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Admission process

We coordinate admissions to all primary and secondary schools within Calderdale. Find details about this below.

If you live within Calderdale, you must complete a Calderdale online application, even if you wish to preference a school outside the Calderdale area. Parents of children resident outside Calderdale, who want to apply for a Calderdale school must apply through their home local authority.

Parents of children resident in Calderdale can apply for a school place online during the normal admissions rounds. This is if their child is due to:

  • Start reception class of a primary school in September 2024.
  • Transfer from infant school to junior school in September 2024.
  • Transfer to secondary school in September 2024.

Key dates

  Primary 2024-25 academic year Secondary 2024-25 academic year
Apply from 17th November 2023 21st June 2023
Open Evenings See: Search for schools 20th June to October 2023
Grammar schools admission test n/a 23rd September 2023
Closing date 15th January 2024 31st October 2023
National Offer Day 16th April 2024 1st March 2024
Last day for re-allocations and appeal requests 30th April 2024 15th March 2024
Notification of re-allocation outcome 14th May 2024 29th March 2024
Deadline for lodging appeals (Community/VC) 17th May 2024 10th May 2024
Appeal hearings June/July 2024 June/July 2024

You must apply as an In-year transfer, if you:

  • Want to transfer your child to another school.
  • Need a school place at any time other than transferring from nursery to primary or primary to secondary.

Co-ordinated admissions scheme

The Education Act 2002 and School Admissions Regulations 2012 requires every local authority to operate a co-ordinated admissions scheme for children who are due to start school in September 2024. A co-ordinated admissions scheme seeks to ensure every child in a local authority receives only one offer of a school place. National offer day for children starting secondary school in September 2024 is 1 March 2024 and for children starting primary school in September 2024 is 16 April 2024.

Calderdale’s co-ordinated admissions scheme operates in such a way that all parental preferences are considered equally. However, the schools have to be expressed in order of preference. In the event of a child being eligible for a place at more than one school, only one offer of a place will be made. This will be at the highest expressed preference of school for which the child is eligible. (For the purpose of clarity, priority is not given to first preferences over any lower preference. Over-subscription criteria dictates priority for places).

In order for a pupil’s current school to be considered as a valid feeder school (where this forms part of an individual schools oversubscription criteria) for a Secondary school application, it will only be considered valid where a pupil has been on roll and attending from the first school day of September 2023 until the date the allocation of places takes place unless a house move over a distance of 3 miles (as determined by a straight line measurement) has been completed between 1 September 2023 and 31 December 2023. This applies to house moves into and within Calderdale. The application must be supported by appropriate evidence (for example a solicitor’s letter confirming the completion of a house purchase or a copy of a rental agreement for a property located within Calderdale, both of which must be relevant to residency).

Parents of children resident in Calderdale can express up to five preferences for schools, including schools in other local authorities. For out of authority schools however, they should contact the relevant local authority for information about the school’s over-subscription criteria.

Parents of children who reside outside Calderdale must not complete Calderdale’s online application, even if their child currently attends a Calderdale nursery or a Calderdale Primary school. They must complete their home authority’s application form to express any preferences for Calderdale schools.

Eligibility for school places is determined by the over-subscription criteria published for each school. Parents should read the school’s over-subscription criteria very carefully before expressing their preferences. This details how priority will be determined for applications to a school in the event there are more applications received than places available.

Some schools require a supplementary application form. If any parent submits a supplementary application form, it will not be regarded as a valid application unless an online application is submitted to the Local Authority with that school expressed as a preference.

In line with the co-ordinated admissions scheme, Calderdale Council will send details of preferences expressed for out of authority schools to all the relevant local authorities. Similarly, all other local authorities will send details of preferences for Calderdale schools to Calderdale Council.

Children Looked After

Legislation dictates that children who are in public care (Children Looked After) are given highest priority when allocating school places. This also applies to children who have previously been ‘Looked After’ and including those children 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. 

