The local authority (LA) has responsibility for co-ordinating all normal years of entry, i.e. admission to reception class, transfer from an Infant to a Junior school, and the transfer from primary to secondary school. The LA’s Fair Access team is responsible for co-ordinating all other admissions. These are called ‘in year applications’ and would include:
- Children wishing to change from one school to another school within the borough
- Children who have arrived into the borough requiring a school place
- Children wishing to move from an independent school to a school maintained by the Council
The local authority is the admission authority for community and voluntary controlled schools. The Governing Body of a voluntary aided, foundation, trust school or academy/free school is their own admission authority.
Fair access protocol
This protocol operates outside of the ‘normal’ in year admission arrangement and particularly applies to the following groups of vulnerable children:
- Children from the criminal justice system or Pupil Referral Units who need to be reintegrated into mainstream education
- Children who have been out of education for two months or more
- Children of Gypsies, Roma, Travellers, refugees and asylum seekers
- Children who are homeless
- Children with unsupportive family backgrounds (pupils on CPP)
- Children who are carers
- Children with special educational needs, disabilities or medical conditions (but without a statement, EHCP or IPRA)
Schools and Local Authorities are also free to include within a Fair Access Protocol other categories to meet the needs of children residing in the area. Please contact the Fair Access team for further information on this.
Children with an EHCP, Statement for SEN or an IPRA
Please contact the LA’s Statutory Assessment team regarding applications for a school place for a child with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), Statement for Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Individual Pupil Resourcing Agreement (IPRA).
Stage 1: In year admission form (IYAF)
Parents / carers of Blackburn with Darwen (BwD) children must complete the Council’s In-Year Admission Form in order to apply for admission to any publically-funded school within the boundary of BwD. This form is available from either the ‘Fair Access’ or ‘Place Planning and Admissions’ teams.
The completed In-Year Application form should then be submitted to the ‘Fair Access’ team.
The In-Year Admission form allows parents / carers to express up to three preferences in order of preference and to state reasons for the preferences.
When applying for admission for the following schools parent(s)/carer(s) must also complete an additional school application form that is available within the Council’s prospectus and should be returned to the school:
- St Wilfrid’s CE Academy
- Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School
Parent(s)/carer(s) who are applying for admission under the Muslim faith and / or mosque membership criteria for the following schools must also complete an additional school application form which is available within the Council’s prospectus and should be returned to the school.
- The Olive School
- Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School
- Tauheedul Islam Boys High School
If you are applying for a place at an aided (faith) school, please contact the school as you may also need to complete an additional form available from the school.
Stage 2: Process for considering applications
The local authority may seek further information from your child’s current school.
The LA will provide details of your application to the admission authorities of the schools which you have indicated as a preference on the In-Year Admission form. The local authority will normally do this within 10 school days of receiving your application form and information from the current school (where applicable).
The order of preference, whether a first, second or third preference, will not be taken into consideration at this stage.
Provided all the relevant information has been provided with the In-Year application form, each of the admission authorities will apply its own published admission criteria and reply to the ‘Fair Access’ team indicating whether a place can be offered to your child. The Admission Authority should do this within 5 school days of receiving all the relevant information.
Not all local authorities co-ordinate the in-year admission process. If you are considering applying for a school place outside of BwD, you should contact that local authority to seek information about their application process.
Stage 3: Letter offering/refusing a school place
If it is possible to offer admission at more than one of the preferred schools then the school at which a place will be offered will be the one that is the highest ranked on the application form. Offers from lower preference schools will be removed and these places (if available) will be offered to other eligible children.
Once it has been possible to determine the BwD school at which a place can be offered to your child, the LA’s ‘Fair Access’ team will contact you informing you of the outcome of your application for admission.
If you have been refused admission to a BwD school, the LA’s letter will advise you of your right of appeal and provide details of the appeals process.
If you wish to accept the place offered, you must contact that school to confirm your acceptance. If you do not make contact with the offered school within 7 days of receipt of the written offer of a place, the offer may be withdrawn, and may be offered to another child applying for a place at that school.
If a school place is offered and this is then found to have been based upon fraudulent or inaccurate information then it may be withdrawn. This can apply even where a child has started at the school. If the child is allowed to continue at that school, even though the information was false, their siblings will not be given priority for places at that school under the “sibling” category in the admission criteria if they then apply for places at the school in question.
The LA will maintain a waiting list for admission to community/voluntary controlled schools for those children whose parents have indicated they want their children to be placed on such a list.
If your child has been refused a place at a voluntary aided, foundation, trust schools or at an academy or free school, please contact that school/academy to ascertain whether a waiting list is maintained by the school or academy.