Voluntary Controlled and Community Nursery admissions policy September 2022
Prior to compulsory education, every child is entitled to receive 15 hours funded education known as the universal free entitlement from the start of the term following his or her third birthday. This can be in a private nursery, independent school, child minder, preschool or maintained school setting of the parent’s choice.
Depending on a family’s circumstances some children are eligible to receive 15 hours funded education from the start of the term following his or her second birthday. For 3 and 4 year olds (not in a reception class) an additional 15 hours known as the extended entitlement, making a total of 30 hours, may be available for eligible working families at participating schools- contact the school to clarify if they are offering the extended funded entitlement.
There are two types of maintained early years provision in Buckinghamshire schools at present. These are:
- Nursery schools
- Nursery classes/ Early Years provision (delivered by the governing body) in schools ( sometimes called foundation 1)
All children will be offered a school place in a reception class from the September following their 4th birthday. This offer is a full time offer, it can be accepted on a full or part time basis, or admission can be deferred within that academic year. If a place is accepted on a part-time basis then any unused hours cannot be accessed with another provider.
There is no automatic admission into the main school from nursery classes or early years provision and this is stated in the letter offering a place in the nursery. Nursery classes may accommodate 2, 3 and/or 4-year-old children.
Nursery age children do not count as part of the roll for the school and children will not be guaranteed a place in the main school through attendance at the nursery. They must apply for a school place in accordance with the coordinated scheme and places are then allocated in line with the admissions rules for the school.
Parents can register their child in advance of admission by contacting the school direct. Admission could be at age 2, 3 or 4 depending on the school, who will publish their arrangements, and this includes their arrangements for children accessing extended 3 and 4-year-old entitlement (i.e. 30 hours) where available.
Parents must apply for places in the main school under the co-ordinated arrangements. Therefore, until the allocation is public (after 16 April 2021) parents could not be assured of a continuing place at the school.
Once parents are offered a place under the co-ordinated scheme, they have the right to defer entry for their child. This deferment can be up to the point at which the child is legally required to start school (i.e. the start of the term after the child’s fifth birthday) and cannot be beyond the end of the normal academic year of entry for the child (i.e. the latest any child could start is during the summer term of reception/foundation 2) otherwise they must re-apply for admission to year 1.
Where schools admit at a point before September of reception year the children will be admitted to a nursery class. The Local Authority has delegated admission arrangements to the governing bodies of those schools that have a nursery admission. Governing Bodies have the delegated responsibility for explaining how nursery admissions work in their school and ensuring these are published on their website.
Nursery Class Admission Rules
Within any nursery class a certain number of places may be allocated to children of a particular age (for example 2-year-olds). The school will explain this on their website.
At any point during the year if the number of applications exceeds the number of places then once children who already hold an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) have been allocated places the remaining places will be allocated in the following order:
- Looked after children and previously looked after children (See Note 1 and 2)
- Children who have exceptional medical or social needs, which can only be met at that school, supported by written evidence from an appropriate professional person. (See Note 3)
- Children of staff where either:
The member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made,
The member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage (see Note 4)
- Children living within the catchment area of the school (see note 5)
- Siblings of children who are attending the school at the time allocations are made or attend a linked primary school at the time allocations are made (see note 6)
- Children who qualify for Early Years Pupil Premium
- Once the above rules have been applied then any further places will be offered in distance order; using the distance between the child’s Normal Home Address and the school's nearest open entrance gate offering the closest first. We use a straight-line distance.
The straight-line distance definition: is 'the distance from the address point of the pupil’s house, as set out by Ordnance Survey, to the nearest school gate available for pupils to use'.
- Where one place remains and the next two applicants are equal distance from the school in all cases, including flats and apartments, where addresses are equidistant a random allocation will made.
The proposed primary admission numbers 2022 for community and voluntary controlled schools, including nurseries are displayed at the bottom of our Community and voluntary controlled primary schools admissions policy.
There are 2 schools Bowerdean (who also operate Mapledean Nursery) and Henry Allen that take children from the age of 2 for 15 or 30 hours. The additional 15 hours for 3 and 4 year olds may be agreed for eligible families, contact the nursery school for more information.
Once children who already hold an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) have been allocated places the remaining places will be allocated in the following order:
- Looked after children and previously looked after children (see note 1 and 2)
- Children who have exceptional medical or social needs, which can only be met at that nursery school, supported by written evidence from an appropriate professional person. (See Note 3)
- Children of staff where either: a. The member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made, and/or b. The member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage (see Note 4)
- Siblings who will still be in the nursery at the point of entry (see note 5)
- Children living within two miles of the school according to the distance between the family's normal home address and the school's nearest entrance gate.
- Children who qualify for Early Years Pupil Premium (see Note 6)
- Any remaining places will be allocated firstly to multiple births and then on the basis of the child’s date of birth, youngest first. If there is only one place left, and there is more than one child with the same birthday, the place will be allocated to the child living nearest to the school according to the straight-line distance between the child’s normal home address and the school's nearest entrance gate.