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School admissions information

School Admissions Information

The entry of children into schools is controlled and administered by ‘An Admissions Authority’. In the case of community schools, the ‘Admissions Authority is Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. In the case of Church Voluntary aided schools, the Admissions Authority is the governing body of the individual school.

Within Merthyr Tydfil each school has an area that it traditionally serves. Most parents/carers send their child to the ‘local’ school, but some parents exercise their right to state a preference for a different school.

Every school in Merthyr Tydfil has an admission number which is set by reference to the school’s capacity to accommodate pupils. The following information relates to admission arrangements for community schools, admission arrangements for voluntary aided church schools can be found in the schools admission booklet or directly from the schools themselves.

There are two main categories of school admissions, the annual admission round and mid-term (In Year) admissions.

Annual Admission Round

The annual admission round covers all pupils who are due to change schools in September of each year. This includes:              

  • Admission to the reception class of a school            
  • Transfer from primary school to secondary school

In all cases parents/carers of pupils who are due to change schools during the annual admission round will need to indicate their preferred school. Pupils who live in the catchment area of a school no longer have an automatic right to attend that school unless an application is made.

Parents/carers may further express their right of preference for a Welsh medium school or a church voluntary aided school.  For Faith schools the admission authority is the governing body of the school.  Where the appropriate admissions authority is the governing body of the school, parents are advised to contact the school directly for details.  In Merthyr Tydfil, these schools are:

A child will normally be offered an admission to a community school of the parent/carer’s preference unless the admission number has been reached. Where applications exceed places, the local authority will admit children in the following order of priority:

The highest priority will be given by the local authority to children looked after who are at the time of the child’s admission to the school.

In line with recent changes in legislation, the authority will give children looked after priority when schools are oversubscribed, subject to the following exceptions:

  • Schools designated as having a religious character must give higher priority to children looked after of the faith of the school over children of that faith. They should also give higher priority to relevant Children looked after not of that faith than to other children not of the faith.
  • Schools which have provision for selection by ability must give higher priority to children looked after who have been selected by ability over other children who have been selected by ability. Children looked after who have not been allocated a place on the basis of ability must be given priority over other children who have not been allocated a place on that basis.
  • schools which make provision for selection by banding must give priority to relevant children looked after within each band over another child who is eligible for a school within that band.
  • Children resident in the designated catchment area of the school
  • Children recommended for placement for medical psychological reasons (these must be confirmed by the Local Authorities professional advisers)
  • Children with siblings (brothers and sisters) living in the same household attending the school in September 2024. If when applying the over subscription criteria, the last child to be admitted is one of a multiple birth e.g., twin or triplet then the authority will also consider admitting the other sibling (s),but will have due regard to class size legislation.
  • Where places remain after all children in the above categories have been allocated a place, or where there is a need to differentiate between children in these categories, places will be allocated on the basis of distance between home and school (as identified by the authority’s ‘mapping schools’ electronic system in relation to the shortest available walking route between the school gate and the child’s front door) children living closest being given the highest priority.

Mid Term / In Year Admissions

This applies to any requests made by parents to transfer their child from one school to another outside the annual admission round. If you would like to transfer school, please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 01685 725000.

In year school admissions relate to a child changing school outside of the usual transfer cycle. This section applies to admissions for mainstream schools and academies only. Applications for Greenfield Special School need to be made through the Additional Learning Needs department for further advice please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 01685 725000.

Most commonly, this will happen where the family moves home and it is no longer practical for the child or children to travel to their current school daily. The house move may be in-county (moving from one Merthyr Tydfil address to another, and one Merthyr Tydfil school to another) or the family might be moving from elsewhere into Merthyr Tydfil.

When can you apply?

This section tells you how to apply for a school place if you need to move your child to a mainstream school in Merthyr Tydfil.

It is important to consider the following points carefully before making the decision to change your child's school.

  • If your child is experiencing difficulties at their current school and you are considering moving them, it is important you contact your child's Headteacher for a meeting to try to resolve these issues before moving your child which should always be a last resort.
  • The attainment of pupils who make in-year moves is markedly lower than their peers, and lower still among pupils who make multiple in-year moves.
  • If your child is at a critical stage of their education (in year 10 or 11) it is likely that the school, you wish to transfer your child to will not have the same choice of subjects as your child's current school and could be at different stages of teaching the curriculum. If this is the case, any work your child has already done towards their GCSEs may not be able to be used. This could have a seriously damaging effect on your child's exam results. If your child needs to move to another school within the same year, you must apply for an ‘in-year admission’. You can do so at any time during the academic year.

Places cannot be reserved in advance. If you are moving house, you can apply in advance of your move but your child must be able to take up the place within 10 days of the offer.

Before applying, view the school catchment areas.  

There is no guarantee that a place will be available at your preferred school.

All areas of the application form MUST be completed before the School Admissions Team can start to process it. If the application is incomplete this will delay the admission process.  The school has 15 school days to make a decision.

Please note that you will be responsible for transporting your child to any school you name as a preference.

If it is the school holidays and you are waiting for the result of an in year application you will need to wait until there is somebody available within the School Admissions Team who will be able to advise you of the outcome.

For further information and advice, please contact the School Admissions Team using the 'Contact Us form at the side of this page.

Our School Inspection Reports

Schools across Wales are subject to inspection by Estyn. Estyn is the office of Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales. You may find this information useful when deciding on a school for your child and can download a copy of many of our primary and secondary school inspection reports from the Estyn Website.

Please note that there are new inspection arrangements being implemented by ESTYN from Spring 2022.