Hampshire County Council recognises the disadvantage frequently experienced by UK service personnel as a result of the fact that they can be moved at short notice.
Many Hampshire schools have extensive experience in working with service families and children. Areas of the county significantly affected by service personnel include Gosport, Marchwood, Wallop, Odiham, Aldershot, Winchester, Fleet, Shipton Bellinger etc. Portsmouth and Southampton are unitary authorities each with a separate School Admissions Service.
Hampshire’s approach to admission arrangements for service children is advised by paragraphs 2.15 and 2.18 of the School Admissions Code which came into force on 1 February 2012.
For service families with official proof of posting to Hampshire and of a relocation date, a Unit postal address, quartering area address or future home address will be accepted as the address for the application. You must send a copy of the official MOD, FCO or GCHQ letter declaring your relocation date to the County Admissions Team.
If your child will be starting school for the first time, will need a Year 3 place or will be starting secondary school in September 2015, you should refer to the ''Guidance notes on Sept 2015 admission: Starting school and school transfers'' pages.
The local authority is committed to ensuring that families are offered school places quickly when they move into an area and its systems are designed to facilitate this. Places can be offered up to four school weeks in advance.
If you are offered a place, the school will require your child to start at the school within four school weeks. (if your child is starting in Year R for the first time, please discuss admission arrangements with the school.')
If the school cannot offer your child a place, you will receive a letter of refusal containing details of what to do next. Your child's name will automatically be added to the school's waiting list. You may also appeal against the decision not to admit your child. The County Admissions Team can help advise parents of the nearest school with a place available. You will need to make a new application to this school, or any other new school that you are interested in, by either using the online system or by submitting a paper application form.
Please refer to the web page ''Guidance notes on how to change school in-year'' for further information.
Revised legislation on exceptions to infant class size legislation brings a new benefit to service families seeking school places for their children.
From February 2012, a child of a service family can be admitted (outside the normal admissions round) creating an infant class of over 30 children, without an additional teacher being required. This means that it should be possible in many cases for such families to secure a place at their preferred infant or primary school with a minimum of delay even when that school is full in the child’s year group. However, such a place is not guaranteed: Hampshire has many service families; a number of service children may be seeking admission to the same school at the same time and this may not be possible. When each such application is considered, all relevant factors will be looked at before deciding whether an admission over 30 can be made.
For admission to year groups outside the infant years (Year R, 1 and 2), Hampshire includes children of service families in its Fair Access Protocol: and consequently may be admitted to a school, outside of the normal admission round, even if it is deemed full in the year group. However, there is no guarantee of this as a number of service children may be seeking admission to the same school at the same time. It is likely that compounding circumstances would need to apply for a service family child to be admitted under Fair Access.
It should be noted that the local authority cannot always comply with parental preference.
If your child is refused admission to a school, you should be given a right of appeal. Please refer to the 'appeals' web page for further guidance about the process.
The Hampshire Admission Forum monitors outcomes for service families.