Applying for a Reception place 2023
Applications for a Reception place in September 2022 have closed. Applications for September 2023 open on the 1st November 2022 and close in January 2023.
You will need to apply for a September 2023 Reception place if your child's fifth birthday is between 1st September 2023 and 31st August 2024.
How do I apply for a Reception place?
At Berkswich CE Primary, we follow Staffordshire’s School Admissions arrangements and, therefore, parents must apply directly to the County Council. The quickest and easiest way to apply for a Reception class place is to complete an online application. Please follow the link to apply for a place (Staffordshire County Council Admissions). This link will also provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding the application process and key dates for parents and carers. If you are unable to apply online, you will need to download a form found by clicking here.
Please also see our school's admission policy which can be found in the school policies area of our website. Our school's admission criteria is at the bottom of this page; the full policy may be accessed here.
Please note: you must apply for a place, even if you have an older child already attending this school. Having a Nursery place already, does not mean that you are automatically offered a Reception place, since school does not manage the admissions arrangements.
We warmly invite children, parents and carers to visit school and find out more about our Berkswich CE family. For information about tours and open days, please click here.
Applications for September 2023 closed on 15th January 2022. You can make a late application by completing the relevant paper application form (click here). Please note: Paper application forms sent by post will not receive an acknowledgement of receipt and you will not receive your school place offer by email on 18th April 2022.
You can then either
School Admissions and Transport Service,
You must apply through the local authority where your child lives not where your preferred schools are located.
The application timeline
Although the dates for September 2023 have not yet opened, the following link currently shows an example of the year's application process timeline. This will be updated when the September 2022 admissions have been allocated and accepted (Staffordshire County Council Admissions).
Transition into our Reception
At Berkswich CE, we have excellent relationships with other pre-school settings; the Early Years teachers carry out visits to these Nurseries to ensure a smooth transition for children.
Our structured transition programme allows parents and children to attend exciting learning sessions in our Reception class during the Summer Term. In addition, induction meetings are held in the Summer Term and we invite parents to attend a family lunch with their child to meet their child's new buddy. All Reception pupils are allocated a buddy from Year Six; these work alongside the Reception children throughout the school year and reinforce our Christian values and nurturing, family atmosphere. Children offered a place by the local authority will subsequently receive all of the dates and information needed to prepare your child for their introduction days and their school start; this will be sent directly from Berkswich CE. We are always eager to welcome our new families and children into our school community.
Please do contact our Early Years Lead, Miss Bailey, with any further questions or information.
In accordance with legislation, children who have an education, health and care plan (EHCP) that names a particular school as being the most appropriate to meet the child’s needs must be admitted to that school. This will reduce the number of places available to other applicants.
If the total number of preferences for admission to a school exceeds the school’s published admission number (PAN), the following order of priority is used to allocate the available places:
1. Children in care and children who ceased to be in care because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order), including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted see additional note * below,
2. Children who satisfy both of the following tests:
Test 1: the child is distinguished from the great majority of other applicants either on their own medical grounds or by other exceptional circumstances.
Medical grounds must be supported by a medical report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application). This report must clearly justify, for health reasons only, why it is better for the child’s health to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.
Exceptional circumstances must relate to the choice of school and the individual child, i.e. the circumstances of the child, not the economic or social circumstances of the parent/carer. They should be supported by a professional report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application), e.g. social worker. This report must clearly justify why it is better for the child to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.
Test 2: the child would suffer hardship if they were unable to attend the preferred school.
Hardship means severe suffering of any kind, not merely difficulty or inconvenience, which is likely to be experienced as a result of the child attending a different school. Applicants must provide detailed information about both the type and severity of any likely hardship at the time of application.
3. Children who have an elder sibling in attendance at the preferred school (or in the case of an infants school, the affiliated junior school) and who will still be attending the school at the proposed admission date; (For admission purposes, a brother or sister is a child who lives at the same address and either: have one or both natural parents in common; are related by a parents marriage; are adopted or fostered by a common parent or are unrelated children who live at the same address, whose parents live as partners.)
4. Children living within the catchment area of the preferred school.
5. Children whose parents regularly attend a Church of England church, or a church in communion with the Church of England, or of a church which is affiliated to the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland or the Evangelical Alliance. Evidence of such attendance will be required in the form of a letter from a minister of the churches concerned. (Berkswich CE Primary use this criterion). Regular attendance is defined as attendance at a church service (or an explicitly defined church activity) on a Sunday or weekday on at least two occasions per month for at least two years.
6. Other children arranged in order of priority according to how near their home addresses are to the main gate of the school, determined by a straight-line measurement as calculated by the local authority’s geographical information system see additional notes in the Admissions Policy.
Where it is not possible to accommodate all children applying for places within a particular category then the local authority will allocate the available places in accordance with the remaining criteria. If for instance, all the catchment area children cannot be accommodated at a school, children who are resident within the catchment area will be arranged in order of priority according to criteria 6) followed by those children resident within the catchment area arranged in order of criteria 7).
If it is not possible to distinguish between applicants using the criteria listed, such as in the case of children who live in the same block of flats, then the child or children who will be offered the available spaces will be randomly selected. This process will be independently
To view the full policy, please click here.