Statement of principle
Saracens High School is committed to allocating and offering school places in an open and fair way. The practices and the criteria used to decide the allocation of school places will be fair, clear and objective.
If there are more applications than places available, the school will apply its admission criteria in order to decide who should have a place.
Saracens High School’s oversubscription criteria will be reasonable, clear, objective, procedurally fair, and comply with all relevant legislation, including equalities legislation. Saracens Multi-Academy Trust will ensure that admission arrangements will not disadvantage unfairly, either directly or indirectly, a child from a particular social or racial group, or a child with a disability or special educational needs.
Saracens High School is a Free School where no fees are charged and is funded directly by the UK Government. The Funding Agreement requires the School to comply with ‘The School Admissions Code’ (SAC) and any law relating to admissions.
Saracens Multi-Academy Trust (SMAT) is the Admission Authority and is responsible for ensuring that admission arrangements are compliant with this Code.
Saracens Multi-Academy Trust has delegated to the Local Governing Body (LGB) of Saracens High School all responsibility for the Admissions Policy and any decision making relating to individual admissions and the LGB will take responsibility for Admissions Policy. The LGB will report back any changes in policy to the Trust Board.
Saracens Multi-Academy Trust will set admission arrangements annually. Where changes are proposed, the school will publicly consult on those arrangements. If no changes are made to admission arrangements, they must be consulted on at least every 7 years. In line with SAC and Barnet’s consultation timetable, the 6 week consultation period will take place between 1st October and 31st January of the of the year before those arrangements are to apply. If changes are proposed after the criteria have been set, then the approval of the Secretary of State must be obtained. If agreed, the changes must be published on the school website.
In the case of secondary transfer, ‘time of application’ will be taken as the closing date of the application process which is 31st October previous to the applicant starting the school in the September.
Published Admission Number (PAN): Saracens High School will set and publish the admission number for each ‘relevant age group’. The PAN for Saracens High School is 180 for entry in Year 7.
If the School has a Published Admission Number (PAN) that is higher than in previous years, the local authority will be notified of the new number, and specific reference will be made to the change on the school website.
Admission arrangements will be notified to the appropriate bodies and made available on the school website for the whole academic year in which offers for places are made. The School will send a copy of the full, final, determined arrangements to the local authority before the 15th March.
The Local Authority will publish a composite prospectus for parents/carers by 8th August each year. This will contain admissions arrangements for each of the state-funded schools in the local authority area, including Saracens High School, to which parents/carers can apply.
If the school is not oversubscribed, all applicants applying through this process will be offered a place.
Any decision of the Office of the School’s Adjudicator will be binding on SMAT and Saracens High School and decisions will be implemented without undue delay.
All applicants must complete the common application form of their home local authority. Barnet residents should apply online to the London Borough of Barnet (https://www.barnet.gov.uk/schools-and-education/school-admissions/apply-secondary-school). Families resident in other local authorities must complete the form provided by the authority in which they live. Applications for Saracens High School do not require the completion of a supplementary information form (SIF).
The usual timescale is the application process opens online on 1st September with the closing date for applications on 31st October of the year proceeding transfer e.g. 31st October 2023 for entry to Saracens High School in September 2024.
Offers will be made by the home local authority on 1st March, prior to starting in September, e.g. 1st March 2024 for a start date of 1st September 2024.
The school’s admission criteria apply to the Secondary Transfer Process and for allocation of available places made during the school year because children have just moved into the area, or wish to transfer from another secondary school (‘In-Year Admissions’). The criteria applied after the admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are set out below and listed in order of priority (Further details to supplement these criteria are included in the Notes section):
- Children Looked After or Children formerly Looked After (but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or as special guardianship order) including children previously adopted from abroad as defined in the School Admission’s Code, who are also registered with their local authority. SMAT will require such proof from parents/carers as may be necessary to establish the child’s status. This criterion does not include any private adoption arrangements.
- Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular exceptional medical or social need to go to the school. A panel of the Local Governing Body will determine whether the evidence provided is sufficiently compelling to meet the requirements for this rule. The evidence must relate specifically to the school and must clearly demonstrate why it is only Saracens High School that can meet the child’s needs.
- Children who have a sibling at the school at the time of application and at 1st March, unless the sibling is in the last year of the normal age-range of the school (Years 7 to 11).
- Children of staff who have worked at Saracens High School or Saracens Primary School for two or more years, or children of staff who have been recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage. To be eligible under this priority criterion, the staff member must be the child’s natural parent or otherwise have parental responsibility (as defined under the Children Act 1989) for the child. For the purposes of satisfying these criteria, a member of staff is defined as a permanent member of the staff. This definition does not include contract staff or peripatetic staff employed by the local authority.
- Other children based on distance as described in the tie break section below.
These priority criteria are applied in the order they are printed above. If more children qualify under a particular priority criterion than there are places available, for priority criterion 2-6 the criterion in the tie break section below will be applied to further prioritise children.
Distance is measured from address point for the child’s home, supplied by Ordnance Survey to the GPS point for the school (Easting 521747, Northing 190781), using Barnet’s computerised geographical information system. Applicants from the same block of flats, or applicants who live the same distance from the school will be selected in random order using Barnet’s computerised system and places will be offered accordingly.
Random allocation will not be applied for multiple both siblings (twins, triplets etc.) from the same family tied for the final place. We will admit them all and exceed our PAN.
The home address provided on your application form must be the child’s permanent place of residence on 31 October in the year prior to admission and will be that where an adult or adults with parental responsibility for the child live. We will not accept a temporary address if you still possess a property that was previously used as a home address; nor will we accept a temporary address that is used solely or mainly to obtain a school place.
If you own a property, which is, or previously has been, used as a home address and you state that you are living at, and apply from a different address, we will consider the second address to be temporary. Therefore, we will use the address of the first property as the valid address for school admissions purposes. If you move out of your home into temporary accommodation whilst it is being renovated, the home address will still be considered to be the child’s permanent address. If you are renovating a property prior to moving in, we will not accept the new address until you have moved. If you own or rent a property, and you buy or rent another property or live with family or friends temporarily, and state that this is your and your child’s home address, we will not use the second address for school admissions purposes.
Applications where the child lives at more than one address
Where parents/carers have shared responsibility for a child following the breakdown of their relationship and the child lives for part of the week with each parent/carer, the application must be based on the address at which the child usually lives (and in the case of the secondary transfer process, from which s/he attends primary school). When parents/carers live separately but the child lives equally with both parents/carers at different addresses, the child’s home address will be taken to be the address of the main parent/carer eligible to receive Child Benefit and/or Child Tax Credit and/or Child Element of Universal Credit. In all these cases, SMAT reserves the right to ask for any additional evidence that it may deem to be appropriate.
Applications where there is a change of address
We can only accept a change of address after you have moved. We will not use an intended future address (this includes where renovations are taking place prior to a move). If you change address, please notify us immediately and provide the evidence required (see Proof of Address below). If you do not tell us about a move, or an intended move that has failed to take place, we may withdraw any school place that has been offered.
A change of address will only be taken into account if it takes place before 10th December in the year prior to admission. If we receive the required evidence before 10th December, we will be able to use the new address to measure your home to school distance. If this information is received after 10th December, we will not be able to update your address until after 1st March in the year of admission.
Applications to the Sixth Form
Admission to the Sixth Form at Saracens High School is not automatic and pupils will need to have attained the academic requirements for the proposed course of study. Further information about Sixth Form Admissions; the courses on offer; and particular requirements to study will be published in the Spring Term each year.
The Sixth Form has a published admissions number of 230 (115 in Year 12 and 115 in year 13). Places will be offered to pupils following the publication of summer results.
Applications received by the closing date, which will be published on the school’s website, from external pupils will be considered on the following basis:
- Looked-after children and previously looked-after children who meet the academic entry criteria.
- Pupils whose predicted grades are in line with the Sixth Form admissions criteria and who have a sibling in attendance at Saracens High School at the time of application.
- Pupils who live within a reasonable distance of the school and who are predicted the grades in line with the Sixth Form admissions criteria.
In the case of oversubscription, external applications will be prioritised using the above criteria to allocate places.
All offers are subject to pupils achieving the grades required by subject areas as detailed in the prospectus. The closing date for external applications is the end of December. Provisional offers should be made by 1st February.
Pupils who apply later than the closing date or who are not offered a place on the grounds of distance may request to be placed on a waiting list which will be reviewed following the publication of results when some places may become available.
All applications received by Barnet after the deadline will be considered to be late applications. Late applications will be considered after those received on time. If, following consideration of all applicants the school is oversubscribed, parents/carers may request that their child is placed on the school’s waiting list.
