This policy will apply to all admissions for the academic year 2022/23 including in-year applications.

For details of Published Admission Numbers (PAN’s) for each school please refer to the list of community infant schools at the end of this document.

If the school is oversubscribed, applications will be considered first according to the priorities in the order set out below:

1. These are defined as Looked after Children and all previously looked after children, including those 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. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after but ceased to be so because they were adopted or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order

2. Children or families who have a significant medical, physical, psychological or social need. Evidence must be attached with the application form. Applications under this criterion must be supported by written evidence from an appropriate professional involved stating clearly why the preferred school is the most appropriate for the child and reasons why other schools in the city are inappropriate. Please see Additional Information.

3. Children living within the school’s designated catchment area. (If the school cannot admit all applications from the catchment area, applicants will be ranked within this category in accordance with priorities in 4. below.)

4. Children living outside the school’s catchment area in the following priority order:

i) Children who have a brother or sister (living within the same household) at the school or an adjacent junior school who will be still attending the school the following academic year;
Note – this category includes step-brothers/step-sisters adoptive brothers/sisters living within the same household or children whose parents are married or cohabiting and live together within the same household.

ii). Children eligible for service premium
Note – service premium is paid to eligible children of armed services personnel under S14 of the Education Act 2002.

iii) Children of staff employed at the school (or school on an adjacent site)

a) where the member of staff has been employed at the school for 2 or more years at the time at which the application is made, and or
b) the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a skill shortage

iv) Children who live closest to the school, based on the shortest distance from home to school, measured on a straight line ‘as the crow flies’. (This distance will be used where necessary to prioritise applications). Should there be two or more identical distances requiring prioritisation, this will be done by casting lots. Please see Additional Information.

Note: should the school be oversubscribed from within any of the criteria above then any additional criteria will be used to prioritise applications within these categories.

Displaced Sibling

Where the LA is unable to meet a parental preference in relation to a catchment school, the LA will have to allocate a place at a lower preference school or even allocate the next nearest school with places available. Parents may prefer to then try and get a place for another sibling at the same school. In such instances, this school could then be treated as the catchment school for subsequent sibling applications.

Parents would have to notify the LA on application that they consider this exception applies. If the application was for the actual catchment school this criterion would still be applied. This would be applicable to Portsmouth schools who have catchment criterion as part of their admissions policy.

Pupils with a statutory education, health and care plan

The Admissions code states “all children whose Education Health and Care (EHC) plan names the school must be admitted”. These children will have priority for admission over and above all other admission applications and will be included in the admissions allocation process.

Additional Information

The admission and application process including key dates are outlined in the Co-ordinated Scheme 2022-23.

Additional information - Looked After Children

A “looked after child” is a child who is in a) the care of a local authority, or b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions ( Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989) at the time of making an application to a school.

A child is regarded as being 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.

This includes children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 (Section 12 Adoption orders) and children adopted under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Section 46 adoption orders).

Child arrangements orders are defined in Section 8 of the Children Act, as amended by Section 12 of the Childrens and Families Act 2014. Child arrangements orders replace residence orders and any residence order in force prior to 22/4/14 is deemed to be a child arrangements order. Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a “special guardianship order” as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian(s).

Medical, physical, psychological or social need

If a child or a family member has a significant medical, physical, psychological or social need that you would like taken into account when places are allocated, applicants should tick the relevant box on the application form and submit supporting evidence to support their request.

The evidence must be in writing from a doctor or other appropriate professional involved with the child/family member’s health, wellbeing or specific family circumstances. In all cases evidence must show why it is appropriate that the child attends the preferred school and why other schools in the city are inappropriate.

Catchment Areas

A catchment area is a geographical area defined by the council. The idea of having a catchment area is to give some priority for the admission of children living in the local area of the school. Please note – living in the catchment area does not guarantee a place at the school. The catchment area determined by the home address (the child’s permanent residence).

Further details of the individual school’s catchment area will be provided on the council’s website or by contacting the Admissions Team.

