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Admissions Policies

Admissions Policy and Procedures for Admission in 2018 – 2019
St Philip Howard Catholic School was founded by the Catholic Church to provide education for children of Catholic families. The school is conducted by its governing body as part of the Catholic Church in accordance with the trust deed of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, its instrument of government, and seeks at all times to be a witness to Jesus Christ.

As a Catholic school, the governors aim to provide a Catholic education for all pupils. At a Catholic school, Catholic doctrine and practice permeate every aspect of the school´s activity. The governors ask all parents applying for a place to respect this ethos and its importance to the school community. Although Catholic children have priority of admission, this does not affect the right of an applicant who is not Catholic to apply for a place for their child at the school. The school welcomes applications from those of other denominations and faiths, or of none.

The school was set up primarily to serve the Catholic community in the Cathedral deanery. This includes the following parishes: Arundel, Bognor Regis with Slindon, Billingshurst with Pulborough, Chichester with the Witterings, Midhurst, Petworth Selsey, Storrington.

The deanery primary schools located in that community which are named feeder schools for St Philip Howard Catholic School are:
St Mary´s Catholic Primary School Bognor
St Philip´s Catholic Primary School Arundel
St Richard´s Catholic Primary School Chichester

The governing body is the admissions authority and has responsibility for admissions to this school, including setting the priority of admissions when the school is oversubscribed. The Local Authority undertakes the co-ordination of admission arrangements during the normal admission round. The governing body has set its admission number at 180 pupils to be admitted to Year 7 in the school year which begins in September 2018.

Visiting the School
Parents/carers are encouraged to visit our school in order to find out more about how we work and the education we offer. Parents/carers are welcome to arrange a visit by contacting the school admissions manager on 01243 552055. However, such visits do not form part of the process of deciding which children are to be offered a place at the school. An open evening is held in September when interested families may look round the school and meet the Headteacher and staff. The School Prospectus and Supplementary Information Form for admission are available at the Open Evening or at any time from the school website. A New Parents´ evening is held in July for all new students and their parents.

Pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan
The admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan is dealt with by a completely separate procedure. Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan that names the school must be admitted. Where this takes place before the allocation of places under these arrangements, this will reduce the number of places available to other children.

Oversubscription Criteria:
At any time where there are more applications for places than the number of places available, places will be offered according to the following order of priority:
1. Catholic looked after children or previously looked after children
2. Catholic children who are considered to have an exceptional or compelling need, supported by written evidence
3. Catholic children currently attending one of the named deanery feeder schools, who attend, or whose parent/carer attend, Sunday Mass frequently and regularly.The application must be supported with a certificate of Catholic baptism or reception into the Catholic Church, and their parish priest´s signature with the parish stamp or seal to confirm the child or parent/carer frequently and regularly attend Sunday Mass.
4. Catholic children who are not attending one of the named deanery feeder schools and who attend, or whose parent/carer attend, Sunday Mass frequently and regularly. The application must be supported with a certificate of Catholic baptism or reception into the Catholic Church, and their parish priest´s signature with the parish stamp or seal to confirm the child or parent/carer frequently and regularly attend Sunday Mass.
5. Other Catholic children.
6. Other looked after children or previously looked after children.
7. Catechumens, Candidates for Reception into the Church and children who are members of an Orthodox Church. If application is being made for a place at the school where the parent/carer is a Catechumen or Candidate for reception into the Church, evidence of their being a member of the Catechumenate of a Catholic Church or a Candidate for reception will be required. Proof of acceptance into the catechumenate, and evidence for a candidate, should be by letter from the appropriate priest. Applications for children from an Orthodox Church must be supported with a certificate of baptism and a letter confirming membership of the applicable Orthodox Church, signed by the appropriate priest.
8. Other children who are considered to have an exceptional or compelling need, supported by written evidence.
9. Other children currently attending one of the named deanery feeder schools.
10. Children of other Christian denominations whose membership is evidenced by a minister of religion. The application must be supported by a letter confirming membership of the Christian denomination, signed by the minister of religion.
11. Children of other faiths whose membership is evidenced by a religious leader. The application must be supported by a letter confirming membership of that faith, signed by the faith leader.
12. Any other children.

