Starting school or moving up to junior school
7. Admission rules
Admission rules are used to decide who we should offer places to when we have more applications for a school than there are places available.
We use the information from your application to work out which rule to list your child under. Once we have listed all children in admission rules order we can then see who can be offered a place.
For each of the schools you would like to put down on your application, you must read their admission rules carefully. It is important to do this because schools use different rules to decide who will be allocated a place.
Below are the admission rules for all Buckinghamshire community and voluntary controlled schools, but other schools such as academies, free-schools, foundation schools and voluntary-aided schools often have different rules.
Once places have been allocated to children with an Educational Health Care Plan are admitted the remaining places will be allocated in the following order:
Rule 1 – Looked after and previously looked after children.
Rule 2 - Children who appear to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted
Rule 3 – 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.
Rule 4 - 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
Rule 5 – Children attending a primary school linked to the school named in the list of ‘linked primary’ schools at the time the allocations are made (March 2021). This rule does not apply to those starting school in Reception.
Rule 6 - Children living within the catchment area of the school.
Rule 7 – For the main point of entry: Siblings of children who are attending the school or a ‘linked primary’ school in Year R to Year 5 at the time the allocations are made (March 2021), and are expected to be on the school roll or linked school roll at the time of the proposed admission, or who have already been offered a place to start in the current academic year at the school or a ‘linked primary’ school.
For immediate in year admission after the normal point of entry: Siblings of children who are in Year R to Year 6 at the time of admission to the school.
Rule 8 – Once the above rules have been applied, then any further places will be offered in distance order; using the distance between the family’s Normal Home Address and the school’s nearest entrance gate offering the closest first. We use straight line distance.
Rule 9 - 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.
For example, places are offered to catchment siblings (Rule 6 & 7) before children living in the catchment area without siblings (Rule 6). In each case, distance is used to prioritise which children should be offered places.
Rule 10 - If it is still not possible to decide between two applicants who are equal distance then an independently scrutinised random allocation will be made to allocate the final place.
Last updated: 12 April 2021