Within the County Borough, each school has it’s own designated catchment area. Most parents/carers send their child(ren) to the ‘local’ school, but some parents/carers exercise their right to state a preference for a different school.
There is no automatic requirement for the Authority to meet the parent/carer’s preference . Whether there is an offer of a place at the preferred school will depend on the outcome of the application of the Authority’s admissions policy, which is contained within the ‘Guide to Policy and School Admission Arrangements’ booklet.
The aim of the Authority’s admission policy is to:-
- provide parents/carers with easy access to helpful and easily understood admission arrangements;
- ensure that parental preferences in relation to admissions are met to the maximum extent possible;
- ensure that the prescribed admissions criteria is clear, fair and equitable for all groups of children, including those classed as ‘vulnerable’ children.
Applying for a Place
Parents/carers of pupils who are due to change schools as part of the normal admissions round i.e. in September 2012 , or apply for a ‘mid term’ transfer of schools, will need to indicate, in writing, their preferred school. As part of the admissions process, every parent/carer will be required to complete a relevant application form at the point of contact.
Normal Admissions Round (September intake)
These application forms will include a closing date by which they must be completed and returned to the school that the parents/carers wish their child(ren) to attend. These forms will then be conveyed to the Authority for consideration as part of it’s admissions process.
The usual age for admission to schools in Merthyr Tydfil are:-
Age 3/4 in nursery, infant and primary schools;
Age 7/8 in junior schools and the junior section of primary schools;
Age 11/12 in secondary schools
Application for admission submitted to the Authority (Schools Department) – 27 February 2012
Parent/carers informed of decision on preferred place – 2 April 2012
Offer of appeal for any application that is rejected – 27 April 2012
Determination of appeal – 11 May 2012
Mid Term Admissions
There may be occasions when a parent/carer considers that a transfer to a different school, outside of the normal admissions round, to be appropriate. Such a decision should not be taken lightly and parents/carers should consider a number of important factors:-
- current school – have the problems that the child is facing in their current school been addressed with the Headteacher. In many cases, schools can put measures in place to deal with may of the underlying problems
- curriculum/examinations – although there is a national curriculum, schools may be teaching a different part of the curriculum at different times of the year. Children who change schools during these times may miss out on important work and examination results may suffer as a result. This is particularly relevant in Years 10 and 11. However, no school should reject an application on the grounds that a child has been following a different curriculum in their previous school
- transport – if a child moves to a school outside of their designated catchment area, the Authority will not be obliged to provide free transport to the new school
Upon receiving a request for a mid term admission, parents/carers will be provided with an application form at the first point of contact. Once the completed application is received, the request will be processed without delay and in accordance with the timescales outlined in the Welsh Assembly Government’s ‘Statutory Code on Admissions’.
Criteria for Pupil Entry to School (Oversubscription Criteria)
All parental preferences will be met except where there are more applicants than places. In such case, the Authority will admit children in the following order of priority:-
- ‘looked after children’ (children under Local Authority care)
- children resident in the designated catchment area of the school
- children recommended for placement for medical, psychological or special educational needs
- children with siblings living in the same household attending the school
Further information on the admissions process can be obtained from the Schools Department, Merthyr Tydfil, County Borough Council on the details below.