Community schools are state-maintained schools, run by the local authority (Hertfordshire County Council, in this case). Voluntary-controlled schools are Church of England schools that are state-maintained and run by the local authority. For more info, please see our geek's guide. Here are the admisson rules for community and voluntary controlled schools (and other schools that follow the Council's rules). They are applied if the school is oversubscribed...
Go through the rules below, in turn. The first rule that applies for your child is the rule you should put into the Admission Calculator. If the school is oversubscribed, the admission rules are applied in the order shown below, from 1 through to 6. Applicants qualifying under Rule 1 are allocated places first, then it's applicants under Rule 2, then Rule 3 etc. Some popular schools ‘run out’ of places by Rule 4 or 5. For the final rule applied, if more children qualify for a place, than there are places available, a tiebreak is used (see individual rules for more information).
Rule 1: Looked after children.
This also includes children who used to be looked after, but were then adopted (or given a residence order or special guardianship order).
Rule 2: Medical or social need.
Supply supporting evidence with your application, as unless there are exceptional circumstances, it won't be considered at a later point (eg at appeal). Your evidence should be from a doctor, psychologist or other professional involved with your child. It must relate specifically to the school you are applying to, and should clearly demonstrate why it is the only school that can meet your child's needs. Medical priority is given to children who have an exceptional illness or disability (for example, restricted mobility) which means that they can only go to one school. Social priority is given to children whose education would be seriously affected if they did not go to a particular school. The evidence will be assessed by a panel of officers.
Rule 3: Linked school.
Only applies if your child is currently attending an infant school and applying to the linked junior school. You will need to make an application when your child is in year 2.
Rule 4: Sibling at the school.
The sibling has to be on the roll of the school or linked school at the time of application. Plus, the sibling must still be at the school when the next child starts - so you won't be eligible if the sibling is in their final year. (For in-year applications, it doesn't matter which year the sibling is in). A sibling means the sister, brother, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, or child of the parent/carer or partner. The sibling must live in the same house as your child from Monday to Friday.
Rule 5: Nearest school.
It's your nearest community or voluntary-controlled school or other school/academy following Herts CC's rules. You will only qualify under Rule 5 for one community/VC school – find out which one by calling Hertfordshire County Council on 0300 123 4043. Please see list below of other schools/academies that could qualify as your Rule 5 school.
Tiebreaker: distance to the school (closest applicants take priority).
Rule 6: Distance. Children who live nearest to the school.
Note: If you don't qualify under Rules 1-5, you'll qualify under Rule 6.
Tiebreaker: distance to the school (closest applicants take priority)
Top tip: Not sure what your closest community or VC school is? Ask Herts CC (tel: 0300 123 4043). While you're waiting for a response, use Rule 6 in the Admission Calculator. If you're interested in the school, that's your worst case scenario.
Please note: Any child with a statement of special educational needs, that names the school, will be offered a place (because that’s the law!).
* Academies using Hertfordshire County Council’s oversubscription criteria, and included in the definition of Rule 5 above, are:
Applecroft, Welwyn Garden City
Bovingdon Primary School, Bovingdon
Chaulden Junior School, Hemel Hempstead
Crabtree Infants & Junior Schools, Harpenden
Flamsted End, Cheshunt
Fleetville Infant and Junior Schools, St Albans
Garden City Academy, Letchworth
Greneway Middle, Royston
Grove Academy, Watford
Hammond Academy, Hemel Hempstead
Little Reddings Primary School, Bushey
Mandeville School, St Albans
Northgate Primary, Bishops Stortford
Ralph Sadlier Middle, Puckeridge
Roysia Middle, Royston
Samuel Ryder Academy, St Albans
Summercroft, Bishops Stortford
Wilshere Dacre, Hitchin