Admissions Arrangements 2024-25

View as a PDF on our Policies Page

1. Introductory statement

Leigh Academy Rainham is an 11-18 coeducational, non-selective secondary academy. To access general information about our academy please visit the academy’s website at:

Please note: 

  • The academy is one of a number within a network of academies overseen by the Leigh Academies Trust 
  • The Leigh Academies Trust Board may delegate some functions to the Local Governing Body set up to provide a local oversight of individual academies 
  • The Trust Board is responsible for the admissions policy, and reserves the right to delegate functions to the academy’s Local Advisory Committee. 

2. Admission number

The academy has a published admission number of 180 for entry in year 7 and the age of admission is 11 years. 

The academy will accordingly admit this number of pupils if there are sufficient applications. Where fewer applicants than the published admission number(s) for the relevant year group are received, the Academy Trust will offer places at the academy to all those who have applied, however the Academy is normally oversubscribed.

3. Application process

If you live within the Medway Council region applications for admission to Leigh Academy Rainham should be made on the Medway Secondary Common Application Form in accordance with the Medway co-ordinated admissions scheme. 

Details for this process can be found at

If you live within the Swale Council region applications for admissions to Leigh Academy Rainham should be made on the Kent Secondary Common Application Form in accordance with the Kent County Council admissions process. 

Details for this process can be found at

The arrangements for coordinated admissions in both Kent and Medway will be set out in detail in their booklets for parents, available on their websites, outlining the Admissions Process. The main points are summarised below and this will follow the Local Authority’s timetables for admissions:

  • Parents complete the Common Application Form (CAF) in accordance with Medway / Kent
  • Co-ordinated Admission Scheme or by using the online facility. 
  • The Local Authority will then act on behalf of the academy for the administration of pupils’ preferences.
  • Offers and refusals of places will be communicated to parents by the Local Authority, on behalf of the academy.
  • From National Offer Day, any available spaces will be allocated to those children who have provided sufficient evidence to the Admissions Committee.

There will be a right of appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel for all applicants refused admission. The Trust Board will establish and publish arrangements for appeals against non-admission; including appointing an independent statutory Appeals Panel.

4. Oversubscription criteria

When the academy is oversubscribed, after the admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care plan naming the academy, priority for admission will be given to those children who meet the criteria set out below, in priority order:

  1. Looked After Children or previously Looked After Children
    Looked after children and children who were previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to adoption, a child arrangements order, or special guardianship order
  2. Admission of students whose sibling(s) currently attends the academy.
    Students whose sibling(s) currently attends the academy and who will continue to do so at the time of entry. For this criterion brother or sister means children who live as brother and sister in the same house, including natural brothers or sisters, adopted siblings, step brothers or sisters, foster brothers or sisters. Children residing in the same households as part of an extended family, such as cousins, will not be treated as siblings. The Academy reserves the right to ask for proof of relationship.
    N.B For this purpose ‘sibling’ means a natural brother or sister, a half brother or sister, a legally adopted brother or sister or half-brother or sister, a step brother or sister or other child living in the same household as part of the same family who, in any of these cases, will be living at the same address at the date of their application for a place.
  3. Acute Medical/ Needs
    Medical, health and special access reasons will be applied in accordance with Leigh Academy Rainham’s legal obligations, in particular those under the Equality  Act 2010. Priority will be given to those children whose mental or physical impairment means they have a demonstrable and significant need to attend Leigh Academy Rainham. Equally this priority will apply to children whose parents’/guardians’ physical or mental health needs mean that they have a demonstrable and significant need to attend the Academy. Such claims will need to be supported by written evidence from suitably qualified, independent registered medical or other practitioners, at the time of original application, who can demonstrate a special connection between these needs and Leigh Academy Rainham.  ‘Medical need’ does not include mild medical conditions.
  4. Child of a staff member
    The son or daughter of a member of staff who has been recruited to fill a vacant post at the academy for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage. For this criteria son or daughter means a child who lives in the same house as the member of staff, including a natural son or daughter, an adopted child, step son or daughter, or foster child. Children residing in the same households as part of an extended family, such as cousins, will not be eligible under this criterion. The Academy reserves the right to ask for proof of relationship. Priority will be given to the child of a person who is employed by the Academy for 1 or more years at the time when an application to the academy is made and/or a member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post in the academy for which there is a demonstrable skills shortage for the requirements of the post.
  5. Any Other Children
    Children living nearest to the academy at the time of application will be given preference. The distance from home to the Academy is measured electronically using Council Geographical information software. This system measures the shortest route by road and path from a single fixed point in the centre of the home address to a predefined point within the Academy site or the centre point of the road adjacent to the Academy. The same point on the academy site is used for everybody. If more than one applicant lives in a multi-occupancy building (e.g. flats) priority will be given to the applicant whose door number is the lowest numerically and/or alphabetically. Where parents live at separate addresses, and have joint custody, the address used will be the one where the child spends the main part of the academy week (i.e. Sunday night to Thursday night inclusive). N.B The home address is where a child normally lives.  Where a child lives with parents with shared parental responsibility, each for part of a week, the address where the child lives is determined using a joint declaration from the parents stating the pattern of residence. If a child’s residence is split equally between both parents, then parents will be asked to determine which residential address should be used for the purpose of admission to school. If no joint declaration is received where the residence is split equally by the closing date for applications, the home address will be taken as the address where the child is registered with the doctor. If the residence is not split equally between both parents then the address used will be the address where the child spends the majority of the school week.  For children who reside with a relative or carer other than a parent, a residence order or other court order will be required.

