Admissions Information | Highcliffe School

Admissions Information

We hope you share our enthusiasm for the special place which is Highcliffe School and welcome an application on behalf of your son or daughter.

Read the full Admissions Policy for 2020/2021 here

Read the full Admissions Policy for 2021/2022 here

Year 7 September New Intake Admissions Only:

The co-ordinated admission scheme requires parents to apply for a place (New Intake only) at Highcliffe School using the common application form available from your local authority or your child’s primary school.

Year 7 September 2021 Appeals Information

Read our 2021 Appeals Timetable here

Other Admission Enquiries, Years 7 – 11 (Casual or In-Year Admissions): 

Please contact directly the Admissions Officer at Highcliffe School should you be considering applying for a place at Highcliffe School.
Telephone 01425 273381

Admissions in 2020-2021

Students will be admitted at age 11, and In Year, without reference to ability or aptitude. The normal age of transfer into Highcliffe School in September 2020 is 11, where the child reaches that age between 1st September 2019 and 31st August 2020.   

Children who live in the areas traditionally served by Highcliffe St Mark Primary and Mudeford Junior Schools in Dorset; Tiptoe, Sway St Luke’s, Brockenhurst, Bransgore and Hordle Primary Schools in Hampshire, may transfer at the age of 11 to Highcliffe School if places are available.   Closing date for receipt of completed forms for normal year of entry will be in accordance with the timetable set down in the respective local authority’s coordinated scheme.   

The Academy Trust has agreed that the school’s admission number for September 2020 is 240.  Should the school be oversubscribed (i.e. receive more applications than places available), places will be allocated in accordance with criteria set out below (see Agreed Admission Criteria). The Academy Trust will only agree to exceed the admission number where exceptional circumstances apply or as part of the LA’s In Year Fair Access protocol.

In the normal year of entry, parents will be informed about the allocation of a place by letter, sent by first class post on 1st March 2020, or the nearest working day after, or alternatively if an online application was placed, parental check can be performed online. 

If you wish your child to attend Highcliffe School but there are no places available, you may have your child’s name placed on a waiting list. The waiting list operates in accordance with the published admission criteria. 

If your child is refused a place at the school you have the right to appeal to the Admissions Appeal Panel. Please write to the Clerk of the Admission Appeal Committee if you wish to do this and the school must then send you the appropriate information.    

Transport to Highcliffe School

All Dorset residents are responsible for their own transport arrangements, including costs.   For students who live in Hampshire, your child qualifies for free transport if they attend the nearest catchment school or one that is nearer to your home, and the distance (measured by the nearest available walking route) is more than three miles (this is reduced to more than two miles if your child meets low income criteria). Where parents name the designated catchment school as one of their 3 preferences and a place is not available, assistance may be offered to the next closest school, where the walking distance criteria are met according to year group above. We aim to provide subsidised travel to those affected by the removal of the discretionary travel for students by HCC.   If you live outside the area traditionally served by the school then you will be responsible for your own transport arrangements for getting your child to school, including costs.      


In the event of oversubscription, for any year group the following criteria will be applied, in the order set out below, to decide which children to admit.    

Agreed Admission Criteria

 1. Children who are in the care of a local authority, or a child who was previously in the care of a local authority, but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order. (see footnote iii)   

 2. Children who live within the school’s defined catchment area and have a sibling actually on roll of the school at the time of admission. (see footnote iv)   

 3. Children of members of staff, who have worked at Highcliffe School for a minimum of two years, or have been recruited/retained to fulfil a skill shortage. (see footnote v) 

 4. Children who live within the school’s defined catchment area. 

 5. Children who have a sibling actually on roll of the school at the time of admission but who live outside the school’s defined catchment area (see footnote iv) 

 6. Children who attend one of the following schools: Bransgore Primary School; Brockenhurst Primary School; Highcliffe St Mark Primary School; Hordle Primary School; Mudeford Junior School; Sway St Luke’s Primary School; Tiptoe Primary School, who live outside the school’s defined catchment area. 

