Admissions Policy

Published Admission Arrangements for 2018-19

The school will have a published admission number of 150.

Section 324 of the Education Act 1996 requires the governing bodies of all maintained schools to admit a child with a statement of special educational needs that names their school. The school will also admit any child with an Education Health & Care Plan that names the school.


If there are fewer applications than places available, all applicants will be offered a place. If there are more applications than places available, the criteria outlined below will be used to allocate places.


Rule 1    Children in public care (children looked after) and children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or a special guardianship order).

Rule 2    Medical or Social: Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school.

A panel of governors will determine whether the evidence provided is sufficiently compelling to meet the requirements for this rule. The evidence must relate specifically to the school applied for under Rule 2 and must clearly demonstrate why it is the only school that can meet the child’s needs.


Rule 3     Sibling: Children who have a sibling at the school at the time of application, unless the sibling is in the last year of the normal age-range of the school.  Note:  the ‘normal age range’ is the designated range for which the school provides, for example Years 7 to 11 for a 11-16 secondary school, Years 7 to 13 in a 11-18 school.


Children who live in the priority area

Places will be allocated to each parish/unparished area or town in proportion to the number of applications made. In the event of there being more applications than places available to a particular parish/unparished area or town, places will be allocated as follows:-

Rule 4     Those for whom it is their nearest Hertfordshire maintained school or academy that is non-faith and non-partially selective and makes provision for children of the relevant gender, (if more children qualify under rule 4 than places, the tiebreak would be those that live closest to the school).

Rule 5     Any remaining places available to a parish/unparished area or town.  Places will be allocated on a random basis.

Children who live outside the priority area

Rule 6   Places will be allocated on a random basis.

Places will be allocated on a random basis, based on the principle that every child will be allocated an individual random number once their name has been entered onto the database. If a preference is expressed for a single sex community school, this number will be used in the random process.

These rules are applied in the order they are printed above.  If more children qualify under Rules 1, 2, and 3 than there are places available, a tie-break will be used by applying the next rule to those children. The same tiebreak will be employed as for coeducational community schools.


Continuing Interest (Year 7 places)


After places have been offered, Hertfordshire County Council will maintain the school’s continuing interest (waiting) list. A child’s position on a CI list will be determined by the admission criteria outlined above and a child’s place on the list can change as other children join or leave it.  The county council will contact parents/carers if a vacancy becomes available and it can be offered to a child.


Continuing interest lists will be maintained for every year group until the end of the summer term.


Priority areas for community single sex girls’ schools and academies using HCC’s arrangements are based on the following towns/parishes/unparished areas.


  School Towns/Parishes/Unparished areas
1 Hitchin Girls’ Baldock, Codicote, Graveley, -Hexton, Hitchin, Holwell, Ickleford, King’s Walden, Knebworth, Langley, Letchworth Garden City, Lilley, Offley, Pirton, Preston, St. Ippolyts, St. Pauls Walden, Weston, Wymondley
2 St Albans Girls’


Aldenham, Colney Heath, Harpenden, Kimpton, London Colney, Redbourn, Sandridge, Shenley, St. Albans, St. Michael, St. Stephen, Wheathampstead
3 Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’


Hatfield, North Mymms, Welwyn, Welwyn Garden City, Woolmer Green, Potters Bar, Knebworth, Codicote
4 Presdales


Aspenden, Bayford, Bengeo Rural, Bramfield, Brickendon Liberty, Datchworth, Essendon, Great Amwell, Great Munden, Hertford, Hertford Heath, Hertingfordbury, Hunsdon, Little Berkhamsted, Little Munden, Much Hadham, Sacombe, Stanstead Abbots, Stanstead St. Margarets, Stapleford, Tewin, Thundridge, Ware, Wareside, Watton-at-Stone, Widford


Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School will use the same definitions and measuring system as outlined in Hertfordshire County Council’s admissions literature, “Moving On”


In Year Admissions


The school will remain part of the county council’s coordinated In Year admissions scheme.  In year applications should be made online at


A paper application form can be requested from the Customer Service Centre, 0300 123 4043.


Places will first be allocated in accordance with rules 1 – 2 above and then as follows:


Rule 3: Children who have a sibling at the school at the time of application

Rule 4: Children who live in the priority area for whom it is their nearest Hertfordshire maintained school or academy that is non-faith, non-partially selective and makes provision for children of the relevant gender.

If more children qualify under rule 4 than places are available, the tiebreak would be those that live closest to the school.

Rule 5: Children in the priority area on a random basis

Rule 6: Children outside the priority area on a random basis.


Fair Access


The school participates in the county council’s Fair Access protocol and will admit children under this protocol before children on continuing interest.


6th form arrangements


The schools will admit external students to its 6th form.


Minimum entry requirements are:


Course General Entry Criteria
4 A Levels APS of 5.5 or above (including GCSE English and Maths at grade 5)
3 A Levels APS of 4 or above (including GCSE English and Maths at grade 4
2 A Levels and  I BTEC Level 3 APS of 4 or above (including GCSE English at grade 4)
1 A Level and 2 BTECs Level 3 APS 3.8 or above (including GCSE English at grade 4)
BTEC Level 3 APS 3.7 or above (including GCSE English at grade 4)


There are also specific subject requirements that must be met as outlined in the Welwyn Hatfield Consortium Prospectus.


If the school is oversubscribed, priority will first be given to:


  • Children looked after or previously looked after
  • Distance




At transfer time parents wishing to appeal who applied on line should log into their online application and click  on the link ‘register an appeal ‘.For those who did not apply on line, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 0300 123 4043 to request an appeal pack.’

