Children & Young People’s Services Directorate
Revised Admissions Policy
for Local Authority Nursery Schools
in North Somerset
for the determination of the allocation of places
for September 2012 and subsequent years
2) Allocation of Places
3) Appeals Procedures
4) Additional Services offered by schools 8
5) List of Schools with Nursery classes in North Somerset 9
The Vision of the Children & Young People’s Services Directorate is for:
North Somerset’s children and young people to be happy, healthy and safe and achieve their full potential. This is the keystone to their future personal success and the contribution they make to their communities.
We will deliver our vision by focussing on six priority outcomes areas. They are:
• Services organised to meet needs
• Being healthy
• Staying safe
• Enjoying and Achieving
• Making a Positive Contribution
• Achieving Economic Well-being
The early education provision for 3 – 4 years olds meets these principles by;
• Working together with children and families and the public, private, voluntary and independent sectors
• Offering quality and range to all children acknowledging that resources will need to be prioritised towards the most vulnerable children who may include children looked after, children with disabilities and special needs and children living in areas of disadvantage.
• Ensuring that all children are educated and cared for in a safe, healthy and stimulating environment free from discrimination, where they are recognised as people with their own views and interests.
• Ensuring children and young people’s voices are heard and acted upon.
• Creating an ethos in which parents are recognised and supported as their child’s first carer and continuing educator.
• Ensuring parents and carers are supported in their role and developing services, which provide early intervention as well as responding to higher levels of need.
• Promoting self-confidence, enthusiasm for learning and respect for others by providing children with access to early education and play. 3
• Ensuring all children receive an appropriate early education curriculum based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Guidance integral to the Primary Strategy.
The strategic objective that informs the planning of all Local Authority funded provision is:
• To develop high quality, flexible and diverse provision for early education, care and play that offers parental choice and meets the needs of local communities and children with special needs.
2. Allocation of Places
For community and voluntary controlled schools, the Local Authority determines the admission arrangements to Local Authority nursery schools. For voluntary aided schools, the governors are responsible for setting the Admission Arrangements. St George’s and Trinity are both voluntary aided schools. Please see their school websites for their admissions policies for nursery class places.
The Governors of schools with nursery places are responsible for their place allocations, which must be made in accordance with the agreed nursery schools policy.
Children are normally admitted to a nursery class in the academic year following their 3rd birthday. For entry in the 2012/2013 school year, children born between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009 will be eligible to apply for nursery places. Applications may be submitted to the Headteacher of the school following the child’s second birthday. The date an application is received is not a significant factor in the allocation of places.
Application forms can be collected from the schools listed on page 9 from the 1 September 2011. They must be returned to the school where a place is requested by 3.30 pm on Friday 20 January 2012.
Late applications for nursery places may be considered after the closing date and during the school year where there are still places available. The child should normally start at the nursery as soon as possible and at least by the beginning of the next term.
Where places are still available, after all applications from children aged 3 prior to 1 September 2012 have been considered, any remaining places will be allocated by applying the criteria listed below to children who will become 3 during the period 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013. Children who are aged 3 by 31 December can begin school from January (term 3) and children who are aged 3 by 31 March
can begin school from April (term 5). Full-time places may be offered to children looked after or children with additional needs and/or disability; or children in need and vulnerable groups of children if places remain after all applicants have been offered a part-time place.
If there are more applications for places than there are places available the School Admissions Panel, constituted by the school’s governing body, (usually comprising the headteacher, the nursery class teacher, a governor, an LA representative and a health visitor) will allocate places.
All schools will use the over-subscription criteria listed below:
2.1 Children Looked After
A ‘child looked after’ means a child who is looked after by a local authority in accordance with section 22 of the Children Act 1989(b) at the time an application for his admission to a nursery class is made, and who the local authority has confirmed will still be looked after at the time when he is admitted to the school.
Such children will be allocated places before any other criteria are applied. School Admissions Panels wanting to confirm the status of a child looked after should contact Jan Harper-Shea, Assistant Locality Leader – Learning Support (North), Children and Young People’s Services, North Somerset Council, Town Hall, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ. Tel: 01275 888 300.
The remaining places will be allocated, in the order of priority listed below, as follows:
2.2 Children with additional needs and/or disability
Places will be given to children who have identified learning difficulties, language needs or other special educational needs, which could be a barrier to future learning. Children with identified Special Education Needs (SEN) will either be at early years action or early years action plus as defined by the SEN Code of Practice. This category also includes those children identified as disabled as defined by the SEN and Disability Act 2001. School Admissions Panels wanting to confirm whether a child meets this criteria can contact the SEN Team, Children and Young People’s Services, Town Hall, North Somerset Council, Walliscote Grove Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1UJ. Tel: 01275 884 427. Where more applications from children in this category are received than there are places available, the places will be determined by drawing lots.
