Community Schools Admission Arrangements 2022/23

The criteria outlined below apply only to Croydon community schools.

Should any community school convert to academy status prior to September 2020, the admissions arrangements will apply as published below unless stated otherwise in their funding agreement.
Where the number of applications for a community school is higher than the published admission number, the following criteria will be applied in the order set out below to decide the allocation of places:

Children with an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) or statement of special educational needs that names a school will be admitted to the school before the admissions criteria are applied to all other applicants. 

1. Looked-after children and previously looked-after children.
2. Linked schools: Children who are on the roll of their linked infant school at the time of application.
3. Siblings: Children with a brother or sister who will be in attendance at the school or the linked infant/junior school at the time of enrolment of the new pupil.
4. Exceptional medical need: Pupils with a serious medical need for attending a particular school. 

Supporting professional evidence must provide specific reasons why a particular school is the only school that can meet your child’s needs and the detriment that would be caused if your child had to attend another school. Your application must be supported by a GP or consultant. For primary age children, their need to attend a particular school because of a parent’s serious and continuing medical condition may also be relevant.

Supporting evidence should be set out on the medical form which is available online at: and both the completed medical form and the supporting evidence from the GP or consultant must be submitted with the application.  By submitting your evidence to the local authority you consent to this information being shared with the local authority’s medical advisor.

5. Distance: Priority will be given to pupils living nearest to the school as measured in a straight line.


In the event that the number of applications for places exceeds the number of places available, after application of the admissions criteria, distance will be used to decide between applications. Where distance is the same for two or more applications the authority will use random allocation, which will be independently verified.

Note 1:

Looked-after children are defined as ‘children in public care at the date on which the application is made’. Previously looked-after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order, immediately after being looked-after. If an application is made under the ‘looked-after’ criterion, it must be supported by a letter from the relevant local authority children’s services department and/or relevant documents.

Note 2:

This criteria does not include siblings on the roll of the infant school’s nursery class, if it has one. 

Note 3:

A sibling is defined as a brother or sister, half-brother or sister, step brother or sister, foster-brother or sister or adopted brother or sister whose main residence is the same address as the child for whom the school place application is being made. Children with siblings allocated a place in the Reception or Year 3 class at a linked junior school to start in September will be eligible for priority under the sibling criterion from 1 August each year when this local authority opens waiting lists for the new academic year. In the case of in-year admissions, eligibility for sibling priority will apply at the time of an offer. This criteria does not include siblings on the roll of the school’s nursery class, if it has one.

Note 4:

All schools have experience in dealing with children with a range of medical needs and all schools are required to make reasonable adjustments in order to do this. In a very few exceptional cases, however, there may be reasons why a child needs to attend a specific school and this could be due to the child’s medical need or the medical condition of the parent or the main carer with responsibility for the child. Providing evidence does not guarantee that a child will be given priority at a particular school and in each case a decision will be made based on the merits of the case and whether the evidence demonstrates that a placement should be made at one particular school above any other. If you feel there are exceptional reasons for your child to be considered for a priority placement at a particular school, you must indicate this in the section provided in your application, and complete the medical form which is available online at:, setting out the reasons to support your case.

All requests for priority consideration on medical grounds must be supported in writing by a doctor or consultant, and this must make clear which school you are making a special case for, the reason why it is necessary for your child to attend this school in particular, and the difficulties it will cause for your child to attend another school. It is for you to decide how to support your case and what documents to provide, but these must be submitted, together with the completed medical form and supporting statement by the GP/consultant, by the closing date of 15 January 2020. The admissions team is not responsible for chasing you to submit medical evidence or for contacting professionals for information about your case. Any decision will be based on documents you submit by the closing date.

The local authority, using guidance received from Croydon’s admissions panel (this is comprised of professionals from health and education), will decide whether an
application for a school is to be prioritised on medical grounds, in light of the medical evidence submitted by the parent for their child to attend this particular school. Claims for priority of admission on medical grounds submitted after a decision on the original application has been made will only be considered if the documents submitted were not readily available at the time of application or if they relate to a new medical condition. Any submission made after the initial application must be supported by details of how the circumstances have changed since the original application and by further professional evidence.

Applicants who submit supporting information on medical grounds will not be advised whether their application is likely to be successful prior to the offer of places on 16 April 2020. If evidence is received after the closing date of 15 January 2020, it will not be taken into account until after places have been offered on 16 April 2020.

Note 5:

‘Home’ is defined as the address where the child normally resides Monday to Friday as their only or principal residence. Addresses involving child-minding (professional or relatives) are excluded. There have been occasions when parents/carers have tried to use false addresses to obtain a place at a school. To prevent this happening, Croydon Council undertakes checks using an address verification tool called Datatank. If after these checks have taken place, we cannot be satisfied that the address is the parent and child’s normal place of residence, the parent/carer will be asked to provide further proof of their home address. In this instance two forms of address verification will be required: a solicitor’s letter confirming completion of contract or a tenancy agreement along with a recent utility bill in the applicant’s name.

If the parent/carer is found to have used a false address or deliberately provided misleading information to obtain a school place, the offer will be withdrawn.  Should there be doubts about the address to be used, parents/carers may be asked to provide evidence concerning the child’s normal place of residence. This could include a court order stating where the child should live during the course of the week.

