Admissions Criteria 2023-24
Ashlyns School is a co-educational, all-ability school for children aged 11-18.
The published admission number for Year 7 is 240.
All applicants must complete the Common Application Form of their home Local Authority. Hertfordshire residents should apply online to Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) (www.hertfordshire.gov/uk/admissions). Families resident in other authorities must complete the form provided by the authority in which they live. Applicants for Ashlyns School do not need to complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF).
If the School receives more applications than it has places available, the following oversubscription criteria will be used to allocate places, applied in the order they are printed below.
Section 324 of the Education Act 1996 requires the governing bodies of all maintained schools to admit a child with an EHC (Education, Health and Care) Plan that names the school. These children will be admitted as part of the school’s published admission number but before the oversubscription criteria are used.
Rule 1: Looked after or previously looked after children. Children looked after and children who were previously looked after, including those 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 or became subject to a child arrangement order1 or a special guardianship order2).
Rule 2: Medical or social needs. Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to Ashlyns School. A panel of HCC officers will hear all Rule 2 applications.
Rule 3: Siblings living in the Parish of Berkhamsted or Northchurch*. Children who have a sibling at the school in Year 7 to 12 at the time of application, living in the Parish of Berkhamsted or Northchurch.
Rule 4: Children of staff.
Rule 5: Children living inside the priority area, nearest school. Children who live in the priority area and for whom it is their nearest Hertfordshire maintained, non-faith, co-educational, non-partially selective school or academy.
Rule 6: Siblings. Children who have a sibling at the school in Year 7 to 12 at the time of application.
Rule 7: Children living inside the priority area. Children who live in the priority area on the basis of distance, with those living nearest to the school given priority.
Rule 8: Children living outside the priority area. Children living outside the priority area on the basis of distance, with those living nearest to the school given priority.
* Parents/carers may check their home parish by using the Find Your Nearest School information on the HCC admission website; this will provide exact parish data based upon home address.
Note: Non-partially selective means that the school does not offer any places based on academic ability.
If more children qualify under a particular rule than there are places available, a tiebreak will be used by applying the next rule to those children. If necessary, and the next rule does not appropriately distinguish between all applicants, in addition home-school distance will be used, with those living closest given priority. In the case of two applicants with exactly the same priority under the admissions rules, but only one place being available, the Governing Body will offer places to both families.
If there are fewer applications than places available all applicants will be offered a place.
Notes on the Admission Arrangements
Children with Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities
Where the school is named in an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP), the school has a duty to admit the child who names the school. In the case of applicants with special educational needs but without an EHCP, or of applicants with a disability, the oversubscription criteria will be applied as fairly to them as to all other applicants.
Children Looked After
Places are allocated to children in public care according to Chapter 7, Section 2 of the School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012.
These children will be prioritised under rule 1.
Highest priority will also be given to children who were previously looked after, including those looked after outside England, but ceased to be so because they were adopted, or became subject to a child arrangement order or a special guardianship order.
A “child looked after” is a child who is:
1. in the care of a local authority, or
2. being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (section 22(1) of The Children Act 1989).
All children adopted from care who are of compulsory school age are eligible for admission under rule 1.
Children in the process of being placed for adoption are classified by law as children looked after providing there is a Placement Order and the application would be prioritised under rule 1.
Children who were not “looked after” immediately before being adopted, or made the subject of a child arrangement order or special guardianship order, will not be prioritised under rule 1. Applications made for these children, with suitable supporting professional evidence, can be considered under rule 2.
1Child arrangements order – under the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014, which amended section 8 of the Children Act 1989, residence orders have now been replaced by child arrangements orders which settle the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live.
2Special guardianship order – under 14A of The Children Act 1989, an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian or guardians.
Children previously looked after abroad and subsequently adopted will be prioritised under Rule 1 if the child’s previously looked after status and adoption is confirmed by Hertfordshire’s “Virtual School”.
The child’s previously looked after status will be decided in accordance with the definition outlined in The Children & Social Work Act 2017:
i. to have been in state care in a place outside England and Wales because he or she would not otherwise have been cared for adequately, and
ii. to have ceased to be in that state care as a result of being adopted.
A child is in “state care” if he or she is in the care of, or accommodated by –
a. a public authority,
b. a religious organisation, or
c. any other organisation the sole or main purpose of which is to benefit society.
Medical or Social Need
Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to attend Ashlyns School.
Rule 2 applications will only be considered at the time of the initial application, unless there has been a significant and exceptional change of circumstances within the family since the initial application was submitted.