Previously looked after children are children who were looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order) immediately following having been looked after.

Children of UK Service Personnel (UK armed forces)

Applications for children of service personnel with a confirmed posting to the Local Authority area will be considered in advance of the family moving in to the area.

Where possible an application must be included in the normal admission round. An official letter, such as a posting notice or letter of support from the Commanding Officer, should be sent to the Local Authority as soon as possible. This should include the relocation date and the unit postal address. Until a fixed address is available, the unit postal address will be used and a school place allocated accordingly.

The Local Authority will not refuse a child of UK service personnel a place because the family does not currently live in the area. It is also not permitted to reserve places for these children.

Children will be considered to be siblings if any brother or sister (including step siblings living at the same address) have been formally offered and have accepted a place at the school. This will not apply if the sibling is in the final year at the school.

Applications for children from overseas

Children who hold a British Citizen passport or children whose passport has been endorsed to show they have the right of abode in the country, are entitled to apply for a place at a maintained school. The passport or visa should be made available for inspection before an offer of a school place can be made.

Applications on behalf of children currently living outside the UK will be considered but until the child is resident in the country their home address will be considered to be their place of residence outside the UK (exceptions to this would be instances where the children are of parents returning from foreign postings, such as UK service personnel).

If the application is for an oversubscribed school and parental preference cannot be met, an alternative school place within the Local Authority will not be offered until such times as the child is resident in Calderdale.

Parental preference

Parents/guardians have the legal right to state the school they prefer their child to attend. The admissions authority has a duty to meet their stated preference unless:

  1. This would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.
  2. Or for a voluntary aided or denominational school, this would be incompatible with the admission arrangements made by the school governors which are designed to preserve the religious character of the school.
  3. Or where a school whose admissions arrangements are based wholly or partly on selection by reference to aptitude or ability and this would be incompatible with selection under these arrangements (Secondary schools only).

In the case of (1), each school has an Admission Number which indicates the number of pupils that the admissions authority can admit to the school. For details of the Admission Number for each school, see: Search for schools.

In the context of the ‘School Admissions Code’, issued by the Department for Education (DfE) on admissions to school and the relating legislation, the Local Authority is responsible for administering the co-ordinated admissions arrangements for all maintained schools and academies in Calderdale.

Parents are asked to complete their application very carefully, giving particular attention to the over-subscription criteria for the schools in which they have an interest and to ensure they make realistic preferences for schools.

Only one application per child will be accepted and processed. It is therefore imperative that parents agree on the preferences to be submitted in order that the application is not disadvantaged. The Local Authority will not deal with multiple applications for the same child.

Please note that naming only one school will not guarantee that your child is allocated a place at that school and parents are urged to use the opportunity to express up to five preferences for schools in order of preference.

It is important for parents to give details of any siblings (brothers, sisters, step/half/adopted brothers and sisters) permanently resident in the same household and currently attending the preferred school or associated junior school, excluding pupils in their final year. Cousins or other relatives living in the same household will not count as siblings.

Parents must give their child’s permanent home address on their application. The allocation of a school place will be made using the child’s permanent home address as at the close date.

Childcare and travel arrangements are not taken into account when allocating places.

As nursery provision is not available at every school, admission to a nursery class of a particular school does not give priority to a subsequent place at a Reception class of that school, unless stated within the school’s oversubscription criteria.

No advantage is given to any parent on the grounds that they made an application for admission to a particular school at an earlier date than other parents (providing the applications are received before the closing date).

The admissions authority will assume the parent has given careful consideration as to how their child will get to and from school in respect of each school expressed as a preference.

Preferences cannot be amended after the close date, unless a house move has taken place and the following apply:

For Primary applications - a move has been completed between 15th January 2024 and 15th February 2024 and is over 2 miles (as determined by a straight-line measurement)

For Secondary applications - a move has been completed between 31st October 2023 and 31st December 2023 and is over 3 miles (as determined by a straight-line measurement)

The application must be supported by appropriate evidence (for example a solicitor’s letter confirming the completion of a house purchase or a copy of a rental agreement for a property located within Calderdale).

