Burnsall VA Primary School is a Voluntary Aided Church School serving an area of outstanding national beauty in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park between Ilkley and Grassington.

The school has strong links with the local parish church, St. Wilfrid’s. As a Voluntary Aided school, the school’s Governing Body is the Admissions Authority and is responsible for admissions.  We are an inclusive school that welcomes all children and all applications will be treated fairly and objectively according to our admissions criteria.

The school can accommodate up to 84 children within the regulatory conditions set by North Yorkshire Education Authority.  Normally Governors will not admit more than 12 children of Reception age.  Parents must complete a common preference form and return it directly to the Local Authority. The LA will then provide VA schools and foundation schools with the list of those who have listed Burnsall as one of their preferences.

Children will join school full time unless other arrangements have been made between parents and the headteacher

Children who have an Education and Health Care Plan which names Burnsall VA Primary School, will be admitted.  This is a statutory entitlement under section 324 of the Education Act 1996 and is not part of the over-subscription criteria.

Where there are more applications than places available, the Governors will offer places according to the following over-subscription criteria in order of priority.

Burnsall VA Primary School Admissions Policy


Applications will be ranked in priority order. All applicants within each priority will be considered equally.

Priority Group 1

Children and young people in Public Care

This applies to all looked after children, including children with a residency order, children with special guardianship and children who have been adopted.

Priority Group 2

Relationship as brother or sister to a pupil who is already attending the school at the time the application is made and will still be in attendance at the school at the date of the applicant’s admission

Brother or sister – being blood relations, step-brother or step-sister, or adopted or fostered and living within the same household.

Priority Group 3

Parental attachment to the churches of St Wilfrid’s or any of the parishes normally served by the school. A request for priority under this criterion must be supported in writing by the recognised leader of Burnsall and other  parish churches normally served by the school. The local vicar is responsible for this. We recommend that it is a parental responsibility to obtain the reference letter and ensure that it is received by the school by a 14 day deadline.

Attachment to the church – means someone who is a regular worshipper. For example, one or all of the family may attend monthly or church parade services or be regularly involved in a weekday church activity that includes an element of worship. This must be for a period of at least 2 years prior to the date of application.

Priority Group 4 

Children living within the normal area of the school.

The normal area of the school is defined as those dwellings whose postal address includes any of the following villages: Burnsall, Appletreewick, Hebden, Hartlington, Thorpe, Barden, Skyreholme, Howgill and Greenhow. (available to view in school and on the school website).

Priority Group 5

Parental attachment to the churches of another parish, which, may be served by a non-church school. A request for priority under this criterion must be supported in writing by the recognised leader of the relevant parish church

A request for priority under this criterion must be supported in writing by the recognised leader of the place of worship.

Priority Group 6

A request for priority under this criterion must be supported in writing by the recognised leader of the place of worship.

A request for priority under this criterion must be supported in writing by the recognised leader of the place of worship

Parental attachment to another Christian church – means someone who is a regular worshipper. See 3 above.

Priority Group 7

Children living outside the communities mentioned above i.e. all other children

Tie breaker

In the event that there are more applicants within any one criterion, than places available, priority will be given to those living nearest to the school as measured by a straight line distance between the front door of the family home and the main entrance to school.

Admission Procedure

Parents can register interest in a place for their child at any time by contacting the School Office.

In the Autumn Term prior to the academic year in which your child will commence in a Reception class, parents must complete a Common Application Form from the Local Authority.

These are available on line at under the education and learning section. The Local Authority will notify parents on our behalf as to whether or not an application has been successful.

Waiting List

Children who are not offered a place will have their name placed on a waiting list. The names on the list will be in the order resulting from the application of the admissions over-subscription criteria. Since the date of application cannot be a criterion for the order of names on the waiting list, late applicants for the school will be entered into the list in order according to the extent to which they meet the criteria. Thus it is possible for a child who moves into the area later to have a higher priority than one who has been on the waiting list for some time. If a place becomes available within the admission number, the child whose name is at the top of the list will be offered a place. This is not dependent on whether an appeal has been submitted. This waiting list will operate for the full school year.

Late Applications

Where there is an extenuating reason for an application being received after the last date for applications and it is before the governors have established their list of pupils to be admitted, then it will be considered alongside all the others. Otherwise applications which are received after the last date will be considered after all the others, and placed on the waiting list in order according to the criteria.


The Governing body will form a committee to go through all applications for the school and the above criteria will apply. These criteria are looked at in strict order i.e. anyone meeting the first will be admitted, followed by the second if space still remains etc. Parents have a right of appeal against decisions made, which should be submitted in writing to the Chair of Governors. A receipt of appeals letters following a refusal letter should be sent out within 20 days. NB this process will be subject to the co-ordinated arrangements with the Local Authority. Once decisions have been made and the number of places on offer have been filled then parents will be informed of the outcome of the application.

Any further enquiries can be made to the Admissions Team, Jesmond House, 31-33 Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 5QE, Telephone No. 01609 533679

Admission of children below compulsory school age

Parents are not legally obliged to send their child to school until after the child’s fifth birthday. At Burnsall VA School there will usually be one intake each year, in September.

  • Children who are offered a Reception place in the school will be able to start school in the September following their fourth birthday.
  • Parents may request that the date their child is admitted to the school is deferred until later in the same school year or until the child reaches compulsory school age in that school year.
  • Parents may request that their child attends part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age.
  • Requests for a child to start their schooling on a part-time basis or to defer the start until they reach compulsory school age should be addressed to the Head teacher.
  • Compulsory school age is the beginning of the term following the child’s fifth birthday.

Deferred entry to primary schools

Parents of children who are offered a place at the school before they are of compulsory school age may defer their child’s entry until later in the school year. Where entry is deferred, the school will hold the place for that child and not offer it to another child during the remainder of the school year for which application is made. It should be noted, however, that such children will only be allowed to start at the beginning of the term.

Parents may not defer entry beyond the beginning of the term after the child’s fifth birthday, nor beyond the beginning of the summer term of the school year for which the original application was accepted

In-year applications

From September 2013 it is no longer the statutory duty of the LA to coordinate in-year admissions, but the LA will still administer in-year admissions on our behalf. Applications for admission will be made using the Local Authority In-year Preference Form. Late applications for Reception in Autumn Term will be made in the same way.

Admission of children outside their normal age group

The School Admission Code states that ‘Parents may seek a place for their child outside of their normal age group, for example, if the child is gifted and talented or has experienced problems such as ill health. In addition, the parents of a summer born child may choose not to send that child to school until the September following their fifth birthday and may request that they are admitted out of their normal age group – to reception rather than year 1.’ When such a request is made, the local authority 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. This will include taking account of the parent’s views; 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. The local authority will notify parents in writing of the outcome of their request setting out the reasons for their decision.

Parents have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied. This right does not apply if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred age group.

School Policies
You will find all our policies on our main School Federation site.
Click here
Special Education Needs SEND REPORT
Our policy for special educational needs operates in accordance with the Code of Practice
Read More
Letters to Parents
View our regular newsletters
Click Here