After places have been offered, Barnet will maintain a continuing interest (CI) waiting list. A child’s position on the 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. Continuing interest lists will be maintained for every year group until the summer term (date to be specified and confirmed to parents/carers at the time of allocation).
In Year admissions
Barnet co-ordinates the In Year admissions for the school. Information about how to apply and the online application form can be found at https://familyservices.barnet.
The oversubscription criteria outlined above are used to prioritise all In Year applications.
Withdrawal of places
Saracens High School will not withdraw a place once a child has started at the school, except where that place was fraudulently obtained or the child moves out of the allocation area. In deciding whether to withdraw the place, the length of time that the child had been at the school will be taken into account. For example, it might be considered appropriate to withdraw the place if the child has been at the school for less than one term.
The offer of a place will be withdrawn in the case of:
- Applicants who have moved outside the school’s allocation area (i.e. further away than the first person to miss a place because of living too far from the school) before the child is due to start at the school and who were offered a place under a ‘distance from the school’ criterion based on the address where they were living at the time of application.
- Discovered that a place has been obtained fraudulently by giving false, or misleading details at the time of application.
Application for children from overseas
Saracens High School will treat applications for children coming from overseas in accordance with guidance issued by the Department for Education. Checks will be made to ensure that a child has a right to be in the country and to receive state education.
Barnet will process overseas applications made in advance of a planned move to the UK where it is satisfied that there is a link to an address in the borough that the child will be resident at that address on or before the date of admission (1st of September). The addess co-ordinates for the overseas address will be used for home-to-school calculations, until the child takes up residence in the UK, at which time the address data on the application will be updated accordingly. This policy does not apply to Crown and Service Servants, who are dealt with under the statutory provisions of the School Admissions Code.
Children of UK service personnel: Families of UK Armed Forces personnel with a confirmed posting or Crown Servants returning from overseas to live in Barnet can apply for a school place ahead of a move. However, the application must be accompanied by an official letter that declares the relocation date and a Unit.
For in-year admission, the local protocol set by Barnet applies; In-year places are offered with the expectation of immediate take-up. Overseas applicants may appy for an in-year place, providing the move is imminent (usually within 2 weeks) and supporting evidence is submitted.
Children seeking admission outside of their chronological year group
Only in exceptional circumstances will a child younger than 11 years of age or older than 12 years of age on 1st September of the year in which he/she is due to transfer to secondary school be considered for admission. The Local Governing Body will have regard to the advice of the Headteacher of the primary school that the child attends and that of other relevant professionals, such as an Educational Psychologist, when deciding whether an application should be considered outside of the child’s chronological year group. In accordance with the SAC, before any decision is made, the Governors will consult and have due regard to the views of the school’s Principal.
Applications from summer born children who have been educated out of year group since Reception (in the year they wish to start school as opposed to their chronological age) will be accepted and processed by Barnet alongside other applications, subject to the Governors will consult and have due regard to the views of the school’s Principal.
Fair Access Protocol
Saracens High School will participate in the Barnet ‘Fair Access Protocol’ in order to ensure that unplaced children are allocated a school place quickly. There is no duty for the School to comply with parental/carer preference when allocating places through the Fair Access Protocol.
Where the School does not wish to admit a child with challenging behaviour as an ‘In-Year’ applicant, even though places are available, it must refer the case to the local authority for action under the Fair Access Protocol.
Secretary of State Power of Direction
If Barnet considers that Saracens High School will best meet the needs of a child, it can ask the School to admit that child but has no power to direct it to do so. If no agreement can be reached, Barnet Local Authority can ask the Secretary of State to intervene. The Secretary of State has the power under an Academy’s Funding Agreement to direct the School to admit a child.
Parents/carers who want to appeal against SMAT’s decision not to offer their child a place at the school must appeal directly to the School, not through the local authority. The appeal’s timetable and procedure will be published on the school’s website (www.saracenshigh.org/Admissions) by 28th February each year. The appeals will be heard by an Independent Appeals Panel. This will include appeals to the Sixth Form.
The timescale for lodging appeals will allow appellants at least twenty school days from the date of notification that their application was unsuccessful, to the time of preparing and lodging their written appeal. Appellants will receive at least ten school days’ notice of their appeal hearing date, except where the parent/carer agrees otherwise in accordance with the School Admission Appeal’s Code. There will be the opportunity for appellants to submit additional evidence after this date; however, the Appeals Panel will decide whether any material not submitted by the specified deadline is to be considered.
