In accordance with legal requirements, children who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs naming The Bicester School in Part 4 of the Statement will always be admitted (Providing that the needs of the child can be met in accordance with the statement).
The admission rules for community secondary schools are shown below in descending order of priority.
1. Children who are “looked after” by a Local Authority (LA) within the meaning of Section 22 of the Children Act 1989 at the time of their application, and “previously looked after” children. The term previously looked after” refers only to children who were looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
2. Disabled children who need to be admitted to a school on the grounds of physical accessibility. The definition of disability is that contained within the Equality Act 2010.
3. Children who attend one of the Bicester Learning Academy (Multi Academy Trust) Schools, whether they live in the school’s designated (catchment) area or not.
4 . Children who live in the school’s designated (catchment) area. If there are more applicants than places in this category, priority will be given in the following descending order:
a. First priority in category 4 will go to those children who have a brother or sister on roll already at the time of application who will still be attending at the time of entry. However, if there are more applicants than places, priority will be given to those children who live closest to the school using the shortest designated public route as defined on the Directorate for Children, Education & Families’ Geographic Information System.
b. Second priority in category 4 will go to those children who live closest to the school by the shortest designated public route as defined on the Directorate for Children, Education & Families’ Geographic Information System.
5. Children living outside the designated (catchment) area who will have a brother or sister on roll at the time of application who will still be attending at the time of entry. If there are more applicants than places, priority will be given to children who live closest to the school by the shortest designated public route as defined on the Directorate for Children, Education & Families’ Geographic Information System.
6. Children who attend a partner primary school, and live outside the designated (catchment) area. If there are more applications than places, priority will be given to those children who live closest to the school by the shortest designated public route as defined on the Directorate for Children, Education & Families’ Geographic Information System.
7. Those children who live closest to the school by the shortest designated public route as defined on the Directorate for Children, Education & Families’ Geographic Information System.
Children, Education and Families Directorate. Brothers and sisters (siblings)
For admissions purposes, a brother or sister is defined as one of the following:
- A brother or sister (both parents the same) living at the same home address, or
- A half- brother or half-sister (one parent the same) living at the same home address, or
- A step-brother or step-sister (sharing a parent who is married or in a civil partnership) living at the same home address, or
- An adopted child who, by reason of the adoption, now shares one or more parents with a child living at the same home address.
Children, Education and Families Directorate measuring distances from home to school
For all schools where the Local Authority (LA) is the Admissions Authority (AA) for the school and any schools where the Admissions Authority (the Governing Body) has a policy to use the LA’s measuring system, the route from home to school has been measured using the “shortest designated route” since September 2005 *.
The start point of a measurement is the “seed point” of the home address. The “seed point” is provided by Ordnance Survey from information compiled from Royal Mail and/or district or city councils. The seed point normally falls within the bounds of a property. The accuracy of seed points is to the nearest ten centimetres. It is possible to move the location of an individual seed point, but this is not necessary for most addresses. It is not possible to verify the individual location of every seed point prior to measuring due to the number of addresses in Oxfordshire and surrounding areas.
From the seed point the route firstly connects to the nearest point of the digitised network namely the road on which the house is situated. The positioning of front doors, driveways and back gates are not relevant to the route or the measurement and are not programmed to be used by the measuring system.
The digitised network is constructed from road data supplied by Ordnance Survey called the Integrated Transport Network (ITN). The Integrated Transport Network has been accurately digitised to measure along the centre of roads and takes corners at right angles. This is the same underlying information as used by internet-based mapping solutions (e.g. Google Maps).
However, the LA has a more accurate start point than internet-based mapping solutions and the ITN has been augmented by the LA to take into account other available public routes (e.g. alleyways, public footpaths, bridleways, etc). Ordnance Survey assures that the augmented ITN used by the LA is accurate to at least 1 metre. All 548,000 kilometres of roads in Great Britain are accurately mapped in a consistent and logical network. The network does not include routes that are not defined as public; these include crossing parks with no paths where the park is not open and available all the time, “short-cuts” across patches of open land without paths, or footpaths across private land which are not defined by Ordnance Survey as public routes.
The end point of the “shortest designated route” is the nearest open gate of the school first arrived at from the direction of travel from the seed point officially available for use by students for entry and exit to the school site at the start and end of the school day. The location of these gates has been set by the LA. The LA consults with each individual school annually to ensure accurate placement of the gate and its availability for use.
The shortest designated route is established using an algorithm within the bespoke software used by the LA. This software is called RouteFinder and is produced by Higher Mapping Solutions (www.highermappingsolutions.com). This programme integrates with the LA’s database (ONE) which is supplied by Capita Children’s Services (www.capita-cs.co.uk). RouteFinder measures in kilometres and the measurement is converted into miles accurate to three decimal places, which gives an accuracy up to 1.609344 metres.
The “shortest designated route” is not necessarily a driving route because it may use in whole or in part a non-driveable route (e.g. footpaths). The “shortest designated route” is also not necessarily a walking route for example, where roads are used, the measurement is along the centre of the road not along the edge (pavement or equivalent) of the road.
