THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS AND HOW TO APPEAL: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

YEAR 3 – YEAR 13

 

1. WHY HAVE YOU REFUSED MY CHILD?

As has happened over a number of previous years, St Peter’s School has received more applications than places available and some children have not been offered a place.

The School only has 240 spaces (for Secondary) and 60 spaces (for Primary) available to offer. It is also relevant which date you applied and which date you provided supporting religious documents. To be considered as applying on time you must have applied to Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council and provided both religious documents to the school by the relevant closing date (Secondary 31 October and Primary 15 January).

All applications and documents are examined by Governors and placed accordingly into one of the categories as listed on the published Admissions Policy. These details are sent to BCP Council which co-ordinates applications using similar lists provided by all other schools and other local Councils to determine which school place to offer to which child.

Full details are published on the Council Statistics Sheet  sent to you detailing which category (and distance) each school reached in its’ offers and which category was the first refused. [For example in some previous years, St Peter’s offered all applicants down to Category 5 applicants with a sibling on roll]. You can check with the Council into which Category your child was placed in and what distance they used for your application and which Category and distance the school reached in its’ offers.

 

2. WHO MADE THE DECISION TO REFUSE MY CHILD?

The Governors decide on the Admission Policy for the year in question having previously undertaken a consultation exercise. Regulations ensure that they must subsequently follow that policy when allocating a category to your child. The resultant list detailing the category allocated to each applicant who applied by the closing date is then sent to BCP Council as detailed above.

BCP council (School Admissions Department) can tell you more in depth about what happens when they receive the list from the school and how where you put St Peter’s School on your list of three preferences effects the school you are offered.

 

3. WHY CAN’T THE GOVERNORS JUST OFFER IF THEY KNOW THE PARENT HAS MADE A MISTAKE AND HANDED IN DOCUMENTS LATE?

The Governors are bound by the regulations contained in the Admissions Code during the process of dealing with admissions into a school. The Code requires adherence to the closing dates for the receipt of supporting documents as detailed within the policy. If documents are delivered after the closing date, Governors cannot consider them as having arrived on time. There is a separate process in such circumstances, see Question 4 below.

 

4. I WAS LATE DELIVERING SOME OF THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BEFORE THE DEADLINE. WHEN WILL THEY BE CONSIDERED?

The dates are determined by Bournemouth BCP Council and you can contact them and speak with the Admissions Service at the Town Hall to find out exactly when “late” or “very late” documents will be considered.

 

5. MY CHILD IS VERY UPSET WITH THE PLACE OFFERED– WHAT CAN I DO?

You can if you wish appeal against the decision not to offer your child a place using the formal appeal procedure operated by BCP Council on behalf of the school.

However please be aware that:

  • You must have grounds to appeal the decision and provide those grounds in writing.
  • It is best to make your request for an appeal hearing on the prescribed appeal form which is available on our website on the Admission and Appeals webpage and under the following link xxxxxx. You should return the completed form before the deadline  (and any supporting documentation) either by email  to The Clerk to the Governors Mrs S Wallace-Abbott on swo@st-eters.bournemouth.sch.uk or if you prefer, you can print it out and deliver a hard copy by post or by hand.
  • Please refer to the school website to discover the deadline for the receipt of appeal forms and documentation. If you apply for an appeal after this date you may be allocated a later hearing.
  • Please be aware that lodging and attending an appeal hearing is not a guarantee of your child being offered a place at St Peter’s School.

 

6. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I HAVE RETURNED MY APPEAL FORM?

If you have provided written grounds for your appeal as required, your appeal form and any documents will be acknowledged and then forwarded to the Appeals Service at BCP Council where the Clerk to the Appeals Service will arrange an Appeal Panel to take part in an Appeal Hearing. At least ten school days prior to the appeal, you will be informed of the date(s), time(s) and place at which the Appeal Panel will meet.

If you have submitted appeals for more than one school, it is unlikely that your appeals will be heard on the same date and you will receive a separate notification for each appeal you have submitted.

A week before your appeal hearing, you will be sent an appeal pack with copies of all the documents that have been submitted to the Appeal Panel. This will include both the Admission Authority’s (in this case St Peter’s School) case and the appeal form together with any additional documents you have submitted. You will need to bring this pack with you to the appeal hearing.

 

7. WHAT HAPPENDS AT THE APPEAL HEARING?

The Panel comprises three trained unpaid members of the public (one or two of whom who may have had experience in the area of education) but none of whom have any connection with the school or the Council.

You are welcome to bring someone with you to the hearing and that person may speak on your behalf if that is your wish. We do not recommend that you bring any children with you to the appeal hearing.

Upon arrival, you will be directed to a waiting area, where the clerk will come and speak you before the hearing. They will invite you and the school representative into the hearing at the same time.

The Chair of the Appeal Panel will welcome you and the school representatives and introduce everyone present before explaining the process of the hearing.