Proof of address

The Local Authority reserves the right to ask parents for proof of their address.

Parents must give their child’s permanent home address on their application. The allocation of a school place will be made using the child’s permanent home address as at the close date, 31st October 2024 for Secondary applications and 15th January 2024 for Primary applications.

A child’s permanent home address is defined as being the main or only, residence where the child usually lives with their parent.

Where parents share parental responsibility for the child but reside in separate properties the Authority will use the address at which any Child Benefit is registered, unless there is evidence to suggest that the child either does not reside at this address or does not spend most of the school week at this address. An application can only be made from a single address and only one application can be made for each child.

The Authority will investigate where there is a discrepancy between the address on the application and its records.

It is the parent’s responsibility to provide information to prove the child’s permanent home address, as requested by the Authority.

It is for the Authority to determine if, on the balance of probability, the address given on the application is the child’s permanent home address.

It is recognised that a child may be residing at a temporary address as at the close date. A temporary address will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Examples include:

  • the child’s permanent home address has to be vacated due to structural damage;
  • the child is homeless.

It is the parent’s responsibility to provide evidence of their exceptional circumstance and evidence that their child is not residing at a temporary address to gain advantage in obtaining a school place. A parental relationship breakdown will not normally be regarded as an exceptional circumstance.

When allocating school places, the Authority will only consider the child’s permanent home address as at the close date. An intention to move to another address is not taken into consideration until such a move has actually taken place and proof is available that the new address is the child’s permanent home address.

If the Authority finds that a false address has been given the allocated school place may be withdrawn.

Associated infant and junior schools

Children in infant schools transfer to junior schools at the start of the academic year in which they become eight (year 3).

Below is a list of infant and their associated junior schools.

Please note: Attendance at a particular infant school does not automatically guarantee a place at the associated junior school. Please refer to individual schools’ over-subscription criteria.

Infant School Associated Junior School
Tuel Lane Infant Christ Church CE (VA) Junior
Central Street Infant Riverside Junior
Stubbings Infant Riverside Junior
St Andrew’s CE (VA) Infant School St Andrew’s CE (VA) Junior School

Admission to primary schools/academies

It is the Authority’s policy to admit children to Reception classes at the start of the academic year in which they become five years old. For example, if their fifth birthday falls between 1st September of the year of admission and 31st August of the following year, both dates inclusive. This ensures all children can have three full years of education in an infant department. Although parents are not required by law to send their children to school until the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday, it should be noted the first two terms give a most important foundation for future education. A Reception place cannot be deferred beyond the summer term of the academic year in which the child becomes five.

Parents of children who are not of compulsory school age may request their child attends Reception class on a part time basis. Arrangements regarding this must be made with the allocated school.

Admission of children outside their normal age group

Parents of a summer born child (born between 1st April and 31st August) may request that they do not start school until the September following their fifth birthday and are admitted out of their normal age group (into reception rather than year 1).

The decision to admit outside of a child’s normal age group is made on the basis of the circumstance of each case.

Parents must still apply for a school place by the close date of 15th January 2024. In addition to this they must contact the Local Authority to request a separate application to apply for admission outside the child’s normal age group.

The application to apply for admission outside of the child’s normal age group will be provided by the Admissions Team upon a request from parents. Parents must return the application to the Local Authority, along with any accompanying evidence, by the close date of 15th January 2024.

On receiving an application for entry outside of a child’s normal age group, we will:

  • convene a panel to consider the request.
  • This may include, where appropriate, representatives from:
    • The admission authority.
    • The Early Years Team.
    • The Special Educational Needs Team.
    • Virtual Schools.
    • The school preferenced.

