Admissions policy

The Admission Policy of the Governors of St Thomas More Catholic School is as follows:

The ethos of this school is Catholic. The school was founded by the Catholic Church to provide education for children of Catholic families. The school is conducted by its governing body as part of the Catholic Church in accordance with its Trust Deed and Instrument of Government and seeks at all times to be a witness to Jesus Christ. We ask all parents applying for a place here to respect this ethos and its importance to the school community.  This does not affect the right of parents who are not of the faith of this school to apply for and be considered for a place here.

The School’s Admission Number for the school year beginning in September 2015 is 243.

If the number of applications exceeds the admission number, the governors will give priority to applications in accordance with the criteria listed, provided that the governors are made aware of that application before decisions on admissions are made (see Note 1 below).

In all criteria, priority will be given to those who have a brother or sister (see Note 3 below) attending St. Thomas More Catholic School at the time of admission.

  1. Baptised Catholic children (see Note 2 below) who are in the care of a local authority (looked-after children) or provided with accommodation by them (e.g. children with foster parents) (Section 22 of the Children Act 1989) and children who were previously looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
  2. Baptised Catholic children who currently attend a Catholic feeder school (see Note 4 below)
  3. Baptised Catholic children who currently attend a Catholic school
  4. Other Baptised Catholic children 
  5. Non-Catholic children who are in the care of a local authority (looked after children) or provided with accommodation by them (e.g. children with foster parents) (Section 22 of the Children Act 1989) and children who were previously looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order). 
  6. Non-Catholic children whose brother or sister is attending St. Thomas More School at the time of admission. 
  7. Non-Catholic children who currently attend a Catholic feeder school
  8. Other Non-Catholic children 

[N.B. All parents should complete the Schools Supplementary Information Form. If your child is a baptised Roman Catholic, please enclose a copy of his/her baptismal certificate. This evidence should be returned to the school. Failure to complete and return the SIF may affect the criterion the child’s name is placed in]

Over-subscription

If there is over-subscription within a criterion, the Governors will give priority first to brothers and sisters and then to children living closest to the school determined by shortest distance.  Distance will be measured in a straight line, from the centre point of the home address to the centre point of the school using the Local Authority’s computerised measuring system, with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority (See Note 4). 

In a very small number of cases it may not be able to decide between the applicants of those pupils who are qualifiers for a place, when applying the published admission criteria. For example, this may occur when children in the same year group live at the same address, or where there are twins, or if the distance between the home and school is exactly the same. If there is no other way of separating the application according to the admissions criteria and to admit both or all of the children would cause the legal limit to be exceeded, the local authority on behalf of the governing body will draw lots to randomly select the child to be offered the final place. If the home address is a flat (or apartment) and there is more than one flat at the same address, priority will be given to applicants living at the lowest numbered flat and/or the flat on the lower floor.

Note 1

Children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs that names the school must be admitted. This will reduce the number of places available to other applicants.

Note 2

In all categories, for a child to be considered as a Catholic, evidence of Catholic Baptism or Reception into the Church will be required. For a definition of Baptised Catholic see the Appendix. Those who face difficulties in producing written evidence of baptism should contact their Parish Priest.

Note 3

The definition of a brother or sister (sibling) is:

  • A brother or sister sharing the same parents;
  • Half-brother or half-sister, where two children share one common parent;
  • Step-brother or step-sister, where two children are related by a parent’s marriage;
  • Adopted or fostered children

Note 4

The designated feeder schools and appropriate parishes for St. Thomas More 

Catholic School are:

  • St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary, Darlaston
  • Corpus Christi Catholic, Wednesfield
  • St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary, Walsall
  • Holy Rosary Catholic, Wolverhampton
  • St. Mary’s The Mount Catholic Primary, Walsall (also a feeder school for St Francis of Assisi)
  • Holy Trinity Catholic, Bilston
  • St. Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary, Walsall
  • St. Teresa’s Catholic, Wolverhampton
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Primary, Bloxwich

Note 5

The home address of a pupil is considered to be the permanent residence of a child. The address must be the child’s only or main residence. Documentary evidence may be required. 

Where care is split equally between mother and father, parents must name which address is to be used for the purpose of allocating a school place.

