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In-year co-ordination scheme

In-year co-ordination scheme for West Northamptonshire Council (WNC)

This scheme sets out the arrangements for co-ordinating in-year admissions for community and voluntary controlled schools located in West Northamptonshire and for those own admission authority schools who have opted into this scheme.

Admission AuthorityType of school
West Northamptonshire CouncilCommunity and Voluntary Controlled (VC) schools
Academy TrustAcademies and Free schools*
School’s Governing BodyVoluntary Aided (VA) and Foundation schools*

*these are known as own admission authority (OAA) schools.

In-year applications 

  1. If parents/carers apply for their child to join a year group other than the normal point of entry, this is known as an in-year application. The normal point of entry, known as a relevant age group, is usually reception for primary and infant schools, year 3 for junior schools and year 7 for secondary schools. Applications are also considered as in-years when they are for admission to a relevant age group but are submitted on or after the first day of the new academic year. 
  2. Applicants requesting a place at a school outside West Northamptonshire should contact the relevant local authority to find out how to apply for a place at that school.

Requirements of the School Admissions Code (2021)

  1. Local Authorities (LAs) are not legally required to co-ordinate in-year applications for schools for which they are not the admission authority. However, schools can opt into the LA in-year scheme. 
  2. WNC will publish information on its website by 31 August at the latest each year to explain how in-year applications can be made and how they will be dealt with from 1 September onwards in that year. This will include information on which schools manage their own in-year admissions.
  3. OAA schools must inform the LA by 1 August at the latest each year whether they intend to opt into the LA’s in-year co-ordination scheme for the following 1 September to 31 August, or whether they will be managing their own in-year applications.
  4. OAA schools must, by no later than 31 August each year, set out on their website how in-year applications will be dealt with for the following 1 September to 31 August period. If OAA schools choose to opt-in to WNC’s scheme, they must set out on their own website how parents/carers can find the relevant scheme on the WNC website.
  5. All in-year applications must be processed in accordance with the with the School Admissions Code (2021) regardless of the type of school/admission authority. 

Oversubscription criteria

  1. All admission authorities are required to publish a set of admission arrangements that clearly set out how children will be admitted to the school, including the oversubscription criteria that will be applied if there are more applications received than places available. The admission arrangements for all community and VC schools can be found on the WNC website. The oversubscription criteria for all OAA schools can be found on the schools’ websites and on the WNC website. 

Making an application

  1. Parents/carers can apply online via the WNC website for an in-year place at any school in West Northamptonshire except those listed below. If parents/carers wish to apply for a place at one of the below schools, they should apply directly to the school. If we receive an in-year application for one of these schools, details of the application will be forwarded directly to them.
Barby CE Primary SchoolKislingbury CE Primary SchoolSilverstone CE Primary
Blakesley CE Primary SchoolMarie Weller Primary SchoolSilverstone UTC
Bracken Leas Primary SchoolMilton Parochial Primary SchoolSpratton CE Primary School
Braunston CE Primary SchoolNewbottle & Charlton CEVAStaverton CE Primary School
Buckton Fields Primary SchoolNorthampton SchoolSt Andrew’s CEVA Primary School
Caroline Chisholm SchoolNorthampton School for BoysSt James CE Primary School
Collingtree CE Primary SchoolNicholas Hawksmoor PrimarySt Luke’s CE Primary School
Duston School, ThePreston Hedge’s Primary SchoolTowcester CE Primary School
Greens Norton CE PrimaryPineham Barns Primary SchoolWelford, Sibbertoft & Sulby Endowed
Guilsborough CE PrimaryParklands Primary SchoolWoodland View Primary
Hackleton CEVA PrimaryRadstone Primary AcademyWootton Primary School
  1. A paper application form to apply for a place at any school other than those listed above is also available upon request from the School Admissions team by sending an email to [email protected].
  2. The WNC in-year application form will allow parents/carers, applying from both inside and outside West Northamptonshire, to express a preference for up to three WNC schools (other than those listed in section 9) in ranked order.
  3.  In-year applications should not be made more than 28 school days in advance of when the school place is required as school place offers cannot be held open indefinitely. The School Admissions team will advise parents/carers who apply too early to apply again within 28 school days of the date the school place is required. Separate rules apply for children of UK service personnel and crown servants where applications may be processed in advance. Please refer to section 15 for more details.
  4. Families living overseas may submit an application for a school place. They must apply from the address they are returning to in the UK and provide evidence that this will be their home address.
  5. WNC will allocate places to children of UK service personnel or crown servants in advance of the family arriving in the area, provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address in West Northamptonshire. If it is not possible to offer a place at a preferred school, a place will be offered at the closest school with a vacancy in the appropriate year group.
  6. Parents/carers wishing to apply for a school place outside their child’s normal age group will need the agreement of the admission authority that the requested year group is the appropriate year group for their child. For OAA schools, parents/carers should, at the same time as making their application, write to the school so the request can be considered by the school’s admission authority. For Community and VC schools, parents/carers should write to the LA ([email protected]) so their request can be considered. Applications will not be processed until a decision has been made by the admission authority on which year group the child should be in.

