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.
- The Island Free School will admit pupils with an Education and Health Care Plan whose plan names The Island Free School as their choice of school in compliance with the School’s Admissions Code.
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. 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 – (i.e. children 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 (September 1st). 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
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 2021, you will be informed of the outcome by the Local Authority. We will write to successful applicants providing further information about admission to our school. 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 2021, the relevant address is where you and your child were living on 31 October 2020. 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
Appeals for unsuccessful applications to start Year 7 in September 2021
The Government has updated the School Admissions Appeals process such that face-to-face appeals are not to be held again this year.
Instead, appeals will be considered in written format in order to ensure fair access for all.
All appeals must be received in writing on the appropriate form by the 4pm on Friday 23rd April 2021, directly to the school (The Island Free School, Newport Road, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1BG).
All appeals will be held by 2nd June 2021.
You will be contacted by the Clerk to the Independent Appeal Panel who will provide information regarding the dates of the panel hearing(s). You will receive at least 10 school days notice of the dates for the appeal hearing.
If a prospective pupil cannot be offered a place at the school because the year group for that child is full, parents will be asked if they want their child to be placed on the waiting list. Parents/carers of children on the waiting list will be contacted termly via email to ensure they wish for their child to remain on the list for the relevant cohort. Parents/carers of children on the waiting list should update their contact details with the school should these change.
Applications for an admission outside the normal annual admission round for years 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 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. Parents may request that their child may be removed from this list at any time.
The offer of a place will be determined in accordance with The Island Free School Admissions policy.