When they consider a request, the panel will look at:

  • The parent’s views.
  • Information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development.
  • Where relevant, the child’s medical history and the views of a medical professional.
  • The views of the head teacher of the school.
  • Information from any professional persons regarding the child’s best interests.

They will make decisions based on the individual circumstances in each case and the best interests of the child concerned.

If the parental request for admission outside the normal age group is agreed, a separate application for a place in the next cohort would have to be made by 15 January 2024. There would be no guarantee that a place would be offered at the preferred school.

If the parental request for admission outside the normal age group is refused, the formal application which has already been submitted by 15 January 2024 will be processed.

When informing a parent of its decision, the Local Authority will set out clearly the reasons for its decision.

Parents who are refused a place at a school have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel. They do not have the right to appeal if they have been offered a place and it is not in the year group they would like.

If parents are dissatisfied with the outcome of their request for admission outside the normal age group, they have the right to complain through the Local Authority’s complaints procedure.

How an offer is made

Parents/guardians are assured that every effort is made to offer their child a place at their preferred school. Many schools have more applications than there are places available. When a school is oversubscribed, places are allocated using the admissions/oversubscriptions criteria. There are common Admission criteria for secondary schools and primary schools for a number of schools within Calderdale. Calderdale Council will then determine which school should be allocated where a child is:

  • Eligible for a place at only one of the preferred schools, that school will be allocated to the child.
  • Eligible for a place at more than one of the preferred schools, they will be allocated a place at whichever of these is the higher ranked preference on their application form.
  • Resident in Calderdale and is not eligible for a place at any of the preferred schools, they will be allocated a place at the nearest school with vacancies, within Calderdale. For Primary schools only, this will be within a two-mile walking route wherever possible. For Secondary schools only, this will be within a three-mile walking route wherever possible.

Parents of children resident in Calderdale will be notified of their allocated school on 1st March 2024 for Secondary places and 16th April 2024 for Primary places, by email. 

Parents will also be able to log into their online account to view their allocation.

For those parents who requested notification via letter when their application was submitted, offer letters will be disseminated to parents on 1st March 2024 for Secondary places and 16th April 2024 for Primary places.

Offers of school places for residents outside the Calderdale area will be notified by their home local authority, even if a Calderdale school is to be offered.

The offer notification will give:

  • The name of the school at which a place is offered and the deadline for accepting the place. If a parent does not respond by the deadline, it will be assumed that they have accepted the place offered.
  • The reason why the child has not been offered a place at any other schools preferenced.
  • Advice to parents if they wish to be considered in the reallocation process for any places that might become available. (Please see Reallocations).
  • Information about the statutory right of appeal against any decision to refuse a place. (See: Appeals for School Admissions.)

If none of the preferred schools can be allocated, due to over-subscription, the Authority will offer a place at the nearest school to the family home where vacancies exist. (Distance in this instance will be calculated using a suitable walking route and will be within 2 miles for Primary schools and 3 miles for Secondary schools, wherever possible. This applies to Calderdale residents only).

We will not confirm the allocation of a school place to any parent, under any circumstances, prior to the national offer day. Please also note that confirmation of places will not be given over the phone.

University Technical College

Parents of children in Year 9 and Year 11 need to be aware there is an option for their child to transfer to a University Technical College (UTC) in either Year 10 or Year 12.

There are currently no UTC’s in Calderdale. The nearest (within an hour’s travel distance) are:

  • UTC Leeds;
  • UTC Sheffield City Centre;
  • UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park;
  • UTC Bolton;
  • and UTC@MediaCityUK, Salford.

Impartial careers information, advice and guidance to young people in Years 7-11 is available at the Calderdale secondary schools. You can also check the UTC’s websites.

