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Admission Arrangements


Making an application

Applications for admission to the school for September 2023 should be made on-line at between 1st September 2022 and 15th January 2023.  It is not normally possible to change the order of your preferences for schools after the closing date.

Parents must complete the Local Authority electronic form, stating three preferences.  Parents who wish their application to this Church school to be considered against the faith criteria should also complete the supplementary form and return this to the school.  If the school is oversubscribed, a failure to complete the supplementary form may result in your application for a place in this school being considered against lower priority criteria as the Governing Body will have no information upon which to assess the worship attendance.

Applications should be made on-line on the common application form; the Supplementary Information Form is available from the school.

Letters informing parents of whether or not their child has been allocated a place will be sent out by the Local Authority on 16th  April 2023. Parents of children not admitted will be informed of the reason and offered an alternative place by the Authority.

Admission procedures

Arrangements for admission have been agreed following consultation between the governing body, the Diocesan Board of Education, Local Authorities and other admissions authorities in the area.

The number of places available for admission to the Reception class in the year 2023 will be a maximum of 45.

The governing body will not place any restrictions on admissions to the reception class unless the number of children for whom admission is sought exceeds their admission number.  By law, no infant class may contain more than thirty children.  The Governing Body operates a system of equal preferences under which they consider all preferences equally and the Local Authority notifies parents of the result. In the event that there are more applicants than places, after admitting all children with a statement of educational need or Educational, Health and Care Plan naming the school, the governing body will allocate places using the criteria below, which are listed in order of priority.

1     (a)  Children in public care, previously looked after children and internationally adopted previously looked after children.

This includes any “looked after child”, “previously looked after children” and any child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order.  This includes 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.

‘Looked after’ means that the child was (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.

1     (b) Children with special medical or social circumstances affecting the child where these needs can only be met at this school.

Professional supporting evidence from a professional, e.g. a doctor, psychologist, social worker, is essential if admission is to be made under the criterion for special medical or social circumstances, and such evidence must set out the particular reasons why the school in question is the most suitable school and the difficulties which would be caused if the child had to attend another school.

  1. Children who have a sibling attending the school on the date of application and on the date of admission.

Siblings include step, half, foster and adopted brothers and sisters living at the same address.

  1. Children with a parent/guardian worshipping in the life of St Leonard’s Church, Padiham or St Margaret’s, Hapton.

‘Parental worshipping’ is normally taken to mean a minimum of monthly attendance at church at public worship for at least 12 months leading up to 1st September 2022.

In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, the requirements of these admissions arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church or alternative premises have been available for public worship.

The governors will request confirmation of this from the relevant member of the clergy or church officer.

  1. Children with a parent/guardian worshipping in the life of a church in full membership of Churches Together in England or the Evangelical Alliance or the North West Partnership or a church that subscribes to the Trinitarian creeds.

‘Parental worshipping’ is normally taken to mean a minimum of monthly attendance at church at public worship for at least 12 months leading up to 1st September 2022.

In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, the requirements of these admissions arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church or alternative premises have been available for public worship.

The governors will request confirmation of this from the relevant member of the clergy or church officer.

The lists of Churches can be found on the Churches Together in England website at, for the Evangelical Alliance at and for the North West Partnership at; lists are taken as on 1st September 2022.   Churches in membership of the equivalent bodies to CTE in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are equally accepted.

  1. Children of staff

Children of staff at Padiham St Leonard’s CE VA School who have been employed at the school for the whole of the two years prior to the closing date for applications.

  1. Other children.

Tie break

Where there are more applicants for the available places within a category, then the distance between the Ordnance Survey address points for the school and the home measured in a straight line will be used as the final determining factor, nearer addresses having priority over more distant ones.  This address point is within the body of the property and usually located at its centre. Where two addresses have the same distance, or the cut-off point is for addresses within the same building, then the Local Authority’s system of a random draw will determine which address(es) receive the offer(s).

Admissions information

In 2022, there were 84 applications for 45 places.

Late applications for admission

Where there are extenuating circumstances for an application being received after the last date for applications, and it is before the governors have established their list of pupils to be admitted, then it will be considered alongside all the others.

Otherwise, applications which are received after the last date will be considered after all the others, and placed on the waiting list in order according to the criteria.

Waiting list

Where we have more applications than places, the admissions criteria will be used. Parents of children who are not admitted can request for their name to be placed on a waiting list.  The names on this waiting list will be in the order resulting from the application of the admissions criteria.  Since the date of application cannot be a criterion for the order of names on the waiting list, late applicants for the school will be slotted into the order according to the extent to which they meet the criteria.  Thus it is possible that a child who moves into the area later to have a higher priority than one who has been on the waiting list for some time.  If a place becomes available within the admission number, the child whose name is at the top of the list will be offered a place.  This is not dependent on whether an appeal has been submitted.

This waiting list will operate for the full autumn term.