Applications eligible under criteria 1-4 are each ranked in order of proximity of the child’s home to the academy using the method given in criterion 5.

5. Siblings from multiple births

If siblings from multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.) apply for the Academy and the Academy would reach its Published Admission Number (PAN) after admitting one or more, but before admitting all of those siblings, the Academy will offer a place to each of the siblings, even if doing so takes the Academy above its PAN.

6. Tie-break

In the unlikely event that two or more applicants living the same distance away from the Academy and in all other ways have equal eligibility for the last available place at the Academy, the names will be issued a number and drawn randomly to decide which  child should be given a place.

7. Late applications

All applications received by Kent and Medway Councils after the deadline will be considered to be late applications. Late applications will be considered after those received on time. If, following consideration of all applicants the academy is oversubscribed, parents may request that their child is placed on the academy’s waiting list.

8. Admission of children outside their normal age group

Parents may request that their child is admitted outside their normal age group.  To do so parents should include a request with their application, specifying why admission out of the normal year group is being requested.

When such a request is made, the academy trust will make a decision on the basis of the circumstances of the case and in the best interests of the child concerned, taking into account the views of the headteacher and any supporting evidence provided by the parent.

9. Waiting lists 

As set out in the co-ordinated scheme, the Local Authority will be responsible for holding a waiting list for parents who request their child’s name to be added and where that parent has stated Leigh Academy Rainham on their Common Application Form. Children will be held on the waiting list by order of the criteria in the Admissions Policy. No account can be taken of the length of time a pupil is on the list. A pupil’s position can change on the list as new applicants join or other applicants come off the waiting list. The local authority will be responsible for holding the waiting list for parents who request their child’s name be added until 31st December. After the ‘council waiting list’ has closed, parents can re-apply for places under the casual (In Year) admission procedures. 

Children’s position on the waiting list will be determined solely in accordance with the oversubscription criteria. Where places become vacant they will be allocated to children on the waiting list in accordance with the oversubscription criteria.  The waiting list will be reordered in accordance with the oversubscription criteria whenever anyone is added to or leaves the waiting list.

11. In Year / Casual Admissions

The Academy will be responsible for in-year applications and for applications for year groups outside of the normal point(s) of entry (September intake). The Academy will provide application forms and local authority forms will also be accepted. Parents can apply for an in year/casual admission at any time during the school year. Parents can request to be placed on the Leigh Academy Rainham waiting list by completing the academy’s ‘Waiting List Request Form’ from 1st January. If no places are available at the time of application (at/over PAN) parents must be advised of their right of appeal if the academy cannot offer a place. All places will be allocated as they arise for In year/Casual Admissions when transferring schools. If a parent wishes to transfer their child from another school without moving home, the Principal will contact the child’s current school to ascertain the situation so that our academy is able to offer the correct support should the child be offered a place. It is also expected that the parent/carer of the child, along with the child themselves when appropriate, visit our academy and meet with the Principal or his/her representative before any place will be offered. If more applications are received than there are places available, the oversubscription criteria will apply.

Paragraph 1.7 of the new School Admissions Code will require that the highest priority is given to “Looked After Children and all previously Looked After Children, including all those children who appear (to the admissions authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted

12. Academy’s right to withdraw a place

The academy reserves the right to withdraw a place offered to a pupil in the following circumstances:

  1. a) Place offered in error 
  2. b) When a parent has failed to respond to an offer within a reasonable time; or 
  3. c) When a parent has failed to notify the academy of important changes to the application information; or 
  4. d) It is evident that the place has been offered on the basis of fraudulent or misleading information by the pupil/parent(s).