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School Admissions Explained

The last five years has seen a year-on-year increase in the number of admissions for the College’s 180 Year 7 places.  In 2012 we saw 266 and in 2013, 231 applications.

It is helpful to parents to clarify how school admissions work and in particular the Catmose College policy. This explanation should be read in the context of the College’s admissions policy which is how a decision to admit or decline a place is determined.  In addition, this explanation should only be used as a general guide in respect of the principles we use and not to determine whether or not a particular application will be successful.

All  admissions must follow the school admissions code which can be viewed here.

A key principle of the admissions code is that all schools must determine who gains a place based on their policy and not the order of preference that a parent places them on the applications form.  In fact, local authorities do not share the parents’ preferences with the school. This is important as it means that parents are free to choose which school is their first, second and third choice without fear of losing a place at a school at which they would rank higher according to the school’s admissions policy.

ADVICE: If, having explored all of the possible options, Catmose is your first choice of school for your child, make it your first preference, but please choose two other secondary schools in case you are unsuccessful.

Catmose College does not have catchment areas (since 2013), an application could therefore be successful from any distance but this will depend from where applications are received as well as the other criteria within our policy. Our policy prioritises applications based on:

  1. Looked after children;
  2. Siblings;
  3. Children who attend our feeder school Catmose Primary;
  4. Children of staff;
  5. Distance.
  6. Late applications

Please read our Admissions Policy for a full explanation of these criteria.

ADVICE: Although not guaranteed in the future, we have in the past always been able to offer places to all children covered by criteria 1-4 provided they applied on time. In 2014 this accounted for 92 or 51% of successful applications. It is important to read the school’s Admissions Policy in order to familiarise yourself with the criteria we use.

Each year we rank the applications for a place (independent of their preference) and return a rank order to the local authority who will then determine who is offered a place at the College. The local authorities try to offer parents their highest preference first, then their second and finally their third.  Schools are then informed who has been offered a place. We then maintain a waiting list, the order of which is determined by the criteria 1-5 above, at Catmose we often have a second round of offers if some parents decline a place. Parents are also given the opportunity to appeal a decision to refuse a place. We have always been able to offer places under criteria 1 to 4 (in the past), it is distance which serves as the final determining factor.

ADVICE: If you are initially unsuccessful please do contact the College, there is the chance of a second round of offers and the option to appeal to an independent panel.

The pattern of applications to the College changes each year and this makes it difficult to predict whether an application from a parent which requires a determination based on distance will be successful, however parents may find the trends over the last few years useful. This graph show the percentage of students admitted by distance from the College in the last three years:

2014 by distance admissions

Here it can be seen that applications from up to 6 miles away from the College were successful in 2014 using the criteria for distance only. If a child is admitted as a result of criteria 1-4, the distance is not used to determine admission.

It is impossible to predict at exactly which distance applications will be successful this year but the past admissions give a reasonable guide to parents The graph also illustrates the affect of removing catchment area and feeder schools criteria, the admissions policy now gives preference to those children who live closest to the College.

he following chart shows the proportion of children admitted due to each criteria.

2014 admission by category

This chart shows the affect of the new admissions policy with much smaller numbers being admitted through the catchment and feeder criteria (CAT/FEED) with only Catmose Primary being a feeder school.

I hope this guide is useful but if you have further questions please do contact me at the College. swilliams@catmosecollege.com.

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2 Comments

  1. […] If you would like to listen to the Principal’s presentation on open evening please ensure you have reserved your seat by contacting the College. We don’t usually have many free seats available on the night. The Principal has also issued advice regarding admissions which can be read here: https://spwilliams13.wordpress.com/2013/09/22/school-admissions-explained/ […]

  2. […] I spoke about admissions which follows the advice I have previously written here which I hope helped clarify our admissions policy which is how we determine who to offer a place […]

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