Starting School in 2017

Admission Arrangements

Parents wishing to send their child to Scott Lower School are warmly welcomed to visit the school to see our children at work, meet the staff and ask any questions they may have. Visits can be arranged by telephoning the school office on (01234 352630).

Our admission number for 2017 is 90.

Once you have applied to the Local Authority for your child’s place at Scott Lower and your child has been offered a place at our school, you will be invited to visit the school along with your child and meet the other children who will also be in your child’s class. Your child’s class teacher will also make a home visit before your child starts school. This visit enables your child to meet their teacher in the security of their own home; it also gives parents the opportunity to ask any questions they might have.

Your child becomes statutory school age the term after his/her 5th birthday. All children may attend school full-time (8.45am – 3.10pm) from the start of the academic year, in which they turn 5 years of age.

We also run a Nursery at Scott Lower; the school organises admission to the Nursery itself. In order to apply for a place at our Nursery parents need to apply directly to the school for a place. The Nursery sessions run daily from 8.45am – 11:45am. There is also the opportunity to buy lunch and afternoon sessions for a small additional cost, providing full time child care. (The 15 hours of funded child care must be used during the morning sessions).

  • If your child’s 4th birthday falls between 1st September to 31st August inclusive, you could apply for a Nursery place in September.
  • It is important to note that admission to our Nursery does not automatically guarantee a place in Reception and parents MUST apply to the Local Authority for their child’s place in Reception.

The school has an agreed admission number of 90 for entry to the Reception year.

The Local Authority will apply the following criteria (in the rank order shown) to decide the order in which places will be allocated when there are more requests from parents/carers than the number of places available:

  1. All ‘looked after’ children or children who were previously ‘looked after’ (see definitions);
  2. Pupils living in the catchment area with siblings at the school (see definition of sibling);
  3. Other pupils living in the catchment area.
  4. Other siblings (see definition);
  5. Any other children


  1. If applying these criteria results in there being more children with an equal right to admission to the school than the number of available places, the tie break will be the distance the pupil lives from the school, measured in a straight line, using the Local Authority’s computerised measuring system, with those living closer to the school receiving the higher priority. The Local Authority will measure the distance from the address point of the pupil’s home to a point on the school site agreed with the governing body of the school. The Local Authority will not give priority within each criterion to children who meet other criteria.
  2. The Local Authority will normally offer a place at the catchment area school if parents apply for a place at that school during the normal admissions round. However, a place at the catchment area school cannot be guaranteed. If a pupil moves into the catchment area outside the normal admissions round (or after the allocation process has begun) it may be more difficult to offer a place at the catchment area school if this would mean exceeding the admission number at the school. In this case, a place will normally be offered at the next nearest school or academy which caters for pupils of the same age and has places available.
  3. Pupils who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs are required to be admitted to the school which is named on the statement, even if the school is full. Pupils identified for admission through the Fair Access Protocol will also be admitted even if the school is full.


‘Looked after’ children

A ‘looked after’ child is a child who is (a) in the care of the local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989).

Previously ‘looked after’ children

A previously ‘looked after’ child is one who immediately after being ‘looked after’ became subject to an adoption, residence, or special guardianship order. An ‘adoption order’ is an order under section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. A ‘residence order’ is an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under section 8 of the Children Act 1989. Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).


A sibling refers to a brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister or the child of the parent/carer’s partner, and in every case, the child should be living at the same address. The sibling must be in the school at the time of application and be likely to remain in the school at the proposed date of admission.

Home Address

A pupil’s home address will be regarded as the address of the parent/carer with parental responsibility with whom the child normally lives. This will not usually include grandparents, aunts or uncles. Where a child spends time with parents/carers at more than one address, the address used to allocate a school place will be the one at which the pupil is ordinarily resident and where the child spends the majority of the school week (Mondays to Fridays) including nights. If there is any query on the home address this will be checked against official documentation e.g. council tax bill, a recent utility bill (gas, electricity or water), a rental agreement, child benefit annual statement or family tax credit information.

Admissions above the published admission number

The Bedford Borough Admissions Forum has agreed the following exceptions which may result in the admission number for a school being exceeded.

For the normal admissions round:

  • The admission of catchment area pupils, where the parent has expressed a preference (whether first, second or third), for the catchment school as part of the normal admissions round and in accordance with the published admissions arrangements. This is not, however, a guarantee of a place

For in-year admissions:

  • The admission of pupils who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs which names the school, when that pupil has either been assessed or moved into the area outside the normal admissions round.
  • The admissions of pupils in accordance with the Fair Access Protocol
  • The admission of pupils who have moved into the area, where there is no other suitable school within a reasonable travelling distance, or where the admission of an additional catchment area child would not prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources. Before admitting children under this exception, governing bodies that are their own admission authority should consult their Local Authority who will be able to advise whether the first of these conditions applies.
  • The admission of a looked after child outside of the normal admissions round.
  • The admission of a twin or children from multiple births.
  • The admission of a child in very exceptional circumstances in which the Local Authority and the headteacher are in agreement that not to agree to admit the child would be perverse