Admissions & Appeals
Each year there are 60 places available in our Reception year group. In the academic year 2021-22 all 60 places were filled.
Buckinghamshire Council manage our admissions and places at the school can only be obtained through the Admissions Department.
Buckinghamshire Council has agreed that the admissions policy below should be used for those children due for admission to primary schools at the age of 5 or 7.
When a primary school is over-subscribed, i.e. more children wish to attend that school than there are vacant places, the criteria listed in the admissions policy are used to allocate places up to the Intended Admission Number.
If you would like your child to attend St Mary’s, please follow the links below for more information.
Reception Sept 2023
We will be holding an Open Event for parents/carers of children starting in Reception in September 2023 later this term. Please keep in eye on this page of our website for updated details as they are confirmed.
If your child has any additional needs, please do get in contact so find out how at St Mary's we maybe able to support your child and their needs.
All applicants must be made via the Local Education Authority starting primary school application form. Applications open in November 2022. The closing date for Reception January 2023. https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools-index/school-admissions/apply-for-a-primary-school-place/
National primary offer day will be in April 2023. This is for children starting primary school or moving up to junior school in September 2023.
If you've applied online, you will receive an email from Buckinghamshire Council.
If you've made a paper application and provided Buckinghamshire Council with an email address, you will receive an email.
St Mary's DETERMINED Policy for admissions
1. Your right to appeal
Parents can express a preference for a school for their child, but they do not have the right to a place at a particular school.
If you are a parent and you have applied for a school place for your child and the admission authority has refused your application, you have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel. (Via ODBE for St Mary’s)
You are responsible for: making your appeal; explaining why you want the particular school place to the Appeal Panel and providing written information in support of your appeal.
There are important deadlines for making your appeal and submitting your evidence.
2. Appeal success rate
In 2020, 117 Infant Class Size appeals were made and only 4 appeals were successful through Buckinghamshire Council.
In 2020, 0 appeals of 5 were successful at St Mary’s through the ODBE.
Most appeals fail because the school is already full and does not have the resources to admit additional children without harming the education of the existing pupils.
So please think carefully before making your appeal - they are time-consuming and stressful for parents and expensive for schools.
You are unlikely to be successful where you:
- are appealing for a place in Reception, Years 1 or 2 (due to the law that applies) *
- do not live in the school’s catchment area
- have been allocated a place at another school (even if it is not one of your preferred schools) at a reasonable distance from home
- do not have evidenced strong medical, social or educational reasons for your appeal
- want the school place to make it easier for you to get to work/ transport children to school
* Infant class size appeals (Reception, Years 1 or 2)
The law limits the size of an infant class (reception and years 1 and 2) to a maximum of 30 pupils per teacher (there are exceptions to this rule for certain limited categories of children). If the school refuses your child a place because admitting them would breach this limit then your appeal will be an infant class size appeal. This is different from all other school admission appeals.
In an infant class size appeal, a panel will only uphold the appeal where one of the following applies:
- It finds that the admission of an additional child would not breach the infant class size limit
- It finds that the school’s admission arrangements were unlawful, or were not properly applied, and the child would have been offered a place at the school if the arrangements had been lawful or had been properly applied
- It decides that the decision to refuse admission was not one that a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case
To find a decision to be unreasonable the panel would need to be satisfied that the decision to refuse admission was ‘perverse in the light of the admission arrangements’. In other words, the panel believes that no reasonable admission authority considering the matter could have come to the same decision.
As an example, a decision that makes it impossible for you to transport all your children to school on time is unlikely to be considered perverse. However, a decision to refuse a place for a child whose family had to relocate under a witness protection scheme might be. The decision on whether a refusal was unreasonable will be made by the appeal panel and will depend on the facts of the particular case presented at the appeal.
The threshold for finding that an admission authority’s decision to refuse admission was unreasonable is high.
As such, it’s unlikely that the panel would uphold the appeal on that basis. It’s important that parents recognise this before investing what can be a significant amount of time and effort in an infant class size appeal.
Before you make your decision to appeal you should think carefully about your reasons for appeal and be realistic about the likely outcome.
3. How to submit your appeal
If you decide you would like to proceed with an appeal you can request an appeal form to complete from the school office (email@example.com) and send the form completed with your appeal evidence to the same email address.
Can further evidence be submitted?
Any further evidence can be submitted at least 5 school days prior to the appeal date.
4. The Appeal Hearing
At least a week before the appeal begins, the Appeals Team will send you copies of the school’s written case explaining why it refused your application for a school place and all the documents you have submitted.
Please contact the Appeals Team immediately if anything is missing.
Currently, appeals are being heard via teams.