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Admissions 2023/2024

School Admissions Arrangements for 2023/24 Academic Year

General Information
The Governors of Mark Cross CEA School are pleased to welcome all applications for a place at our school.  The school’s ethos is to enable each child to reach their full potential within a caring, Christian environment and in partnership with parents and the local community.

As a church aided school in the Weald Federation, the governing body of the federation is responsible for admissions (the Admissions Authority). This document sets out the process followed by the Governing Body in making decisions about admission applications.

Parent(s)/carer(s) have a statutory right to express a preference for the school that they would like their child to attend; they do not have a right to choose a school that they would like their child to attend. 

The arrangements for admission of children to Mark Cross at age 4+ are coordinated by East Sussex County Council. A detailed description of the arrangements is contained in the booklet “Applying for a school for your child” (updated annually). Available online at:


or from school admissions at the Local Authority address detailed below. A copy is available for inspection in the school.


East Sussex Children’s Services (the Local Authority) lists local schools and provides information about the number of preferences expressed for each school during the previous year. This, however, should not be seen as indicative of the number of places that will be available during following years.


Parent(s)/carer(s) apply for a place at Mark Cross by completing an application form supplied by the Local Authority.  If you live within East Sussex, you can now apply online via the East Sussex County Council website.  https://eyeeonline.eastsussex.gov.uk/synergy/Parents/default.aspx


 It is recommended that parent(s)/carer(s) visit schools before completing an application form for their child. This should be done by prior arrangement with the Head Teacher. Parents are also recommended to obtain details of any OFSTED reports and supporting action plans. (These are readily available on request from the school and on the school’s website).


If you would like further information about our school, please refer to our website at:



Contact Details

Mark Cross Church of England Primary School:
Acting Executive Head: Mrs Joanna Challis
Heads of School: Mrs Alma Scales
Phone: 01892 852866
Email: markcrossoffice@thewealdfederation.org
Address: Mark Cross CEA Primary School
                 Mark Cross,
                East Sussex
                TN6 3PJ

Local Authority:
East Sussex County Council
School Admissions,
Children’s Services,
PO Box 4, County Hall,
St Anne’s Crescent,
Tel:  03003 309472

The Published Admission Number
Mark Cross has a published admission number (PAN) to the 2023 Reception year of 15 children.  This means that we will admit up to 15 children in the Reception intake. Additional children may be admitted if there are exceptional circumstances.

Over-subscription Criteria
A place will be provided for a child who has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) agreed at the time of application, which names Mark Cross CEA School as the education provider. This place will be allocated within the Published Admission Number (PAN) before the consideration of any other applications, or above the PAN if places have already been offered at that time. Where a parent is seeking to change his/her child's school during the academic year and there is an agreed Statement or EHCP in place which names the school the child is attending, the parent should consult the local authority that issued the Statement or EHCP before applying for the child to change school.

Where there are more applications received than there are places available within the required year group, the governors will consider all applications received on time against the following oversubscription criteria. This will enable the governors to rank children according to priority and identify those children who should be allocated a place within the Published Admission Number or admission limit and those who should be refused.

  1. Looked After Children and previously Looked After Children, including children who appear to the admission authority to have been in state care outside of England and were adopted. (see note i)
  2. Children of parents (see note ii) living within the Ecclesiastical Parish of Mark Cross and are regular worshippers in the Parish Churches of St. Mark’s or St. Denys (see note iii).
  3. Children who will have a sibling on roll at Mark Cross at the time of admission (see note iv).
  4. Children of parents living within the Parish of St Mark’s (see note v).
  5. Children of parents who are regular worshippers in the Parish Churches of St. Mark’s or St. Denys.
  6. Children of parents who are regular worshippers of another Christian Church.
  7. Children of parents living outside the Parish of St Mark’s.

Clergy Reference Form: Criterion 2, 5 and 6 require a reference from the priest or minister of the Church attended by the applicant, confirming to the Governing Body that the criteria specified has been satisfied. Please click on the icon at the bottom of this page to print a copy. This should be returned directly to the school.


  1. A 'looked after child' or a child who was previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to an adoption, child arrangements, or special guardianship order* including those 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 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).