Sibling link

A sibling link is defined as a child’s brother or sister (living in the same household) already on roll and attending the school you have applied to or at an adjacent infant/junior school and who will still be attending the school the following academic year. This category includes step-brothers/step-sisters; adoptive and foster brothers/sisters living in the same household or children whose parents are married or cohabiting and live together within the same household. This does not include siblings who live in a different household.

Twins, triplets and other children of multiple births will be admitted above the admission limit of a school if the limit has been reached by admitting one of the multiple birth children. A sibling link at the school does not guarantee admission to the school.

Feeder Junior School

Every infant school has a linked feeder junior school some of which are on adjacent sites to infant schools. Please see list below.

Children eligible for service premium

Service premium is paid to eligible children of armed services personnel under S14 of the Education Act 2002. The service premium is designed to support children with parents serving in the regular British armed forces. Pupils attract the premium if they meet the following criteria:

  • One of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces.
  • They have been registered as a service child on the January school census at any point since 2016.
  • One of their parents died while serving in the armed forces and the pupil is in receipt of a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) and the War Pensions Scheme (WPS).

Children of Staff employed at the school

a) where the member of staff has been employed at the school for 2 or more years at the time at which the application is made, and or
b) the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a skill shortage.

Distance measurement

Where it is necessary to prioritise applications the criterion will be prioritised based on the shortest distance from the child’s home to school, measured in a straight line ‘as the crow flies’.

Distances will be measured using the council’s Geographical Information System (GIS) department. The Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) unique property reference co-ordinates will be used to represent the school, whilst home co-ordinates will be primarily derived from the LLPG, with Ordnance Survey’s ADDRESS-POINT® product used as support.

Only distances measured by GIS will be taken into account for the purposes of the distance criterion.

Should there be two or more identical distances, the prioritisation will be done by casting lots. The Admissions Team will arrange for this to be carried out by the LA’s Democratic Services who are independent of the school and the admissions process.

Fair Access Protocol

The Local Authority operates a Fair Access Protocol which prioritises admissions certain categories of school age children. This protocol relates to admission applications during the year but does not apply to children applying in the normal admissions round. The protocol takes priority above the school’s admission policy for those on a waiting list and the LA may require the school to admit above their published admission number.


If a parent is unsuccessful with any of their preferences they will have the right of appeal to an independent appeal panel and will be provided with the relevant documentation and advice by the LA’s Admissions Service.

Waiting lists

All parents who have been refused a place at the school will have the option to remain on the waiting list – via a tick box on the allocation response form online or on a paper reply slip. Children will be held on the waiting list by order of the criteria in the admissions policy. No account can be taken of the length of time a pupil is on the list.

A pupil’s position can change on the list as new join or other applicants come off the waiting list. Children will remain on a waiting list only until the end of the academic year August 2023, if parents/carers want their children to be on the waiting list for the following academic year, they must reapply.

Community Infant Schools

Infant SchoolsPublished Admission Number 2022/23
Bramble Infant60
Cumberland Infant60
Devonshire Infant60
Manor Infant60
Southsea Infant60

All other maintained infant schools are academies. For details of policies and PAN please visit the relevant school website.

Feeder Infant/Junior Schools 2022/23

Court Lane Junior (Academy)
Court Lane Infant* (Academy)
Craneswater Junior
Southsea Infant
Cumberland Infant
Bramble Infant
Fernhurst Junior
Devonshire Infant *
Bramble Infant
Langstone Junior (Academy)
Langstone Infant* (Academy)
Lyndhurst Junior (Academy)
College Park Infant* (Academy)
Meon Junior (Academy)
Meon Infant* (Academy)
Moorings Way (Academy)
Penhale Infant (Academy)
Newbridge Junior (Academy)
Manor Infant
Penhale Infant (Academy)
Moorings Way Infant (Academy)
Meon Infant (Academy)
Northern Parade Junior (Academy)
Northern Parade Infant* (Academy)
Solent Junior (Academy)
Solent Infant* (Academy)
Stamshaw Junior (Academy)
Stamshaw Infant
Wimborne Primary (has 20 Junior places to offer external applicants)
Cumberland Infant

*Indicates infant/junior schools considered as adjacent sites (relevant to sibling link criterion). E.g. Devonshire Infant and Fernhurst Junior are on adjacent sites.