Applying for a place at the Infant Academy
The Southwater Infant Academy welcomes all applications for prospective new pupils. Most pupils join at the start of reception, during the admissions round. If you would like to apply for your child to join us outside of the admissions round, you can make an 'In-year Application'. Details of both can be found on this page.
Admissions Round applications are made direct to West Sussex County Council using their application form here. Please do not apply through the Academy directly.
The deadlines for the 2023-2024 academic year admissions round are:
- Admissions applications open: October 2023
- Closing date for applications: 15 January 2024
- Allocation letters and emails sent out: April 2024
- Induction days: Summer term 2024
Need help? Phone West Sussex County Council on 03330 142 903.
Any child with a statement of special educational need (SEN) or Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) naming the school will automatically be admitted to a school, under Section 324 or the Education Act 1996.
1) Looked after children (children in public care), 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; and previously looked after children. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be because they were adopted or became subject to a residence order or a special guardianship order.
2) Children who need a place at the school on exceptional and compelling social, psychological or medical grounds;
- Parents/carers must provide written supporting evidence from an appropriately qualified person (usually a doctor or social worker). The evidence should state clearly why the school is the only one that can meet the child’s needs. A letter from parents is not normally considered sufficient evidence.
3) Children who have brothers or sisters already at The Southwater Infant Academy and who will still be there when the child starts (brothers or sisters may be half or step-siblings but must be living permanently at the same address);
4) Children who live in The Southwater Infant Academy catchment area and have brothers or sisters already at Southwater Junior Academy, who will still be there when the child starts (brothers or sisters may be half or step-siblings but must be living permanently at the same address);
5) Other children who live in The Southwater Infant Academy catchment area;
6) Children who live within the catchment area for Castlewood Primary School and have brothers or sisters already at Southwater Junior Academy who will still be there when the child starts (brothers or sisters may be half or step-siblings but must be living permanently at the same address);
7) Other children who live within the catchment area for Castlewood Primary School;
8) Children who live outside The Southwater Infant Academy and Castlewood Primary School catchment area, and have brothers or sisters already at Southwater Junior Academy who will still be there when the child starts (brothers or sisters may be half or step-siblings but must be living permanently at the same address);
9) Other children who live outside the catchment areas for The Southwater Infant Academy and Castlewood Primary School.
In the case of oversubscription in any of the above categories, priority is given to applicants who live nearest the academy measured by a straight line from the academy to home, using Ordnance Survey address point data from a central point in each building.
In line with Paragraph 1.7 of the School Admissions Code (2014), published by the Department for Education (DfE), The Southwater Infant Academy Trust is under a duty to consider all applications for an oversubscribed school against its published oversubscription criteria. Parents not offered a place at the Academy will be offered another school by the County Council.
Families wishing to apply for places outside the normal admissions round, when children first start school in Reception at the beginning of September, should contact the Academy in the first instance to discuss their child’s transition to the Academy. This enables us to confirm spaces that we have available and to answer any questions that you might have. Families will then need to complete an application which can be found here. Alternatively, a paper copy can be supplied, or we can email a copy to families that request this.
If the Academy has more applications than places, parents whose child has not been allocated a place may appeal. Appeals will be considered by an independent appeals panel.
Details of how to appeal can be found here or by contacting the West Sussex Contact Centre on 0845 075 1007.
When submitting or returning the form, try to send all the information that you want the Panel to see.
Families should be aware that the law states (with a few exceptions which are listed in the School Admission Appeals Code) that all infant classes, (where children are aged 7 and under) should have no more than thirty pupils with a single teacher. Therefore, if the class that your child would enter would exceed thirty, the admission authority can refuse to allow your child a place. You can still appeal to the Independent Appeal Panel, but only if you have grounds for believing that the admission authority has behaved unreasonably in a legal sense, or has not applied the rules correctly.
Admissions Round Appeals
A provisional calendar of appeal dates for 2024 entry will be available in Spring 2024.