Admissions Policy

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The excellent range of subjects strongly promotes and sustains the academic achievement, preparing them extremely well for life in modern Britain. (Ofsted)

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Admissions Policy

NEW | Scholarships for pupils in Science, Maths, English, Art and Music.

For Admissions to Year 7 in September 2024

The main principle of admission to Platanos College is to secure and maintain the character of the school as a comprehensive school, providing for the needs of young persons within the 11–16 age range.  In order to achieve this, the admissions criteria have been designed to produce an intake that is representative of the national ability range.  Pupils will, therefore, be admitted according to a banding system.

The school participates in the Local Authority co-ordinated admission procedure and all deadlines within that should be adhered to by applicants.


The school welcomes applications from children of all abilities, including from those with additional or special educational needs or disabilities.  In formulating this policy, the school has had regard to the principles and provisions of the Equality Act 2010, including the public sector equality duty.  In particular, the school will not discriminate against any candidate in its admission arrangements or their implementation, because they or a member of their family has, or are perceived to have, a protected characteristic as set out in the Act.

Five ability bands (encompassing a proportionate spread of different abilities) will be determined by the results of Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT scores) and the school will admit equal numbers of applicants into each band for Year 7 entry.

All applicants will be required to sit the Cognitive Ability Test (Admissions Test) once following an application to Platanos College. This test takes place in the autumn term soon after the admissions deadline and applicants are informed of the date and details of the Admissions Test in writing.

It is not used to select children with a higher ability over those with a lower ability. Once children have been placed in the band which accords to their test results, the mark they achieved will not be considered any further during the admissions process.

In exceptional circumstances, in the case of inability to sit the Cognitive Ability Test due to serious illness or a learning disability or difficulty, proxy indicators of ability from the primary school will be used.

A separate Art/Music aptitude band in addition to the above is available for children who are successful in their application for a scholarship place as part of the admissions process.

The published admissions number (PAN) for Year 7 is 160, which includes pupils admitted through the banding process and under the Art or Music selection process.

3.1   Art or Music Scholarships

A maximum of up to 10% of our admission number (up to 16 places) will be designated as a priority for applicants who wish to apply for such a scholarship and show aptitude and potential in Art or Music during the admissions application process. The school will make available scholarships to support those pupils who successfully obtain a place based on their aptitude in Art or Music. Pupils who are eligible for an Art or Music scholarship will be allocated a place in the separate Art/Music band.

Additional aptitude assessments take place separately for these applicants. Selection for places will require the applicant to demonstrate aptitude and potential in an interview (assessed by a panel with an independent assessor) where the pupil can discuss the subject, present any evidence, art portfolios or play a musical instrument. These assessments take place in the autumn term and parents/carers will be informed of the outcome of the aptitude tests after the assessment. For further information, please see Appendix A.

Please note that children who apply for an Art or Music place must also sit the Admissions Test and complete the local authority online Common Application Form (CAF) if they are applying for Year 7 entry in the normal admissions round.

If there are fewer applicants for Art or Music places than the total places available, the unfilled places will become available to all other applicants at the end of the allocation procedure.

Children applying for an Art/Music place may also be considered for banded places if they sit the banding tests outlined above. Applicants who are unsuccessful in gaining an Art/Music place would not be placed in the Art/Music band but will instead be assigned to an ability band and be considered in accordance with the order of priority outlined below in section 5.

3.2   Scholarships in other subjects: English, Maths, Science, Drama, PE, Sports and Community Contribution

In addition, scholarships will be awarded to pupils who have been offered and accepted a place at the school who show academic achievement or other merit in the following subjects or area: English, Mathematics, Science, Drama, Physical Education, Sports and Community Contribution.

These awards are not used for the admissions selection criteria and are awarded to those pupils who have applied and accepted a place at Platanos College after the admissions process. The purpose of these awards is to provide an aspirational approach to learning and to raise pupils’ achievement. For further information, please see Appendix A.

As according to the Admissions Code, children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming the school will be admitted. The school will also give top priority to applications on behalf of children in, or previously in, public care (‘looked after children’) residing with the primary carer with the relevant documentary evidence, including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted (please see section 12 for definitions).