The local authority would expect that the parent/carer with whom the child is normally resident receives the child benefit for the child. This may be used to determine the normal place of residence for the purpose of measuring the home to school distance. If parents/carers have more than one property they may be required to provide proof of the normal place of residence for the child.

The processing of overseas applications for admission to school within the normal admissions rounds (excluding Crown servants) Applications with an overseas address can only be accepted for processing when this local authority is satisfied that there is evidence of a link to an address in its area and that the child will be resident at that address on or before the date of admission (i.e.start of September).

Such evidence must include:

  • Booked travel tickets and
  • End of lease/notice to tenants in Croydon property or
  • Start of employment contract in the Croydon area or
  • End of employment contract abroad

The overseas address will apply until such time as there is evidence of a child’s return to the linked address. In the event that a family does not return to the linked address provided by the start of September, this local authority will withdraw the application submitted and any offer made.

Note 6:

The distance will be measured in a straight line from the child’s home address to the designated entrance(s) of the school using a computerised measuring system (GIS) and geographical reference points as provided by the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG). Those living closer to the school will receive higher priority.

If a child lives in a shared property such as flats, the geographical references will determine the start point within the property boundaries to be used for distance calculation purposes. Distance measurements can be obtained using various internet sources however these do not replicate the system used by Croydon Council. Additionally, the distance measurement which can be obtained from the Croydon website using the ‘Find It’ link on the home page will not always be identical to that of the measurement obtained using the Croydon school admissions measuring tool (known as GIS) as the ‘Find It’ link is set up to measure to a range of council facilities and is not set up to measure for school admission purposes. It also does not give measurements to three decimal points.

Note 7:

Education, Health and Care Plan or Statement of Special Educational Needs

An Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) is an integrated support plan for children and young people with complex special needs and disabilities. The plan gives a detailed description of the range of difficulties a child is facing and the level and type of provision required to help the child make progress and achieve positive outcomes.

Child minding arrangements:

Child-minding cannot be taken into account when allocating places at oversubscribed community schools.

Children attending a nursery class attached to an infant or primary school

Parents of children attending the nursery class at an infant or primary school must apply for a reception class place in the usual way. These children are not guaranteed a reception place at the school where they are attending the nursery class. All applications are considered strictly in accordance with a school’s admission criteria. Unless otherwise stated, children on the roll of a school’s nursery class are not given priority admission into a reception class.

Twins/triplets or other multiple births for admission into an infant class 

If you are applying for twins, or children from a multiple birth, and there is only one place available at the school, legislation allows us to admit them all i.e. all siblings from a multiple birth. 

Waiting lists 

If you are offered a place at a school through the in-year admissions process and you have also expressed a higher preference for another school or other schools, you will not be placed on the waiting list for your higher preference school/schools. You may request for your child to be added to the waiting list by completing the ‘waiting list request’ form available on the website. 

In-year waiting lists are maintained for one academic year and applicants who have been unsuccessful for their preferred school(s) and who wish to remain on the waiting list are required to re-apply the following academic year. Waiting lists for community schools for applicants who applied as part of the main admissions rounds are held for the first term of the reception year and thereafter, applicants are required to complete the local authority’s in-year common application form (ICAF) if they wish to remain on the waiting list. 

Admission of children below compulsory school age deferred entry to school 

Parents can defer the date their child is admitted to the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age and not beyond the  beginning of the final term of the school year for which the application was made. Parents can also take up a part-time place until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age.

A child reaches compulsory school age the term after their fifth birthday. Therefore, if you are offered a reception class place at a school, you can opt to defer your child’s start date, but they MUST start full time school following their fifth birthday by the dates given below:

  • Children born on or between 1 September and the end of December must start full time school by the beginning of the spring term in January
  • Children born from 1 January to the end of March must start full time school on 1 April
  • Children born from 1 April to the end of August must start school at the beginning of the autumn term in September

The local authority’s expectation is that a child born between 1 April and 31 August should start the reception class at the beginning of the summer term at the latest. However, parents may choose that their child does not start school until the September (beginning of the autumn term) following their fifth birthday. Parents must note the place cannot be held open beyond the summer term, this will mean that as their child will be a year one pupil when they join, parents will need to apply for a year one school place, using the in-year application form. 

Admission of children outside their normal age group 

Parents may request that their child is exceptionally admitted outside their normal age group. The admission authority will decide whether or not the individual child’s circumstances make this appropriate on educational grounds. It is the expectation of Croydon Council that a child is educated alongside his/her age equivalent peers, in almost all cases. We would strongly advise that all children enter into their normal year group. The responsibility for addressing individual educational needs lies with the school through an appropriately differentiated and enriched curriculum.

All requests to educate a child outside their normal year group must include written explanation of why this is necessary and where applicable, evidence of the child’s circumstances from a  relevant professional detailing the child’s educational need which makes education outside the normal age group necessary. Decisions are made on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interest of the child.

This includes taking account of the following:

  • Parents’ views
  • Information relating to the child’s academic, social and emotional development, where relevant medical history and the views of a medical professional
  • Any previous history of being educated outside of their normal age group
  • If a child may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely
  • Views of the head teacher of the school(s) concerned.