Admissions rules - how places are offered in East Sussex schools

1. School admissions - how decisions are made

There is no right to choose a child’s school but you do have the right to state a preference for up to three different schools.

In general, if a school has enough places for everyone who has applied, then all children will be allocated a place.

We will not overcrowd a school if there are vacancies at other schools and we will not create additional places unless there is a shortage of school places to meet a local need.

If a school receives more applications than places available, the school will apply their admissions policy to decide which children will be offered places. If it is not possible to meet any of your preferences, your child will be allocated a place at the nearest school to your home with a place available. This may be some distance away.

It is therefore essential that you take a look at the admission criteria for the schools you prefer as it will help you assess how likely it is that your child will get a place. You will find a school’s admissions criteria on their webpage or you can contact the school and ask for a copy.

You can find out why it’s important to list different schools on your application and how school places are allocated in the ’Apply for a school’ booklet. See ‘Understand the admissions process’ in part 1.

2. What we won't take into account

When schools are oversubscribed, the stated admissions criteria are applied to decide which children will be allocated places.

Given this, you need to bear in mind that for local authority schools, it does not take account of:

  • attendance at a particular school, pre-school or nursery setting other than for linked schools
  • any previous association you or your family may have had with a school;
  • your working or child care and travel arrangements; and
  • any reference to a child’s ability or particular aptitude.

Always check the school’s admissions policy to confirm what rules they have in place.

3. The importance of where you live

Each East Sussex address will fall into an area served by a certain school or set of schools.

Generally speaking, the closer you live to your preferred school, the better your chances of getting a place. However, living in a community area (sometimes known as a catchment area) does not guarantee a place at a particular school. Sometimes your community area school may not actually be your nearest school. Some own-admission schools do not use areas to decide applications. Please check the school’s admissions criteria if you are in any doubt.

Maps showing the community areas for schools are included in the admissions booklet ′Apply for a school’.

  • maps for primary school areas are in part 2
  • maps for secondary schools are in part 3

If you are unclear which area your address falls into, please contact the Admissions Team.

You must state your child’s home address that is your child’s only or main residence and not an address at which he or she might sometimes stay or sleep.

4. If your child lives at more than one address

If your child regularly stays with another parent or relative and therefore has more than one address, the school place will be allocated based on the address at which your child spends the majority of weekday nights during term time – so this is the address that you should use on your application.

If you give two addresses, we will decide which address should be used as the main residence for the purpose of processing your application as we only accept one current address. We may ask for evidence to confirm the address given.

If you have any questions speak to the Admissions Team before making your application.

5. Siblings

If you want your child to attend the same school as their sibling, you must name that school as one of your preferences.

When you apply, you must tell us about any brothers or sisters and give us their full name and date of birth. If you fail to do this, your application will only be considered on the basis of the other information you provide.

For local authority schools (ie those controlled by ESCC) the Council considers children to be ‘siblings’ if they are full, half, adoptive or foster brother or sister living in the same household and includes siblings attending sixth forms. Other schools may have a different definition – please check to see if they have a different definition and whether siblings are part of their admissions criteria.

6. Infant class size

Infant class sizes are limited by law to 30 pupils with a single school teacher.

More information about infant class sizes can be found in the school appeal guidance document on the Detailed guidance on school admission appeals page.

7. Admissions criteria

See the booklet ’Apply for a school’ to read the criteria for all schools.

  • Academy schools criteria – see part 5
  • Local authority schools criteria – see part 6
  • Free school criteria – see part 7
  • Trust schools criteria – see part 8
  • Voluntary aided church schools criteria – see part 9

Own authority schools have set their own criteria and manage admissions themselves.

8. Linked schools

There are links between the infant and junior schools listed below:

Motcombe Community School—Ocklynge Junior School
Pashley Down Infant School—Ocklynge Junior School
Parkland Infant School—Parkland Junior School
Roselands Infant School—Stafford Junior School
St Andrew’s CE Infant School—Tollgate Community Junior School
West Rise Community Infant School—West Rise Junior School