In the event of oversubscription in any ability band, admissions will be determined using the below criteria in the following order of priority for each ability band:

  1. Children in the care, or all children previously in the care, of a Local Authority (‘looked after children’). Children with an EHC Plan with supporting evidence naming the school are automatically admitted.
  2. Siblings of pupils who are attending the school at the time of the applicant’s admission.
  3. Where applications are received from twins, or same year siblings, if one child is selected for a scholarship place, or by another admission criterion, the other sibling will be admitted into the respective band.
  4. Children of members of staff where the member of staff has been employed permanently at the school for two or more years at the time of application and will still be employed by the school on the date of admission.
  5. Children of members of staff recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.

Tie-breaker: After applying the above criteria, random allocation within each ability band will be used for the remaining applicants and available places.  This process will be supervised by someone independent of the school.

Note: In the event of undersubscription for a particular band, i.e. if after carrying out the above exercise there are any places remaining in any band, they will be allocated to: (1) any children in the band immediately above or below who have not yet been allocated a place, in the priority order above, then (2) any other children of other bands, then (3) children without a place who did not sit the banding test.

  1. Parents/Carers resident in Lambeth must ensure that they complete the Local Authority (Lambeth) Common Application Form (CAF).  Please ensure that Platanos College is clearly listed as one of the preferred schools on the CAF. All CAFs must be submitted to the home borough.
  2.  Applying to Platanos College from another borough other than Lambeth. Parents/Carers resident in another borough are welcome to apply to Platanos College for their child. Please contact your home borough for a CAF and instructions on how to apply to a school in a different borough.  Ensure that Platanos College is clearly listed as one of the preferred schools. You should also contact Lambeth and request an admissions booklet, which will contain further information such as entry arrangements.
  3. Supplementary Information Form (SIF). All parents/carers must also complete the SIF and return this directly to the school office. This can be obtained from Lambeth or direct from Platanos College. An electronic copy of the SIF can be downloaded here on this page.
  4. Scholarship application. If the child is applying for the Art, Music, Maths, Science or Business and Enterprise scholarships an additional Bursary Form needs to be completed. This can be obtained directly from the school’s Main Office.An electronic copy of the Bursary Application Form can be downloaded here on this page.
  5. For ‘In-Year’ applications (i.e. applying to join the school in the middle of the academic year) please contact the school office directly and complete our application form found here.

Where there are more children applying than the total number of places available in Year 7, a waiting list will be maintained. Children on the Year 7 waiting list will be ranked in accordance with the order of priority outlined in Section 5 above, with the children remaining in their bands, and not in relation to the date that the application was received or when the child’s name was added to the waiting list. Where parents/carers wish to add their child’s name to the waiting list, all applicants will be tested and placed in one of the five ability bands based on their test results.  The waiting list for Year 7 admission will be kept open until the end of the Autumn Term of that same admissions round.

Late applications for Year 7 may be made to the school and will be maintained in order of the over-subscription criteria for each band in the year group. Late applications for the Year 7 admissions round (without a CAT test score) must still be made via the local authority and will be placed in the non-ability band.  Please note that these applications will be processed by the local authority after the national offer day in March of the same admissions year, as according to the local authority procedure.

Any pupil not offered a place will be placed on the waiting list and will have the statutory right of appeal. Where places become vacant in a particular band, they will be allocated to applicants on the waiting list for that band in accordance with the oversubscription criteria.

Waiting lists are maintained for other year groups as above and places are also allocated in accordance with the oversubscription criteria as outlined in Section 5 above for each band in the year group.

In the event of a place being available for a particular band in a year group with no one on the waiting list, they will be allocated to: (1) any children in the band immediately above or below who have not yet been allocated a place, in order according to the oversubscription criteria above, then (2) any other children of other bands according to the same oversubscription criteria, then (3) children without a place who did not sit the banding test as according to the oversubscription criteria.

Platanos College is committed to taking a fair and reasonable proportion of children who are vulnerable and/or hard to place, as identified in the locally agreed Fair Access Protocol in accordance with the Admissions Code.

