Admission Policy 2023-24
Harrow High School: Admissions Arrangements for 2023/24 entry
The Academy will comply with the requirements of the Funding Agreement and the School Admissions Code, and recognises that its ‘relevant area’ is the London Borough of Harrow.
Number of places
The number of Year 7 places available for September 2023 entry (the 2023/24 school year) will be 180. If you are a parent resident in Harrow, applications for September 2023 entry should be made via the Harrow co-ordinated admissions scheme (for more details see the ‘school admissions’ section of the Harrow Council website, www.harrow.gov.uk).
If you are a parent resident outside Harrow, applications should be made through your home local authority’s admissions scheme. The academy will hold an open evening in September/October where prospective students and their parents are welcome to visit and find out more about the school.
Admissions Over-Subscription Criteria
If there are fewer applicants than there are places available for Year 7 entry in September 2023, everyone who applies will be offered a place.
Children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan or statement of special educational needs which names the Academy will be allocated a place at the Academy in accordance with their statutory entitlement.
If there are more applicants than there are places available after the admission of students with an Education, Health and Care Plan or statement of special educational needs naming the academy, the following criteria will be considered, in order, to determine who will be offered a place:
- Children who are looked after or were previously looked after – A ‘looked after child’ or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence, child arrangements, or special guardianship order. (See below for definitions of children who are looked after or were previously looked after);
- Medical or social needs of the child – Children for whom it is essential to be admitted to a specific school because of special circumstances to do with significant medical needs and or social needs. (See below for definition of medical or social needs of the child);
- Medical reasons relevant to parent(s) – Parent(s) where there are special medical reasons for seeking a place for their child at the school. (See below for definition of medical reasons relevant to parent(s) and parent);
- Siblings – Children with a brother or sister attending the academy in years 7 to 11 at the time of application. The sibling link does not apply to students who are attending the sixth form in September 2019. (see below for definition of sibling);
- Children of staff of the school – Children where their parent(s) has been employed by the academy trust at the academy for at least two years at the date of admission or where the member of staff has been recruited to a vacant post where there is a demonstrable skills shortage (see below for definition of parent); and
- Distance from home to school – Places are allocated to applicants who live closest to the school. This must be the address where parent and child normally live, and they must be living there on the closing date for receipt of applications. (See below for definition of distance).
Tie-breaker: If more applications are received in any one criterion than there are places available the tiebreaker of distance from home to school centre point, measured in a straight line, will be applied. The school centre point is computer generated and is the centre point of a bounded polygon of the school site that includes elements such as buildings, playgrounds and car parks but excludes playing fields. In cases where applicants live equidistant from the preferred school and places cannot be offered to both children, the available place will be allocated using a random computer selection.
Children of multiple births: In cases where there is only one place available at the school and the next child on the waiting list is one of a twin, triplet or other multiple birth group, both twins (or all the siblings in the case of other multiple births) would be admitted, even if this meant that the school would admit in excess of the admission number.
Distance – The home address is where a child normally lives. The distance will be measured in a straight line from the address point for the home address to the centre point for the school site. Each centre point factors in on-site buildings only and is agreed by the school. Distance is calculated using a computerised mapping system based on Ordinance Survey data. To find distances to schools in Harrow go to www.harrow.gov.uk/distancetool. In cases where applicants live equidistant from the preferred school and places cannot be offered to both children, the available place will be allocated using a random computer selection.
Home address – This must be the address where parent and child normally live, and they must be living there on the closing date for receipt of applications. Confirmation of address will be required. Where a child lives with parents with shared responsibility, each for a part of a week, then the address used will be the address where the child spends the majority of the school week. Where residence is split equally between parents, if no joint declaration is received by the closing date for applications, the home address will be taken as the address of the parent who receives child benefit; in cases where parents are not eligible for child benefit the address will be that of the parent where the child is registered with the doctor.
Children who are looked after or were previously looked after – 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) at the time of making an application to the school. 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 special guardianship order. An adoption order is an order under Section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. A ‘residence order’ or a ‘child arrangement order’ is an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989. Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).
