Admissions and Appeals
Admissions to Church Schools
Church of England schools welcome all pupils from their local neighbourhood, including those of other faiths and none. Many schools have a defined catchment area for this purpose. If a school has spare places these can be offered to any family who seeks them as the presumption embedded in admissions legislation is that parental wishes should be followed if at all possible.
If a school has more applicants than places, then places will be offered in accordance with the school’s admissions policy. The criteria for admissions are published for each school annually by the Local Authority. These criteria are broadly similar between schools but there may be local variations. If parents are not offered a place in the school of their first choice, they have the right to appeal to an independent panel who may uphold or deny the appeal (see below).
In a Voluntary Aided School, Foundation School or Academy, the Governors are the legal admissions authority even though the arrangements may be in part administered by the Local Authority. The Governors are responsible for the admissions policy which may differ from school to school.
The Local Authority is the legal admissions authority for the Voluntary Controlled Schools and so the LA determines the criteria and applies them.
Some Aided schools include church places in their criteria for admissions. Although these were originally for children of church-going Anglican families, most schools now apply the category more widely to include children from all Christian churches who apply for a church place. A Christian church is usually defined as a church which upholds the doctrine of the Trinity and is linked to its local ‘Churches Together’ network.
Hereford Diocese has a clear policy on the criteria for a church place based on three categories of applicant: those “at the heart of the church”, those “attached to the church” and those “known to the church”.
Please refer to the current Department for Education (DfE) documents below:
School Admissions Code - December 2014
School Admission Appeals Code - February 2012