Within each of the categories listed above, the following provisions will be applied in the following order:
i. Children with a brother or sister at St Philip Howard Catholic School at the time of admission who are resident within the Cathedral deanery.
ii. Children with a brother or sister at St Philip Howard Catholic School at the time of admission who are not resident within the Cathedral deanery.
iii. Children without a brother or sister at St Philip Howard Catholic School at the time of admission who are resident within the Cathedral deanery.
iv. Children without a brother or sister at St Philip Howard Catholic School at the time of admission who are not resident within the Cathedral deanery.

Final Tiebreaker:
Priority will be given to children living closest to the school determined by the shortest distance.

Application Procedure
To apply for a place at this school in the normal admissions round, you should complete and return the following two forms:
1. The COMMON APPLICATION FORM (CAF)
All applications for places must be made on the Common Application Form which is available either from the Local Authority (where the parent lives) or through that Local Authority´s website. For a valid application, the completed CAF must be returned either online or in the paper form by 31 October 2017.
2. The school´s SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION FORM (SIF)
This is available from the school and the school website and allows the governors to put all applicants in order of priority for admission in line with the published admission policy. If you are expressing a preference for a place for your child at this school and wish to apply in connection with one of the faith criteria, you need to complete the SIF. If you do not complete the SIF and return it to the school with all supporting documents by the closing date, your child may not be placed in the appropriate faith criterion. This is likely to affect your child´s chance of being offered a place.

For a Year 7 admission in the normal admissions round for the year 2018–19, the completed SIF, together will all supporting documents, should be returned to the school by 31 October 2017.
Note: If the school receive an incomplete SIF, this might affect your child´s chance of being offered a place. You are advised to keep copies of the forms for your records (whether completed online/on paper).

Late Applications
All pieces of paperwork are required on or before the published closing dates referenced above. You are encouraged to ensure that your application is received on time. Failure to submit the Local Authority CAF by the closing date will result in the application being classed as ´late´. Such applications will be dealt with once the applicants who met the deadline have been offered places on 1 March 2018. After 1 March 2018 late applications will be placed in order in accordance with our Admissions Policy. Applications after 1 March 2018 will be dealt with immediately and, where places are not available, will be added to the waiting list in accordance with our waiting list policy. This does not prevent parents from exercising their right to appeal against the decision not to offer a place.

Admission of Children Outside their Normal Age Group
Please note that it is the view of the Government, the Diocese, the LA and the Governing Body of this school that a child is educated alongside his/her age equivalent peers, in almost all cases. Should a parent/carer request to have a decelerated entry to school, that is to start later than other children in their chronological age group, they should initially apply for a school place in accordance with the deadlines that apply for their child´s chronological age.

If the request is accepted, the application for the normal year group may be withdrawn before a place is offered. The parent/carer will be required to apply in the usual way the following year, along with the cohort of applicants for that year group. It should be noted that the application will not receive priority over or above any other applicant for this year group and the application will be considered alongside all other applicants to the school. If a parent/carer requests to have an accelerated entry to school ie to start earlier than other children in the chronological age group, they should initially apply for a school place at the same time that other families are applying for that cohort. If the governing body agrees for the child to have an accelerated entry, the application will be processed. If it is not agreed for the child to have an accelerated entry they will be invited to apply again in the following year for the correct cohort. In relation to the request, decisions are made on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child. The governing body will expect the parent/carer to supply them with appropriate information and evidence. What the governing body will take into account will include:
• Views of parent/carer
• Information relating to the child´s academic, social and emotional development, where relevant
• Medical history and the views of a medical professional
• Any previous history of being educated outside of their normal age group
• If the child may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely
• View of the headteacher of the school.