2.3 Children in need and vulnerable groups of children
(a) Places will be given to children who have been identified by a health or social care professional as having a health or social need, which could be a barrier to future learning. This category includes those children who are considered to be vulnerable for example children who are considered to be at risk of child abuse or who require help from outside agencies to ensure that their life chances are optimised and the risk of social exclusion is averted. Outside agencies include Children & Young People’s Services personnel and voluntary organisations such as Barnardo’s and NCPCC.
(b) This category will include children with emotional, behavioural and/or mental health problems that cause distress and have a considerable impact on the child’s day to day life; those whose parents/carers have significant health or psychological problems that affect their ability to care for the child; children who live in violent households or have experienced stress as a result of a violent relationship; or children whose parents/carers have limited parenting skills due their age, mental health or own childhood experiences.
(c) In addition this criterion includes children from families where none of the adult members of the household are in employment; where the adult members are in receipt of low pay or insecure pay; children of families who are poorly housed (i.e. live in accommodation that is overcrowded or lacks basic amenities) or homeless; children who are diabetic, epileptic or have cystic fibrosis; children in lone parent families who have no other local family support; children of refugees or asylum seeker families; and children from traveller families or children who use English as an additional language.
Where more applications from children in this category are received than there are places available, the places will be allocated first to those in criterion (a) then to those in (b) and finally to those in (c). Where there are more applications than there are places available within any of the categories, places will be determined by drawing lots.
2.4 Children admitted in the 2011/2012 academic year
Places will be given to children who were admitted in the 2011/2012 academic year with a birth date of 1 September 2007 to 31 March 2008.
Where more applications from children in this category are received than there are places available, the places will be determined by drawing lots.
2.5 Other Children
Any remaining places will be allocated by drawing lots.
Please Note: 6
• No child is guaranteed a place in one of the nursery classes funded by North Somerset Council.
• Where a place is offered it will be part time i.e. for 5 x 3 hour sessions, term time only for 38 weeks of the year. Schools may offer morning or afternoon sessions, Monday to Friday or 2 ½ full days instead of the 5 half days.
• All offers of nursery places will be sent to parents/carers by post by 25 April 2012. Nursery schools will liaise closely in their planning and allocation of nursery places. Where more than one application for a nursery place can be offered the parents will be asked to choose which application is to be progressed and which application is to be withdrawn.
• The offer of a place does not guarantee the child a place in the reception class at the same school. A fresh application will be required in accordance with the criteria for admission to reception classes.
• Induction and attendance arrangements for the nursery class are at the discretion of and decided by each school. Children have to attend school by the start of census headcount week.
• Places should not be reserved for children who may decide to attend the nursery later during the school year. If an application from children looked after, children with additional needs and/or disability; and children in need and vulnerable groups of children is received after all places have be allocated, the school may wish to consider whether an additional place can be offered within the existing staffing resources and space available. Vacancies arising during the school year should be filled as soon as possible.
• If a parent/carer chooses, due to the child’s age, to delay their child’s date of entry to a reception class until the child is of statutory school age, the nursery place for that child will not normally continue unless it is recognised that the child has exceptional circumstances and the Local Authority recommends that the delay is in the best interests of the child. If such a place was offered it would be for 15 hours per week.
• Regular attendance is required to maintain a place in a nursery class. Close liaison should take place with health visitors or social workers as appropriate if there are concerns regarding the child’s attendance.
• In all cases, those administering requests for nursery school places will be aware of similar applications and act fairly.
3. Appeals Procedures
There are no statutory appeal requirements for parents/carers refused a nursery place at a school with a nursery class. Parents should follow the following procedure if they have cause for complaint:
• The parents must put their concerns in writing to the school’s governing body who will consider the complaint in accordance with their complaints procedure.
• Where the parents/carers are not satisfied with the response from the school they should write to Children & Young People’s Services Directorate who will investigate the complaint. The Local Authority will respond in writing to the parents, and send a copy of the findings to the school. The school will act on the recommendations of the Local Authority (if appropriate).
• Where the parents/carers are not satisfied with the decision of the Local Authority, they should progress their complaint through the Courts or the review of the Local Government Ombudsman.
4. Additional Services offered by schools
Schools may offer additional places or provisions on a fee-paying basis. Such provision will be detailed separately from this policy by the school and made available to parents/carers in the school’s prospectus.
5. List of Schools with Nursery Classes in North Somerset
Nursery Education is not compulsory but North Somerset provides nursery classes at the following schools:
Schools with nursery classes in North Somerset
Place numbers 2012/13
Bournville Primary School 52
Crockerne C of E Primary 52
Herons’ Moor Primary 52
High Down Infant School 78
Oldmixon Primary 52
St Georges VA Church Primary* 52
Trinity Anglican Methodist Primary* 60
Windwhistle Primary 60
* These schools set their own admissions criteria. Please check on the school’s website for information on their admissions policy.
The information and particulars listed here were correct for 2012/13 at the time of printing. There may however be subsequent changes to legislation before the start of, or during the school year in question which may affect the nursery class admissions policy.