The entry of children into schools is controlled and administered by an ‘Admissions Authority’. The admission authority for the Vale of Glamorgan’s Community and Voluntary controlled schools is the Council and this is managed by our School Access Team.
In the case of Voluntary Aided and Foundation Schools the admission authority is the Governing Body of the school. Please view the schools website for further information in this case.
Within the council each school has an area known as a catchment area. Pupils living within the catchment area are prioritised higher than those residing outside of the catchment area as detailed in the oversubscription criteria. For further information and details concerning your catchment school, please refer to the “In your neighbourhood” postcode checker on the home page of the Vale of Glamorgan website.
All parents are required to express a preference for a school they wish their child to attend, which must be done by completing an application form, either by using one of our paper application forms or by applying online. In the majority of cases, parents or carers are happy to choose their local school but it is necessary for the school to be named on an application form supplied by parents before a place can be allocated. When applying for a place in reception or transfer to secondary School, this is managed by an annual admission round and your application must be completed by the advertised closing date given in our Some Important Dates section to give your child the best chance of gaining a place in your chosen school. No place can be allocated to pupils to attend their catchment school, or any other school, unless a formal application is made. Those parents who do express a preference by the closing date will be considered first with late applications only being looked at once the first round of allocations has been completed. Please be aware that if you do not apply by the closing date, you may find that your chosen school is already full and your child could be denied a place at their local school.
Please note that only the Council’s School Access Team can allocate a place for your child at a maintained school. Any letter received from a school (unless they are the admitting authority) stating that your child has a place reserved for them, should not be taken as an indication that a place has been allocated.
In advance of submitting an application for their child, parents should discuss which school they wish their child to attend, and attempt to reach agreement, especially where more than one person has parental responsibility. If parents are unable to agree on suitable schooling for their child, we will be unable to process applications for school admissions until in receipt of a legal document which instructs to do so.
Parents are advised to complete the application carefully and provide as much information (including supporting documentary evidence where necessary) as possible as this will be used for assessing where the child will be on the list for each school applied for. The council use an ‘Equal Preference Scheme’ to decide which school can be offered. This means that when we are making decisions, we don’t consider the order that parents have put the schools in your application. Each preference will be assessed against the Council’s admissions criteria, so it is important that applicants read and understand these fully.
The council can only offer one place within a Community school so when we are allocating places if we can offer more than one place, we will always offer the school that you have listed as the highest preference. Therefore, the order parents put the schools in is so important. In order to ensure that wherever possible pupils access a place at their local school, parents are strongly recommended to list 3 different Primary Schools, at least one being their catchment area school.