The Clerk to the Appeals Panel will send appeal papers to the Panel and parties by the necessary deadlines.
After the appeal has taken place, decision letters will be sent within five school days of the hearing wherever possible by the Clerk to the Appeals Panel.
Saracens High School
Tel: 020 8181 3180
Barnet Schools Admissions Team
Tel: 020 8359 7651
Fax: 0870 8896799
Children Looked After or Children formerly Looked After (but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or as special guardianship order) as defined in the School Admission’s Code, who are also registered with their local authority. SMAT will require such proof from parents/carers as may be necessary to establish the child’s status. This criterion does not include any private adoption arrangements.
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 priority criterion 1.
Highest priority will also be given to children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted, or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order.
A “child looked after” is a child who is:
- a) in the care of a local authority, or
- b) 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 priority criterion 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 priority criterion 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 priority criterion 2.
Priority criterion 2
Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular exceptional medical or social need to go to the school, this includes children previously adopted from abroad who were cared for by the state because he or she would not otherwise have been cared for adequately and subsequently adopted.
A panel of the Local Governing Body will determine whether the evidence provided is sufficiently compelling to meet the requirements for this priority criterion. The evidence must relate specifically to the school and must clearly demonstrate why it is only Saracens High School that can meet the child’s needs.
Applicants must provide detailed and exceptional evidence from professionals such as a GP, hospital consultant, social worker or any other agency or other professional involved with your case. The evidence must be specifically about your child’s medical/social condition, the effects of the condition and why, in view of this, your child needs to attend Sacacens High School. The evidence should demonstrate detailed knowledge of the school in terms of resources and organisation which demonstrate that your child can only be admitted to the specific school and why no other school is suitable. Having a social/medical need does not guarantee a place under this priority criterion. A panel of officers will determine whether the evidence provided is sufficiently compelling to meet the requirements for this priority criterion.
Evidence relating to the social or medical circumstances of the parent or close extended family can be considered, but only if it impacts on the child and their specific need to attend Saracens High School. Applications may not be considered if long-term mobility issues are cited and SHS is not the nearest school to the child’s home.
The following are unlikely to be considered as exceptional medical and social needs unless it can be demonstrated that they have a significant impact on the child and it can be demonstrated that only Saracens High School can meet these particular needs(s).
- speech & language delay
- child is awaiting an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- asthma, diabetes, eczema or allergies
- car/travel sickness
- the need for a child to stay in an established friendship group
- child care arrangements
- short term mobility issues
- mild medical conditions
- a child’s aptitude or ability
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 Barnet 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 priority criterion 2 are agreed.
Applications for children adopted but previously looked after abroad will be considered under this priority criterion and accepted if the child’s previously looked after status and adoption is confirmed and the child is registered with Children’s Services of their local authority. Social services will be asked to verify all such applications.
All applications are considered individually but a successful application should include the following:
- Evidence that the child was previously cared for by the state abroad because he or she would not otherwise have been cared for adequately and has been subsequently adopted
- Specific recent professional evidence that justifies why only one school can meet a child’s individual needs, and/or
- Professional evidence that outlines exceptional family circumstances making clear why only one school can meet the child’s needs.
- If the requested school is not the nearest school to the child’s home address clear reasons why the nearest school is not appropriate.
- 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 priority criterion 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 for children previously “looked after” but not meeting the specific criteria outlined in priority criterion 1, may be made under this priority criterion.
Definition of sibling
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 after and in every case living permanently in a placement within the home 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 school at the time the younger child starts or have been offered and accepted a place, unless the sibling is in the last year of the normal age-range of the school (Years 7 to 11).
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.
 Child arrangements order. Under the provision of the Children and Families Act 2014, which amended Section 8 of the Children Act 1989 residence orders have not been replaced by child arrangement orders which settle the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live.
 Special guardianship order. Under 14A of the Children Act 1989, an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guarding or guardians.
 This definition has been amended in accordance with paragraph 1.7 (footnote 17) of the School Admissions Code that came into force on 19 December 2014.
 Children previously looked after are those children adopted or those with a special guardianship order of child arrangements order. This definition was amended following a determination by the OSA in August 2014.
 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/carer but has temporarily moved or a looked after child in a respite placement or very short term or bridging foster placement.