Other measuring systems may give a different measurement but the LA cannot take a measurement from another measuring system into account because this would constitute maladministration of the admissions process by the Admissions Authority for the school. For addresses which are outside the digitised network (approximately 6 miles outside Oxfordshire’s county boundary) an internet mapping solution will be used. For addresses in Europe, we use www.maps.google.co.uk
For addresses outside Europe, we measure a straight line distance using longitude and latitude. Firstly, we derive a start point (the home address) using itouchmap.com/latlong.html We then measure the straight line distance in statute miles from this start point to the end point (the school gate) using www.nhc.noaa.gov/gccalc.shtml
* A small number of ‘Own Admission Authority’ schools measure using a straight-line distance from home to school. The LA also calculates these distances for those particular schools.
Terms used in this explanation
“Shortest designated route”: The shortest distance between two points calculated using a computer programme as defined in this explanatory document
Geographic information: A system designed to capture, store, manipulate, System (GIS) analyse, manage and present all types of geographic data. The Admissions Team of Oxfordshire County Council uses MapInfo (supplied by Pitney Bowes Software) for its GIS needs
Local Authority (LA): Oxfordshire County Council
Admissions Authority (AA): The authority that has responsibility for admissions decisions. For Community and Voluntary Controlled schools the AA is Oxfordshire County Council. For all other schools and academies the AA is the Governing Body, a sub-group of the Governing Body or a group given authority to make admissions decisions by the Governing Body. The AA is never an individual person
Ordnance Survey: The national mapping agency for Great Britain, an executive agency and non-ministerial government department of the UK Government
“Seed point”: A geographically defined spatial point set by Royal Mail and/or district or city councils, and supplied to Ordnance Survey which then sells that data to other organisations (e.g. Oxfordshire County Council). The seed point used by the Admissions Team of Oxfordshire County Council is the “all numeric British Coordinate System” (easting and northing) easting a measurement in metres east of the south-west corner of the SV square of the Ordnance Survey mapping grid (this square is in the far south-west of the British Isles and includes the Scilly Isles). Oxfordshire County Council uses a six-digit integer and a single decimal place (accuracy to 10 centimetres) northing a measurement in metres north of the south-west corner of the SV square of the Ordnance Survey mapping grid (this square is in the far south-west of the British Isles and includes the Scilly Isles). Oxfordshire County Council uses a six-digit integer and a single decimal place (accuracy to 10 centimetres) digitised network the geographic database of all possible, available, measurable routes. The digitised network is based on the Integrated Transport Network (ITN) produced by Ordnance Survey augmented to include additional non-driveable public routes
“nearest open gate”: the first gate arrived at from the direction of travel which is available for use by students for entry and exit to the school site at the start and end of the school day
Algorithm: a series of programmed instructions carried out by the RouteFinder software which calculates all available routes between the start and end points and outputs the shortest
RouteFinder: GIS-based software produced by Higher Mapping Solutions (www.highermappingsolutions.com) which is designed to find the shortest measurement between two defined points using the available network.
ONE database: Database created by Capita Children’s Services (www.capitacs.co.uk) used by Oxfordshire County Council to hold information about children and their applications for school places
Children, Education and Families Directorate – Home address
The address on the application should be the child’s address at the time of application. This is the address at which the child spends the majority of term-time school nights (Sunday night to Thursday night).
Changes of address: Changes of address which occur after 31 October 2013 can be taken into account if proof of this change is provided no later than 22 November 2013 (see below). To confirm your new
address, we need one of the following:
- A solicitor’s letter advising contracts have been exchanged (if the property is being
- A copy of a tenancy agreement (if the property is to be rented). If this tenancy
agreement comes to an end before September 2014 we may not accept the address
for admissions purposes; or
- A copy of your Council Tax Bill showing the same name(s) as in Section 5 of the CAF.
- Letter from a new employer (e.g. University college) where accommodation is being
provided by them and is tied to the new post/job giving details of this new address; or
- New Quarter Information if this is a military posting with provided accommodation; or
- Assignment Order if this is a military posting but new quarter has not yet been notified.
We may also ask for proof from HM Revenue & Customs, Child Benefit Division or Tax Credits Division. Such correspondence must pre-date the application you have made.
Where children spend time with parents at more than one address then the address given on the form should be the one that they live at (i.e. sleep at) for the majority of term-time school nights (Sunday night to Thursday night).
If children spend time equally at different addresses then the address we will use for admissions purposes will be the one registered for child benefit. We will request proof of the registered address, which must pre-date the application.
If a place has been obtained on the basis of a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application (for example, a false claim to residence in a designated/ catchment area) and this results in the denial of a place to a child with a stronger claim, the admission authority for the school may withdraw the offer of the place. This follows the guidance in paragraphs 2.12 and 2.13 of the School Admissions Code (February 2012) published by the Department for Education:
[2.12] An admission authority must not withdraw an offer of a place unless it has been offered in error, parents have not responded within a reasonable amount of time, or it is established that the offer was obtained through a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application. Where the parent has not responded to the offer, the admission authority must give the parent a further opportunity to respond and explain that the offer may be withdrawn if they do not. Where an offer is withdrawn on the basis of misleading information, the application must be considered afresh, and a right of appeal offered if an offer is refused.
[2.13] A school must not withdraw a place once a child has started at the school, except where that place was fraudulently obtained. In deciding whether to withdraw the place, the length of time that the child had been at the school must be taken into account. For example, it might be considered appropriate to withdraw the place if the child has been at the school for less than one term.