Admission Criteria 2020
Admission Criteria and Arrangements for Entry 2020 Onwards
- Westcliff High School for Girls is a selective single-sex girls’ academy grammar school. The testing for admission to the school at age 11 is determined through a selection procedure administered by the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE). These admission criteria are to be read in conjunction with the locally agreed co-ordinated admissions scheme.
Full details of the admission process is published in the secondary booklet available from www.southend.gov.uk/admissions.
The application process, in summary, involves five stages:
i. test registration for your child;
ii. test attendance by your child;
iii. receipt of test results for your child;
iv. application, naming this school as a preference, to your Local Authority; and
v. the allocation of places at this school by the Local Authority.
This document provides additional detail about each of these steps, waiting lists and appeals.
- The CSSE Supplementary Information Form (SIF) must be completed in order to register a child to sit the selection tests and should be returned to the CSSE by the published deadline. It can also be completed online and accessed through the CSSE website at: www.csse.org.uk. Parents intending to seek 'preferential consideration' (see notes) must indicate their reason, at the time of test registration, on the SIF.
- Registration to sit the tests is open to children who will be aged 11 on 31st August immediately prior to admission in September. Younger or older children may, exceptionally, be allowed to sit the tests; but these applications must first be approved by the CSSE's Headteacher panel (see Appendix 1).
- Tests in English and Mathematics will be taken in September each year at a school determined by the CSSE. Parents may identify a preferred venue on the SIF. Sample practice papers are available free-of-charge on the CSSE website along with full details of the application process.
- The CSSE will issue individual results of the tests in October on the date specified annually.
Application to the school
- All applications will be processed through the Local Authority Co-ordinated Admissions Procedure. Parents must express a preference for this school on their Local Authority (LA) Single Application Form (or Common Application Form) in order for their child to be considered for a place. [The deadline for completing this form if you live within the Southend or Essex Local Authorities is 31st October (subject to confirmation).]
- The school's Published Admission Number (PAN) for Years 7-11 is 184.
Education, Health and Care Plans
- Children who have an EHCP are admitted under separate statutory procedures, and not under this policy. Any child who passes the selection tests and who has an EHCP (see Appendix 2) that names this school will be admitted prior to the allocation of places to other applicants, and the number of places available to other children within the PAN for Year 7 will be reduced.
Allocation of places
- The offer of a place is dependent upon passing the selection tests. However, passing the selection tests is not a guarantee of being offered a place. A pass mark for the tests is set annually, which ensures that the entrance standard remains comparable to that which was applied in the period 1990 to 1994. No pupil, in any priority category, will be admitted below this pass mark. In each category, places are allocated in order of the mark achieved, higher passing candidates first.
10. The school determines admission in the order of priority set out below:
i. Looked after children and previously looked after children (see notes (A)) who have passed the selection tests.
ii. Children whose normal/habitual place of residence (as assessed in the terms provided, annually, in the Southend Local Authority secondary admissions booklet) lies within the priority area postcode areas SS0, SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4, SS5, SS6, SS7, SS8 and SS9, subject to their passing the selection tests. A local quota of up to 80% of the Published Admissions Number (PAN) is reserved at this school for children in this category (147). Up to 10% of this quota (15 out of 147) is designated for other children from within the priority area who are entitled to 'preferential consideration' (see notes).
First, the 10% of places designated for 'preferential consideration' (see notes) from within the priority area are allocated, in rank order of marks, to those exceeding the pass mark: candidates who score higher marks will be allocated places before those who pass at a lower level. Then, the remaining places within the quota are allocated, in rank order of marks, to any applicants from within the priority area who have exceeded the pass mark: candidates who score higher marks will be allocated places before those who pass at a lower level.
The school is 'full' in this category when the quota has been reached, or when there are no more candidates from within the priority area who have passed and have listed the school as a preference, or the total PAN has been reached.
iii. Children whose normal/habitual place of residence (as assessed in the terms provided, annually, in the Southend Local Authority secondary admissions booklet) lies outside the postcode areas SS0, SS1, SS2, SS3, SS4, SS5, SS6, SS7, SS8 and SS9, subject to their passing the selection tests. Up to 10% of the places remaining after the full local quota has been deducted from the PAN (4 out of 37), is designated for other children from outside the priority area who are entitled to 'preferential consideration' (see notes).
First the 10% of places designated for 'preferential consideration' (see notes) from outside the priority area are allocated, in rank order of marks, to those exceeding the pass mark: candidates who score higher marks will be allocated places before those who pass at a lower level. Then, all remaining places are allocated, in rank order of marks, to any applicants from outside the priority area who have exceeded the pass mark: candidates who score higher marks will be allocated places before those who pass at a lower level. Places will be offered until the total PAN has been reached.