The school’s in-year admissions will be administered by the Governing Body of the School. In year admission forms can be accessed from: In Year Admission Form or collected from school. These should be completed and returned to the school office or via email to

Address of pupil  

The address used on the school’s admission form must be the current one at the time of application, i.e. the family’s main residence.  If the address changes subsequently, the parents should notify the school.  Where the parents live at different addresses, and there is shared parenting, the address used will normally be the one where the child wakes up for the majority of Monday to Friday mornings.  If there is any doubt about this, then the address of the Child Benefit recipient will be used. Parents may be asked to show evidence of the claim that is being made for the address, e.g. identity cards of various sorts showing the child’s address as the one claimed.  Where there is dispute about the correct address to use, the governors reserve the right to make enquiries of any relevant third parties, e.g. the child’s GP, Council Tax Office, Electoral Registration Officer, utilities provider.  For children of UK Service personnel and other Crown Servants returning to the area proof of the posting is all that is required.

 Non-routine or in-year admissions

It sometimes happens that a child needs to change school other than at the “normal” time; such admissions are known as non-routine or in-year admissions.  Parents wishing their child to attend this school should arrange to visit the school.  They will be provided with an application form once they have a definite local address.  If there is a place in the appropriate class, then the governors will arrange for the admission to take place.  If there is no place, then the admissions committee will consider the application and information about how to appeal against the refusal will be provided. Appeals for children moving into the area will not be considered until there is evidence of a permanent address, e.g. exchange of contracts or tenancy agreement with rent book.

Please note that you cannot re-apply for a place at a school within the same school year unless there has been relevant, significant and material change in the family circumstances.


Where the governors are unable to offer a place because the school is oversubscribed, parents have the right to appeal to an independent admission appeal panel, set up under the School Standards and Framework Act, 1998, as amended by the Education Act, 2002.  Parents should notify the clerk to the governors at the school by 30th April 2023.  Parents will have the opportunity to submit their case to the panel in writing and also to attend in order to present their case.  You will normally receive 14 days’ notice of the place and time of the hearing.

Appeals which are received after the deadline will be slotted into the schedule where this is possible.  There is no guarantee that this will happen and late appeals may be heard after the stipulated date at a second round of hearings.  The schedule is subject to change depending upon the availability of appeal panel members, clerks, venues and the number of appeals for each school (which will vary year on year).

Please note that this right of appeal against the governors’ decision does not prevent you from making an appeal in respect of any other school.

Fraudulent applications

Where the governing body discovers that a child has been awarded a place as the result of an intentionally misleading application from a parent (for example a false claim to residence in the catchment area or of involvement in a place of worship) which effectively denies a place to a child with a stronger claim, then the governing body is required to withdraw the offer of a place. The application will be considered afresh and a right of appeal offered if a place is refused.

Deferred admission

If your child is due to start school during the next academic year, it is important that you apply for a place for September.  If your child’s fifth birthday is between the months of September and December, then, if you wish it, admission may be deferred until January; if it is between January and April, then admission may be deferred until the start of the summer term though it is likely to be in your child’s interest to start no later than January.  You may also request that your child attend school part time until he/she reaches his/her fifth birthday.

Admission of children outside of their normal age group

Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if a child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. In addition, the parents of a summer born child[1] may choose not to send that child to school until the September following their fifth birthday and may request that they are admitted out of their normal age group – to reception rather than year 1.

The Governing Body will make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned. This will include taking account of the parent’s views; information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; where relevant, their medical history and the views of a medical professional; whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group; and whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely. They will also take into account the views of the head teacher of the school.

When informing a parent of their decision on the year group the child should be admitted to, the Governing Body will set out clearly the reasons for their decision.

If the Governing Body agrees to a parents’ request for their child to be admitted out of their normal age group and as a consequence of that decision the child will be admitted to a relevant age group (ie the age group to which pupils are normally admitted to the school) the local authority and Governing Body will process the application as part of the main admissions round, unless the parental request is made too late for this to be possible, and on the basis of their determined admission arrangements only, including the application oversubscription criteria where applicable. The Governing Body will not give the application lower priority on the basis that the child is being admitted out of their normal age group. Parents have a statutory right to appeal against refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied. This right does not apply if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred age group.

Twins, etc

Where there are twins, etc wanting admission and there is only a single place left within the admission number, then the governing body will exercise as much flexibility as possible within the requirements of infant class sizes. In exceptional circumstances cases we are now able to offer places for both twins and all triplets, even when this means breaching infant class size limits.

The term summer born children relates to all children born from 1 April to 31 August. These children reach compulsory school age on 31 August following their fifth (or on their fifth birthday if it falls on 31 August) It is likely that most requests for summer born children admitted out of their normal age group will come from parents of children born in the later summer months or those born prematurely.

Proposed Admission policy for 2023-4

Admission authorities must consult whenever they want to make changes to their policies or every seven years if there are no proposed changes.

The proposed policy for admission at Padiham St Leonard’s CE VA Primary can be found at the link below.

If you would like to respond to the consultation or make any comments, please send them to by Friday 27th January 2023.

Click here for details

Admission Arrangements - Links & Downloads