St John’s School and Sixth Form College, A Catholic Academy
SIXTH FORM ADMISSION POLICY 2017-18
St John’s School and Sixth Form College, A Catholic Academy was founded by the Catholic Church to provide education for students of Catholic families. The school is conducted by its governing body as part of the Catholic Church in accordance with its trust deed and articles of association, and seeks at all times to be a witness to Jesus Christ. Whenever there are more applications than places available, priority will be given to Catholic students in accordance with the oversubscription criteria listed below.
As a Catholic school, we aim to provide a Catholic education for all our students. At a Catholic school, Catholic doctrine and practice permeate every aspect of the school’s activity. It is essential that the Catholic character of the school’s education be fully supported by all families in the school. All parents (see note 10) are therefore expected to give their full, unreserved and positive support for the aims and ethos of the school. This does not affect the right of a parent who is not of the faith to apply for a place for their student at the school.
The governing body is the admissions authority and has responsibility for admissions to this school.
The admission policy criteria will be dealt with on an equal preference basis.
Published Admission Number
The sixth-form is available for all existing students subject to students fulfilling the individual requirements of suitable courses. Remaining places in the sixth-form of the school will be offered in accordance with the oversubscription criteria, subject to applicants fulfilling the individual requirements of suitable courses.
The governing body has set its admission number at 220 students to year twelve (to include both internal  and external ) in the school year which begins in September 2017.
Students with an Education, Health and Care plan or a statement of Special Educational Need
Students who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan or a statement of Special Educational Need where the school is named as the most appropriate educational setting for the student will be admitted.
Application Procedures and Timetable
To apply for a place at this school, the parent/student must complete an application form online available on the school’s website. The parent will be advised of the outcome of the application by the school.
If the parent is required to provide supplemental evidence to support the application (e.g. a baptismal certificate), this evidence should be provided at the time of application. If not provided, evidence may be sought by the governing body following the closing date for applications. This information must have been correct at the date of closing for applications.
Admission of Students outside their Normal Age Group
A request may be made for a student to be admitted outside of their normal age group, for example, if the student is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health.
Any such request should be made in writing to the headteacher of the school. The governing body will make its decision about the request based on the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the student. In addition to taking into account the views of the headteacher who has statutory responsibility for the internal organisation, management and control of the school, the governing body will take into account the views of the parents and of appropriate medical and education professionals.
In addition to their right of appeal, applicants will be offered the opportunity to be placed on a waiting list. This waiting list will be maintained in order of the oversubscription criteria set out below and not in the order in which applications are received or added to the list. Waiting lists for admission will operate throughout the school year. The waiting list will be held open until the last day of the summer term. Inclusion on the school’s waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available.
An application can be made for a place for a student at any time outside the admission round and the student will be admitted where there are available places. Applications should be made to the school by contacting Mr Matt Dunn, Director of Sixth Form. Parents will be advised of the outcome of their application in writing.
Where there are places available but more applications than places, the published oversubscription criteria will be applied.
If there are no places available, a request can be made that the student is added to the waiting list (see above).
Right of Appeal
Where a parent has been notified that a place is not available for a student, every effort will be made by the local authority to help the parent to find a place in a suitable alternative school. Parents who are refused a place have a statutory right of appeal. Further details of the appeals process are available by writing to the chair of governors at the school address.
Fair Access Protocol
The school is committed to taking its fair share of children who are vulnerable and/or hard to place, as set out in locally agreed protocols. Accordingly, outside the normal admission round the governing body is empowered to give absolute priority to a child where admission is requested under any local protocol that has been agreed by the governing body for the current school year. The governing body has this power, even when admitting the child would mean exceeding the published admission number.
The governing body reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a place where false evidence is received.
Where there are more applications for places than the number of places available, places will be offered to students who meet the entry requirements according to the following order of priority.
1. Looked after and previously looked after students (see notes 2&3)
2. Catholic students who attend St John’s, Bishop Auckland (see note 4)
3. Other Catholic students (see note 4)
4. Catechumens and members of an Eastern Christian Church (see notes 5&6)
5. Students of other Christian denominations (see note 7)
6. Students of other faiths (see note 8)
7. Any other students
Where there are places available for some, but not all applicants within a particular criterion priority will be given to children living closest to the school determined by the shortest distance. In assessing home to school distance the LA measures by the shortest walking route. Routes are measured from the centre point* of the child’s house, or in the case of a flat from the centre point* of the building, to the nearest school site entrance. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is used to identify and measure the shortest walking route. The GIS identifies routes on the Ordnance Survey Integrated Transport Network (ITN) and Urban Paths Network (UPN), which are national recognised datasets. The LA will not include any other routes. In all cases the GIS identifies the route to be measured by connecting in a straight line the centre point* of the child’s house to the closest point on the nearest route on the ITN/UPN.
* In accordance with the co-ordinates of the Basic Land and Property Unit on the National Land and Property Gazetteer.
NOTES AND DEFINITIONS
1. An Education, Health and Care Plan is a plan made by the local authority under section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014, specifying the special educational provision required for a student. A Statement of Special Educational Needs is a statement made by the local authority under section 324 of the Education Act 1996, specifying the special educational provision for a student.
2. A looked after student is a student 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):
An adoption order is an order under section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.
A child arrangements order is an order outlining the arrangements as to the person with whom the student will live under the provisions of section 14 of the Children and Families Act 2014.
A special guardianship order is an order appointing one or more individuals to be a student’s special guardian or guardians.
3. A previously looked after student is a student who immediately moved on from that status after becoming subject to an adoption, student arrangement order or special guardianship order.
4. Catholic means a member of a Church in full communion with the See of Rome. This includes the Eastern Catholic Churches. This will be evidenced by a certificate of baptism in a Catholic Church or a certificate of reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church. Those who have difficulty obtaining written evidence of baptism or reception should contact their parish priest who, after consulting with the Diocese, will decide how the question of baptism or reception is to be resolved and how written evidence is to be produced in accordance with the law of the Church.
5. Catechumen means a member of the catechumenate of a Catholic Church and is a person who is receiving instruction in preparation for baptism. This must be evidenced by a certificate of reception into the order of catechumens.
6. Eastern Christian Church includes Orthodox Churches, and must be evidenced by a certificate of baptism or reception from the authorities of that Church. Those who have difficulty obtaining written evidence of baptism or reception should contact the Diocese who will decide how the question of baptism or reception is to be resolved and how written evidence is to be produced in accordance with the law of the Church.
7. Students of other Christian denominations means students who are members of a Church or religious community that practises Trinitarian baptism recognised by the Catholic Church. Applicants must provide a baptismal certificate or where child baptism is not practised, a letter confirming their church membership from their minister or faith leader.
8. Students of other faiths means students who are members of a religious community that does not fall within the definitions above. Applicants must provide a letter of support to confirm their faith membership from their minister or faith leader.
9. Home address is the primary parental address which will be used in applying the admission criteria. This means that, when stating the choice of school, the parental address at the time of application should be given. The address of childminders or other family members who may share in the care of the student must not be used as the home address. Documentary evidence may be requested.
10. Parent means all natural parents, any person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility for the student, or who has care of the student (having care of a student means that the student lives with and is looked after by that person).
This policy should be read in conjunction with the local authority’s admission guidance for parents.