Secondary community schools admissions policy September 2023

  1. All applications must be made in accordance with the Buckinghamshire coordinated admissions scheme (the scheme).
  2. All governing bodies of maintained schools are required by section 324 of the Education Act 1996 to admit to the school a child with an Education, Health and Care Plan that names the school. These children will therefore be admitted prior to applying the admission rules.
  3. Details of the dates for timely applications and how late applications are handled are given in the secondary and in year schemes and the detailed timelines for late applications are given in the parents’ guide.
  4. If there are more applications received than the places available at a school, then the places will be allocated within the secondary scheme in accordance with the published admission rules for the school.

Buckingham School admission rules

  1. Looked after children and children who were previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to adoption, a child arrangements order, or special guardianship order (See Note 1).
  2. Children who have exceptional medical or social needs supported by written evidence from a doctor, social worker, educational welfare officer or other appropriate person (see Note 2).
  3. Children living within the catchment area of the school (see Note 3).
  4. For the main point of admission: Siblings (see Note 4) of children in Years 7 to 10 who are on the roll of the school at the time allocations are made, and are expected to be on the school roll at the time of the proposed admission.
  5. For immediate casual admission after the normal point of entry: Siblings of children who are in Years 7-11 at the time of admission.
  6. Children of staff where either:
    i. 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
    ii. The member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage. (See Note 5)
  7. 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 (see Notes 6 and 7) and the school's nearest open entrance gate offering the closest first. We use a straight-line distance (see Note 8).
  8. Where a school can take some, but not all, of the children who qualify under one of these rules, we will give priority to children by taking account of the next rule (or rules) in the numbered list to decide who has priority for places. (see Note 9)
  9. If it still not possible to decide between two applicants who are equidistant then a random allocation will be made to allocate the final place. An explanation of the method of making random allocations is on the council website.

Explanation of terms used in the admission rules for all the above schools

Note 1: Definition of ‘looked after children’ and ‘previously looked after children’

For admissions purposes a 'looked after child' or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements, or special guardianship order including those who appear [to the admission authority] to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. A looked after child is a child who is (a) in the care of a local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see the definition in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989).

This rule includes children who were previously looked after and immediately after being looked after became the subject of an adoption, child arrangement order or special guardianship order as set out below.

Child arrangements order: is an order setting the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under the Children and Families Act 2014.

Special guardianship order: is an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child's special guardian (or special guardians) under Section 14A of the Children Act 1989.

Note 2: Exceptional Social and Medical process

A panel comprising of independent education professionals will consider the applications under this rule on receipt of information from the parent to indicate strong reasons for the child attending a particular school. When making an application parents should send evidence from an independent professional person (this might be a doctor, health visitor, or Education Welfare Officer, for example) who knows about the child and supports the application to the school. It must clearly show why the school is the most suitable and any difficulties if alternate schools were offered.

The panel will consider which children can be considered under this rule prior to each admission round.

Note 3: Secondary School Catchment Areas

View the Council’s agreed catchment map for each school on the school directory.

Note 4: Definition of sibling

A sibling is a brother or sister. For admission purposes we mean one of two or more individuals who have one or more parent in common or any other child (including an adopted or fostered child) who lives at the same address and for whom the parent also has parental responsibility or, (in the case of a fostered child) delegated authority.

A pupil in a secondary school will only count to provide a priority to a sibling if he or she is attending the school in Y7 to Y10 at the allocations are made (March 2016 for the main point of entry) and is still expected to be on the school’s roll at the time of the proposed admission (September 2016) or Years 7 to 11 at the time of admission for in-year admissions.

Note 5: Definition of school staff

‘School staff’ includes

‘Demonstrable skill shortage’ is a post which the school has had difficulty in filling. An example might be where the school has taken part in a recruitment drive to fill the post either across the country or worldwide and/or where the post was not filled at the first attempt.

Note 6: Definition of parent

This is as defined in law (the Education Act 1996) as either:

  • any person who has parental responsibility (defined in Children Act 1989) for the child or young person; or
  • any person who has care of the child or young person.

Note 7: Definition of normal home address (more detail can be found in the guide)

This is the child’s home address. This must be where the parent or legal carer of the child live together unless it is proved that the child is resident elsewhere with someone who has legal care and control of the child. The address should be a residential property that can be permanently occupied 52 weeks of the year without any restrictions on occupation and not subjected to any planning or contractual restrictions on the duration of occupancy and is your child’s only or main residence that is owned, leased or rented by the child’s parent(s) or person with legal care and control of the child.

If the residence is not split equally between the Parent(s)/Carer(s), then the relevant address used will be the address at which we are satisfied that the child spends the majority of the school week.

Where there is an equal split or there is any doubt about residence, we will make a judgment about which address to use for the purposes of allocation. In making this judgment we will take into account the following:

  • any legal documentation confirming residence
  • the pattern of the residence
  • the period of time over which the current arrangement has been in place
  • confirmation from the previous school of the contact details and home address provided to them by the parents
  • which parent is in receipt of child benefit
  • where the child is registered with their GP
  • any other evidence the parents may supply to verify the position

Note 8: Definition of home to school distance

The straight-line distance definition: is 'the distance from the address point of the child’s normal home address, as set out by Ordnance Survey, to the nearest open school gate available for pupils to use'.

As part of the computer system we use for school admissions there is a program that measures the ‘straight-line’ distance from the nearest open school gate to the child’s home address.

The point we measure to at the child’s normal home address is determined by the Ordnance Survey ADDRESS-BASE which is an Ordnance Survey data product that provides a National Grid coordinate and a unique reference for each postal address in Great Britain that is on the Royal Mail’s Post Office Address File (PAF®).

The PAF contains postal address data for approximately 26 million delivery points. These delivery points include premises that are shown on Ordnance Survey large-scale mapping data, such as buildings or permanent mobile and park homes, plus other features such as temporary buildings and houseboats.

Where Service families or families or other Crown Servants, who often move within the UK and from abroad are posted to the area, we will allocate school places in advance of the family move if you provide an official government letter declaring a relocation date and an intended address. A unit postal address or quartering area address will be sufficient if there is not a new home address. Where Service families are returning to live in a property they already own, evidence of ownership will be needed.

Provide evidence by 30 January (Secondary allocation) to be included in the first allocation round

Note 9: Multiple births – twins, triplets etc

In cases where there is one remaining place and the next child on the waiting list is one of a twin, triplet or other multiple birth group then both twins would be admitted (or all the siblings in the case of multiple births) even if this goes above the admission number of the school.

Admission number for September 2023, Community Secondary Schools

DfE School Name Type 2023 PAN
4004 Buckingham School Upper 210

Prior to 2023 intakes the above school may become an academy.