All schools in Hertfordshire have experience in dealing with children with diverse social and medical needs. However, in a few very exceptional cases, there are reasons why a child has to go to one specific school.
Few applications under rule 2 are agreed.
All applications are considered individually but a successful application should include the following:
a. Specific recent professional evidence that justifies why only one school can meet a child’s individual needs, and/or
b. Professional evidence that outlines exceptional family circumstances making clear why only one school can meet the child’s needs.
c. If the requested school is not the nearest school to the child’s home address clear reasons why the nearest school is not appropriate.
d. For medical cases – a clear explanation of why the child’s severity of illness or disability makes attendance at only a specific school essential.
Evidence should make clear why only one school is appropriate. A Rule 2 application will generally not be upheld in cases where more than one school could meet the child’s need.
In exceptional cases relating to a disability, where more than one school in the county can meet the child’s specific needs, a clear and compelling case can be made for the “nearest” school with the relevant facilities, environment or location. You must clearly explain why attendance at the “nearest” school with these facilities is essential.
Applications under Rule 2 can only be considered when supported by a recent letter from a professional involved with the child or family, for example a doctor, psychologist or police officer. The supporting evidence needs to demonstrate why only one named school can meet the social/medical needs of the child.
Applications for children who were not “looked after” immediately before being adopted or made the subject of a child arrangement order or special guardianship order may be made under this rule.
Further details on the Rule 2 process can be found in the Rule 2 protocol
A sibling is defined as the sister, brother, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, child of the parent/carer or partner or a child looked after or previously looked after1 and in every case living permanently2 in a placement within the same home (as the child for whom the application is being made) as part of the family household from Monday to Friday at the time of this application.
A sibling must be on the roll of the named school at the time the younger child starts or have been offered and accepted a place.
If a place is obtained for an older child using fraudulent information, there will be no sibling connection available to subsequent children from that family.
1 Children previously looked after are those children adopted or with a special guardianship order or child arrangements order. This definition was amended following a determination by the OSA in August 2014.
2 A sibling link will not be recognised for children living temporarily in the same house, for example a child who usually lives with one parent but has temporarily moved or a looked after child in a respite placement or very short term or bridging foster placement.
If you have more than one child going through the secondary transfer process at the same time, you must make a separate application for each of them. If one of your children is offered the last place available at the school and you have applied for the same school for the other child(ren), the Governing Body will offer a place to the other child(ren).
Children of Staff
The school will admit a child of a member of staff provided that the member of staff has been employed by the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made or where the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.
The staff member must be:
– the child’s parent by blood or adoption, or have legal parental responsibility for the child, or
– cohabiting with one of the child’s parents;
have been living with the child in the same house, Monday to Friday, for a minimum of two years.
For the purposes of satisfying these criteria, a member of staff is defined as a permanent member of the teaching staff, or a permanent member of the non-teaching staff. This definition does not include contract staff or peripatetic staff employed by HCC.
The child must be living permanently with the member of staff.
‘Children who live in the priority area’, referred to in rules 5, 7 and 8, includes families living in the Priority Area for Ashlyns School, which comprises of the following towns and parishes: Abbots Langley, Aldbury, Ashley Green, Berkhamsted, Bovingdon, Chipperfield, Chorleywood, Croxley Green, Flaunden, Great Gaddesden, Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley, Little Gaddesden, Nash Mills, Nettleden with Potten End, Northchurch, Rickmansworth (part) / Maple Cross, Sarratt, Tring, Tring Rural, Watford, Wigginton.
Distance Measuring and Home Addresses
Hertfordshire County Council’s ‘straight line’ distance measurement is used for all home to school distance measurements. Distances are measured using a computerised mapping system to two decimal places. The measurement is taken from the AddressBase Premium address point of your child’s house to the address point of the school. AddressBase Premium data is a nationally recognised method of identifying the location of schools and individual residences.
The address provided must be the child’s current permanent address at the time of application
- At the time of application” means the closing date for applications
- “Permanent” means that the child has lived at that address for at least a year
Where a family has not lived at an address for a year, they must be able to demonstrate that they own the property or have a tenancy agreement for a minimum of 12* months and the child must be resident in the property at the time of application.
The application can only be processed using one address. If a child lives at more than one address (for example due to a separation) the address used will be the one where the child lives for the majority of the time. If a child lives at two addresses equally, parents/carers should make a single joint application naming one address.
If a child’s permanent residence is disputed, parents/carers should provide court documentation to evidence the address that should be used for admission allocation purposes. If two applications are received, with different addresses and/or different preferences, neither will be processed until the address issue is reconciled.
