Admission Arrangements

Information for parents – Admission to primary school – Commencing September 2017

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Herefordshire Admissions Arrangements for 2016 2017 – (Please click on this link to see the full document as a PDF)


Children with a Statement of Special Education Needs or an Educational, Health & Care Plan which names a particular school will be allocated places, after which places are allocated according to an agreed set of criteria, in strict order of priority.


Priority 1- Looked After Children and Children who were looked after, but ceased to be because they were adopted from care; (see Footnote 1)


Priority 2 – Children living within the defined catchment area* of the school; (see Footnote 2)


Priority 3 – Sibling connection – Children who have an older sibling** at the preferred school not only at the time of application but also when the younger child is due to start; (see Footnote 3)


Priority 4 – Exceptional circumstances – Children with exceptional medical, social or compassionate grounds for admission and whose parents can show that entry to a particular school only is necessary for the wellbeing of their child. Parents are required to produce a medical certificate or other appropriate information preferably from an independent source. Applications on such grounds will not be considered by the Director of Children’s Wellbeing or her advisory panel unless this supporting information is attached to application forms received by 31st October 2015 (secondary schools) or 15th January 2016 (primary schools); (see Footnote 4)


Priority 5 – Distance*** – Children who live nearest to the school by the shortest available walking route. (See Footnote 5)

General Notes

No priority is given to pupils living outside but attending a primary school within the catchment area of the relevant high school, i.e. the determining factor is the child’s home address.

Footnote 1: This is the 1st priority because the council wishes to protect children who were or are in public care from further disadvantage that can arise from possible changes of school when the care placement changes.

Footnote 2: This is the 2nd priority because the council gives high importance to try to ensure that children are able to attend the school within their local community.

Footnote 3: This is the 3rd priority to recognise the importance to daily family life, including travel arrangements, of having brothers/sisters at the same school where possible. The rule is not intended to favour parents with a previous but no longer current family connection with the school.

Footnote 4: This is the 4th priority to be sensitive to exceptional needs that individual children and families may have.

Footnote 5: The 5th priority is a measurable, objective way of allocating the remaining places.


Where, at any school, applications exceed the number of places, the priorities will be applied in the sequence indicated above, i.e. after children who either currently are or were in the ‘looked after’ system it will be catchment area children second, brothers and sisters third, exceptional circumstances fourth, then according to distance, each assessed as indicated above.

If the admission of the top two categories can be satisfied, but there are insufficient places for all out of area brothers and sisters, priorities will be decided first by reference to exceptional circumstances, then according to distance.

Following the allocation of the top category there may be an occasion when it is not possible to offer places for all children living in the catchment area. In this situation the places will be allocated in the sequence of the criteria listed above, i.e. first to children with brothers and sisters who would still be at the school in September 2016, next to pupils with exceptional circumstances, and finally according to distance from the school.

In case where distance is not the final deciding factor i.e. two applications are at exactly the same distance then the final tie breaker will be a lottery undertaken by an individual independent of the Children’s Wellbeing directorate.

*Living within the defined catchment area is defined as “a child residing with his/her parent(s)/or carer(s) at his/her normal and genuine place of residence for the majority of the time”.

** A sibling connection refers to a brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or a child of the parents/carer’s partner, and in every case the child should be living in the same family unit at the same address.

*** Distance will be measured by the shortest available walking route using a road and/or made up public footpath from the front door of the child’s address (including flats) to the main entrance of the school, using the Local authority’s computerised digital map measuring system, with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority.

Transferring Schools 

Parents should give thorough consideration to any application to transfer schools. It is important to research a transfer properly before applying because it is recognised by education professionals that a school transfer is a significant challenge for your child.

It is important for parents to visit the school or schools you have an interest in beforehand.  This visit may influence your decision about which school(s) to apply for. Please note however that although formal interviews are not part of the admissions process it is important for you to discuss with school staff any issues that you feel are significant, or that the school will need to address in the event that a place is offered following an application. Information about local schools including contact details is available on the internet via  Alternatively contact the School Admissions Office on 01432 383168, or

The availability of vacancies in the relevant Year Group at a school will have a significant bearing on the outcome of any application. Limited vacancy information is available from the School Admissions Office, up to date information can be provided by the school itself.

The outcome of your application will be communicated to you by the Admissions Authority for the school following receipt of a completed application. Where vacancies are limited and more applications are received than places available, the places will be allocated by means of the over-subscription criteria for the school published in the Information for Parents Booklet available on the Herefordshire Council Website.

In year transfer application form – Herefordshire County Council

Please click on the link above if you require an ‘In Year transfer’ application form.