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Admission Arrangements

Admissions to St Mary's CE Primary School are managed by West Sussex County Council. You can find all the information required, including relevant timelines, in our Admission Arrangements Policy. This can be found here in the policies folder. 

Visit West Sussex County Council website for further information on admissions. 

St Mary's School is a Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School situated in a small rural village area. As an Aided School, the admission of pupils is made by the Governors in accordance with arrangements agreed with the Local Education Authority. 

Please note that if you wish to apply for a place at St Mary's and you live outside the parish of Clymping, you need to complete a supplementary information form, in addition to the online Local Authority application. Download a copy of the form at the bottom of this page.

Visiting our school

Do please come and look around our school. If you would like to learn more before applying, please contact the Office to make an appointment to be shown around. This will give you an opportunity to see the school in action, and have all your questions answered.

Applying for a place 

To request a Foundation Stage primary school place for September, you must make a formal application through the Admission's Team at West Sussex County Council: 

Online application for this process runs from November to January the academic year before your child is due to start school. 

Allocation Day will be early April.

Preliminary visits

For parents of children who will be joining the Reception class, appointments are arranged well in advance of the proposed date of admission, so that general information about the school can be made available and they have the opportunity to discuss matters of interest with the school.

Before children are actually admitted to school, familiarisation visits are arranged so that children have the opportunity of meeting their teacher, learning their way around the school and generally getting to know the school. The idea is to alleviate any fears they may have, while giving them the confidence necessary for a smooth beginning to a vitally important phase of their education/school life.

In-year transfer

To request a primary school place at St Mary’s CE Primary School you will need to:

Oversubscription Criteria

The school serves a dual role: it seeks to provide a place of Christian nurture for church families while at the same time serving the local community.

The planned admission number for each year group is 15. If more than that number apply for any year group the admission of pupils will be subject to the following priorities in the order set out.

The highest priority is given to Looked After Children and all previously Looked After Children. (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.)

  1. A 'looked after child' or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements, or special guardianship order* including those 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. A looked after child is a child who is (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 (see the definition in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989).
  2. The child resides in the civil or ecclesiastical parishes of Clymping

  3. The child already has a sibling who is attending St Mary's School Clymping at the time of application. 

  4. A parent of the child is a regular attendee of St Mary's Church at Clymping.**

  5. A parent of the child has regular attendance as confirmed by a church leader at a church of any Christian denomination**

  6. There is an exceptional reason, i.e. medical, social or educational (with written professional support) for admission to this school.

  7. Other children

*An adoption order is an order under the Adoption Act 1976 (see Section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (see Section 46 adoption orders). A ‘child arrangements order’ is an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989 as amended by Section 14 of the Children and Families Act 2014. 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 (or special guardians)

   ** In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, the requirements of these admissions arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church or alternative premises have been available for public worship.

When deciding between applicants who have equal entitlement under one of the above criteria, the governors will have regard to the proximity of the applicant's home to the school.

  • Where only one parent/guardian satisfies a criterion, the application will be treated equally with one where the requirement is met by both parents.
  • Parents applying under category 4,5 or 6 must complete a supplementary information form (downloadable below) giving the name of the priest or minister able to verify that the requirements of a particular criterion have been met.
  • Regular attendance at church is defined as attendance at a minimum of one service a month for a period of at least one year.
  • Church of Christian denomination is defined as a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and/or The Evangelical Alliance.
  • Children refused a place can, at their parents' request, be put on a waiting list where priorities will also be determined by the admissions criteria set out above. Children are kept on this list for a maximum of twelve months.
  • Late applications are considered after all those applications received by the specified deadline.
  • There is a right of appeal to an independent panel against a decision of the governors. Parents wishing to exercise this right should write to the Clerk to the governors c/o the school.
  • Maps of the civil and ecclesiastical parishes of Clymping can be viewed at the school.

Appeals Procedure

Whenever an application for a school place is refused, the legal right to appeal against the decision will be offered to the applicant. The procedure for appeal is available on the West Sussex website.

This sets out the timeframe for the various stages in the appeal process and includes statutory dates by which appeals must be heard.

An appeal form relating to an in-year application decision may be submitted directly to the school office at any time following the issue of the decision letter during the academic year.

The Admissions Committee does not administer appeal hearings during the school holidays. Appeal forms received when the school is closed will not be processed until the school resumes.