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Admissions jargon glossary

Academy
A publicly funded independent school that can benefit from
freedoms, including freedom from LA control, the ability to set
their own pay and conditions for staff, freedoms around the
delivery of the curriculum, and the ability to change the lengths of
terms and school days.
Admission Authority
The body responsible for setting and applying a school’s
admission arrangements. For community or voluntary controlled
schools, this body is the local authority unless it has agreed to
delegate responsibility to the governing body. For foundation or
voluntary aided schools, this body is the governing body of the
school. For Academies, this body is the Academy Trust.
Admission Criteria
Conditions set by the admissions authority which are used to
decide whether or not a place can be offered to a child.
Admission Number (or Published Admission Number –
(PAN)

The number of school places that the admission authority must
offer in each relevant age group of a school for which it is the
admission authority. Admission numbers are part of a school’s
admission arrangements.
Common Application Form (CAF)
The form parents complete, listing their preferred choices of
schools, and then submit to local authorities when applying for
a school place for their child as part of the local co-ordination
scheme, during the normal admissions round. Parents must be
allowed to express a preference for a minimum of three schools
on the relevant common application form as determined by their
local authority. Local authorities may allow parents to express a
higher number of preferences if they wish.
Community School
A state school that is wholly owned and maintained by the LA.
The local authority employs the school staff, owns the school’s
land and buildings, and is primarily responsible for admissions
arrangements.
Distance
Distance is measured using a straight line from the child’s
permanent address to the main gate of the school. 
DfE
Department for Education– the government department
responsible for education and children’s services.
Governing Body
School governing bodies are bodies corporate responsible for
conducting schools with a view to promoting high standards of
educational achievement.
Nursery School
A school that caters for pupils aged 3 to 4.
Infant School
A school that caters for pupils aged 4 to 7.
Junior School
A school that caters for pupils aged 7 to 11.
Primary School
A school that caters for pupils aged 4 to 11.
Secondary School
A school that caters for pupils aged 11 to 16.
LA
Local Authority.
Looked After Children / Previously Looked After Children
Children who are in the care of local authorities as defined
by Section 22 of the Children Act 1989. In relation to school
admissions legislation a ‘looked after child’ is a child in public care
at the time of application to a school.
Previously looked after children are 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).
Ofsted – Office for Standards in Education
The body that regularly inspects all schools in England that
are mainly or wholly state-funded. Ofsted also provides public
reporting and informed independent advice.
Oversubscription
Where a school has a higher number of applicants than the
school’s published admission number.
Oversubscription Criteria
This refers to the published criteria that an admission authority
applies when a school has more applications than places available
in order to decide which children will be allocated a place.
Preference
The list of schools you would like your child to go to.

Sibling
Sibling means a full, half, step, foster brother or sister living as part
of the family unit. In all cases, the brother or sister must be living
as part of a family unit with, and at the same address as, the child
for whom the application is being made. Cousins, aunts or uncles
are not siblings.
Statement of Special Educational Need (SEN)
A Statement of Special Educational Need is a statement made by
the local authority under Section 324 of the Education Act 1996,
specifying the special educational provision required for that child.
Supplementary information forms (SIFs)
A SIF is a form generated by a school that is its own admissions
authority and requires additional information that is not on the CAF
or iCAF.
Trust / Foundation Schools
The Governing Body is responsible for running the school, setting
the admissions criteria and arranging appeals.
VA (Voluntary Aided) Schools
These may be faith or religious schools. The Governing Body is
responsible for running the school, setting the admissions criteria
and arranging appeals.
VC (Voluntary Controlled) Schools
These may be faith or religious schools. The LA is responsible for
running the school, setting the admissions criteria and arranging
appeals.
Waiting Lists
A list of children held and maintained by the admission authority
when the school has allocated all of its places, on which children
are ranked in priority order against the school’s published
oversubscription criteria.

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