Consideration of applications

  1. Some OAA schools will require a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) to be completed. In these cases, the School Admissions team will contact schools as necessary to see if the applicant has completed this. If the SIF has not been submitted to the school, the applicant will not be considered under any criterion to which the SIF relates.
  2. Similarly, if the applicant states on their application form that the child is a child of a member of staff and this is relevant to the over-subscription criteria, the School Admissions team will contact the school directly to verify this.
  3. Parents/carers may apply for up to three schools on their application form.  If more than one school has a place available in the child’s year group, a place will be offered at the highest ranked school where a place is available.
  4. When a place cannot be offered at any of their preferred schools, the School Admissions team will offer a place at the nearest school to the child’s home address with a place available, known as an “alternative school”.
  5. The School Admissions team will not offer a place at an alternative school to pupils who are already on roll at a WNC school (unless the child/family has moved house or the parent/carer confirms they would prefer a place at this alternative school rather than keeping their child at the current school).
  6. The LA aims to inform parents/carers of the outcome of their applications within 10 school days. The legal timescale for processing an application is 15 school days. 
  7. Some in-year applications will be complex and on receipt may have to be referred to the Fair Access Protocol (FAP) where different timescales apply.  You can find full details of the WNC Fair Access Protocol on our website.

After places are allocated

  1. Schools are expected to contact parents/carers about a start date and to place children on roll within five school days of allocation. Every effort must be made by the school to contact the parent/carer. If the parent/carer fails to respond, the place may be withdrawn and reallocated. Schools must follow their safeguarding procedures to ensure that children are not missing education.
  2. If a parent/carer declines the offer of a school place, the School Admissions team will inform the relevant school. Parents/carers who refuse offers of school places, must inform the LA of how they plan to educate their child.
  3. Where an in-year place has been allocated and a school does not wish to admit the child because it has good reason to believe that the child may display challenging behaviour, it may refuse and refer the child to the FAP (see School Admissions Code (2021) - paragraph 3.10. The parent/carer will be informed and the offer withdrawn whilst the FAP is administered.
  4. If parents/carers believe they may be eligible for transport to school, they will need to contact the School Transport team.

School Appeals

  1. Parents/carers have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a preferred school. Where an application is refused, parents/carers must set out their grounds for appeal in writing. The LA will set out the reason for refusal and information about how to appeal in accordance with paragraph 2.32 of the School Admissions Code.

Operation of Waiting lists

  1. Waiting lists for all community and VC schools and OAA schools opting-in to this scheme (i.e. those other than the schools listed in section 9) will be held and administered centrally by WNC and will be ranked in accordance with the published oversubscription criteria.
  2. If it has not been possible to offer a place at a preferred school, parents/carers should contact the School Admissions team in writing, requesting that their child be added to the waiting list.
  3. Waiting lists are cleared at the end of each full term (i.e., after 31 December, 31 March and 31 August). In order for your child to remain on the waiting list you will need to submit your request to the School Admissions team in writing before these dates.
  4. Applicants wishing to remain on a waiting list during the following academic year must make a new application as the application will be for a different year group.

Last updated 04 June 2024