In order to be given the highest priority for admission, a child has to fall within the definition of ‘looked after’ in section 22 (1) of the Children Act 1989. This Act applies to England and Wales, therefore a child has to be looked after by an English of Welsh local authority in order to be given highest priority.
Paragraph 1.7 of the School Admissions Code gives equal highest priority to ‘previously looked after children’. Given the definition of a looked after child, a child will have to have been looked after by an English or Welsh local authority in order to be considered previously looked after. Under paragraph 1.7 of the School Admissions Code, a child has to have been looked after immediately before they were adopted or became subject to a resident order or special guardianship order.
In addition, in order to fall within the definition of a previously looked after child, an adopted child must have been adopted under the Adoption and Children Act 2002. This Act did not come into force fully until December 2005, so it is not possible for a child to have been adopted under that Act prior to then.
Medical or social needs of the child – Except in wholly exceptional circumstances such requests will only be considered for the school closest to the home address. The application must be supported by written evidence. The supporting evidence should set out the particular reasons why the academy is the most suitable school and the difficulties that would be caused if the child had to attend another school. The recommendation for this specific school should demonstrate knowledge of the school in terms of resources and organisation which deems it essential that the named pupil be admitted to the academy. The academy can only consider entry under this criteria if the required documents have been produced.
Applications made on medical grounds must be accompanied by compelling medical evidence from a hospital Consultant at the time of application. The letter from the hospital consultant must provide information about the child’s medical condition, the effects of this condition and why, in view of this, the child needs to attend the academy. If the academy is not the school closest to the home of the child, the consultant must set out in detail the wholly exceptional circumstances for attending the academy and the difficulties if the child had to attend another school. In assessing these applications, advice may be sought from Harrow’s Special Education Needs Service.
Applications made on social grounds must be accompanied by compelling evidence at the time of application. Social needs claims will only be considered where there is involvement from a social worker. The application will need to be supported with a letter from a Divisional Director from Children and Families or a person holding a similar role in another local authority. The director must set out in detail the wholly exceptional circumstances that in their view require attendance at the academy and the difficulties if the child had to attend another school.
Parent’s can only make an application under this criteria (whether for medical or social need) to one school in Harrow.
Medical reasons relevant to parent(s) – Except in wholly exceptional circumstances such requests will only be considered for the school closest to the home address. Applications will only be considered for the parent(s) with whom the child lives and must be accompanied by compelling medical evidence from a hospital Consultant at the time of application. The letter from the hospital consultant must provide information about the parent’s medical condition, the effects of this condition and why, in view of this, the child needs to attend the academy. If the academy is not the closest school to the home address, the consultant must set out in detail the wholly exceptional circumstances for attending the academy and the difficulties if the child had to attend another school. In assessing these applications independent advice will be sought as appropriate (e.g. Harrow Association of Disabled People or Harrow’s Mental Health Service).
Medical claims relevant to parent(s) will only be considered for one school and this should be named by the consultant.
Parent(s) making a medical claim solely on the grounds of the young person’s need to be accompanied on the journey to school will not be allowed.
Sibling – Where children live as brother and sister in the same household they are treated in the same way as siblings for admissions purposes. This includes a child’s brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted/foster brother or sister, step-brother or sister living in the same family unit at the same address. It does not include cousins or other extended family members who live in the same household. In the case of twins, triplets and other multiple-birth children, if one child can be offered a place in the school, other multiple-birth children will be allocated a place in the school. Where twins are concerned and one twin has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan that names the school the other twin will be treated as having a sibling link for that academic year.
Parent – this means the parent who has parental responsibility as defined in the Children Act 1989, or the person in the household who is defined as a parent for the purposes of Section 576 of the Education Act 1996. This could include a person who is not a biological parent but who has responsibility for her or him (such as a child’s guardians) but will not usually include other relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles etc unless they have all the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities and authority, which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and their property.
Notification and acceptance of places
In accordance with the co-ordinated admissions policy, on 1st March 2023 the Local Authority will make the formal offer of a place to parents or carers on behalf of the Governing Body of the academy.
