School admissions and oversubscription criteria

The oversubscription criteria set out below apply for all preferences to community and voluntary controlled schools and all non-faith academy schools in York. Voluntary aided and academy faith schools have their own oversubscription criteria, which is available within their admission policies.

When the criteria are applied

Our policy for allocating school places is designed to be as fair as possible while ensuring that resources are used sensibly. Any school’s resources, such as teachers and classrooms, have to be used carefully to ensure the best possible standards for education and a safe environment. If no limit were set on the number of pupils that can go to a school each year, these standards could not be maintained.

When applying for a school place and no places are available, the preference will be refused for all applicants.

When applying for a school place and there are some places available, but more preferences for places than places available, then the oversubscription criteria as laid out below will be applied. The applicant who meets the highest priority of these criteria will be offered the place. Other applicants will be refused.

The oversubscription criteria

There are 5 priorities within the oversubscription criteria:

First priority: Pupils who are either currently or have previously been ‘looked after’

This applies to all pupils who are currently in the care of a local authority and all pupils who have been adopted from local authority care (subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order).

Second priority: Pupils who live within the catchment area normally served by the preferred school, with a sibling at the preferred school at the time of admission

Catchment areas are designated by the Local Authority and are made available to parent/carers in the Guide to School Catchment Areas, online at www.york.gov.uk, and upon request from the School Services team. Siblings are defined as brothers or sisters living in the same house, as their primary place of residence (including half- and step-brothers or sisters.

Third priority: Pupils who live within the catchment area normally served by the preferred school

Catchment areas are designated by the Local Authority and are made available to parent/carers in the Guide to School Catchment Areas, online at www.york.gov.uk, and upon request from the School Services team.

Fourth priority: Pupils considered by the admissions authority to have exceptional social or medical needs which relate to the preferred school

The admissions authority may consult with other medical or educational professionals for a further opinion as to whether the pupil should be allocated a place at the preferred school due to a particular medical condition or social need.

Fifth priority: Pupils with a sibling at the preferred school at the time of admission

Siblings are defined as brothers or sisters living in the same house, as their primary place of residence (including half- and step-brothers or sisters).

Sixth priority: Pupils who live closest to the preferred school using the nearest available safe walking route

Distances are measured by a GIS mapping system from the child’s home address to the entrance of the school.

Tie break

Where there are fewer places than children in an oversubscription priority as above, in order to decide to whom places will be allocated, the following tie-breakers will be applied:

  • first, to the child(ren) who also fulfil the next highest priority
  • second, to the child(ren) living closest to the school as defined in priority 6
  • third, if the measurement of the distance from home to school above does not distinguish between two or more applicants with equal priority, random allocation will be used as the final tie-breaker, and independently verified

If a pupil is in the position of potentially being allocated a place at more than one school, the single allocation will be made for the school the parent/carer ranked the highest.

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