Starting School

Children reach compulsory school age at the beginning of term after their fifth birthday. The children due to be admitted in any academic year are those born between 1st September and the following 31st August. Each school decides as a matter of policy when to admit four year olds. In coming to a decision the Headteacher has to take account of the number of teachers, class sizes and the accommodation at the school.

Admissions Policy

In line with Kent County Council’s commitment to open enrolment, Chilham St. Mary’s will do its best to provide a place for a child at the school, but this may not always be possible. The capacity of the accommodation or other constraints at our school may mean that parental preference cannot be met.

Admission may have to be refused, for example, if it would lead to oversized classes now or later, or it would prevent resources from being used efficiently. In some years we have not been able to accept all applicants to the school.

The LEA has to plan the number of children admitted to each school very carefully to make sure that no school is overcrowded. For this reason Chilham St. Mary’s intends to admit a maximum of 15 children into Reception for the new academic year. (There is no set allocation of places for admissions of children entering school other than in Reception).

If the number of preferences for our school is less than this figure, there is usually no problem in meeting parents’ wishes. However, there may be occasions where so many parents want places that difficult decisions have to be made.

When this happens, places at County schools are allocated by the LEA (or Headteacher acting on its behalf) taking account of the following priority order:
•     Children in care of the Kent County Council;
•     Current Family association (a brother or sister in the same school at the time of entry where the family continue to live at the same address as when the sibling was admitted – if they have moved – live within 2 miles of the school – or have moved to a new property that is nearer to the school than the previous property);
•     Health reasons (children who for reasons of health or physical impairment need to attend a particular school)
•     Nearness of children’s homes to school

Changing Schools

If you want to transfer your child from one primary school to another, other than at the normal transfer age (for example because you are moving home), you should contact the school, it would also be helpful if you could inform the Headteacher of your child’s present school. The transfer of a child to another school on educational grounds can be considered at any time.

Appeals Against Admission Decisions

Parents who are unhappy with an admission decision at a particular County school can appeal in writing to the Education Office. If you are not satisfied with this decision, the case can be referred to members of the Education & Libraries committee. There is a final stage of appeal to an Independent Statutory Appeal Committee, although if the admission of the child would breach Infant class Size Limit, this appeal can only be upheld where parents demonstrated the Authority has acted unreasonably or erroneously in refusing their child a place.

How to apply…

Applications for Reception places are taken online through the Kent County Council Website – KCC Admissions. Please note that there are set deadlines and special forms for children entering Reception. Information is usually available in the December before your child is due to start school, with deadlines for application usually in January before your child is due to start school.

In Year Applications need to complete the  IYCAF FORM and return it to the school either by post or email.