Section 10 can be summarised as follows:
Looked after children and previously looked after children, who have exceeded the pass mark in rank order of marks
Children resident in SS0-SS9 in receipt of Free School Meals, or are a recipient of the Pupil Premium Grant, who have exceeded the pass mark in rank order of marks
Others resident within SS0-SS9, who have exceeded the pass mark in rank order of marks
Children outside SS0-SS9 in receipt of Free School Meals, or are a recipient of the Pupil Premium Grant, who have exceeded the pass mark in rank order of marks
Others resident outside SS0-SS9, who have exceeded the pass mark in rank order of marks
11. In the event of pupils achieving the same mark for the last available place, priority will be given to any child entitled to 'preferential consideration' (see notes); then, if this does not differentiate, to the pupil who lives closest to the school as measured in a straight line from the front door of the child's normal/habitual place of residence (as assessed in the terms provided, annually, in the Southend Local Authority secondary admissions booklet) to the nearest pupil entrance to the school, with those living nearest being given preference. Distances will be measured using the Local Authority's computerised measuring system. If the same distance is shared by more than one pupil and only one place is available, the place will be awarded on the basis of a computerised random allocation process (supervised by someone independent of the Governing Body).
12. Waiting lists, based on the test results, are maintained in each category until 31st December. If a place has been offered and is then declined, a new offer will be made to whichever candidate has the next highest score, exceeding the pass mark, in the same category. If there is no waiting list in the relevant category, the new offer is made from the waiting list in the next priority category. Any additional applicants, prior to 31st December, will be added to the waiting list, which will be re-ordered and ranked in line with the published oversubscription criteria.
After 1st January, waiting lists are maintained, and places are offered, in accordance with the school's in-year application process. This may include re-testing.
13. If a school place is obtained through fraudulent means, the offer of a place will be withdrawn. This can include the removal of a pupil once started at the school. Details on fraudulent applications are available in the secondary admissions booklet on Southend Borough Council's website.
14. All parents have a statutory right of appeal against non-admission to those schools listed on their LA Single (or Common) Application Form. This right may be exercised only after school places have been offered on National Offer Day (usually on 1st March). Appeals must be lodged directly with the school within 20 school days of the date of notification that their application was unsuccessful. Panel hearings take place within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals.
Admission to the Sixth Form
Applications are also welcomed for entry into the school at Sixth Form level. The Sixth Form brochure and application form for a Course Selection Meeting are available from the school's website: www.whsg.info. Students should complete and submit the application form by the advertised deadline.
The number of places offered to students from outside the school will depend upon the number of our own Year 11 students who achieve the Sixth Form course entry requirements below. The minimum number to be admitted is 25.
Any applicant that meets the entry criteria and has an EHCP that names this school will be admitted even if that means going over the PAN for that year group.
Minimum entry criteria to the Sixth Form are as follows:
- You will need to accrue at least 11 points from your 8 best GCSE grades (where 9 = three points, 8 = three points, 7 = two points and 6 = 1 point). New grades below 6 and old grades below B do not contribute to this points score. Short course GCSEs may be included within this calculation.
- You must achieve at least GCSE Grade 5 in English and Mathematics.
- You need to be able to follow a course including at least 3 A Level subjects.
Should there be more candidates of the required level than places in a subject, selection will be based on rank ordering of predicted GCSE points scores and the combination of subjects a student wishes to study. In the event of pupils achieving the same mark for the last available place, preference will be given to the candidate in public care.
Post 11+ Admission ('in-year' admissions)
The school maintains waiting lists for vacancies which may arise during Years 7-11. Those parents who wish their child to be considered for entry should complete and return an In-Year Application Form, which can be found on the school's website (www.whsg.info). See Appendix 3 for details.
No applicant who applies for entry to any part of the school may be considered more than once in any academic year.
Following the refusal of a place, parents/carers have the statutory right of appeal to an independent Appeals Panel.
Notes: Preferential Consideration
Priority admission is available to children who pass the selection tests, are in any of the following categories and indicated this on the CSSE Supplementary Information Form when registering for the tests:
(a) Looked after children and previously looked after children (note A); and those children who appear to Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted;
(b) Children in receipt of Free School Meals, or identified as recipients of the Pupil Premium Grant (note B), at the time of test registration.
(A) Looked after children and 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 the 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 child arrangements order or special guardianship order).
Looked after and previously looked after children are required to meet the required academic level before they can be considered for admission to selective and partially selective schools.