*An adoption order is an order under the Adoption Act 1976 (see Section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (see Section 46 adoption orders). A ‘child arrangements order’ is an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989 as amended by Section 14 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).

  1.  Parent - Reference to parents includes legal guardians and applies to either or both parents, or a sole parent. Where only one parent/guardian satisfies a criterion, the application will be treated equally with one where the requirement is met by two parents.
  2. Regular worshipper - Regular being those present for Sunday Services at least twice a month for a minimum of 18 months at the time of application, to be confirmed in writing by the Church Minister.
    In the event that during the period specified for attendance at worship the church has been closed for public worship and has not provided alternative premises for that worship, the requirements of these admissions arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church or alternative premises have been available for public worship.
  3. Sibling - A sibling is a full, half or step brother or sister living permanently in the same household, including an adoptive or foster brother or sister.
  4. Parish Map - A map of the Parish of St. Mark’s, attached to the policy (page 8), is also available at the school.

Deciding Between Applicants - When deciding between applicants within a criterion, priority will be given to those children living nearest the school. Distance will be measured using the County Council’s geographical information system (GIS), from the child’s home (Ordinance Survey address point) to the nearest gate used by children at the school. 

Tie Breaker:
Should any distances be exactly equal; priority will be decided by independent drawing of lots. This will be undertaken in the school building by a person entirely independent of the Admissions Committee and with no current connection to the school. The Chair of Governors will observe this process.

Starting the 2023 Year Group for the first time

Parents may apply for their child to start school for the first time in the September following his/her fourth birthday. Application forms and any Supplementary Information Forms relating to starting school in September 2023 must be submitted to arrive no later than 23.59 hours on 13th January 2023.

Late applications for people who have moved into the area will be processed as on time where there is proof of a change of address.  This would enable parent(s)/carer(s) to be considered as resident in the area, prioritising them ahead of other children who live further away than their new home address.

The home Local Authority will forward applications directly to the Local Authority in which area the preferred school is located, and the school Governing Body will be notified of all applications received for Mark Cross Church of England Primary School. The governors Admissions Committee will rank every application received on time against the governors’ published oversubscription criteria and places will be allocated in strict order up to the Published Admission Number and all other applications refused.  Additional children may be admitted if there are exceptional circumstances.

The governors’ decision will be notified to ESCC Local Authority in accordance with the authority’s Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme and the home Local Authority will then inform parents of individual decisions on 17th April 2023 by email or second-class post.

If offered a place the child may attend either full time or on a part time basis as preferred.  However, a child becomes of compulsory school age when he/she reaches the age of five and, where registered at a school, must be attending on a full-time basis by the term following his/her fifth birthday.  Parents may choose to formally defer entry for their child until later in the year if he/she has not yet reached age five but cannot defer beyond the start of the last term in the academic year.

However, in the case of children born between 1st April and 31st August (summer born), parents may choose to defer their child’s entry to school for the entire academic year and start school in the following September (deferred entry).  In these circumstances, the child would be admitted to Year 1.  Parents may request that their child is admitted to the Reception year group the following year where they consider this would be in his/her best interest (delayed entry).  Parents must submit to governors the reason(s) for the request and the governors will consider this information when making their decision.  A request will only be supported where it is clearly in the educational interests of the child concerned and a place is available.  In cases of deferred or delayed entry, a fresh application must be made for entry the following year, and this will be subject to the same oversubscription criteria as other applications.

Admission to any year group during the 2023/24 academic year (in-year admission)
Do please feel free to call us to discuss whether we have places available. Applications should then be made via the following link: https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/educationandlearning/schools/admissions/apply/

The term 'in-year' is used to describe any application for a school place which is not part of the process for children starting either primary or secondary school for the first time.

In-year appeals should be submitted by you within 20 school days of you receiving notification that your application was refused. The relevant admission authority must then arrange for your appeal to be heard within 30 school days of it being received by them.