 7. All other children.

Explanatory Notes 

i. Parents choosing Highcliffe School have made their application on the understanding that Highcliffe is an 11-18 school                                                          

ii. The admission of children with Statements of Special Educational Needs is covered by Sections 324 to 328 of, and schedule 27 to, the Education Act 1996. Where Highcliffe School has been named in the child’s Statement of Special Educational Needs this will count towards the school’s admission limit. Highcliffe School has an expectation to be consulted prior to this being determined. Guidance on the Admission of Statemented students is given in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice.                                                         

iii. The term ‘looked after’ children, relates to children who have a care order (full or interim) or who are accommodated under Section 22 of the Children Act 1989. For those children who were previously looked after but became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order – a copy of the adoption order, residence order or special guardianship order and a letter from the Local Authority that last looked after the child will be required.                                                         

iv. A sibling means children living as brothers and sisters, including half-siblings, step-siblings, adoptive siblings and other children, such as foster children, in the same family unit and relates to all year groups provided by the school.                                                           

v. In line with the Schools Admissions Code, ‘Children of teachers, teaching support staff and administrative support staff with a minimum of two years’ continuous service at the school or who have been recruited/retained to fulfil a skill shortage at the date of application (in year) or relevant closing date under the LA coordinated scheme (normal year of entry), and intend still to be employed at the time of the child’s admission’. The term ‘children’ includes full, half, step adopted and those non blood related but resident through marriage, civil partnerships and single family co-habitation arrangements at the time of application or deadline. 

Where too few places are available to satisfy preferences, or within any of the priority order categories listed, places will be allocated on the basis of the child’s closeness to the preferred school (defined by straight line measurement using a Geographical Information based system which identifies an Easting and Northing for the home address and the school building and calculates the distance between the two locations.   In the event that the Academy Trust is unable to distinguish between applications, despite applying the priority categories above, lots will be drawn by an independent person to determine the final place(s).   If the last student to be offered a place within the school’s published admission number (PAN) is a multiple birth or same cohort sibling, any further same cohort sibling will be admitted, if the parents so wish, even though this may raise the intake number above the school’s PAN.   The home address is considered to be the main residence where the family/child spends all or the majority of their time.  

In England and Wales, if parents were married to each other at the time of the child’s birth, or have jointly adopted a child, both have parental responsibility. If parents were not married, the mother always has parental responsibility. The father has parental responsibility only if he has jointly registered the birth with the mother (since 1 December 2003), if he has a Court Order or has a Parental Responsibility agreement. The School Admissions Team may seek legal advice if there is any doubt and documentary evidence may be required. Should both parents have parental responsibility, only one application will be considered. Unless a court order rules otherwise, the application must be made by the parent who has day to day care of the child for the majority of the school days/weeks. Where this is unclear or disputed, or where care is split equally and there is no agreement between the parents, the application must be made by the parent at the address identified on the child’s registered health service General Practitioner (GP) record as at the closing date where relevant (proof may be required). If separated parents reside at the same address, they should reach agreement on the application to be submitted or obtain a Court Order, but in the absence of either of these the Local Authority will allocate a place at the nearest school with places available.     

In respect of all placements, if a place is offered on the basis of an application that then proves to be fraudulent, and this has been identified by the first October half-term following admission, the offer of the place will be automatically withdrawn.     


In the event of a prospective family needing to move house at any point during the admission procedure, then it is the duty of the parents concerned to notify the School Admissions Officer in writing; the Governors’ Admission Panel will require copies of relevant documentation: advising that an exchange date has been reached on a purchase and agreed with the parties concerned, or evidence of tenancy agreement, or a letter from an employer confirming details of relocation to a specific address, or in the case of a family returning to a house they already own, evidence of a parent being required to return to work from distant parts, together with, for example, evidence of a tenant being given notice to quit.   


Parents who are living in the UK, and whose children have accompanied them, may express a preference for Highcliffe School. Applications will be considered in accordance with Highcliffe School’s published admissions policy. Different rules operate in relation to applications from overseas and will depend upon whether the child has a right of abode in the UK, is a EEA national or non-EEA national or falls under another category.              


If a change to the admissions policy and/or the school’s admission arrangements is envisaged, the Governing Body of Highcliffe School will consult with the following at an early stage to ensure the policy is legal, fair and workable and will not have unintended implications for other schools. Among those consulted are: Dorset, Hampshire and Bournemouth Local Authorities Other Schools: Dorset – all schools in the Christchurch area Hampshire – all primary schools that are feeder schools to Highcliffe School  

    Owned by: THN | Last Published: 01/03/2021 13:22:57 | Next Update: Spring 2020