Primary PANs

This table shows the planned admission numbers for primary schools:

School name Year 2025 Year 2024
Ash Green Community 60 60
Bailiffe Bridge Junior and Infant 30 30
Carr Green 45 45
Castle Hill 30 30
Central Street Infant and Nursery 30 30
Christ Church (Pellon) CE (VC) 30 30
Cliffe Hill Community 30 30
Colden Junior and Infant 17 17
Copley 45 45
Cornholme Junior, Infant and Nursery 30 30
Cross Lane 45 45
Ferney Lee 30 30
Heptonstall Junior, Infant and Nursery 15 15
Holywell Green 30 30
Lee Mount 50 50
Ling Bob Junior, Infant and Nursery 45 45
Luddenden 30 30
Midgley 15 15
Moorside Community 30 30
New Road 30 30
Norland CE 15 15
Northowram 60 60
Old Town 15 15
Parkinson Lane Community 75 60
Ripponden Junior and Infant 30 30
Riverside Junior 60 60
Salterhebble Junior and Infant 30 30
Savile Park 60 60
Shade 28 28
Shelf  Junior and Infant 30 45
St Mary's CE (VC) Junior and Infant(Sowerby Bridge) 15 15
Stubbings Infant 30 30
Triangle CE (VC) 30 30
Tuel Lane Infant School 30 30
Walsden St Peter's CE (VC) 25 25
Warley Town 20 20
Withinfields 60 60
Woodhouse 60 60

Secondary PANs

This table shows the planned admission numbers for secondary schools:

School name Year 2025 Year 2024
Brighouse High 210 210
Calder High 262 262
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
Todmorden High, Specialist Visual Arts College 180 180

Proximity

This will be determined by a measured straight line on a map from the front entrance of the school to you home.

  • Distances will be calculated using the our GIS (Geographical Information System).
  • No other method of measuring distance will be used.

Annual report to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator

The School Admissions Code requires us to submit a report to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator. This is on aspects of the admission arrangements of the relevant schools in our area.

What happens next

An allocation of a school place will be confirmed in writing to parents/guardians on National Offer Day. This will be by email or letter, dependent upon the preferred method opted for at the point the online application was submitted. Offers of school places for residents outside the Calderdale area will be notified by their home local authority even if a Calderdale school is to be offered. The offer notification will contain:

  • The name of the school at which a place is offered and the deadline for accepting the place. If a parent/guardian does not respond by the deadline, it will be assumed that they have accepted the place they have been offered.
  • The reason why the pupil has not been offered a place at any other preferred schools.
  • Advice to parents if they wish to be considered in the reallocation process for any places that might become available, see: Reallocations.
  • Information about the statutory right of appeal against any decision to refuse a place at a preferred school, see: Complaints.

Parental support

For support services for parents, see:

Children with special needs and disabilities

On 1st September 2014, Statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN) were replaced by Education Health and Care (EHC) plans. These plans support children and young people up to the age of 25, provided they still have educational needs.

For more about support and services for children and young people with special needs and disabilities, including EHC plans, see: Local offer.

Glossary

Looked after children

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).

Pupil Premium

Children attracting Pupil Premium are those who have been registered for free school meals (FSM) at any point in the 6 years prior to the closing date for registering for the test.

The school will require evidence of Pupil Premium registration and reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a place if the offer has been made on the basis of an incorrect, fraudulent or misleading application. Parents of children attracting Pupil Premium must have ticked the Pupil Premium box when registering their child for the test.

Parents will need to provide evidence of Pupil Premium registration to the schools no later than the end of the September in the year of application. Any evidence received after this date will be considered as late and will only be considered after the main round of allocations has been made.

Siblings

Defined as:

  • Full/half brother or sister.
  • Step brother or sister.
  • Adoptive brother or sister.
  • Children of parents living together in the family household.

The sibling must still be on roll at the school when the applicant is due to start at the academy.

Please note: Cousins or other relatives living in the same household will not count as siblings.

In the case of twins or other children from multiple births (or two or more siblings in one year group) and where there is only one place available, the applications will be considered together as one application.

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