(B) Pupil Premium Grant - The pupil premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England. It's designed to help disadvantaged pupils of all abilities perform better, and close the gap between them and their peers. Introduced in April 2011, the pupil premium is allocated to children including those who are, or have been, looked after by the local authority, those who have been eligible for FSM at any point in the last six years (also known as Ever 6 FSM) and for children whose parents are currently serving in the armed forces.
Appendix 1: Arrangements for 'under age' and 'over age entry to the Selection Process at CSSE (Consortium) schools
The selection test for entry to selective places at the ten Consortium schools is normally available to children registered in Year 6 from the start of the academic year in which the test is to be taken and who are between 11 and 12 years of age on the following August 31, immediately prior to admission in September. Any test candidate who is 'under age' or 'over age' will need to demonstrate that their application is supported by the necessary relevant evidence.
The Governors of the ten Consortium Schools have jurisdiction over admissions to their schools. In the case of age at entry, this may be exercised through an investigation into the reasons for a child to be an under or over aged applicant, possibly leading to a refusal of admission where, in the Governors' view, the reasons given by parents fail to comply with the published rules. This jurisdiction is retained regardless of decisions made by the LA to accept or refuse under and over age applications.
A panel of Headteachers, selected from the Consortium Schools and with full delegated authority from those schools, will review all 'under age' and 'over age' applications. The panel's decision is binding.
'Under age' applicants: An applicant is under age if she will be under 11 years of age on 31 August immediately prior to admission in September. Consortium schools will only accept applications from under aged applicants who are registered in Year 6 of their primary schools from the first day of the school academic year in which they take the tests. This effectively requires that the decision to promote the child to the year group above his/her chronological age group must be taken by the primary school prior to the end of the summer term in the calendar year in which the child is to sit the selection test. Confirmation of this is likely to be sought from the Headteacher of the primary school concerned by the Consortium Office.
'Over age' applicants: An applicant is over age if she is not under 12 years of age on 31 August immediately prior to admission in September. Consortium Schools do not accept over-aged applicants unless there are verified exceptional circumstances, for example of extended illness, for a child to repeat one of the primary school years or to have been admitted 'late' at the start of primary school. The Consortium will seek verification from the Headteacher of the primary school concerned that an over-aged applicant has medically certifiable reasons or some other exceptional reason for being an over-aged applicant. The Panel will seek verification from the Headteacher of the primary school concerned that an over-aged applicant has medically certifiable reasons or some other justifiable reason for being an over-aged applicant. The Panel will wish to investigate especially thoroughly the circumstances through which any child is found to be studying in Year 6 for the second time, especially if this should involve application to sit the selection tests for a second time. Medical evidence will be required for such applicants. If you have made your 11+ registration confidential then you will need to send the CSSE a written authority to enable them to contact your child's primary school.
For example, test registration may be refused where an investigation concludes that:
- an over aged child who is repeating Year 6 does not have exceptional reasons for so doing;
- an under aged applicant was not registered in Year 6 from the start of the school year in which the selection test is to be taken.
Appendix 2: Statement of Special Educational Need (SEN) and Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
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. If a school is oversubscribed, the admission of pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plan where the school is named in the Statement or Plan, is mandatory, except in those schools where the admissions criteria override this requirement.
Specifically, children with an EHCP/Statement are required to meet the required academic level before they can be considered for admission to selective and partially selective schools. The school must have been named in the Statement or Plan.
Appendix 3: In Year Admissions (entry not via the eleven plus)
Parents who wish their daughter to be placed on the school's waiting list must complete and return the Waiting List request form with a copy of her passport ID page.
When a space becomes available the Governors will invite applications to join a particular year group using the following procedure:
- Parents will be sent a School Application Form for completion and return.
- Applicants must be of the correct age for the year group they wish to join.
- The school will request a reference from your daughter's Headteacher, confirming that your daughter is currently working in the top 25% of the ability range. In the event that this is not available, other satisfactory evidence of your daughter's academic standard will be required.
- Applicants for entry in Years 7 and 8 will sit tests in English, Mathematics and Science.
- Applicants for entry in Years 9, 10 and 11 will sit tests in English, Mathematics, Science and either French or Spanish.
- Places will only be allocated to pupils who meet the minimum standards in the tests. Applicants much achieve a combined percentage in the tests equal to that of the average in the Year group they intend to join.
- If there are more applicants deemed to have met the required standard than there are places, then places will be awarded according to the schools oversubscription criteria for that year group.
Once completed, the waiting list form will need to be addressed to:
Mrs J Mansfield, Admissions Officer, Westcliff High School for Girls, Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 0BS.
Reviewed November 2019.