Note 1 - Looked after children or a child who was previously looked after. This category includes a looked after child or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being in care became adopted or subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order
Note 2 - Social or medical criterion. The authority will consider an application in this category only where the child, or his or her parent or guardian, can demonstrate a wholly exceptional medical or social requirement for attendance at the preferred school. It is expected that places will be given under this category in no more than a small number of instances in a year, if at all. To apply under this criterion, the parent or guardian must send a covering letter to support the application. It must explain the reasons for requiring a place under this criterion, why the preferred school is significantly more suitable than any other school for their child, and the difficulties likely to be caused by not attending it. Such difficulties must be so exceptional as to be extremely rare in the population. The reasons may be associated with the child or with the family. Supporting evidence must be included from a suitably qualified professional person associated with the child or the family, such as a consultant, a general practitioner, psychiatrist or a senior social worker. Evidence from members of the family, friends or a child minder will not normally be acceptable. All evidence must be on headed writing paper. Any evidence must be provided at the expense of the parent. The parent must give permission to the local authority to make such enquiries as it thinks necessary to investigate the matter further. All schools are able to work with special educational needs and are expected to accommodate severe medical needs. The authority is unlikely to accept that one school is more suitable than another on these grounds. Such difficulties as child care arrangements or the need to drop off/collect children at more than one school are unlikely to be acceptable without accompanying exceptional medical or social reasons. Applications lacking external objective evidence will be rejected under this category. Any rejected application will then be considered under the next highest appropriate category to the child. Applicants are strongly advised to name other schools within the permitted number of preferences. Applicants seeking to rely on these grounds must provide the necessary evidence by the closing date for applications. This will allow time for the authority to obtain additional evidence if necessary. It may not be possible to consider applications under this criterion after the closing date, even where a family has subsequently moved into the area. The strength of applications will be considered by two or more officers individually and then together, referring to another officer where disagreement exists. Those officers assessing the strength of an application should have knowledge of the admissions process and the School Admissions Code. The papers they consider must have the name of the child and his or her family redacted. Those officers must consider the application as objectively as possible and will note collectively. There will be no right of appeal to officers against refusal of a decision in this category, but all parents will have the usual right of appeal to an independent appeal panel after allocations of places have been published.
Note 3 Home Address – this is a child’s habitual residence and must be the address where you live with your child, unless you can prove that your child lives elsewhere with someone who has legal care and control of your child. We expect a child’s home address to be a residential property that is the child’s only or main residence, not an address at which your child may sometimes stay or sleep due to your domestic arrangements. The property must be owned, leased or rented by the child’s parent/s or the person with legal care and control of the child. Additionally, a child’s home address is where he or she spends most of the school week unless this is accommodation at a boarding school.
Joint Custody Arrangements – Where the child is subject to a child arrangements order and that order stipulates that the child will live with one parent/carer more than the other, the address to be used will be the one where the child is expected to live for the majority of the time. For other children, the address to be used will be the address where the child lives the majority of the time. Where the child lives equally with both parents and carers at different addresses the authority will consider all available evidence the parent or carer provides in order to confirm which address the authority will use to process the application, for example:
- any legal documentation confirming residence
- where the child spends the majority of the school week
- the pattern of the residence
- the period of time over which the current arrangement has been in place
- confirmation from the previous school of the primary contact details and home
- address provided to them by the parents
- where the child is registered with their GP
- any other evidence the parents may supply to verify the position
Note 4 – Maps showing the designated appropriate areas of Windsor & Maidenhead Schools are available on the RBWM website here: https://www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/schools-and-education/school-admissions/school-designated-areas and in the Borough’s main libraries.
Note 5 – Sibling Criterion. A sibling would need to be attending the school at the time of admission of the child for whom a place is sought. The term ‘sibling’ includes a half or step child permanently living in the same family unit or a foster child permanently living in the same family unit whose place has been arranged by the social services department of a local authority. Sibling eligibility will flow from a foster child to other children of the family or from a child of the family to a foster child.