Admissions advice and guidance

Applications - residency

All applications from families resident in the United Kingdom, and from UK and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens resident outside the United Kingdom will be accepted.  They will be processed and considered on an equal basis on their current address and in accordance with published arrangements.

Once a family living outside the UK relocates to within the UK, evidence of the new address will be required.

The only exception to this is for families of service personnel with a confirmed posting to their area, or crown servants returning from overseas to live in that area. This is in accordance with the School Admissions Code, paragraph 2.19.

More information on relocation and evidence requirements in relation to Crown Servants returning to the UK can be found in Department for Education guidance.

In most cases, children arriving from overseas have the right to attend state-funded schools in England. However, the following children are not entitled to a state education:

  • children from non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries who are here as short-term visitors - these are children who live abroad but have been admitted to the UK for a short visit (for example as tourists or to visit relatives), and not to study
  • children from non-EEA countries who have permission to study in the UK - these children are allowed to study in England on the basis that they attend an independent, fee-paying school

Applications will not be refused  simply because of doubts about a child’s immigration status. However, advice may be requested from the Home Office to check on a child’s entitlement to a state-funded education.

For more information, please refer to the guidance issued by the Department for Education.

For support with queries about  a child’s immigration status, please contact the Home Office school referrals team by email to: schoolreferrals@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk 

Your right as a 'parent' to apply for a school place 

In accordance with legal requirements, Cheshire East Council makes provision for ‘parents’ to apply for a place at a school of their choice. Section 576 of the Education Act 1996 defines a ‘parent’ as:-

  • all natural parents, whether they are married or not
  • any person who, although not a natural parent, has parental responsibility for a child or young person
  • any person who, although not a natural parent, has care of a child or young person (having care of a child or young person means that a person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child, is considered to be a parent in education law).

People other than a child’s natural parents can acquire parental responsibility through being:-

  • granted a residence order
  • being appointed a guardian
  • being named in an emergency protection order (although parental responsibility in such a case is limited to taking reasonable steps to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare)
  • adopting a child
  • (in the case of step-parents) in agreement with the child’s mother (and other parent if that person also has parental responsibility for the child) or as the result of a court order.

Where a child’s parents are not married to each other, the child’s father can gain parental responsibility by registering the child’s birth jointly with the mother; through a ‘parental responsibility agreement’ between him and the child’s mother; and as the result of a court order. In addition, a local authority can acquire parental responsibility if it is named in the care order for a child. 

Compulsory school age 

Starting school

Compulsory school age is set out in section 8 of the Education Act 1996 and The Education (Start of Compulsory School Age) Order 1998. A child reaches compulsory school age on the prescribed day following his fifth birthday (or on his fifth birthday if it falls on a prescribed day).

The prescribed days are 31 December, 31 March and 31 August. Children born from 1 April to 31 August (often termed ‘summer born’ children) are not required to start school until a full school year after the point at which they could first have been admitted. For more information about summer born children, please refer to the item on this page.  

Leaving school  

Pupils can leave school on the last Friday in June provided they will be 16 by the end of the summer holidays, however they then must remain in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. For more information please refer to the guidance published by the Department for Education. 

Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)

 

The Local Government Ombudsman investigates and deals with complaints in relation to education admissions appeal panels in a fair and independent way. Guidance issues by the LGO is set out below:

Infant class size appeals and permitted exceptions - admission authorities to note the LGO advice that states 'If a child could be admitted as an excepted pupil, a decision to refuse to admit cannot be based on infant class size. This is because excepted pupils can be admitted without the school having to take qualifying measures to comply with infant class size law. For more information please read the full advice on infant class size appeals and permitted exceptions. 

In summary, admitting authorities need to have a clear record of the reasons they did not admit a child as an excepted pupil and the decision letter to parents needs to state these reasons clearly. If a child meets the permitted exception criteria but a place is not offered, the appeal must presented as normal and not infant class size prejudice.

Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA)

The Office of the Schools Adjudicator helps to clarify the legal position on admissions policies in schools. It works with the Department for Education.

Sixth Form Admissions - The OSA reported in its annual report to the Department for Education 1) All schools that admit students new to the school into the sixth form need to ensure they comply with the general requirements of the Code, including those for consultation, determination, a published admission number for new students and publishing the arrangements; 2) Students seeking a place should not be hindered in their search by hard to find, incomplete or unclear admission arrangements. For more information please read the OSA annual report.

Department for Education (DfE)

The Department for Education provides advice to help professionals in schools and local authorities understand what complex legal requirements or policies mean in practice. They explain what needs to be done to comply with the law.

Academies

Information for schools and parents is published on GOV.UK website regarding admission arrangements, in year admissions, admission appeals, and complaints.