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Admissions

Starting School in September 2017

Children should start primary school in September 2017 if they were born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013.

The Wells Free School is part of the Kent County Council Co-ordinated Scheme for Primary Admissions. Please visit the Kent County Council website for more information. The KCC website gives details about making a late application.

In Year Admissions

If your child is already at another school and you wish to apply for a place at The Wells Free School please complete the In Year Casual Application Form and return to the school at admissions@thewellsfreeschool.co.uk. Alternatively call the office on 01892 739075 to pick up a paper copy of the form.

The Application and Admissions process: What do I do if I do not get a school place for my child?

The admissions process can often be confusing and when your child is not offered a place at your preferred school you need to know what steps to take.  

If you’ve applied for a place at The Wells Free School and have not been offered one there are some options open to you.

  • You will be offered another school. All children of Reception age must be offered a school somewhere in Kent, and the Admissions Team will allocate the nearest suitable school to you. This will NOT necessarily be the nearest school to where you live. The school nearest to where you live will have an admissions procedure which shows you the order in which places are allocated. So at The Wells Free School places will be allocated firstly to children who are looked after by the Local Authority then to children who already have a brother or sister in school. The next children allocated to the school are children of founders and staff. Once all these places have been allocated, the remaining places are allocated to children according to how close they live to the school. So, in a year when there are a number of brothers and sisters, for example there will be fewer places for other children, and this means that, even if the school is your nearest in terms of distance, you may not be the closest applicant to it! Places are actually allocated according to who lives closest to the school, not according to which school is closest to the home.

It is always advisable to accept the place at the school you have been allocated and then to go onto the waiting lists of any other school you wish to attend. That means that you will have a place somewhere at least when September arrives. The pack you are sent by the Local Authority will tell you how to get yourself onto school waiting lists.

  • You can apply to go onto the Wells Free School waiting list. We will then put you in order according to the system outlined above. So, we will look to see if your child has a brother or sister in school, which will put you near the top of the list, after any new Looked After children. If there are no siblings, we will put you on the list according to the distance you live from the school. This is measured by a computer programme at the Local Authority, and is measured on a straight line basis between the front door of your house and the school. It doesn’t take into account the route you might walk.
 
  • You can appeal for a place through the appeals procedure, but only if you believe there has been a mistake in your allocation, or there are very serious issues such as some severe medical issues for the child. Unfortunately, your capacity to get to the school isn’t taken into account, even if you cannot drive. Allocated schools will usually be within 2 - 3 miles of your address – any further and the Local Authority may offer you transport. This excerpt is from the kent.gov website:

Your child can get free travel if they attend the nearest school suitable for their age and ability, and they are:

  • over 8 years old and live more than 3 miles from the school using the shortest available walking route.
  • under 8 years old and live more than 2 miles from the school using the shortest available walking route.

A walking route can include public footpaths and is a route that a child, accompanied as necessary, can walk to and from school with reasonable safety to school.

  • Your nearest suitable school may not always be the school of your choice, and won't take into account your preferences for types of school, for example a single-sex school, sports college or grammar school.
 
  • Just because a school is your nearest school, this is not grounds for an appeal. Neither is proximity to after school carers, difficulties with transport, parental illness or convenience of hours of opening. It is extremely unusual for a school to be directed to take pupils above its published pupil number (ours is 24 in each year group). That’s why it is so important to accept the place you are given before seeking an alternative! You can always turn the place down if a more suitable one is offered at a later date.

Waiting Lists at The Wells Free School.

You can ask to go onto our waiting list if you named us on your first application, or later in the year as an “in year admission”. We will place you on the list according to the over subscription criteria outlined before. During the year, we call everyone on the list to see if they still wish to remain. Sometimes people wish to come off, and we then move the other waiting list children up accordingly. Sometimes a new child will apply to come onto the waiting list and they may be put on the list further up than existing children because they are a sibling, looked after, or live closer to the school. As soon as a place becomes available, we call the first person on the waiting list to offer the place, and then work down the list in order until the place is taken.

What options are open to parents regarding school places? 

If your child is four years old and eligible to apply for a school place, you can:

  • Take the place offered to you;
  • Go on the waiting list of other schools, but take up the place offered until another place becomes available;
  • Appeal for a place at your chosen school – but BEARING IN MIND that there are very few grounds upon which an appeal will be upheld if the school is full and there are no major health issues which require the place to be allocated;
  • Home educate on a full time basis – you will need to inform the local authority if you wish to do this.

It’s very disappointing when you don’t get the school you have set your heart on. But, particularly in this area, we are extremely fortunate to have a large number of fantastic schools. Even if you think the school you have been given isn’t right for you, it’s always worth a try. You will probably be very pleasantly surprised. And in a large town like Tunbridge Wells, there are many public transport options to help you.

If you require further help, please don’t hesitate to ask – we can point you in the right direction.

Downloads

Admission Forms