Ponsbourne St Mary's Church Of England Primary School

Let Your Light Shine

Reception Admissions

Admissions to Ponsbourne St. Mary's C of E VC Reception 2024-2025

As a Voluntary Controlled nursery and primary school, Ponsbourne St. Mary’s C of E VC Primary School allocates Reception places in accordance with the County Council’s published admission criteria.

Ponsbourne St. Mary’s is a small village primary school which admits up to 15 children into our reception class. Children are admitted into the reception class in the September following their fourth birthday. We would be very keen to show you round our school, where we care about giving your child the best possible start to their school life.

Applications should be made online via www.hertsdirect.org/admissions.

This year you can apply from Wednesday 1st November 2023 until Monday 15th January 2024.

County admissions will allocate places based on the admissions rules below.  Please note that you still have to apply for a reception place if your child is in the nursery.  Being in the nursery class does not guarantee you a place in our reception class.

Places this year will be allocated on Tuesday 16th April 2024.

Parents/carers must then choose whether to accept or reject this offer within a given time (30th April 2021). There are appeal procedures, which the LA will explain, should parents/carers have a problem with the decision.

Once you have been allocated a place at Ponsbourne St. Mary’s, we will contact you with details of when you and your child can come to visit before starting.

Hertfordshire County Council’s oversubscription criteria for community and voluntary controlled, first, infant, primary, junior and middle schools for the school year 2023/24

Section 324 of the Education Act 1996 requires the governing bodies of all maintained schools to admit a child with a statement of special educational needs that names their school. Schools must also admit children with an EHC (Education, Health and Care) Plan that names the school. 

If there are fewer applications than places available at a school all applicants will be admitted. If there are more applications than places available, the criteria outlined below will be used to prioritise applications.

Oversubscription Criteria

Rule 1: Children Looked After

Children Looked After and children who were previously looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a Child Arrangements Orders or a Special Guardianship Order)*.


Rule 2: Medical or Social

Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school.*

A panel of officers will determine whether the evidence provided is sufficiently compelling to meet the requirements for this rule. The evidence must relate specifically to the school applied for under Rule 2 and must clearly demonstrate why it is the only school that can meet the child's needs.


Rule 3: Linked School

(This rule only applies to pupils who are currently attending an infant school which has a linked junior school and is not relevant at Ponsbourne St. Mary's)

In the case of junior schools, children who attend the linked school at the time of their application.


Rule 4: Sibling

Children who have a sibling on the roll of the school or linked school at the time of application.

This applies to Reception through to Year 5 in infant, junior and primary schools; and from Reception through to Year 3 in first schools; and from Year 5 to Year 7 in middle schools.


Rule 5: Nearest School

Children for whom it is their nearest school or academy. This includes all schools except those which allocate places on the basis of faith.


Rule 6: Distance

Children who live nearest to the school.

Children not considered under Rule 5 will be considered under Rule 6.


These rules are applied in the order they are printed above. If more children qualify under a particular rule than there are places available, a tie break will be used by applying the next rule to those children.


Tie Break 

When there is a need for a tie break where two different addresses are the same distance from a school, in the case of a block of flats for example, the lower door number will be deemed nearest as logically this will be on the ground floor and therefore closer. If there are two identical addresses of separate applicants, the tie break will be random. Every child entered onto the HCC admissions database has an individual random number assigned, between 1 and 1 million, against each preference school. When there is a need for a final tie break the random number is used to allocate the place, with the lowest number given priority.


*Please see the ‘Explanatory notes and definitions 2019/20 document for a full explanation/definition.

Continuing Interest

After places have been offered, Hertfordshire County Council will maintain a continuing interest (waiting) list for all community and voluntary controlled schools. A child’s position on a CI list will be determined by the admission criteria outlined above and a child’s place on the list can change as other children join or leave it. The county council will contact parents/carers if a vacancy becomes available and it can be offered to a child. Continuing interest lists will be maintained for every year group until the summer term (date to be confirmed). To retain a CI application after this time, parents must make an In Year application.


Fair Access  

Community and voluntary controlled schools will admit children under the Fair Access Protocol before those on continuing interest, and over the Published Admission Number (PAN) if required.