For in-year applications parents wishing to appeal should contact the school directly in the first instance.


Definitions and Explanatory notes


The following definitions apply to terms used in the admissions criteria:


Children in public care (children looked after):


Places are allocated to children in public care according to Chapter 7, Section 2 of the School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012. These children will be prioritised under rule 1.

Highest priority will also be given to children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted, or became subject to a child arrangements order or a special guardianship order.


A “child looked after” is a child who is

  1. a) in the care of a local authority, or
  2. b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (section 22(1) of The Children Act 1989)


All children adopted from care who are of compulsory school age are eligible for admission under rule 1.*


Child Arrangements Order – under the provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014, which amended section 8 of the Children Act 1989, residence orders have now been replaced by child arrangements orders which settle the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live


Special guardianship order – under 14A of The Children Act 1989, an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian or guardians


Children in the process of being placed for adoption are classified by law as children looked after providing there is a Placement Order and the application would be prioritised under Rule 1.


Children who were not “looked after” immediately before being adopted, or made the subject of a child arrangement order or special guardianship order, will not be prioritised under rule 1. Applications made for these children, with suitable supporting professional evidence, can be considered under rule 2.


* This definition has been amended in accordance with paragraph 1.7 (footnote 17) of the School Admissions Code that came into force on 19 December 2014.


Rule 2: Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school:


Rule 2 applications will only be considered at the time of the initial application, unless there has been a significant and exceptional change of circumstances within the family since the initial application was submitted.

All schools in Hertfordshire have experience in dealing with children with diverse social and medical needs. However in a few very exceptional cases, there are reasons why a child has to go to one specific school.


Few applications under Rule 2 are agreed. All applications are considered individually but a successful application should include the following:


  1. Specific recent professional evidence that justifies why only one school can meet a child’s individual needs, and/or
  2. Professional evidence that outlines exceptional family circumstances making clear why only one school can meet the child’s needs
  3. If the requested school is not the nearest school to the child’s home address clear reasons why the nearest school is not appropriate
  4. For medical cases – a clear explanation of why the child’s severity of illness or disability makes attendance at only a specific school essential.


Evidence should make clear why only one school is appropriate. Applications under Rule 2 can only be considered when supported by a recent letter from a professional involved with the child or family, for example a doctor, psychologist or police officer. The supporting evidence needs to demonstrate why only one named school can meet the social/medical needs of the child.


Applications for children previously “looked after” but not meeting the specific criteria outlined Rule 1, may be made under this rule.


Further details on the Rule 2 process can be found in the “Rule 2 protocol” available at:


Definition of sibling:


A sibling is defined as: the sister, brother, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, child of the parent/carer or partner or a child looked after or previously looked after* and in every case living permanently** in a placement within the home as part of the family household from Monday to Friday at the time of this application.


A sibling must be on the roll of the named school at the time the younger child starts.

If a place is obtained for an older child using fraudulent information, there will be no sibling connection available to subsequent children from that family.


*Children previously looked after are those children adopted or with a special guardianship order or child arrangements order. This definition was amended following a determination by the

OSA in August 2014.

**A sibling link will not be recognised for children living temporarily in the same house, for example a child who usually lives with one parent but has temporarily moved or a looked afterchild in a respite placement or very short term or bridging foster placement.


Multiple births:


The school will admit over the published admission number when a single twin/multiple

birth child is allocated the last place at a school.


Home address:


The address provided must be the child’s current permanent address at the time of application. ‘At the time of application’ means the closing date for applications. “Permanent” means that the child has lived at that address for at least a year and/or the family own the property or have a tenancy agreement for a minimum of 12 months.

The application can only be processed using one address. If a child lives at more than one address (for example due to a separation) the address used will be the one which the child lives at for the majority of the time. If a child lives at two addresses equally, the address of the parent/carer that claims Child Benefit/Child Tax Credit will be considered as the child’s main residence. If a family is not in receipt of Child Benefit/Tax Credit alternative documentation will be requested. If a child’s residence is in dispute, parents/carers should provide court documentation to evidence the address that should be used for admission

allocation purposes.


Fraudulent applications:


The school, in liaison with Hertfordshire County Council, will do as much as possible to prevent applications being made from fraudulent addresses. Address evidence is frequently requested, monitored and checked and school places will be withdrawn when false information is deliberately provided.


Action will be taken in the following circumstances:

  • When a child’s application address does not match the address of that child at their current school;
  • When a child lives at a different address to the applicant
  • When the applicant does not have parental responsibility


When a family move shortly after the closing date of applications when one or more of the following applies:

  • The family has moved to a property from which their application was less likely to be successful
  • The family has returned to an existing property
  • The family lived in rented accommodation for a short period of time (anything less than a year) over the application period
  • Council tax information shows a different residence at the time of application
  • When a child starts at the allocated school and their address is different from the address used at the time of application


Home to school distance measurement for purposes of admissions:


A ‘straight line’ distance measurement is used for all home to school distance measurements for admission allocation purposes. Distances are measured using a computerised mapping system to two decimal places. The measurement is taken from the AddressBase Premium address point of your child’s house to the address point of the school. AddressBase Premium data is a nationally recognised method of identifying the location of schools and individual residences.


Definition of “nearest school” for secondary/upper admissions:


The “nearest school” definition for rule 4 is “the nearest Hertfordshire maintained school or academy that is non-faith, co-educational, and non-partially selective” (note – non-partially selective means that the school does not offer any places based on academic ability).


Please click on the link below to download our 2018-19 Admission Arrangements document: