Author: AspirePlus Educational Trust

Policy Date: October 2020 - October 2021

Review Date: October 2020

Approved By: Chair of Trust Board

Date of Approval: October 2020

This policy complies with the requirements of the Schools Admissions Code December 2014. Both academies in the AspirePlus Educational Trust: Longdendale High School and Rayner Stephens High School operate on an equal preference scheme managed by Tameside Local Authority.

Longdendale High School is an 11 – 16 Co-educational School with a pupil admission number of 180 from September 2020 and each year thereafter.

Rayner Stephens High School is an 11 – 16 Co-educational School with a pupil admission number of 180 from September 2020 and each year thereafter.

The application process is detailed in the ‘Moving On’ document provided by Tameside LA, this is available to download online:

All parents who live in Tameside wishing to apply for a place at an AspirePlus Educational Trust academy should use the online facility as outlined in the Moving On’ booklet as above. If you live outside of Tameside, you should complete the appropriate form from your local authority (e.g. Derbyshire) and this will be forwarded to the academy.

1. The Process

a) The online application form will invite parents to name 6 schools/Academies in order of preference; these can be in or out of Tameside. In allocating places Longdendale and Rayner Stephens will be part of the equal preference scheme coordinated by Tameside Council, details of which can be found in the ‘Moving On’ booklet.

b) The online application form will give parents the opportunity to include information to support an application to the appropriate school/academy.

c) A common timetable for all is applicable including a single notification date. The closing date for applications is the 31 October 2020.

Applications received after this date will be considered after all applications received on time have been processed, this rule applies even if your child has exceptional medical or social needs, or has a sibling at the academy. If your application is late, you may not receive an offer of a school/academy place on National Offer Day, 1 March 2021.

d) Changes to preferences, ranking order or student details, will not be allowed after the closing date of 31 October 2020 except in exceptional circumstances.

The closing date for submission if there are exceptional circumstances is 13 November 2020. Exceptional circumstances are applied in limited situations, for example, the family has recently moved address. Evidence must be provided to support the request. An intention to change address cannot be considered by the local authority until the move has actually taken place and proof is available, or parents may provide a solicitor’s letter confirming an exchange of contracts on a property, or a tenancy agreement. No changes can be considered even where there are exceptional circumstances once information has been exchanged with the other admission bodies by the Council, because the allocations process has commenced. In the case of secondary schools/academies this date is the 13 November 20120.

e) The online system will reopen two weeks after the closing date to accept late applications. Late applications will only be dealt with after all of those that have been received on time. This applies even if your child has exceptional medical or social needs, or has a sibling at the school. If your application is late, you may not receive an offer of a school place on National Offer Day.

f) The LA will liaise with Longdendale and Rayner Stephens over applications. Trustees/Governors will apply the academies oversubscription criteria, irrespective of the preference order, and provide the Local Authority with a list of applicants ranked according to the criteria.

g) Notification letters containing offers of a single school place will be sent out to parents in accordance with the coordinated admissions scheme. This is common with all other LAs nationally. These letters will also inform parents of their right of appeal, and who to contact, if an application to Longdendale or Rayner Stephens has not been successful.

h) Parents will not receive multiple offers.

i) If the school is oversubscribed, the Local Governing Board will maintain a waiting list. The waiting list will operate until the end of the Autumn term 2021. Parents who have expressed the school as a preference and have not been offered a place at the school, or at a higher preference school, will automatically be placed on the waiting list. All students on the waiting list will be ranked according to the oversubscription criteria. Places will be offered to the highest ranked application received by the date the place becomes available. If new or late applications have a higher priority under the oversubscription criteria, they will be ranked higher than those who have been on the list for some time. If the circumstances of children on the waiting list change (eg they move house) they should inform the Governing Body immediately and provide appropriate supporting evidence).