The Panel will listen to your case that your child should be admitted into the School in addition to the full complement offered The Panel members alone decide upon the outcome.

If the appeal hearing is one of many for places at the same school, all the parents appealing will have been invited to be present for the first part of the hearing, to hear the admission authority representative present their case. All parents and the Appeal Panel will be able to ask questions.

The Panel may hear appeals from a large number of applicants before deciding which, if any, are to be upheld and thus offered a place. Such a decision may well be made and communicated to you by the Clerk to the Appeals Service several days after your case has been considered. The proposed dates set aside to hear appeals for St Peter’s School are published on the school’s website on the Admission and Appeals webpage.

 

8. IF MY APPEAL IS UNSUCCESFUL CAN I APPEAL AGAIN?

You can only make one application for appeal each academic year so the earliest opportunity to appeal again would in the following September.

 

9. IF I APPEAL CAN I ALSO GO ONTO THE WAITING LIST?

All applicants refused are automatically put onto the waiting list for St Peter’s School. Please be aware however that each applicant must apply to rejoin the waiting list each subsequent academic year and information as to how to rejoin are published each July on the school website on the Admission and Appeal webpage.

You will need to complete and return a Waiting List form and where appropriate a Supplementary Information Form for each new academic year. If you have any questions about the waiting list or the relevant forms please speak with the Admissions Officer or email admissions@st-peters.bourmeouth.sch.uk.

 

10. IF I AM ON THE WAITING LIST CAN I ALSO APPEAL?

Yes providing that you follow the guidance outlined above under the question My child is very upset – what can I do?

 

11. WHAT IF I APPLIED FOR THE PLACE LATE?

The Council will write to you at the date prescribed by them. Please refer to the previous response.

 

12. WHAT DISTANCE DID THE SCHOOL USE AND HOW IS IT ARRIVED AT?

The Council provides the school with the distance measurement which is taken from your home to the school. For Primary applications the measurement is made to the Primary site at Iford and for Secondary applications to the Secondary site at St Catherine’s Road.

The Council use the same distance measurement tool for all applications and the distances are taken at the same point in time for every application. Please refer to BCP Council if you require more information on this tool.

 

13. YOU ARE THE ONLY FAITH SECONDARY SCHOOL IN BOURNEMOUTH SO WHY DON’T YOU TAKE EVERYONE OF FAITH?

Please see the answer to Question 1 and be aware that The Bishop of Winchester School is another faith school in Bournemouth.  St Peter’s School is the only Catholic faith secondary school in the entire area and we also serve the Catholic community in other parts of Dorset and Hampshire.

 

14. CAN MY FRIEND/RELATIVE/TEACHER OR MEMBER OF STAFF AT ST PETER’S SCHOOL WRITE A LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR MY APPEAL?

No this is not appropriate as effectively your appeal is against the school decision and Admission Policy and as such is supported by all staff and Governors of the school.

 

15. WHO CAN I TALK TO AT THE SCHOOL ABOUT THE ADMISSIONS POLICY, MY CONCERNS AND MY CHANCES?

It is hoped that either the information on our website or the staff at BCP Council Appeals Service should be able to answer your queries about the appeal process. If you have concerns about the administration or interpretation of the Admissions Policy you can email Mrs Buchanan the School Admissions Officer on admissions@st-peters.bournemouth.sch.uk who will be able to pass on those concerns on to the relevant person/department.

If your concerns are about the content of the Admission Policy, you should be aware that once the Admission Policy has been consulted, determined and published by the Governing Body it cannot be changed for that year.

If you wish to make comments for Governors to consider when formulating the Admission Policy for any future year, you are welcome to forward suggestions to Mrs Wallace-Abbott on swo@st-peters.bournemouth.sch.uk. Please mark your correspondence “Suggestions for Admission Policy for the attention of Governors”.

 

16. CAN SOMEONE AT THE SCHOOL KEEP ME INFORMED OF CHANGES TO MY CHILD’S POSITION ON THE WAITING LIST?

You can contact Mrs Buchanan either by telephone 01202 421141, extension 2298 or email to admissions@st-peters.bournemouth.sch.uk to find out where your child is on the waiting list at any specific time. Please be aware that places on waiting lists do not remain static as positions may change if other children join the list and go into a higher position on the list than your child.

 

17. WHAT IS THE PAN?

The PAN refers to the Published Admissions Number i.e. how many children will be admitted into the year group. The PAN for Primary is 60 and for Secondary is 240.

 

18. WHAT IS A NET CAPACITY ASSESSMENT?

This is how the teaching and other areas within a school are measured against a National recognised system. This is a document that is provided at the appeal and the school will refer to in their case confirming they have no ‘extra’ room within the school to accommodate additional children other than the 240 secondary or 60 primary to whom the offer of a place has already been made.