It is for a child’s home LA to determine address. If two applications, with different addresses are received from the same LA, it will be for that LA to determine permanent address. If two applications are received from two different LAs, the above process will be used
If two different applications are received for the same child from the same address, eg, containing different preferences, parents/carers will be invited to submit a joint application or provide court documentation to evidence the preferences that should be used for the admission process. Until the preference issue is reconciled neither application will be processed.
For the transfer application rounds, if the initial differing applications (one or both) were received “on-time”, an amended joint application will also be considered “on-time” if received before the “late deadline”. If the amended joint application is received after the late date, it will be treated as “late”. The late deadlines for the 2023/24 transfer application process is 2nd December 2022. If this date changes, amendments will be published on the HCC admissions web pages at the start of the 2023/24 application process in September 2022.
The school may check the authenticity of your address and proof of residence or further information may be requested following the offer of a place. The Governing Body will withdraw the offer of a place where they believe a fraudulent address has been given.
* If, because of the nature of the agreement, it is not possible to provide a 12-month tenancy agreement, alternative proof of address will be requested and verified as necessary with the Shared Anti-Fraud Service.
Hertfordshire County Council, in liaison with the school, will do as much as possible to prevent applications being made from fraudulent addresses, including referring cases to the Shared Anti-Fraud service for further investigation as necessary.
Address evidence is frequently requested, monitored and checked and school places will be withdrawn when false information is deliberately provided. Hertfordshire County Council will take action in the following circumstances:
- When a child’s application address does not match the address of that child at their current school;
- When a child lives at a different address to the applicant;
- When the applicant does not have parental responsibility;
- When a family move shortly after the closing date of applications when one or more of the following applies:
- The family has moved to a property from which their application was less likely to be successful;
- The family has returned to an existing property;
- The family lived in rented accommodation for a short period of time (anything less than a year) over the application period;
- Official/public records show an alternative address at the time of the application
- When a child starts at the allocated school and their address is different from the address used at the time of application.
Parents/carers will need to show that they have relinquished residency ties with their previous property and they, and their child(ren) are permanently residing at the address given on the application form.
Applications from children* from overseas
All children of compulsory school age (5 to 16 years) in England have a right of access to education. However, where a child is in England for a short period only, for example less than half a term, it may be reasonable to refuse admission to a school.
An application for a school place will only be accepted for such children currently overseas if, for In Year applications, proof is provided that the child will be resident in Hertfordshire within two weeks. In Year allocations are made on the assumption that the child will accept the school place and be on roll within that timescale.
For the Secondary transfer process, applications will not normally be accepted from, nor places allocated to, an overseas address. The exception to this (for both In Year and transfer processes) is for children of UK service personnel and crown servants (and from military families who are residents of countries with a Memorandum of Understanding with the UK). In these cases, HCC will allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date and a HCC Unit postal address or quartering area address, for consideration of the application against oversubscription criteria.
Applications will also be considered, and places offered in advance for these families, if the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date but does not provide a quartering or unit address because the family will be residing in private accommodation. In these cases, if the family does not already have a permanent private address in Hertfordshire, the military base or alternative “work” address in Herfordshire will be used for allocation purposes. If the family already has an established alternative private address, that address will be used for admission purposes.
The Governing Body will also consider accepting applications from children* whose family can evidence intent to return to and/or permanently reside in Hertfordshire prior to the start of the new academic year. These applications, if accepted, will be processed from the overseas address until sufficient evidence is received to show the child is permanently resident in Hertfordshire. Evidence must be submitted at the time of application.
Evidence submitted after the date for late applications cannot be taken into account before National Allocation Day. Decisions on these applications will be made by a panel of senior officers and communicated with parents within 6 weeks of the closing date for applications.
If an applicant owns a property in Hertfordshire but is not living in it, perhaps because they are working abroad at the time of application, the Hertfordshire address will not be accepted for the purposes of admission until the child is resident at that address.
Children, other than those mentioned above, from overseas do not generally have automatic right of entry to the UK. An application for a school place will not therefore be accepted until they are permanently resident in Hertfordshire. Proof of residency such as an endorsed passport or entry visa will be required with the application, in addition to proof of Hertfordshire address, for example a council tax bill or 12 month rental agreement.
*Children who hold full British Citizen passports (not British Dependent Territories or British Overseas passports), or have a UK passport describing them as a British citizen or British subject with the right of abode or are European Economic Area nationals normally have unrestricted entry to the UK.