The onus is on parents to contact the Local Authority by their specified date (expected to be around 15 March 2023) to either accept or decline the offer of a place, using the acceptance form issued with the offer letter. This will in no way affect parents’ right to appeal for a place at another school. Harrow Council will write to all parents who have not accepted or declined an offer giving them a further 7 days. If no response is received a further letter will be sent to advise that the place has been withdrawn. Unaccepted places will be allocated to other applicants.
Parents can choose to appeal against the decision of the academy trust not to offer their child a place at the academy. Harrow Council administer any admissions appeals on behalf of the academy trust. To appeal against the decision not to offer their child a place, parents must complete the appeal forms that are available on the Harrow Council website (www.harrow.gov.uk/schooladmissions) or from the Harrow Council Admissions Team (0208 901 2620). To be considered in the first round of appeals, the notice of appeal must be received by the Council by the 31st March 2023.
The appeal will be heard by an independent appeals panel constituted and operated in accordance with the School Admissions Appeals Code. Parents will receive written notification of the date and time of their appeal hearing, which they can attend to explain their case. If they wish, parents may be accompanied by an adviser or friend. Following the appeal, the Clerk to the Appeals Panel will write to parents with the decision.
Waiting list for the incoming Year 7
Parents / carers can ask for their child’s name to be put on a waiting list for the academy. The waiting list will be maintained by Harrow Council Admissions Team on behalf of the academy trust from the offer date (1st March 2023)
The waiting list will give priority in accordance with the admissions criteria. Any places that become available will be filled in priority order from the waiting list or late applicants. Whenever a new applicant is added to the waiting list, the list will be reordered in accordance with the oversubscription criteria.
If a parent wants to make an in-year application for a child to join the academy they should complete the Common Application Form for In-Year Admissions that is available on the Harrow Council admissions website (www.harrow.gov.uk/schooladmissions) or from the Harrow Council Admissions Team (0208 901 2620). There is no Supplementary Information Form for the academy; parents only need to complete the Common Application Form. The Common Application Form should be returned to the Harrow Council Admissions Team who will then liaise with the schools who are listed on the form and write to the applicants with the result of their application.
In-Year admissions to years 7 – 11 will be considered in accordance with the number of places available at the school in the 2022/23 school year and over-subscription criteria outlined above and any places that become available will be filled in priority order from the existing waiting list and any current applications.
Fair access protocol
As part of the co-ordinated admissions arrangements with Harrow Council the school may accept hard-to-place pupils onto the school roll from time to time in accordance with the In-Year Fair Access agreement.
Admission to the Harrow Collegiate for Sixth Form
All students may continue to study in the sixth form of their current school, providing they meet the entry requirements of their selected courses.
A collegiate system operates at sixth form level within Harrow and some courses are offered through this arrangement. As a result some students from other schools and/or colleges join courses at a particular sixth form and some students from the school may join sixth form courses in other schools and/or colleges.
Applications should be made to the school by the first Friday in February in the academic year preceding the year of entry. Any applications from students who are not currently students at the academy will be judged according to the same entry requirements of the school and their selected subjects and will be offered places if there are spaces available in those subjects.
Admission of a child out of the normal age group
In exceptional circumstances, parents or carers may wish to seek admission to a year group that is not the normal group for a child of that age. If a parent or carer is considering this they must contact the school for a discussion prior to making an application. The Headteacher will consider a request and make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case and the best interests of the child concerned. This will include consideration of the parent’s or carer’s views, the academic, social and emotional development of the child, any relevant information provided by medical professionals, and whether they have previously been educated outside of their normal age group.
If the Headteacher refuses a request to consider an application for outside of the child’s normal age range, they will set out the reasons for this refusal. If the Headteacher agrees to the request, the application would be processed as part of the main admissions process and using the over-subscription criteria outlined above (if the request was received after the closing date for Year 7 entry, then the application would be considered alongside other late applications). While parents have a right of appeal against a decision to refuse admission to their child, there is no right of appeal if they have been offered a place but not in their preferred year group.