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2016/17 Reception Place Allocation

As a school we understand that the allocation of places can be a very stressful time for parents.  It can also be quite confusing when, one year children from beyond the catchment area get places and then the year after children living in the same street don't.  To assist your understanding, we have tried to explain below what this means for Rickley Park Primary School this year...

The reception place allocation is undertaken by Milton Keynes Council against the admissions criteria set by the Governing Body.  This process, and the admissions criteria, is subject to the DfE School Admissions Code (December, 2014).  Rickley Park is a non-selective school (e.g. a grammar school where children need to sit a test to get a place) and, as a result, have a duty to provide an education to children who are currently in care and those from within their defined area (catchment) as a priority.
At Rickley Park Primary School the governors have selected to include the out-of-catchment “sibling” criterion (whereby children who have an older sibling at the school get the next available spaces) as the next criterion.  Not all schools apply this criterion but our Governing Body feel that it is important for siblings to be together, wherever possible.
Last year (for admissions for 2015/16) we had significantly more applications from within our defined area (catchment) which meant that the school filled up with local children and there were only a few places available for children who lived out of the defined area with older siblings at the school (the “sibling” criterion).  As a result, and as per the Rickley Park Admissions Policy (which is subject to the DfE School Admissions Code), the places were offered, under the ‘out-of-catchment’ sibling criterion, based on distance from the school. Unfortunately, due to the small number of places available, this was a relatively short distance from the school.
This year (for admissions for 2016/17) the demand for places from within our defined area (catchment) was much lower.  Therefore, there were more places for ‘out-of-catchment’ siblings which, in turn, means that the distance from the school is further.
The same criteria apply to the waiting list.  The waiting list does not give any weighting to the amount of time on it. The DfE School Admissions Code (December, 2014) makes it clear that every time a place becomes available at a school the school’s admission criteria must be applied.  And the criteria (in line with the DfE School Admissions Code) give first priority to children within the defined area.  If there are no children on the waiting list (on the day the place becomes available) living within the defined area, the out-of-catchment "sibling" criterion is applied - using distance from the school as the 'tie-breaker'. 
For more information please refer to the School Admissions section of this website.