Applicants for in-year admissions (which is outside of the normal Year 7 admissions round) should contact the school directly to complete the school’s in-year application form. The form can also be found here.

The child will be required to sit the CAT admissions test before admission is considered. The CATs score will be used to assign the child to the appropriate ability band of the corresponding year group.

Allocation will follow the above over-subscription criteria if a waiting list exists for the ability band of the year group.

Parents/carers may, under certain circumstances, request that their child be admitted to a year group outside of their normal age group.

The Academy Trust is the admission authority for considering such requests and will decide whether the individual circumstances make it an appropriate arrangement on educational grounds. Where a child has been educated out of their normal age group in their primary education, the parent/carer may again request admission out of the normal age group when they transfer to their secondary education. However, it will be for the Academy Trust to decide whether to admit the child out of their normal age group.

Parents/carers must consider the impact this may have and must submit evidence of support from a relevant professional.

The Academy Trust will comply with section 2.17 of the Admissions Code, that: “Admission authorities must make decisions on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned. This will include taking account of the parent’s views; information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; where relevant, their medical history and the views of a medical professional; whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group; and whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely. They must also take into account the views of the head teacher of the school concerned.

Parents requesting admission to an age group below the child’s actual age should submit an application for the child’s actual age group before the relevant closing date. The request for later admissions should accompany the application. This enables the application to be processed and a school place secured in the child’s actual age group if the request is refused by the school (subject to the application of the oversubscription criteria). Parents will be informed of the outcome of their request.

If the Academy Trust agrees to the request, the same oversubscription criteria above will be applied.

Parents or carers have a statutory right of appeal under the School Standards & Framework Act 1998 if a place is not offered.

Appeals against admission decisions are heard by an Independent Admissions Appeal Panel and will be in accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code.  An appeal against a refusal of a place must be made within 20 school days of the date of the refusal letter.

Parents and carers are asked to have regard to paragraphs 2.12 and 2.13 of the Admissions Code which lists the circumstances when an offer of a place may be withdrawn.  This includes where an offer was obtained through a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application.

‘Sibling’ refers to brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or the child of the parent/carer’s partner where the child for whom the school place is sought is living in the same family unit at the same address as that sibling.

‘Looked after children’ refers to children who are (a) in the care of a local authority or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions at the time of making an application.

‘Previously looked-after children’ are all children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order, immediately after being looked after. This includes children who appear to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.

‘Looked after’ and ‘previously looked after’ children who have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted will be prioritised along with those who are ‘looked after’ or ‘previously looked after’ in England. A child will be regarded as having been in state care outside of England if they were in the care of (or were accommodated by) a public authority, a religious organisation, or any other provider of care whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society.

If an application is made under the ‘looked after’ criterion, it must be supported by a letter from the relevant Local Authority Children’s Services Department and/or relevant documents.

‘Home address’ is the address at which the pupil currently lives at permanently and full time as the principal residence.  The child’s home address excludes any business address, a relative’s address or a child minder’s address, and must be the child’s normal place of residence. If there is a genuine equal share custody arrangement between two parents, the address that will be used will be the address of the parent who is claiming Child Benefit for the child.

Where there is an issue over whether the home address stated in the Common Application Form is the child’s main home address as defined by this policy, parents may be required to provide documentary evidence to resolve the issue.  This may include providing details of the times that the child has spent at the stated home address in the three month period immediately preceding the application deadline.

The address to be used for the initial allocation of places in Year 7 will be the child’s address at the closing date for application. Changes of address up to this date may be considered if there are exceptional reasons for the change, such as if the family has just moved to the area, or has returned from abroad. Parents and carers have a responsibility to notify the Local Authority of any changes of address and may be asked to provide evidence to enable us to investigate and verify the reasons for the change of address.

Any offer of a place is conditional upon the child living at the address on the closing date for applications.

The address to be used for waiting lists, after the initial allocation, will be the child’s current address.

In all the above criteria, documentary proof of residence will be required.