Year 6 to Year 7 Process

If you wish to apply for a place at St Thomas More Catholic School you should complete the Preference Form which will be sent to all Walsall resident pupils by Walsall Children’s Services and will be available from the school. As we have many applications from parents living outside of Walsall it is vital that you follow the guidance given to you by your Local Authority. For Walsall resident applicants the completed Walsall Preference form must be returned to the Secondary Admissions Team, Walsall Children’s Services, Education Development Centre, Pelsall Lane, Rushall, Walsall, WS4 1NG, by 31 October 2014.

[N.B. All parents should complete the Schools Supplementary Information Form. If your child is a baptised Roman Catholic, please enclose a copy of his/her baptismal certificate. This evidence should be returned to the school. Failure to complete and return the SIF may affect the criterion the child’s name is placed in]

Appeals

Parents who wish to appeal against the decision of the Governors to refuse their child a place in the school may apply in writing to Chair of Governors. Appeals will be heard by an independent panel.

Repeat applications

Any parent can apply for a place for their child at any time outside the admissions round. Parents do not have the right to a second appeal in respect of the same school for the same academic year unless, in exceptional circumstances, the admission authority has accepted a second application from the appellant because of a significant and material change in the circumstances of the parent, child or school but still refused admission.

Late applications

Late applications will be dealt with according to the LA co-ordinated scheme.

Applications other than the normal intake to Year 7 (mid-year admissions) 

An application should be made to the governing body at the school.

Waiting lists

Waiting lists for admission will remain open until the end of December 2015 and will then be discarded.  Parents may apply for their child’s name to be reinstated until the end of the academic year when the list will be discarded. The waiting list will be kept by the governing body in admission criteria order. This means that a child’s position on the waiting list could go up or down. Inclusion of a child’s name on the waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available. 

Children who are the subject of a direction by a local authority to admit or who are allocated to a school in accordance with a Fair Access Protocol take precedence over those on a waiting list.

In year fair access policy

The governing body have adopted the local authority fair access policy for admission of previously excluded or hard to place children.

Year 12 admissions policy

Entry requirements are as follows:

For Advanced Level and Level 3 Courses, the minimum entry requirement for admission is Five Grade A*-C at GCSE in Five different subjects including English and Maths.

For Level 2 Courses – Five GCSE’s or equivalent at grades D or E.

The maximum number of students to be admitted from outside the school to Year 12 is 25.

There is no charge or cost related to the admission of a child to this school.

Appendix

Definition of a "Baptised Catholic"

A “Baptised Catholic” is one who:

  • Has been baptised into full communion (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 837) with the Catholic Church by the Rites of Baptism of one of the various ritual Churches in communion with the See of Rome (i.e. Latin Rite, Byzantine Rite, Coptic, Syriac, etc, Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1203). Written evidence* of this baptism can be obtained by recourse to the Baptismal Registers of the church in which the baptism took place (Cf. Code of Canon Law, 877 & 878).

Or

  • Has been validly baptised in a separated ecclesial community and subsequently received into full communion with the Catholic Church by the Right of Reception of Baptised Christians into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church. Written evidence of their baptism and reception into full communion with the Catholic Church can be obtained by recourse to the Register of Receptions, or in some cases, a sub-section of the Baptismal Registers of the church in which the Rite of Reception took place (Cf. Rite of Christian Initiation, 399).

Written evidence of Baptism

The Governing bodies of Catholic schools will require written evidence in the form of a Certificate of Baptism or Certificate of Reception before applications for school places can be considered for categories of “Baptised Catholics”. A Certificate of Baptism or Reception is to include: the full name, date of birth, date of baptism or reception, and parent(s) name(s). The certificate must also show that it is copied from the records kept by the place of baptism or reception.

Those who would have difficulty obtaining written evidence of baptism for a good reason, may still be considered as baptised Catholics but only after they have been referred to their parish priest who, after consulting the Vicar General, will decide how the question of baptism is to be resolved and how written evidence is to be produced in accordance with the law of the Church.

Those who would be considered to have good reason for not obtaining written evidence would include those who cannot contact the place of baptism due to persecution or fear, the destruction of the church and the original records, or where baptism was administered validly but not in the Parish church where records are kept.

Governors may request extra supporting evidence when the written documents that are produced do not clarify the fact that a person was baptised or received into the Catholic Church, (i.e. where the name and address of the Church is not on the certificate or where the name of the Church does not state whether it is a Catholic Church or not.)

Admission Policies should state the requirement of written evidence of Baptism or Reception for the category of “Baptised Catholic”. The policy should also state that those who face difficulties in producing written evidence of baptism should contact their Parish Priest.