Community & voluntary controlled schools

Admission policy for 2024/2025

Any pupil has the right to apply for a place at any one of the schools for which Bolton Council is the admission authority.  

The Council will first admit all children with an Education, Health and Care Plan, in whose Plan the school is named.

Oversubscription Criteria:

If the school is oversubscribed the following criteria will be applied to all applications in priority order

  1. Children in Public Care (Looked After Children) or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements, or special guardianship order including those who appear (to the admissions authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.  A looked after child is a child who is (a) in the care of the local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see definition in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989).
  2. Children for whom there is a child protection plan or has been within a 12-month period (see definition under section 47 of the children act 1989).
  3. Children who will have a brother or sister in years Reception to Year 6 of the preferred school at the date of admission. This includes full, step, half, foster and adopted brothers and sisters or any child identifying as non-binary living as part of that family unit, living at the same address as the pupil requesting admission.
  4. Children who have strong Church connections where the school is a Church school. Parents must complete the supplementary form (see Downloads section for a copy) as evidence that the family and the child are active worshipping members at the church to which the school is affiliated. Active worshipping members of the church will be those persons who worship at least once a month sustained over a period of a year prior to the closing date for applications. The supplementary form can be downloaded from the website and must be submitted by 15 January 2024.
  5. Children who suffer from a medical condition or disability, which makes it, better for them to attend that school rather than another. Places will only be offered under this criterion if the child has a certified medical condition with strong professional supporting evidence confirming that existing exceptional problems with the child’s health would be seriously exacerbated if a place were not made at the preferred school. Medical evidence must be submitted by the closing date for applciations, 15 January 2024. Parents applying under this criterion must provide a letter from the child’s GP/Consultant setting out the reasons why the school is the most suitable school and details of the child’s medical condition. Medical evidence must be submitted to the school admissions team by 15 January 2024. Evidence received after this date will not be taken into consideration.
  6. Distance from school (Where you live) – Children who live nearest to the school will be offered places first.  Under this category the remaining places will be offered to children who live nearest the preferred school.  The distance will be measured in a straight-line which measures from the address point of the home property and designated main entrance to the school.



If any categories are oversubscribed, then geographical proximity (as set out in category 6 above) will be used as a tiebreaker.  If the proximity value is equal, then random allocation will be used as a tiebreaker. If after measuring distances, it is still not possible to decide on the child(ren) to offered admission (for example two children living in the same block of flats or in the same house) the local authority’s system of random draw will determine which of the children can be offered a place. The draw will take place at the local authority’s offices and the name(s) will be drawn by a local authority officer who is independent of the admissions process.

Priority for twins/multiple births

Where a single place remains at a school and the application being considered is for twins or other multiple births, the Council will allocate above the admission number to accommodate each child.

The child's home address

The child’s home address is considered to be the child’s parent/carer(s) place of residence, that is to say, where they are normally and regularly living. 

If you have shared parental responsibility, we advise that both parents agree on the school preferences before applying, only one application can be processed. Where a child spends an equal amount of time with both parent’s the address used will be the registered address i.e., the address that child benefit is paid to, or in the absence of this the address held by the child’s GP.  Failure to reach an agreement may result in your application being suspended until both parents can reach a mutually acceptable decision about their school preferences.  

If a child is resident with friends or relatives for reasons other than guardianship, the friend or relative’s address will not be considered. 

We may ask to see between two and four forms of evidence of your home address (photocopies are acceptable). This may include: 

  • proof of where you are registered for council tax 
  • Utility bill 
  • wage/ salary slip 
  • proof of your child tax credits 

Any evidence you provide must show that the parent or main carer lives at this address. We may seek evidence by other means if the parent/carer is unable to provide sufficient proof of their residence. 

If your address changes temporarily (for example, if you go to live with a relative or there is another reason for temporary vacation of the permanent residence) you cannot use this temporary address for the purposes of your application. 

Change of address

Any permanent change in address must be notified in writing or by email to the Admissions Team as soon as possible. It will not be possible to make any changes to the home address for allocation purposes after 15 February as school offers will be finalised. However, please still inform the admissions team of changes of address after this date so that offer information can be sent to the correct address. 

False information

If you give any fraudulent or intentionally misleading information to obtain a school place (for example, if you give the incorrect home address), we may withdraw the offer and your child may lose their place. 

If you suspect that someone has given false information to get a school place, please contact the admissions team. 

Please note that the Local Authority will take strong action and the place offered will be withdrawn, if any false or misleading information is given, including an address which is not the child’s home address as defined above. 

Waiting list policy

Children who are not offered a reception place for the September intake at their preferred school will be placed on the school’s waiting list. The waiting list will be maintained only for the statutory period (until 31 December). Should any places become available they will be allocated in accordance with the Local Authority’s published admission criteria. 

As children are added to the waiting list, the list will be re-ranked in accordance with the published admission criteria. This means that children can move both up and down the waiting list. 

After 31 December, if a parent wishes their child to continue to be considered for a school place, they will need to reapply for a place using the procedure for in-year admissions. 

Looked after children, previously looked after children and children who come under the Fair Access Protocol will take precedence over those on the waiting list. 

Right of appeal

If a child is refused a place at a preferred school, they will have the right of appeal for that school. Parents must give their grounds of appeal in writing and will be given at least 20 school days to submit these to the local authority. Further information can be found about appeals on the local authority’s website. 

Part time, deferred and delayed admission

The admission authority provides for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday. However, where a child has been offered a place at a school the child’s parents/carers can defer the date their child is admitted to the school until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which it was made. Alternatively, where parents wish, children may attend part time until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age. 

Parents wishing to take either of the above options should inform their allocated school as soon as a place is offered so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. 

Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health.   In addition, parents of children born between 1 April and 31 August (summer born children) may choose not to send that child to school until the September following their fifth birthday and may request that they are admitted out of their normal age group – to reception rather than year 1 i.e. starting reception a year later than those in their age group. These requests should be made to the school admissions team in writing giving reasons for the request. This should be done at the time the child would usually be expected to apply for a reception place. 

The request will be considered in conjunction with the school and the parent, and the admission authority for the school will decide on whether the child should be offered delayed admission or not. The decision, and the reasons for it, will be communicated to the parent in writing. Where a child is offered a place at a school but not in the year group preferred there will be no right of appeal.