Admissions Arrangements 2024-25

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This document sets out Leigh Academy Tonbridge admissions arrangements for entry in September 2024, as determined by Leigh Academies Trust in its role as the admission authority. 

The academy will comply with all relevant provisions of the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) School Admissions Code and School Admission Appeals Code and will participate in the Kent County Council (KCC) coordinated admission arrangements for Year 7. Should the academy need to make any in-year changes to its admissions arrangements it will apply to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). 

Throughout this document the term ‘parent’ is used to refer to parents or legal guardians.

1. Admission number 

Leigh Academy Tonbridge Published Admission Number (PAN) for entry into Year 7 is currently being reviewed but it is anticipated to be 180.

2. The application process for students joining Year 7 in September 2024

The application procedure for admission into Year 7 will follow the agreed scheme put into place by the Secretary of State for Education which is coordinated by the KCC Local Education Authority. The application procedure will follow the timetable as set out by both the Secretary of State and KCC. 

For families living in Kent, applications for a place in Year 7 should be made using the online process available at or by completing the paper Secondary Common Application Form (SCAF). The SCAF form can be downloaded from or accessed by contacting KCC’s Secondary Admissions Team. The deadline for completing the online application or returning the SCAF to the Local Authority Admissions Team is 31 October 2023. 

Those living outside the county should consult their Local Education Authority regarding the process for applying for a place in a Kent school. 

Parents will be informed by the Local Education Authority on 1 March whether their child has been offered a place. Parents are asked to accept any offer of a place at Leigh Academy Tonbridge by 15 March.

3. Consideration of applications 

Leigh Academy Tonbridge will consider all applications it receives and students will be offered places without reference to aptitude or ability. Where fewer than 180 applications are received, the academy will offer places to all those who have applied.

4. Oversubscription criteria 

Where Leigh Academy Tonbridge receives more applications than the PAN, and following the admission of children with a Statement of Special Educational Need (SSEN) or an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which names the academy, applications will be ranked against the following criteria in the order set out below:

  1. Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children
    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) at the time of making an application to a school.
    A previously looked after child means such children who were adopted (or subject to child arrangements orders or special guardianship orders) immediately following having been looked after and 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.
    A child is regarded as having been in state care outside of England if they were in the care of or were accommodated by a public authority, a religious organisation, or any other provider of care whose sole or main purpose is to benefit society.
  2. Students who have a sibling on roll at the time of admission to the academy.
    In this context a sibling is defined as children who live as brother or sister in the same house, including natural brothers and sisters, adopted siblings, half-brothers or sisters, step-brothers or sisters and foster brothers and sisters.
  3. Health and Special Access (to be determined by school)
    Children whose mental or physical impairment means they have a demonstrable and significant need to attend a particular school. Equally this priority will apply to children whose parents’/guardians’ physical or mental health or social needs mean that they have a demonstrable and significant need to attend a particular school.  Such claims will need to be supported by written evidence from a suitably qualified medical or other practitioner who can demonstrate a special connection between these needs and the particular school.
  4. The proximity of the student’s permanent home address to Leigh Academy Tonbridge, with those living nearest being ranked highest.
    The distance between the child’s permanent home address and the academy is measured in a straight line using the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) address point. Distances are measured from a point defined as within the child’s home to a point defined as within the academy as specified by NLPG. The same address point on the academy site is used for everybody. When we apply the distance criterion for the academy, these straight line measurements are used to determine how close each applicant’s address is to the academy.
  5. In the event of two applications that cannot otherwise be separated, a clear and fair tiebreaker will be applied by randomly ranking one application ahead of the other.

5. Waiting lists 

Where the academy receives more applications for places than are available, a waiting list will operate for unsuccessful applicants to Year 7. This waiting list will be managed by KCC in the first instance as part of the coordinated admissions scheme, before being passed over to the academy on the date set out in KCC’s admissions process. 

Leigh Academy Tonbridge will also maintain waiting lists for other year groups (excluding the Sixth Form) and all lists will be open to any parent to ask for his or her child’s name to be added. The academy’s waiting lists will be re-ranked, in line with the published oversubscription criteria, every time a child is added.

6. In-year admissions 

Subject to any provisions in the Local Authority’s coordinated admission arrangements, applications for admission to the academy such as: 

  • late applications for admission to Year 7 
  • applications for admission to years other than Years 7 and 12 
  • applications for admission to any year after the beginning of the academic year will be handled by the academy and places will be offered, if they are available, to applicants according to the oversubscription criteria specified in paragraph 4 above. 

Expressions of interest and applications for such admissions can be made directly to the academy by contacting the Admissions department on 01732 500600 or via

7. Admission of children outside their normal age group 

Parents may request that their child is admitted to a year group outside their normal age range. All requests will be considered on their own merits, taking into account individual circumstances and the best interests of the child. If a request is refused, the child will still be considered for admission to their normal age group. 

Requests for such an admission should be put in writing and sent directly to the Admissions Department at Leigh Academy Tonbridge at the time of the admission application. Parents should state the reasons for the request and submit any evidence in support of their case, for example: 

  • information from the child’s current school, including any supportive letter or documents 
  • information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development
  • where relevant, their medical history and the views of a medical professional
  • whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group;
  • and whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely. 

If necessary to help make an informed decision, the Admissions Department may contact the child’s current school to seek their professional opinion. 

Requests for admission out of the normal year group will be considered alongside other applications made at the same time.

9. Admission to the Sixth Form 

Admissions to Year 12 will not exceed the PAN (180 students). 

Students in Year 11 at Leigh Academy Tonbridge will have priority over those applying from other schools. If fewer than 180 Leigh Academy Tonbridge students, who meet the entry criteria, apply to the Sixth Form then places will be open to students from other institutions on the basis that no more than 50% of the PAN will be allocated to external applicants. 

Where Leigh Academy Tonbridge receives more applications than the PAN, and following the admission of students with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which names the academy, external applicants who meet the entry criteria will be ranked against the following criteria in the order set out below:

  1. Students applying for a place in Year 12 who attend another Leigh Academies Trust academy, ranked according to the oversubscription criteria in paragraph 4.
  2. Students applying for a place in Year 12 who attend another institution, ranked according to the oversubscription criteria in paragraph 4. 

The current entry requirements for entry into Leigh Academy Tonbridge  Sixth Form is 5 GCSE grades or equivalent at level 4 or above (including English and Maths). Further specific entry requirements for each subject will be detailed in the Sixth Form prospectus. 

Entry into Year 13 for external applicants will depend on a number of circumstances including the courses required, availability of space in that class, compatibility of different specifications and module results from Year 12. Significant evidence that the applicant will go on to complete the course successfully will be required before admission will be considered. 

There is a right to appeal for internal pupils refused transfer and external applicants refused admission. Details of this can be found in paragraph 8. 

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