ADMISSIONS

ADMISSIONS FOR YEARS 7-11

Our School

Woodchurch High School is an 11-16 mixed comprehensive, serving the communities of Woodchurch, Birkenhead, Prenton, Oxton, Greasby, Beechwood, Moreton and surrounding areas.

Woodchurch High School is a Church of England Academy, therefore parents/carers should be aware before applying to the school that Religious Studies, Collective Worship and our whole ethos are based upon the teachings of the Church of England.

In working alongside such a local, highly-respected partner we are seeking to share best practice, broaden opportunity for both our pupils and the staff we employ and provide a high quality education for all. Being an Academy also fosters a great sense of ownership amongst our school community.

In addition, Woodchurch High School has received national recognition for the work carried out in many areas of school life and practice.

Although we are a Church of England Academy, we remain part of Wirral’s family of schools and are funded and inspected in the same way as every other secondary school.  We are also part of the wider ‘church family’ of schools, consisting of over 4,000 primary schools, 200 secondary schools and 13 universities.

The Admissions Number as detailed below is agreed amongst the Academy Trust (Board of Directors), the Chester Diocesan Board of Education and the Local Authority Admissions Officer in line with the School Admissions Code, School Admission Appeal Code and other laws relating to admissions, and relevant human rights and equalities legislation.

Admission Numbers (from 2015)

Woodchurch High School, a Church of England Academy, has a published admissions number. The school planned admissions number is 281. Places will be allocated up to, but not beyond that number.

For reference only, the Planned Admissions Number was increased for the 2013 entrants from 279 to 281.

Admission Criteria for Year 7

The arrangements for admissions to Woodchurch High School Church of England Academy have remained unchanged for a number of years. However, the Academy did complete a thorough consultation for an eight week period during the Autumn Term of 2015, in line with paragraphs 1.42, 1.43 and 1.44 of the Schools Admission Code.

As an Academy the Academy Trust (Board of Directors) is the Admissions Authority for the school and is ultimately responsible for the decisions on all admissions. Nevertheless our admissions procedure is co-ordinated by the Local Authority (Wirral Council) in accordance with the Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme. This scheme fulfils the requirements for a scheme co-ordinating admissions arrangements under the Schools Admission (Co-ordination of Admissions Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2008, made under the Schools Standards & Framework Act 1998.  All deadlines within the scheme should be adhered to by applicants. We do not have any requirements for an aptitude test by prospective pupils, nor do we operate a ‘faith-based’ criteria, thus there is no requirement to complete a ‘supplementary form’. Neither is admission to school based on a ‘voluntary’ contribution.

Thus, the admission arrangements for Woodchurch High School Church of England Academy are both clear and objective.

Prospective parents/carers are strongly advised to read the following Local Authority publications that detail the timetable for admissions to secondary schools for each subsequent September, as well as set out additional information pertaining to admissions:

  • Secondary Education in Wirral
  • Admissions Policies for all Secondary Schools

These publications are also available online on the Local Authority’s website.

Applications for admission to the school should be made on the common application form available from Wirral Local Authority.  Applications may also be made electronically.  It is not normally possible to change the order of preferences for schools after the closing date.

The Local Authority will provide the school with details of applicants who request a school place, but will not share the order of preference expressed by parents/carers.

Although it is legally the school’s responsibility, the Local Authority, on behalf of the Academy Trust (Board of Directors), will then rank each applicant, using the criteria below. This is always completed by the Local Authority Mainstream Admissions Team, who rank applicants by the prescribed date.

Where a pupil is eligible to receive an offer of two or more school places, then the Local Authority will allocate the highest priority preference.

The Mainstream Admissions Team will notify the Governing Body of pupils allocated to the school by the 1st February.  Parents of children not admitted will be informed of the reason and offered an alternative place by the Local Authority. 

Applications will be dealt with in order according to the following criteria:

a)  Looked after children and previously looked after children. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order 18 or special guardianship order.

b) Children who have an exceptional and valid medical reason for a specific placement. You must give details on the preference form and this may be checked by a medical officer of the health authority. A letter in support from a senior health care professional will be required as evidence when you submit your preference form. This letter is usually written following a professional medical examination of the child concerned by a health care professional, and not based simply upon an interview with parents/carers. You need to make it clear why only this school is appropriate for your child’s medical needs.

c) Children of UK Service Personnel. Places for these children will be allocated in advance if accompanied by an official letter with a relocation date and Unit postal address or quartering postal address as per Section 2.18 of the School Admissions Code of Practice, published in February 2012.

d) Pupils who have a brother or sister (including half-brothers and sisters or step brothers and step sisters living in the same household. Sibling also includes adoptive siblings and children under the same guardianship of the same parents, living at the same address) on roll at the school and of statutory school age when the child joins the school in the subsequent September.  If there are more children with older brothers or sisters at the school than there are places available, we will give priority to children as the distance criteria, as set out below. NB, the school has never been in a position where the entry of siblings has also been dependent upon distance from school.

e) We will then take account of where your child lives.  We will give priority to those children who live nearest to the school.  The Local Authority use a mapping system, based on Ordnance Survey maps, to measure the distance from your home to the school gate nearest to your child’s home using the shortest road route, unless it is possible to use a footpath which they consider a safe walking route. This distance is calculated using the Authority’s electronic Ordnance Survey address point based routing system.

NB, In the case of twins, triplets etc; all the multiples will be admitted to the school, even if this means that the Published Admissions number is exceeded.

