Countess Anne School - a Church of England Academy

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Admissions Policy 2019

available as pdf

Countess Anne School

A Church of England Academy

School Lane, Hatfield, AL10 8AX

Admissions Policy for Academic Year 2019/2020

  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 school is also able to accommodate thirty children per year group throughout the rest of the school i.e. 8 to 11 year olds.

How to apply for a place in Reception

First contact the school and ask for an application pack, 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 you then decide to apply for a place for your child, you will need to return the completed application form to the Local Authority where you live (known as the home LA). If you live in Hertfordshire then home LA is Hertfordshire County Council. Hertfordshire County Council operates an agreed co-ordinated admissions scheme in line with government legislation. It co-ordinates the process on behalf of the school according to the scheme published each year. The governing body,

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as the admission authority, will allocate the available places in line with this policy. However offers of a place will be made by the home LA.

The closing date for admission application forms to be received by the home Local Authority is

15 January 2019. If you live outside Hertfordshire your application should be made through your home local authority (LA) by the same date. 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 .

All applications must be made on the home LA common application form. Parents/carers are requested 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 form only, which may result in your application being given a lower priority.

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

a. Parents offered a place may defer the date of their child’s admission until later in the year, or until the child reaches compulsory school age.

b. Parents may request part time attendance until the child reaches compulsory school age.

c. Where a parent of a ‘summer-born’ child (15 April – 31 August) wishes their child to start school in the autumn term following their fifth birthday, the Governors will consider the request. If parents do not take up the offered place before the end of the academic year of entry, then they would have to re-apply for a place in the following year’s Reception. Parents should discuss this with the school as soon as possible.

d. If parents wish such a child to be educated "out-of year group" i.e. in the Reception Year rather than Y1 they may request this and should discuss it with the school as soon as possible. An application would need to be made in the normal admissions round for Reception in the year they wish their child to join where this application will be considered alongside all other applications. Parents do not have the right of appeal against a decision not to accept this request.

Please note that the information in this policy is correct for the year shown.

How Places are offered

Overarching Priorities

Governing bodies are required to admit a child with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) that names their school. In addition Countess Anne will award places to children currently in the care of the local authority ("looked after" children) as a first priority. This includes all "looked after" children or children who were previously "looked after" but immediately after being "looked after" became subject to an adoption, child arrangement or special guardianship order. See note in Definitions.

Thereafter the remaining available places will be allocated according to the following priorities.

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Children who will have a sibling in the school at the time of admission.


Children with known special medical or social needs.


Children, one of whose parents lives in, and has an active participation in an Anglican Church or a church which is a member of Churches Together in England, Affinity or the Evangelical Alliance, in the Hatfield Area^.


Any other children

^ Hatfield Area is defined as within the AL9 and AL10 postcode areas.

Applications under category 3 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 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. 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 3 applications to submit a properly completed "Application for a 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 3 after the allocation of Categories 1 and 2. (This will be fewer in the unlikely event that the total number of children admitted under Categories 1 and 2 is greater than 15 because the maximum class size is 30.) Should more children apply under Category 3 that there are spaces, then they will be prioritised accordingly 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 4).

An application for medical or social reasons under category 2 should only be made for exceptional medical reasons that make it essential that a child should attend this particular school and where this 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 school’s application form setting out valid reasons why it is essential for the child be admitted to this school and the difficulties that would be caused if the child had to attend another school. The Governors reserve the right to seek further information if required.

Note that if an application under categories 2 or 3 are incomplete or lack the necessary evidence it will be considered as an application under category 4.

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 as a result of living in flats, priority will be given to the lowest house number.

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 Children who might be admitted under the Fair Access Protocol will be prioritised above those on the Continuing Interest List.


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


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 LA. If they wish to appeal parents should contact the Hertfordshire Customer Services (Appeals) team.

Parents wishing to appeal who applied on line should log into their online application and click on the link 'register an appeal '. For those who did not apply on line, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 to request an appeal pack. For in-year applications parents wishing to appeal should contact the school directly in the first instance.

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. 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’ (Casual) applications

Contact the school and ask for an Application form for Casual 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 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. 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 and addressed to the Headteacher but marked for the attention of the Chair of the Admissions Committee.


1. The Children’s Act 1989 defines a child who is ‘looked after’ as a child or young person who 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).

An ‘adoption order’ is an order under section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. A ‘child arrangement order’ is an order setting out the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under section 14 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Section 15A of the Children Act 1989 defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).

2. The governors use the same definition of ‘sibling’ as the LA. It is given in the HCC’s admissions booklet, Moving On/Under 11’s, also available on line. 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, foster children and, in every case, the child should be living at the same address. The sibling must be on the roll of the school at the time of application, unless the sibling is in the last year of the normal age-range at the school.

3. Where there is a need for a tie-breaker because two different addresses measure the same distance from the school, then the Governors shall use the guidance published by the Local authority in its Moving On/Under 11’s booklet.

This admissions policy and the associated appendices have been revised by the Governors and are effective for children starting school from September 2019.

Countess Anne School

A Church of England Academy

School Lane

Hatfield, Herts. AL10 8AX

Telephone: 01707 262840