2. Published Admission Numbers for AspirePlus Educational Trust academies and Over Subscription Criteria

a. The published admission number for Year 7 at Longdendale is 180 students. And at Rayner Stephens is 180.

b. Where the number of applications for admission is greater than the published admissions’ number, applications will be considered against the criteria set out below. They will be applied in conjunction with explanatory notes 1 - 4 which form part of the admissions’ arrangements and can be found at the end of this document.

c. After the admission of students with statements of Special  Educational Needs where the academy is named on the statement, the criteria will be applied in the following order:

  1. Looked After Children (Note 1)
  2. Children and families with exceptional medical or social needs (Note 2)
  3. Sibling: This will apply where there are brothers or sisters attending the school at the time of application, who will still be attending at the time of admission, i.e. in the September when the student is admitted to Year 7. Preference will be given to students living nearest to the school.  Sibling criteria may apply where, at the time of application, an older sibling is expected to be on roll when a younger child starts at the Academy. If the older sibling unexpectedly leaves the school after an offer has been made to a younger child the offer of a place would not be withdrawn on these grounds. (Note 3)
  4. Children attending named partner primary schools at the time of application. Preference will be given to students living nearest to the school (Note 4)
  5. All other applications on distance. In the event of distances being the same for 2 or more applications where this distance would be the last place/s to be allocated, the place will be allocated to the student that is nearer using walking distance as measured using the Local Authority’s school admission data mapping software.

3. Appeals

Parents who are unhappy with their child’s school allocation have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel.

a) To appeal for a place at a Tameside Community High School, an academy, or Voluntary Aided School, please submit your response in writing to the School Admissions Team either by letter or by emailing by 27 March 2021 stating your grounds for appeal. Any appeals received after this date may be heard after others for that particular school. If you are appealing for a voluntary aided school or academy your appeal will be forwarded to the relevant school.

b) All appeals will be heard separately. Every effort will be made to hear appeals before the start of the Autumn Term, but no guarantee can be made that appeals submitted after the deadline will be heard by September.

c) You will be given 10 school days’ notice of your appeal hearing date, and you will be sent a copy of the school’s case. You can attend the hearing to present the case for your child. You may bring a friend or representative along. At the meeting, a representative from the school or the council will present the school’s case.

d) The Clerk to the Panel will inform you in writing of the Panel’s decision. The decision is binding and parents have no further right of appeal for the same school in the same school year, unless there has been a significant change in circumstances.

e) Please note that no places are ‘held back’ for appeals

f) Parents of students with a statement of Special Educational Needs have the right to appeal to the SEND Tribunal.

g) Whilst you are awaiting your appeal it is important that you consider alternative schools (including the one that has been allocated for your child) in case your appeal is unsuccessful.

h) If you wish to appeal for a school in another Local Authority area, you should contact the Admissions Team in that LA for advice.

i) Full details about the appeals process can be found online

4. Arrangements for admitting students to other year groups, including replacing any students who have left the academy

a) Subject to any provisions in TMBC’s coordinated admission arrangements relating to applications submitted for years other than the normal year of entry, the AspirePlus Educational Trust will consider all such applications and if the year group applied for has a place available.

b) If more applications are received than there are places available, the oversubscription criteria in section 2 paragraph b) shall apply. Parents whose application is turned down shall be entitled to appeal.

c) There will be a right of appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel for unsuccessful applicants.


[These notes are part of the admissions arrangements.]

Note 1

Looked after children or children who have previously been looked after but immediately after being looked after become the subject of an adoption, residence or special guardianship order. (See section1.7 of the Code)

Note 2

Written evidence must be provided by a suitably qualified professional – e.g. a GP or consultant for medical needs, or a social worker for social needs - that he/she has exceptional needs, which means that admission to a particular school is essential. A panel of Trustees/governors from the academy will make a decision as to whether to  admit a child under this criterion using the evidence provided. All information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Note 3

Sibling includes; natural sisters/brothers; half-sisters/brothers; step sisters/brothers; adopted sisters/brothers; sisters/ brothers of fostered children, and in each case living at the same address. This allows for the admittance of children whose siblings will still be attending the preferred school.

Where the last place to be allocated would mean that a sibling group i.e. twins, triplets or other multiple birth sibling groups would be split, the sibling group will be given priority over other children.

Note 4

Preference will be given to students living nearest to the school. The address from which distances are measured will be the permanent principal residential address, at the time of application, of the parent (as defined in the introduction to the TMBC Moving On booklet, "We're Here to Help"). The academy will not take into account an intention to move to another address without a solicitor's letter confirming an exchange of contract for purchase of a property, or a long-term agreement for renting a residential property.

When a child lives with parents who share responsibility, each for part of a week, the home address, for the purpose of distance measurements and travel considerations, will be that from which the child travels to school for the majority of school days during a normal school week.

Distance will be measured as a straight line from the child’s home address to the main gate to the school site which houses Year 7 students, using the LA’s school admissions data mapping software, which uses a Geographical Information System based on Ordnance Survey.