Children Seeking Admission outside their Chronological Year Group
The school’s policy is for children to be educated within their correct chronological year group, with the curriculum differentiated as necessary to meet the needs of individual children. Students will be admitted to Ashlyns School in Year 7 at the age of 11 irrespective of physical or academic ability or age 12 if they are summer born children where a family chose to delay their entry to Reception by an academic year.
This is in line with DfE guidance which states that “in general, children should be educated in their normal age group”. Only in exceptional circumstances will a child younger than 11 years of age or older than 12 years of age on 1 September of the year in which they is due to transfer to secondary school be considered for admission (other than deferred summer born entry).
For children other than summer born deferred entry, if parents/carers believe their child(ren) should be educated in a different year group they should, at the time of application, submit supporting evidence from relevant professionals working with the child and family stating why the child must be placed outside their normal age appropriate cohort. DfE guidance makes clear that “it is reasonable for admission authorities to expect parents to provide them with information in support of their request – since without it they are unlikely to be able to make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case”.
The Governing Body will make a decision based on the circumstances of each case including the view of parents, the relevant headteacher(s), the child’s social, academic and emotional development and whether the child has been previously educated out of year group. There is no guarantee that an application will be accepted on this basis. If the application is not accepted this does not constitute a refusal of a place and there is no right to an independent statutory appeal. Similarly there is no right of appeal for a place in a specific year group at a school. The internal management and organisation of a school, including the placement of pupils in classes, is a matter for the Headteacher and senior leadership of individual schools.
Continuing Interest (CI) (Waiting List)
After places have been offered, Hertfordshire County Council will maintain a continuing interest (waiting) list for all community and voluntary controlled schools. A child’s position on a CI list will be determined by the admission criteria outlined above and a child’s place on the list can change as other children join or leave it. The county council will contact parents/carers if a vacancy becomes available and it can be offered to a child. Continuing interest lists will be maintained for every year group until the summer term (date to be specified and confirmed to parents at the time of allocation). To remain on the CI (waiting) list after this time, parents must confirm they are still interested in a place by completing an In Year application online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions.
All unsuccessful applicants have the right to appeal to an independent panel for a place to be made available for their child.
Parents wishing to appeal who applied through Hertfordshire’s online system should log in to their online application and click on the link “register an appeal”. Out of county residents and paper applicants should call the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 to request their registration details, log into www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolappeals and click on the link “log into the appeals system”.
For In Year applications, the county council will write to you with the outcome of your application and, if you have been unsuccessful, will include registration details to enable you to login and appeal online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/schoolappeals.
Any online or paper application received after the statutory deadline, 31 October, will be treated as a late application. Late applications are not dealt with until all on-time applications have been considered. You are much less likely to be offered a place at one of your preferred schools if you apply late. If there are exceptional circumstances why you were unable to make your application by the closing date, you should contact your Local Authority giving your reasons and supplying support evidence where appropriate.
In Year Admissions
The school will remain part of the County Council’s coordinated In Year admissions scheme. The online application form and process can be accessed via www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions.
To retain a place on Continued Interest families must, at the end of the academic year, confirm their continuing interest by making an In Year application online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/admissions.
Sixth Form Admissions
Admission to the Sixth Form will be for any student who meets the minimum academic standards expected.
Sixth Form courses require a high level of intellectual ability and commitment to work, which is why advanced courses will necessitate students achieving at least a Grade 4 in English and Mathematics and an average of Grade 4 in six other GCSEs. Students must also meet the minimum entry requirements specified for the subjects they wish to study, as set out in the Sixth Form prospectus/information pack.
Students who achieve 7+ APS and Grade 7 in English and Maths may be considered for a fourth subject, if appropriate.
These entry standards apply equally to existing Year 11 and external students.
Applicants should submit a completed application form to the school by 30 November 2022.
We can continue to accept applications from students after the application deadline, up until the start of the autumn term. If students apply late, or change their options after the application deadline, their applications to any oversubscribed courses will be considered after those students who applied for the courses on time.
The PAN for external admissions for the school year commencing September 2023 is 20. In the event of oversubscription, the following tie-break will be used:
- Children looked after and children who were previously looked after, including those 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 or became subject to a child arrangement order1 or a special guardianship order2).Children previously looked after outside England and subsequently adopted
- Home to school distance.
If two or more students have equal priority after applying all the criteria, then each will be admitted.
Continuing Interest procedure is the same as that stated above.
The school participates in the County Council’s Fair Access Protocol and will admit children under this protocol before children on continuing interest. The school may admit over the Published Admission Number (PAN) if required.