Your application will be stored in compliance with General Data Protection Regulations and will be considered at the appropriate time.

 

Countess Anne School

A Church of England Academy

School Lane

Hatfield

Herts

AL10 8AX

Telephone: 01707 262840

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