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Dorchester Middle School

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Catchment Area

Catchment Area 1

Dorchester Middle School Admissions Policy is currently under consultation.  Until this policy is formally adopted, please make reference to the Dorset County Council admissions policy. (Please see below)


Please note that as an Academy we have appointed Dorset County Council to manage Normal Year of Entry (Y5 September intake) applications, on our behalf. Please see Dorsetforyou for details and contact the School Admissions Team if you have any questions.  Tel. 01305 221060 or email: 


Applications for outside the September intake or for other year groups should be made directly to the school.  Please contact the school for an application form.  Tel. 01305 265651 or email:  


SEN admission applications (for pupils who have a EHCP), including those pupils transferring from Year 4 to 5 or Year 8 to 9, have to be made via the Local Authority SEN admissions department.  All SEN admissions are made via consultation with the Local Authority.


In accordance with the Legal requirements, the Governors of The Dorchester Middle School publish their admissions policy. The arrangements are reviewed annually by the Governors.


Admission Number

  1. The Governors will consult with the LA before introducing or changing admission arrangements at least once in each year (September to August)

  2. The Governors have determined that the admission number for Year 5 in 2018-19 will be 150


Criteria for Admission

Admissions to Years 5, 6, 7 and 8

The Governors will admit a pupil to the School for which the parents have expressed a preference unless to do so would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.


Where there are more applications than there are places available the Governors will admit pupils according to the following order of priority:


  1. Looked After and previously Looked After children, as defined by the Schools Admission Code (2012) within the area normally served by the school.

  2. Pupils living in the area normally served by the School and who also attend Cerne Abbas First School, Damers First School, Prince of Wales First School, or Winterbourne Valley First School.

  3. Pupils living in the area normally served by the school.

  4. Pupils Living outside the area normally served by the School will be offered spare places in the following order:

  1. Pupils who are attending Cerne Abbas First School, Damers First School, Prince of Wales First School, or Winterbourne Valley First School at the time of their application.

  2. Those pupils who have a brother or a sister who has been admitted in previous years and who will be attending the School at the time of admission.

  3. Those pupils who have a particular medical reason for attending the School which is stated in writing at the time of application and which is supported by written medical evidence.

  4. Pupils who have particular social or compassionate grounds for attending the school which are stated in writing at the time of the application and which are supported by appropriate letters from Social Workers, Doctors, Locality Team, etc.

  5. Children of staff with at least two years continuous service at the school or who have been recruited to a vacancy to meet a demonstrable skills shortage as at the date of application (in year) or relevant closing date under the LA co-ordinated scheme (normal year of entry) and who still intend to be employed at the school at the time of the child’s admission.


If too few places are available to satisfy preferences expressed within any of the priority order categories above, places will be allocated on the basis of the child’s closeness to the preferred school (defined by straight line measurements).


N.B: When measuring distance from home to school, this will be done by resource to the County Council’s computer system, which identifies the centre of the building of the two locations to determine proximity.


The admission of children with statements of Special Educational Need is covered by sections 324 to 328 of, and schedule 27 to, the Education Act of 1996. Guidance is given in the Special Education Needs Code of Practice.


Where parents/guardians have children of multiple births and the Governors are unable to allocate all the children a place at the preferred school, the parents/guardians will be invited to decide which of the children should be allocated the available place(s).


In the event that the Governors are unable to distinguish between applications despite applying the priority criteria above, lots will be drawn by an independent (of the Governors) person to determine the final place(s).


Appeals against Admission Decisions

Parents may appeal to an independent panel against the decisions of the Governors.


Such panels consist of three or five persons. They will include lay-members who have no personal experience of management or education in a school, and persons who either have educational experience, or are acquainted with educational conditions in the area, or are parents of registered school pupils.


The procedure respecting the Appeal process is laid down in the Department for Children Schools and Families Code of Practice, and the decision of the Appeal Panel is binding upon the Governors and the Head Teacher of the school. The conduct of such panels falls under the supervision of the Council of Tribunals.