Admissions Policy and Procedure

1.     Background

1.1   Buckholme Towers School is a co-educational independent preparatory school with a mixed ability intake of girls and boys, aged from 4 to 11 years.

1.2   This policy has been authorised by the Board of Management of Buckholme Towers School.  Its status is advisory only.  It is addressed to prospective parents and to all members of the teaching and administration staff.

2.     Policy Statement

2.1   The aim of this policy is to identify and admit children who will benefit from and contribute to the ethos and activities of our educational community.

3.     Entry Points

3.1   The main entry point to Buckholme Towers is at Reception.  Principally, there is one annual intake each September.  Children are accepted in the September after their fourth birthday.

3.3   From time to time vacancies become available elsewhere in the school.  Generally applications for these vacancies are considered on a “first come, first served” basis (see 4.3 below).

4.     Admission

4.1   Registration – Parents wishing to register their child’s name on the School’s waiting list must complete a Registration Form and pay the non-refundable Registration Fee.

4.2   Offers – Following Registration and Assessment a letter offering a place is sent out.  Parents wishing to accept an offer are required to complete and return an Acceptance Form together with the Fee Prepayment within the specified timescale.  Parents have a statutory 14-day cancellation period during which they can cancel the contract with Buckholme Towers School.   Further information on the cancellation right is contained in the Terms and Conditions and Acceptance Form.    

4.3   When offering places consideration is given to the order in which children were registered on the waiting list.   However, preference may be given to the siblings of children who are already pupils in the School and to the children of members of school staff.

4.4   An offer of a place at Buckholme Towers will only be made if a place is available and approved by the Head.  We try to ensure that all of our classes are small in number. 

5.     Admission to Reception

5.1   For entry to the Reception it is important that your child is as independent as possible in matters of personal hygiene.  Your child must be able to visit the toilet independently.  The School does not have the facilities to accommodate children who are wearing nappies or pull-ups.  Although there is no formal entry test for children entering Reception, parents must be able to assure the School that their child can fulfil the basic requirements, as set out below.  It is expected that your child will:

  • be able to sit at a table for a set period whilst eating and drinking;
  • be able to play sensibly and sensitively with other children;
  • be able to answer simple questions and to explain his/her needs;
  • be able to sit and listen to a story, play with a toy and look at a book for a few minutes;
  • be able to hold a pencil or crayon and be beginning to “mark make”;
  • be prepared to attempt to put on his/her own coat and shoes, etc;
  • be able to wash and dry his/her hands.

5.2   Your child should also be able to give a simple oral account of something that has happened.

5.3   With regard to your child’s conduct, he/she must:

  • be able to respond with appropriate behaviour to instructions/requests made by school staff;
  • be able to exercise self-control and co-operate with other children and school staff, both in the classroom and in the play areas;
  • be willing to listen and learn;
  • be willing to join in.

The above criteria are the minimum expected for each child.

5.4   On entry to Reception, an informal assessment will be made to ensure that each child is ready to start School.  If a child is unable to accomplish the majority of the above, the School reserves the right to defer or refuse entry.

6.     Admission to Years 1-6

6.1   We anticipate that children who enter the Reception classes will remain in the School until the end of Year 6. 

6.2   For a child to be considered for admission after Reception the usual admission procedure is followed as outlined in Section 4 above.

6.3   Taster Days - Before an offer of a place is made a prospective pupil is invited to attend the School for one or two Taster Days.  During this visit, the prospective pupil will join a class of his/her age group.  He/She will be informally assessed by the staff.  We will try to get a true picture of each candidate’s general ability.  Parents will be asked to supply previous school reports and any appropriate results including SATs results (if applicable), which will also be considered.  Parents may be asked for permission for the Head to contact a pupil’s current school for an up-to-date reference.

6.4   An offer will be made if the Head is reasonably sure that Buckholme Towers will be able to educate and develop the prospective pupil in line with the general standards achieved by the pupil’s peers and that the pupil will be able to make the most of the opportunities that Buckholme Towers has to offer.

7.     Disability and Special Educational Needs

7.1   The School has limited facilities for the disabled.  However we will do all that is reasonable to comply with our legal and moral responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.  This is in order to accommodate the needs of applicants who have disabilities for which, with reasonable adjustments, the School can cater adequately.

7.2   The School needs to be made aware of any known disability or special educational need which may affect the child’s ability to take full advantage of the education provided at the School.  Parents of a child who has any disability or special educational needs should provide the School with full written details at registration, or subsequently, before accepting the offer of a place.

7.3   The School requires this information so that, in the case of any child with particular needs, we can assess those needs and consult with parents about the adjustments which can reasonably be made to cater adequately for the child both during the admission process and at school if an offer of a place is made.


8.1   We try to make entry to the School as stress free and simple as possible.  Assessments of pupils are handled sensitively in an informal and professional manner.   

8.2   Pupils who have registered for entry from Reception to Year 6 are assessed before joining the School.

8.3   Prospective Reception pupils will be invited to spend either a morning or afternoon in School in the Summer Term prior to starting at the School in September (i.e. children who are registered to start in Reception in September 2018 will be invited to attend a session in the Lent or Summer Term 2018)

8.4   Assessments for places in the School’s Current Reception Class and Years 1 to 6 normally involve a child spending one or two days in School.   

An Offer of a Place

9.1   Places are offered at the discretion of the Head, that discretion being exercised fairly and in accordance with this Admissions Policy.

9.2   A formal offer of a place will be made in writing.  On receipt of the letter offering a place, parents who wish to take up the place are given a fixed date by which to confirm.  When parents accept the place they are asked to complete the Acceptance Form and pay a Fee Prepayment.  Parents are asked to read the School’s Terms and Conditions and School Rules in full before accepting.  The Fee Prepayment will be used to pay the Pupil’s first term’s tuition fees.  Additional information is contained in the Terms and Conditions  


10.1After parents have accepted a place the school is happy to arrange one or two familiarisation visits prior to their child’s start date. 

Changing your Mind

11.1Parents who have accepted a place and have paid the Fee Prepayment should contact the school as soon as possible if they no longer wish to take up the place.  Parents have a time-limited right to cancel and to receive a refund of their Fee Prepayment.  Full details are contained in the Terms and Conditions. 

The Registration and Admission process is handled by our Admissions Registrar, Mrs Townsend who will be very happy to answer any questions you may have (dtownsend@buckholme.co.uk).


Policy Issued: 09/2014

Reviewed on: 09/2017

Reviewed by: DT

Future Review Date: 09/2018