Random Allocation Procedure

Random allocations are necessary where:

  1. There is more than one applicant ranked equally according to the published admission rules and there are insufficient places available to allocate all of the equally ranked applicants.
  2. This occurs where applicants are equidistant from a school either as a result of being twins/triplets or other multiple birth group or because the usual method of measuring distance to the school results in two unrelated applicants having the same distance measurement.

Each random allocation event only holds for the allocation of the currently available school place. On any waiting list the remaining applicants remain equally ranked and any further place is offered as the result of a further random exercise.

In making a random allocation it is important that there is scrutiny from a person who is not involved in the allocation process.

Definition of roles

Independent Scrutineer (IS) – this is a person who ensures the process is carried out in a correct and transparent way. The IS must be independent of the school for which the allocation is to be made and also must be independent of the Council’s Admissions and Transport team.

Admissions Officer (AO) – this is an officer from the Council’s Admissions and Transport team who is responsible for carrying out the administration of the random allocation procedure and recording the results, under the scrutiny of the IS.

Person who makes the draw (P) – this must be a person independent of the school for which the allocation is to be made and must be a person who is not part of the Council’s Admissions and Transport team.

Process to be followed - N.B. This entire process is to be carried out in sight of, and under the scrutiny of, the IS

  1. The AO allocates each pupil to be included in the draw a number and records it on the ‘Random Allocation Cross Reference Sheet’. This is placed in a sealed envelope.
  2. The AO prepares as many equal sized pieces of white paper as are necessary, which are numbered consecutively.
  3. The AO folds each numbered sheet and seals them in identical envelopes, i.e. envelopes with no visibly identifiable differences.
  4. The AO shuffles the envelopes and hands them to P who shuffles the envelopes again, picks one envelope and opens it.
  5. The AO records the first number drawn on the ‘Random Allocation Recordsheet’.
  6. If more than one place can be offered they continue to draw envelopes and record numbers until all of the available places are allocated.
  7. The AO then opens the previously sealed envelope containing the ‘Random Allocation cross reference sheet’ and records the numbers drawn on the ‘Random Allocation cross reference sheet’, marking clearly which child(ren) has(have) been allocated a place and which have not.
  8. Once the process has been completed, the AO, IS and P should sign and date both the ‘Random Allocation Record sheet’ and the ‘Random Allocation cross reference sheet’ in order to certify that the procedure has been carried out correctly.