School admissions

Information for schools and academies on best practice and compliance


    Catholic schools act as their own admissions authority, this means it is the school governors that sign off the list of new starters each year.  This is different from other non-Catholic schools who often use the Local Authority (the Council) to manage their admissions.  Each school has its own Admissions Policy which must be available on the school website or from the school office.  Catholic schools use a list of over-subscription criteria to rank applicants if they receive more applications that they have places available.

    Parents and carers wishing to send their child to a Catholic school should look at the list of criteria carefully and try and think in which category their child will fall.  Some Catholic schools only have enough spaces for baptised Catholic children, whereas some larger schools will have spaces left for non-Catholic children.  Ask at your local school and they will be able to give you an idea what has happened in previous years.  Schools will also accept children throughout the school year if a place is available, if you move into a new town or wish your child to change schools part way through the school year, contact your local council or preferred school to find out what places are available.

    The School Admissions Code 2021 is the legal document, published by the UK Government, that all schools must adhere to.  It sets out the rules for school admissions and also tells parents how to appeal or complain about a schools admissions process.  Every school must consult with parents and local stakeholders if they intend to change their admissions policy, for Catholic school this includes the diocese.  Schools must consult every seven years even if no changes have been made.

    Model Admissions Policy

    It is important that all Catholic schools in the diocese of Northampton have a fair and compliant Admissions Policy and to help governors with this, we have worked with the Catholic Education Service in creating model admission policies that comply with both Canon Law and the School Admissions Code and are clear and easy to access.

    Click on the links below to access the diocesan Admissions Guidance and a model policy for Primary or Secondary schools or Academies.  If Headteachers or governors have any questions about our guidance or model policies, please contact us using the details at the top of the page.  

    “Governance is an important ministry in the Church, we welcome people from all walks of life to apply”

    NORTHAMPTON DIOCESE, director for schoolS

    Governor Bitesize: