Holy Trinity Admissions Policy

Parents will be notified by Northumberland County Council in the autumn term and will be asked to apply online. 

The governing body of Holy Trinity Voluntary Aided Church of England School is the Admissions Authority for the school and they intend to admit up to 30 pupils to the reception year group in September each year. This arrangement follows consultation between the governing body, the LA, all other schools in the area and all other Admission Authorities in the area. 

The school is open to receive applications for admissions from the parents of all children.  We must give priority to children in the care of the local authority (looked after children). Children with a Statement of Special Educational Need or with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan naming Holy Trinity First School will always be offered places.  If there is then greater demand for admission than there are places available, the following criteria will be applied in the order set out below:

Over-subscription Criteria

  1. Children who are looked after, or have been previously looked after, by a local authority (includes children subject to adoption, residence or special guardianship order). 
  2. Children with a sibling at the school at the time when they would be admitted to the school.  
  3. Children who live in the catchment area as defined by the Local Authority.  
  4. Children who have special medical needs, (supported by medical/professional opinion). 
  5. Children who have a parent who has been employed at the school for 2 years or more.
  6. Other children by distance from the school, with priority for admission given to children who live nearest to the school as measured by using Ordnance Survey data to plot an address in this system. Distances are measured from the main entrance of the child’s home to the main entrance of the school as specified in the school information pack.


Tie Breaker

Where there are places available for some but not all applicants within a particular criterion, distance from home to school will be the deciding factor, with preference given to those whose home address is nearest to the school, when measured by the Local Authority’ computerised measuring system.

Random allocation will be used as a tie-break in category 6 above to decide who has highest priority for admission if the distance between two children’s homes and the school is the same. This process will be independently verified.


Waiting List

The school office will maintain a waiting list of applicants until 31st December.  In the event of a place becoming available in the appropriate class during the year and there being more applicants on the waiting list than places available, the selection criteria and tie breaker indicated above will apply.



By “looked-after child” we mean one in the care of a local authority or being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of its social services function.  An adoption order is one made under the Adoption Act 1976 (Section 12) or the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Section 46). A ‘child arrangements order’ is one settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live (Children Act 1989, Section 8, as amended by the Children and Families Act 2014, Section 14).  A ‘special guardianship order’ is one appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian/s (Children Act 1989, Section 14A). Applications under this criterion must be accompanied by evidence to show that the child is looked after or was previously looked after (e.g. a copy of the adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order).

An ‘adoption order’ is an order made under section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.

A ‘residence order’ is an order outlining the arrangements as to the person with whom the child will live under section 8 of the Children Act 1989.

A ‘special guardianship order’ is an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian or guardians.

‘Sibling’ refers to blood brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or the child of a parent’s/carer’s partner – in every case the child should be living in the same family unit at the same address.

If applicants are seeking admission under the criterion of special medical needs, they will be asked to provide appropriate evidence, e.g. a letter from a doctor or specialist.  The evidence must clearly demonstrate why the school is the only school that can meet the child’s needs. It should explain the difficulties that would arise if the child has to attend an alternative school. This evidence must be submitted with the application on or before the closing date. The governors must be satisfied that there is a specified medical reason which makes attendance at this school essential.

Multiple Births - Where there are more applications than places, children from multiple births will be given priority within each criterion. If a further tie break is necessary, distance between home and school will be used to prioritise applications.



  • Parents are asked to let the head teacher know at the time of application whether their child has a disability. Parents should be assured that the nature of the disability is not grounds for refusing the application.  The school will make every reasonable adjustment to ensure that disabled children are not put at a substantial disadvantage in accessing a full curriculum and that they will not be treated less favourably, without reasonable justification, than their able-bodied peers.  
  • Nursery admissions are entirely separate and parents are asked to note that attendance at the school’s nursery does not guarantee a place in the reception class.
  • If there is a greater demand for admission than there are places available in Nursery, the school applies the same over-subscription criteria that it applies for applicants to the main school.
  • Parents who are refused a place have a statutory right of appeal.  Further details of the appeals process are available by writing to the Chair of Governors at the school address.
  • If a place is offered on the basis of false information (e.g. address) or if parents do not respond within the stated timescale to the offer of a place the governing body reserves the right to withdraw their offer.


Admission of children below compulsory school age and deferred entry to school

The School Admissions Code requires school admission authorities to provide for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday. However, a child is not required to start school until they have reached compulsory school age following their fifth birthday. For summer born children (those born after 1 April) this can sometimes be almost a full school year after the point at which they could first be admitted.

Some parents may feel that their child is not ready to start school in the September following their fourth birthday. Parents are entitled to request in writing that:-

  • their child attends part-time until they reach compulsory school age, or
  • the date their child is admitted to school is deferred until later in the same academic year or until the term in which the child reaches compulsory school age, or
  • that the date their child is admitted to school is deferred until the term after the child reaches compulsory school age.


The school will hold any deferred place for the child, although, in the majority of cases, we find that children benefit from starting at the beginning of the school year, rather than part way through it.  

The child must, however, start school full-time in the term after their fifth birthday.

If parents of summer born children wish to defer entry as outlined above and wish them to be admitted to the Reception Year in the term following their fifth birthday, rather than year 1, then parents should apply at the usual time for a place in September of the current academic year together with a written request that the child is admitted outside of his or her normal age group to the Reception Year in September the following year providing supporting reasons for seeking a place outside of the normal age group.  This should be discussed with the Head Teacher as soon as possible. If their request is agreed, and this should be clear before the national offer day, their application for the normal age group may be withdrawn before any place is offered and they should reapply in the normal way for a Reception place in the following year. If their request is refused, the parents must decide whether to wait for any offer of a place in the current academic year (NB it will still be subject to the over-subscription criteria in this policy) or to withdraw their application and apply for a year 1 place the following year.  Parents should be aware that the Year 1 group may have no vacancies as it could be full with children transferring from the previous Reception Year group.



School catchment areas:


Wide view of our catchment area. Zoomed in to show streets in the town. 


Link to Northumberland County Council school catchment areas page