Deferred entry and Applications for Retained or Accelerated School Places
The governors will consider applications for retained or accelerated entry in cases where parents would like their child to be admitted to a year group either side of the chronological age year group. These applications must be accompanied by a detailed letter from the parents explaining why they would like their child to be taught out of chronological age year group and this should be included with the school place application form. The Admissions Panel will consider each application as it is received. Where an application for a retained or an accelerated entry has been agreed to by the school, the school retains the right to undertake a periodic review and alter the decision.

Waiting list
Mark Cross holds a waiting list for each year group. The oversubscription criteria determine a child’s position on the waiting list. The waiting list is dynamic and will alter as new applications are received in relation to the school’s admission criteria.  The Admissions Panel will consider each application as it is received, offering a place if available. The waiting list operates from September 1 in any school year, through to the end of the school year/term 6, at the end of this period all names will automatically be removed unless parent(s)/carer(s) advise to the contrary.  During school holidays, School Admissions at East Sussex County Council should be contacted regarding admissions.  Looked after children, previously looked after children, and those allocated a place at the school in accordance with a Fair Access Protocol will take precedence over those on a waiting list.

For Reception Admissions 2023, the School Office will maintain a waiting list until December 31. This will hold the names of all children refused admission to the year of entry, ranked according to the published over-subscription criteria. Each child added to the waiting list will require the waiting list to be re-ranked. If a place becomes available, within the published admission number or admission limit, this will be offered to the child ranked highest at the time.

Right of Appeal
Parent(s)/carer(s) whose child is refused a place have the right of appeal. Details of the appeal procedures are issued to all unsuccessful applicants at the time they are notified of the Governors' decision. Unsuccessful applicants may, if they so wish, have their names placed on the school’s waiting list. In the case of reception children who have been unsuccessful in obtaining a place at  Mark Cross, should their parent(s)/carer(s) wish for their child’s name to remain on the waiting list beyond December 31st in the year of their application, they should advise the school accordingly.

Multiple birth applications (for example twins)
In the case of multiple birth applications, the Published Admission Number or admission limit will be increased at the point of allocation to ensure multiple birth siblings can be allocated places at the same school (sibling definition applies)

Children from Overseas
Governors will not allocate a place to anyone moving into the country from abroad prior to their arrival in the country. Governors will require proof of residency (see definitions of home address).

Children of service personnel and crown servants

For families of service personnel with a confirmed posting, or crown servants returning from overseas, we will allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area (as long as one is available), provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date.

We will use the address at which the child will live when applying our oversubscription criteria, as long as evidence of their intended address is provided with the application, which includes a Unit or quartering address where a parent requests this be the child’s home address for the purpose of the application for a place at our school.


Glossary and Definitions

A ‘parent’ in education law includes natural parents, whether they are married or not, or a person other than the natural parent(s) who has parental responsibility or care of a child or young person. (Having care of a child or young person means that person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child).

Home Address:
You must state your child’s home address which should be a residential property that is your child’s main or only residence, and not an address at which he or she might sometimes stay or sleep. If your child regularly stays with another parent or relative and therefore has more than one address, the school place will be allocated based on the address at which your child spends the majority of weekday nights during term time.

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. Any other evidence provided by parents will also be considered in reaching a decision on the home address for admissions purposes. This may be necessary, for instance, where parents don’t agree on the child’s home address. Parents are urged to reach agreement or seek a Specific Issues Order from a court to decide which parent should or should not pursue an application. Where they do not, the admissions authority will determine the home address.

Documentary evidence of ownership or rental agreement may be required, together with proof of actual permanent residence at the property concerned. Places cannot be allocated on the basis of intended future changes of address unless house moves have been confirmed through the exchange of contracts or the signing of a formal lease agreement. An address used for childcare arrangements cannot be used as a home address for the purpose of applying for a school place. A fraudulent claim to an address may lead to the withdrawal of the offer of a place.

For the purpose of the admissions process, a sibling is defined as a child living at the same address as a half or full brother or sister, an adoptive/foster brother or sister, a step sibling or children of the same household.

Supplementary  Information Forms (SIFs):
The Supplementary Information Form, known as the Clergy Reference Form, must be completed by the applicant and the vicar, priest, minister, pastor or warden of the church. The parent shall then forward the completed Form(s) to the school.

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