Community & voluntary controlled schools

Community and voluntary controlled schools admission policy 2024/25

Any pupil has the right to apply for a place at any one of the schools for which Bolton Council is the admission authority.   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 Care Plan (EHCP) naming the school 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 a brother or sister in Year 7 to Year 11 of the preferred school at the time of admission.  Sibling includes full, step, half, foster and adopted brothers and sisters, and any child identifyng as non-binary living as part of that family unit, living at the same address as the pupil seeking admission.
  4. Children who suffer from some 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 provided by the closing date for applications, 31 October. 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 by 31 October 2023. Evidence received after this date will not be taken into consideration.
  5. Turton School only - All children for whom Turton School is their nearest school offering a secondary education excluding any faith based school or academy which is part of a faith based academy trust.  This will be determined by straight line distance measuring from the home address point to the designated main entrance ot the school.
  6. Distance (Where you live) – Children who live nearest 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 from the address point of the home property to the designated main entrance to the school.



If any category is oversubscribed geographical proximity as set out in category 6 will be used as the tiebreaker to decide between the remaining cases.  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 etc., 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 31 December 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 year 7 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 on the School Appeals page