Community & voluntary controlled schools

Admission policy for 2023/2024

Any pupil has the right to apply for a place at any one of the schools for which Bolton Council is the admission authority.  Initially places will be allocated to children with an Educational Health and Care Plan which names a school in part 4 of that care plan.

Where demand for a school exceeds the number of places available the council needs to allocate places based on a fair and objective method. Where a community school is oversubscribed the criteria listed below will be applied in priority order. All applications will be considered without reference to the parents/carers preference ranking for a school.

Children who have an Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) will be offered places first. The following criteria will then apply:


  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 older siblings in years Reception to Year 6 of the preferred school at the time of application and date of admission. Sibling includes full, step, half, foster and adopted brothers and sisters living at the same address.
  4. Children who have strong Church connections where the school is a Church school. Parents must complete the supplementary form 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 2023.
  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. Applications 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 local authority by 15 January 2023. Evidence received after this date will not be taken into consideration.
  6. Proximity (Where you live) – Children who live nearest to the school (geographical proximity).  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 using route finder a computerized mapping system which measures from the centre 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.

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.