We admit 90 pupils into our three Reception classes each September. For 2016-17 the admission number is 90 pupils in three Reception classes. The criteria for determining the composition of the classes is the age and gender of the pupils so we can create classes that are balanced in terms of age and boys and girls. The Academy exercises sensitivity where there are special family circumstances that we believe need to be taken into consideration when allocating pupils to classes. Our current Admission policy is as follows:-
1. The Admissions Authority for Balgowan Primary School is Balgowan Academy Trust. As an Academy the school follows all procedures in accordance with the Coordinated Admissions Scheme. All applications for Reception places shall be received and offers made individually by the LA in common with other Bromley Primary Schools in accordance with the Coordinated Admissions Scheme.
2. The Standard Number for admissions to Balgowan Primary School is 90 in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and 96 in Years 3 to 6. The published admission number is inclusive of pupils with a statement of special educational needs in accordance with the relevant statutory requirements.
3. In line with legislation, all children will be permitted to start in Reception in the September following their fourth birthday. Parents can request that the date their child is admitted to the school is deferred until later in the school year or until the child reaches compulsory school age in that school year. Where entry is deferred, the school will hold the place for that child and not offer it to another child. The parent would not however be able to defer entry beyond the beginning of the term after the child’s fifth birthday, nor beyond the academic year for which the original application was accepted. Children born after 1 April will be expected to join the school by the start of the Summer term.
4. All applications shall be made using the LA standard application form that can be collected from the school/local libraries and the Civic Centre.
5. In the event of over-subscription, the following common criteria shall apply in priority order:
i. Looked After Children – pupils who are in the public care of a Local Authority.
The ‘looked after child’ definition is :
- a) A looked after child is a child who is (a) in the care of a local authority, or being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions. These children must still be “looked after” when the child starts school unless (b) applies.
- b) or a child who was previously looked after and immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence, or special guardianship order.
ii. In exceptional circumstances there is discretion to admit children on the grounds of their or their family’s acute medical or social need forBalgowanPrimary School and who would not otherwise qualify for admission. The application must be supported by a letter from a hospital consultant, the special support service, social worker or similar professional, setting out the reasons why the school is the only one to meet the child’s needs, before an admission decision is made. The admission decision will be considered in consultation with sub groups of the Admissions Forum which includes teaching and medical professionals. Medical professionals provide advice on applications made under medical conditions and teaching professionals advise on applications made for social or special reasons. Supporting evidence must be provided before the closing date for applications.
iii. Siblings – pupils who have an elder brother or sister in attendance at the school at the beginning of their first term.
iv. Proximity – Pupils who live nearest to the school when measured in a straight line from the applicant’s home to the school’s main entrance, using the Local Authority’s computerised measuring system, with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority.
Note: “Home” being where the child normally resides as their only or principal residence. Addresses involved in child minding (professional or relatives) are excluded. Parents will be asked to provide documentary evidence to confirm an address and parental responsibility. It is expected that the applicant and pupil will still be resident at the same address when the child starts school unless exceptional circumstances apply.
6. Offers of places will be made by the LA in April for the whole of the academic year. Children who are not offered a place immediately will have the option of remaining on a waiting list. Children on the waiting list will be offered places in order according to the criteria in (e) above. Children will be removed from the waiting list once the normal admission point for their birth date has passed, unless the parent requests in writing that they should continue to remain on it.
All applicants have a statutory right of appeal in the event that their preferred school is unable to offer them a place. Appeals for reception places will be considered in light of the class size regulations that require infant class sizes to not exceed 30. The legislation will only permit class sizes above 30 in limited, specified, circumstances.
Parents who want to appeal against the Governors’ decision not to offer their child a place at the school must appeal directly to the school. Appeals should be addressed to the Clerk of Governors at the school within 14 days of receiving the decision letter from the Local Authority. The appeal will be heard by an independent appeals panel. Parents will receive notification of the date and time of their appeal hearing, to which they can go and make their case. If they wish, parents may be accompanied by an advisor or friend. Following the appeal, the Clerk to the appeals panel will write to parents with the decision.
8. Waiting Lists (for all year groups)
Waiting lists are maintained by the Local Authority and kept in the order of the published admissions criteria.
9. In Year applications
Applications that are made for admission to all year groups in Balgowan are made to the Local Authority in line with their published “In year” scheme. Parents should contact the borough directly. Appeals for all other places are dealt with as explained in section 7.
10. Children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs
Children with a full statement of Special Educational Needs are dealt with under a separate process by the Special Educational Needs team. The published admission number of all Bromley schools is inclusive of students with a statement of special educational needs that are admitted to the school pursuant to the school being named in part 4 of their statement. Appeals for Children with a Statement of special educational needs are dealt with by a SEN Tribunal.
11. Fair Access Protocol
Balgowan, like all schools in Bromley, will admit pupils referred under the Fair Access Protocol. A ‘Hard to Place’ pupil will be given priority for admission over any others who are seeking or applying for a school place and the school can admit over their published admission number.
We are able to admit up to 30 pupils in our Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 classes and 32 in our Key Stage 2 classes (Years 3, 4 5 and 6). The school will ensure that in terms of its organisation of classes, the needs of the children are the most important priority and we aim to achieve a constructive dialogue with parents prior to the child’s start so that all factors can be considered enabling best placement to be secured.
There is no guarantee that the composition of all three classes in each Year Group will be retained right throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. It is healthy to mix up children at least once in their Primary school career as re-balancing classes can enhance learning and social interactions.
For all the children admitted at any point during an academic year their allocated classteacher will be responsible for teaching them all elements of the National Curriculum and Religious Education.
Pupils arriving from other schools
For pupils who transfer to Balgowan from other schools, information relating to their previous experience, including Annual Reports etc. is sought by our staff at the earliest opportunity to ensure the best possible transition and to support the pupil’s continuity of education. If a pupil has Special Educational Needs it is especially important that all the necessary information is made available quickly so that we can make appropriate arrangements to safeguard the pupil’s needs. Prior to the date of transfer, but usually soon after a place has been secured for a pupil, we aim to talk with the Parent/Carer about the child’s needs, his/her academic strengths and points for development as well as their interests, likes and dislikes and social skills. In advance of receiving any formal records, this exchange of information is deemed to be extremely valuable and very supportive.
Visiting the school and open days
We encourage prospective parents to visit the school. Formal open mornings take place in the Autumn term where prospective parents tour the school. We are happy to arrange for prospective parents to look round the school at other times which can be arranged with the school office staff.