Admission to Year 7 - frequently asked questions
Q: How does my child get a place at the school?
A: At the beginning of Year 6 you will be sent a letter about the secondary transfer process and about how to apply for a secondary school place. You apply to B&NES Admissions and Transport Dept by the closing date of 31 October, for a school place the next year. That is, apply by 31 October 2016 for a place in September 2017. You need to complete their application either online or by sending in a paper copy.
Q: How are places at the school allocated?
A: According to the admissions criteria which are published on the school website, http://www.ralphallenschool.com/139/joining-the-school-admissions-criteria, and also on the B&NES website, The two categories by which most children get a place is through having a sibling at the school, and direct line distance from where you live to the school.
Q: Do I need to submit a supplementary application form direct to the school?
A: No, unless you are applying under the elite athlete category in which case you need to send a letter to the Admissions Department at the school from the Lawn Tennis Association or other relevant sporting body.
Q: When will I hear if my child has got a place?
A: On 1 March an offer of a school place is made to parents/carers who have applied by the closing date.
By 15 March, parents/carers must accept or reject the offer made by the Local Authority.
Q: I don’t live in B&NES. How do I apply for a place at Ralph Allen School?
A: You must apply for a secondary school place to the Local Authority in which you live, even if the school of your choice is not within that authority. So if you live in Wiltshire, for example, you apply to Wiltshire Local Authority.
Q: How will my child get to school if they are awarded a place?
A: Most children travel to the school by bus or by walking. See the school website http://www.ralphallenschool.com/29/transport for details of transport.
Q: Will I have to pay for transport?
A: Yes, the vast majority of parents have to pay for school transport.
Q: What if my child is not offered a place in the first round of allocations on 1 March?
A: Although you may not be allocated a place at this point in the process, this does not mean that a place may not be allocated at a later date, as there can be quite a lot of movement during the successive allocation rounds.
Parents/carers are asked to reply to B&NES Admissions and Transport to accept or reject the offer of a school made by mid-March 2017. Some may turn down the offer of a place here in favour of an alternative school. Another reason why some parents leave the system is because they are in fact making parallel applications to private schools. This can result in more places at the school potentially becoming available. These places will be offered in the second round of allocations. A second round of offer letters is sent out by B&NES Admissions and Transport in the first week of May 2017.
Q: If I hold out for a place at Ralph Allen, will I lose the school place I have been offered?
A: No. If you continue to seek a place at Ralph Allen the school place you have been offered will be held until the outcome of your application for Ralph Allen is known. If you are successful in obtaining a place at Ralph Allen School only at this time will your current offer be withdrawn.
Q: What do I do if I am unsuccessful in my application for a place after the second round of allocations in May?
A: You have the right of appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel. Further information concerning how to appeal will be explained in the decision letter from B&NES. You will have at least 20 school days from the date of notification that your application was unsuccessful to prepare and lodge your written appeal. Again at this stage, offers made by the LA cannot be withdrawn.
Q: What are the next steps once I have accepted my child’s place?
A: You will receive a letter of welcome from Tim Withers, Principal. This will give key contact information and note two important dates, firstly the New Parents’ Evening when we invite you to come and discuss the arrangements in detail, Tuesday 4 July 2017, from 6.30 to 8pm; and secondly the New Students’ Day, Thursday 6 July 2017, when your child spends a school day at the school.
The next step is that in late May you will receive an Information for New Parents booklet with other key documents for return on the New Parents’ Evening. Your payments link code will be included so you can set up the online payments system.
Just before the New Parents’ Evening you will be notified of your child’s house and tutor group.
Q: What if I have any other questions?
A: Contact the School Manager who has responsibility for the admissions process, Mrs Caroline Holden, tel 01225 838901; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively contact B&NES Admissions and Transport Dept, 01225 394312,