Where parents are separated, only one application per child should be submitted. It is essential that agreement is reached by the parents of a child as to the preferences for school places. If agreement cannot be reached, or if either parent has been granted a Specific Issues Order in this respect, then we will accept the application from the parent with whom the child is ‘ordinarily resident’, by this, we mean to address to where the ‘Child Benefit’ payment is registered.

Parents/carers must inform the Local Authority immediately of a change of address, even if the details of a future address were included on the application form. The Local Authority will require evidence to show that the place of residency has changed.

Applicants from Non-Wirral Residents

Applications for Woodchurch High School by parents/carers residing in a different Local Authority (e.g. Cheshire West and Chester) should be made on the preference form issued by their Local Authority. Parents/carers will be informed by the Local Authority where they reside of the outcome of their application and not by Wirral Local Authority. Details of any ‘Out of Borough’ applications will be received by the school on the same date as those advised by Wirral Local Authority.

Overseas Applications

Parents who have already moved to the UK from overseas who are British or European Economic Area nationals (EU and EFTA nationals, excluding Switzerland), or who have an endorsed passport showing the right of abode, can apply for places for their child at any school in line with the procedures outlined above. The Local Authority may require to see passports for verification.

Parents and children who do not yet live in the UK can apply before the date they move to the UK. However, the address to be used in the allocation of a place will be the address that the child is living at on the closing date, unless a subsequent house move has been accepted up to the last date for changes in the co-ordinated scheme. A UK address will only be used once the child is residing at that address, and evidence will be required of this address.

Withdrawal of Offers

Any offer of a place may be withdrawn if it is discovered that misleading information has been provided in order to secure an offer, for example a false claim to residence, and the award of the place denies a place to a child with a stronger claim.

Late Applications

If places remain at the school after all ‘on time’ applicants have been allocated, places will be allocated using the above criteria, in date order of receipt, up to the school admission number. Where the Local Authority accepts that there are extenuating circumstances for an application being received after the last date for applications, and it is before the list of pupils to be admitted has been devised, the late application will be considered alongside all others.  Otherwise, applications which are received after the last date will be considered after all the others. However, the School Admissions Code states school must not refuse to admit a child solely because they have applied later than other applicants. School can however refuse to admit children if the published admission number has been reached as to do so would prejudice the provision of efficient education and/or the effective use of resources.

The Fair Access Protocol

In view of the ‘Guidance on Hard to Place Children’ (2004 and the subsequent ‘Guidance on Fair Access Protocols 2007), there are a small number of pupils for whom the normal arrangements will be varied. School will be expected to admit the following categories of pupils above the admissions number:

  • Children in care will be placed in the school of their carers preference
  • Children who have recently experienced a traumatic family or domestic event, for whom there are clear medical grounds to support placement in the school
  • Children of refugees or asylum seekers, homeless children, children with unsupportive family backgrounds, where a place has not been sought
  • Children without a school place who have a history of attendance problems
  • Traveller children
  • Children who are carers
  • Children who have been out of education for more than two months
  • Children from the criminal justice system or pupil referral units who are being reintegrated into mainstream education

NB. Such cases will be discussed with the Headteacher and considered by the Academy Trust (Board of Directors) and consequently, although these places do merit special consideration, evidence will need to be provided to show children meet one or more of the above criteria.

Admissions during the Academic Year

In year requests for admission into Year 7 will be considered by the Academy Trust (Board of Directors) but will initially be co-ordinated by the Local Authority. Applications should be made using the “Common Secondary Transfer Form” available from the Local Authority.  Any decisions with respect to admissions are made with reference to the same criteria as above.

Appeals

If an application for admission to the school has been turned down, parents can appeal to an Independent Appeals Panel set up by the Local Authority on behalf of the Academy Trust (Board of Directors). An appeal must be sent in writing to the Clerk to the Governors within twenty-one days of the refusal. Parents must give their reason for appealing in writing and the decision of the Panel is binding on the Governors. Appeals that are received within the twenty-one days after refusal has been notified (i.e., those relating to decisions sent on the national offer date) are heard by the 6th July or the next working day, if 6th July falls on a weekend.

Appeals for late applications are heard within thirty school days (not including Staff Development Days, Bank Holidays etc) of the appeal being lodged.

Please note that the right of appeal does not prevent parents from making an appeal in respect of any other school.

Waiting List / Over-subscription Criteria

A waiting list for children who have not been offered a place will be kept and will be ranked according to the Admission Criteria upon receipt, and not in the order of receiving requests to be placed upon the waiting list. Thus it is possible that a child who moves into the area later than a higher priority pupil may be placed ahead of that pupil, despite them being on the waiting list first.  Parents/carers wishing their child to be placed upon the waiting list must notify the school of their intention to do so.  Parents will be informed on request of their child’s position on the waiting list which will not operate beyond the 31st December of each school year of admission.

Admission Criteria for other Year Groups

Other in year requests will be considered by the Academy Trust (Board of Directors), but will initially be co-ordinated by the Local Authority. All applications must be made by using the common ‘Secondary School Transfer Form’. Any decisions with respect to admissions are made with reference to the same criteria as for the Year 7 placements. The Appeals process is the same as outlined above.

This document and other information pertaining to admissions is also available on this website.

NB: Information pertaining to admissions under the “Managed Move” and/or “Negotiated Transfer” system is dealt with in separate documentation.

Information relating to the Admissions Criteria is subject to change and review.  It is advisable for parents/carers to ensure they have the most up to date documentation available from school. 

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