Please note that parents/carers do not have the right to insist that their child is admitted to a particular age group. It is the governing body who, having considered the circumstances of each individual case, will make a decision. The governing body will set out clearly for the parents/carers concerned the reasons for their decision in each case.

If the parent/carer is unhappy with a decision about which year group their child will be admitted to, the following applies. Parents/carers who are refused a place at a school for which they have applied have the right of appeal to an independent admission appeal panel. However, there is not a right of appeal if the child has been offered a place and it is not in the year group the parent/carer would like. In such cases, the parent/carer could make a complaint through the school´s complaint procedure.

Waiting Lists
In addition to their right of appeal, if a place is not offered to a Year 7 child, because of over–subscription, the child´s name will be placed on a waiting list. The list will be in the descending hierarchical order of the categories in the admissions criteria. The list will continue for the year group until the end of the academic year. If a place is offered and declined the child´s name will be removed from the waiting list.

The names of the children in the other year groups (8–11) who have not been offered a place due to oversubscription will be put on a waiting list. The list will be in the descending hierarchical order of the categories in the admissions criteria. The list will continue for the year group until the end of the academic year.

Parents/carers who wish their child´s name to remain on a waiting list beyond this time are requested to contact the school in writing by the end of July. If a place is offered and declined the child´s name will be removed from the waiting list.

It should be noted that no matter how long a child´s name has been on the waiting list, his or her position on the list may change if the school adds a child´s name to the list, which has a higher priority according to the oversubscription criteria. The school is also under a duty to admit children who are presented for admission under the Local Authority´s ´Fair Access Protocol´. These children must take precedence over any children already on the waiting list.

In Year Admissions
The oversubscription criteria in this admission policy will also apply to applications made outside the normal age of entry to secondary education (Year 7) i.e. in succeeding years or during the academic year.

Applications for places other than at the start of Year 7 should be made directly to the school and the Local Authority contacted. The school´s Supplementary Information Form should be completed and returned to the school. If there is a vacancy in the relevant year group and no other family has applied for it, the school will allocate a place as soon as possible. If there is no vacancy, or if the number of applications is greater than the number of vacancies, the governors will at once establish a waiting list for the relevant Year Group, or add the applicant’s name to an already established waiting list. Places will be offered to applicants whose names appear on the waiting list strictly on the basis of the oversubscription criteria.

Offer of a Place
The Local Authority will inform you of your allocated place on the national offer date of 1 March 2018.
Note: If this day falls on the weekend/bank holiday, it will be the first working day after.

Appeals
If your child is not offered a place at St Philip Howard, you have the right to appeal against that decision to an Independent Appeal Panel (set up in accordance with sections 88 and 94 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998). Appeals must be made in writing and must set out the reasons on which the appeal is made. Appeals should be made to the Admissions Appeal Clerk at the school address.

Appeals should be lodged no later than 20 school days after the National Offer Day for secondary schools (1 March 2018). Completed paperwork must be received by the school no later than [day month year], and will be heard within 40 school days. The appeals system is operated independently from the school. Parents/carers have the right to make oral representations to the Appeal Panel.

Late application appeals will be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged.

In–year applications will be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged.

Fair Access Protocol (FAP)
The school is committed to taking its fair share of children who are vulnerable and/or hard to place, as set out in locally agreed protocols. Accordingly, outside the normal admission round, the governing body is empowered to give absolute priority to a child where admission is requested under any locally agreed protocol. Alternatively, where a FAP headteacher panel is in place, the governing body may authorise the headteacher (or nominated representative) to partake in placement decisions under the LA agreed FAP. The governing body has this power even where admitting the child would mean exceeding the published admission number.

Giving the school false information
If a parent/carer is found to have supplied false or incorrect information to gain a place at this school, the governing body reserves the right to withdraw any offer of a place even if the child has already started school. An example of false or incorrect information would be the use of an address that is not the child’s normal residence.

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