Our admissions policy enables us to provide an Island school for Island families, giving parents a real educational choice for their children. We want all parents on the Island to feel as though their child has the opportunity of attending the school, regardless of their location on the Isle of Wight. We aspire to be the number one choice for parents on the Island.
We can admit up to 125 Year 7 pupils every year. 10% of places are awarded to children with musical aptitude (our school has a music specialism).
If we’re oversubscribed, looked after children, siblings, music scholars, and children of founders/staff will be admitted (in that order). Then any remaining places will be allocated as follows…
- 50% by distance (tiebreaker: proximity to the school)
- 50% across the Island (places allocated by random ballot).
More detailed information is provided in the information boxes below:
- Our admissions policy has been drawn up in accordance with the School Admissions Code 2012.
- The Island Free School will take pupils of mixed ability and aptitude aged 11–16.
- We opened in September 2014 and in our first year, we admitted a maximum of 125 pupils into our first Year 7 cohort.
- Our published admission number for subsequent years is also 125 for Year 7. All Year 7 applicants will be admitted if fewer than 125 apply.
For Year 7 places starting in September 2018, the ‘on time’ deadline is midnight on 31 October 2017. However if you missed this deadline, you can still apply to the school. Please click here to apply now.
Also please note that The Island Free School complies with the local authority’s co-ordinated admission arrangements. This requires parents to complete a common application form (CAF) which is provided by the Isle of Wight Council. Copies of the form are available from the admissions team at County Hall, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1UD or via their website. For further details, please see the Council’s publication, Educating your child.
If there are more applicants than places available, then the criteria below will apply, following the admission of children with a statement of Special Educational Needs that names the school.
The oversubscription criteria are as follows:
a. Looked after children or previously looked after children (ie chidren who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted or given a residence or special guardianship order).
b. Siblings. Children with a sibling attending the school at the time of admission. We define siblings as children who live together as brother or sister in the same residence, including natural brothers or sisters, adopted siblings, step brothers or step sisters and foster brothers or sisters, but not cousins.
c. Assisted music programme. Up to 12 pupils each year will be selected on their musical aptitude. This will be determined by an assessment. More details of the assessment can be found here. If children are not successful in obtaining a place under this criterion, then their application will automatically be considered under (e) and (f) below.
d. Children of staff. There are two criteria that we will use in admitting the children of staff to our school:
i. When a member of staff has been working for the school for a period of two years or more.
ii. When a member of staff fills a vacant post at the school for which there is a demonstrable skills shortage.
Founders’ children. These are the children of Founders who have helped to set the school up from the very beginning. (We are currently seeking approval for this from the Secretary of State). A copy of our founders’ children policy can be downloaded by clicking here.
e. Distance. Half of the remaining intake will be taken from the local area around the school. Places will be offered to those pupils who live closest to the school as measured from the school gates to the child’s front door. This will be a straight line measured by the local authority’s geographical information system (GIS). The address for a child must be the address of the parent/carer with whom the child lives for the majority of the time and who has parental responsibility (we may require documentary evidence). If a child regularly lives at more than one address, the governing body reserves the right to reach a conclusion about which should be counted as the main address when allocating places. This will normally be the address where child benefit is paid and where the child is registered with a doctor.
f. Island area. The remaining places will be allocated by random selection from all other applicants who fall outside the distance category (f). This process will be overseen by an independent adjudicator from the local authority.
In the event of two or more applications tying when the above admission criteria are applied, the positions will be determined by random allocation. This will be overseen by an independent adjudicator.
Twins and multiple births: If the tiebreaker for a place at our school is between two siblings living at the same address, then we will admit both children to allow the siblings to stay together.
If you apply on-time for a Year 7 place, starting in September 2018, you will be informed of the outcome by letter. In our offer letters to successful applicants, we will provide further advice about any action required to accept the place for their child. The admissions panel reserve the right to withdraw an offer of a place if it is found that it has been made on the basis of a false or misleading application.
The address you give on the application form must be the address on the Island where you and your child usually live. In the case of admissions for September 2018, the relevant address is where you and your child were living on 31 October 2017. Parents with shared responsibility should agree on an address between them. If no agreement can be reached, then for admission purposes, we will use the address of the parent who receives child benefit.
We may ask for a utility bill showing the name of the applying parent/guardian and the address that you supply on the application form. Please note that any attempt to seek admission to the school on the basis of an address other than the normal family home (even if the other property is owned or rented by you) will be regarded as providing false information and will be treated accordingly.
We cannot offer places based on future address except in very limited circumstances. However we can accept provisional addresses for children of serving UK Service Personnel and other Crown Servants, if you supply an official MOD, FCO or GCHQ letter declaring a relocation date and intended address. This will be accepted as proof that the child will be living on the Island.
Parents/Guardians whose applications are unsuccessful can appeal against the decision to an independent appeal panel, set up in accordance with statutory provisions.
Appeals must be made in writing using the form below.
Timetable for Appeals:
In Year Appeals – ongoing
Date by which an appeal must be submitted for September 2018 intake: 12 noon, Friday 27th April 2018
Dates when appeals will be heard: All appeals received by 27th April 2018 will be heard between 2nd and 6th July 2018
Dates when appellants will be sent notification of their appeal hearing: 10 clear school days in advance of the hearing
Date by which the Clerk sends appeal papers to the parents, the panel and the admission authority: 7 working days before the appeal hearing
Deadline for appellants to submit additional evidence: 8 am, 3 working days before the appeal hearing
Decision letters sent to the appellants: Within 5 school days after the appeal hearing (whenever possible)
Click here to view and download our appeals form.
If the school is full, all applicants who are not successful will be placed on our waiting list unless you request otherwise. We will provide further details in the decision letter, sent out on or before allocation day. If a space becomes available at the school we will allocate pupils from our waiting list in the following way:
- Distance. If a space becomes available under this criterion then we will admit the pupil on our waiting list who lives the closest to the school (using straight line measurements from the home to the school gates).
- Island wide area. If a space becomes available under this criterion, then the place will be allocated by random allocation. A new round of random allocation will be carried out for each available place.
The waiting lists will be maintained by the Office Manager at The Island Free School. Towards the end of each academic year, parents whose children are on the waiting list will be contacted and asked if they would like to remain on the list for the following year.
The Island Free School will admit statemented pupils whose statement/EHCP names The Island Free School in compliance with the School Admissions Code.
Applications for vacancies outside the normal annual admission round for years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will be considered at any time. If the year group is full then the applicant will be added to the waiting list for that year group see above.
The offer of a place will be determined in accordance with the following criteria, in order of priority:
- Children with an Educational Health Care Plan naming the school and meeting the criteria listed above.
- Looked after children, or previously looked after children (ie. who were looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).
- Children who will have siblings in the school at the date of admission.
- Children who live nearest to the school, measured by the straight line distance from the front gate of the school to the child’s front door.
When determining admissions into a particular year group, consideration will be given to the size of teaching groups already existing and the efficient use of resources for all pupils in that year group.
The school may refuse admission to applicants who have been permanently excluded from two or more other schools. The ability to refuse admissions will run for a period of two years since the last exclusion. The school will consult and co-ordinate its arrangements, in accordance with local in-year fair access protocols for securing schools for unplaced children. The protocols concern the rapid re-integration of children who have been excluded from other schools and who arrive in an area after the normal admissions round.