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Admissions Policy

Notre Dame Roman Catholic Girls’ School was founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame to provide education for girls of Roman Catholic families. The school is conducted by its governing body as part of the Roman Catholic Church in accordance with its trust deed and instrument of government, and seeks at all times to be a witness to Jesus Christ.  The school exists primarily to serve the Roman Catholic community and Roman Catholic girls always have priority of admission.  However, the Governing Body welcomes all applications, particularly from those of other denominations and faiths who support the religious ethos of the school.

The governing body has responsibility for admissions to this school and intends to admit 124 pupils to Year 7 in the school year which begins in September.


Pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)/Statement of Special Educational Needs

The admissions of pupils with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or with an EHC Plan are dealt with by a completely separate procedure.  The procedure is integral to the making and maintaining of statements and EHC plans by the pupil’s home local authority.  Details of this separate procedure are set out in the SEND code of practice.  Pupils with a statement or EHC Plan naming the school will be admitted without reference to the criteria below.


Oversubscription Criteria (Please read Notes for definitions)

Where the number of applications exceeds 124, the following order of priorities will be applied in the order given below : -


Looked After Roman Catholic girls or Looked After girls in the care of Roman Catholic families and previously looked after Roman Catholic girls who have been adopted or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order immediately following having been looked after.


Baptised Roman Catholic girls.  Evidence of baptism will be required.  Applications in this category will then be placed within the following sub categories, based on the strength of evidence to the faith as demonstrated by the level of the family’s Mass attendance on Sundays (i.e. child together with one or both parents / carers) and whether the applicant attends a feeder school. This evidence must be provided by the parents/carers and be endorsed by a priest at the church(es) where the family normally worship.




Sunday Mass Attendance


Primary School






Feeder School






Other School




One or more times each month


Feeder School




One or more times each month


Other School




Less than monthly


Feeder School




Less than monthly


Other School


Girls who are enrolled in the catechumenate or candidates.  Evidence of enrolment in the catechumenate or attendance at RCIC programme will be required.


Other Looked After Children and other previously looked after children who have been adopted or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order immediately following having been looked after whose parents/carers are willing to support the ethos of the school (values, uniform, discipline).


Girls who are members of Eastern Orthodox Churches whose parents are willing to support the ethos of the school (values, uniform, discipline).  Evidence of Baptism will be required.


Girls of families who are members of other Christian denominations that are part of Churches Together in England whose parents are willing to support the ethos of the school (values, uniform, discipline).  Evidence of Baptism (or dedication) provided by a priest or minister of a designated place of worship will be required.


Girls of families who are members of other Christian denominations who are not affiliated to Churches Together in England whose parents are willing to support the ethos of the school (values, uniform, discipline).  Evidence of Baptism (or dedication) provided by a priest or minister of a designated place of worship will be required.


Girls who are members of other faiths whose parents are willing to support the ethos of the school (values, uniform, discipline). Evidence of membership of the faith provided by a priest, minister or religious leader of a designated place of worship will be required.


Any other girls whose parents are willing to support the ethos of the school (values, uniform, discipline).

The following order of priorities will be applied when applications within any of the above categories or sub-categories exceed the places available and it is necessary to decide between applications.


The attendance of a sister or sisters at the school at the time of admission (natural sisters, step-sisters, adopted and foster sisters).  This does not include other relatives e.g. cousins.


Exceptional social, medical or pastoral need of the child which can be met most appropriately at this school.  Strong and relevant written evidence must be provided by an appropriate professional authority (e.g. qualified medical practitioner, social worker, Roman Catholic priest).


Age of child at baptism.


Distance from home to school.  Places will be offered to girls living nearest the school using a straight line measurement from the front door of the applicant home to the main gate of the school.  This will be measured by a Geographical Computerised Information System.  Evidence of residence may be required. If a child lives in a block of flats where a communal entrance is used, the communal entrance will be deemed to be the front door of the applicant’s home. When dealing with multiple applications from a block of flats, lower door numbers will take priority. Where the last remaining place is to be allocated and two or more girls are deemed to live at the same distance from the school, the place will be decided by the drawing of lots. See note (i) on page 7 of the policy.

Application Procedures and Timetable

A common application form (CAF) from the child’s home Local Authority must be completed and returned to the Admissions Section of the home Local Authority or completed online.

In addition a ‘Supplementary Form’ available from the School or on the School website should be completed by parents/guardians.  A copy of the child’s baptism certificate and any other evidence required by the Oversubscription Criteria above should be attached.  The completed Supplementary Form must be returned to the Clerk of Admissions, Notre Dame RC Girls’ School, 118 St. George’s Road, London, SE1 6EX.  This should be done either in person, where you will be given a receipt to confirm your documents have been received, or by post.  Should you choose to submit your supplementary form and a copy of your daughter’s baptismal certificate by post, you are strongly advised to include a self-addressed envelope which will be used to confirm receipt of your form. This should be done even if the CAF is completed on line. The completion of a Supplementary Form is not mandatory. However, if a Supplementary Form is not received, the governing body of the school will only be able to consider the application after all applicants who have completed a Supplementary Form.

Parents will be advised of the outcome of their application by the Local Authority (and not by the School) on the common offer date as notified.  Unsuccessful applicants will be advised of the right of appeal to an independent appeal panel.

Applicants and their parents are requested to note that applicants are required to complete both forms and failure to complete the Supplementary form will affect their chances of being fully assessed against the school’s oversubscription criteria. 

Any late applications made between the offer date and 31st August will need to be made through the local authority.


Waiting Lists

Parents of children who have not been offered a place at the school may ask for their child’s name to be placed on a waiting list.  The waiting list, which will be maintained by the LA until the 31st August and subsequently by the school until 31st December, will be operated using the same admissions criteria listed above.  Placing a child’s name on the waiting list does not guarantee that a place will become available.  This does not prevent parents from exercising their right to appeal against the decision not to offer a place.  It is possible that when a child is directed under the local authority’s fair access protocol they will take precedence over those children already on the list



Parents whose applications for places are unsuccessful may appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel set up in accordance with section 94 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.  Appeals must be made in writing and must set out the reasons on which the appeal is made.  Appeals should be made to the Admissions Appeal Clerk at the school address.  Parents/Carers have the right to make oral representations to the Appeal Panel.


Fair Access Protocol

The school participates in the local authority’s Fair Access Protocol to allocate places to vulnerable and other children in accordance with the School Admission Code 2014.  Admitting pupils under the protocol may require the school to admit above the planned admission number for the relevant year group.


Admission of children outside their normal age group

Parents may request that their child is admitted to a year group outside their normal age range, for instance where the child is gifted or talented or where a child has suffered from particular social or medical issues impacting her schooling. All such requests will be considered on their merits and either agreed or refused, on that basis. If a request is refused, the child will still be considered for admission to their normal age group.


Notes (these notes form part of the oversubscription criteria)

a) 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 definition in Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989) at the time of making an application to a school.

This includes children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 (see section 12 adoption orders) and children who were adopted under the Adoption and Children’s Act 2002 (see section 46 adoption orders).

Child arrangements orders are defined in section 8 of the Children Act 1989, as amended by section 12 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Child arrangements orders replace residence orders and any residence order in force prior to 22 April 2014 is deemed to be a child arrangements order.

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).

Any references to previously looked after children in the School Admissions Code 2014 means such children who were adopted (or subject to child arrangement orders or special guardianship orders) immediately after having been looked after.

Applications made under this criterion must be accompanied by details of circumstance and professionally supported evidence (e.g. from an appropriate social worker). Please note that children in private fostering arrangements are not considered looked after children.


b) “Roman Catholics” include members of the Ordinariate and the Latin and Oriental Rite Churches that are in union with the Bishop of Rome. This will normally be evidenced by a certificate of baptism in a Roman Catholic Church or a certificate of reception into full communion within the Roman Catholic Church.


c) Where a child regularly attends Mass at more than one church it is important that this is confirmed by the priests at each parish in order that the application can be placed in the correct category or sub-category. Where a child has been baptised as a result of Catechumen initiation and has followed a RCIC course, the Governors will consider Baptism to be on or before the first birthday, provided Sunday Mass attendance has been for at least three years.


d) “Catechumen” means a member of the Catechumenate of the Roman Catholic Church. This will normally be evidenced by a certificate of reception into the Order of Catechumens.


e) “Candidate” means one who is beginning the process of conversion to the Roman Catholic faith as evidenced by attendance at an RCIC programme.


f) If Catholic parents have lived in a parish for fewer than two months at the time of application, they may seek support from the parish priest of their previous parish or from a priest who knows the family well.

In the event that a parish priest has been in post for fewer than two months before the time of signing, the Governors will accept a signature from the previous parish priest, or from a parish worker, such as a Eucharistic Minister, who knows the applicant well.  In the later case, the parish priest should countersign.


g) Feeder Schools are :

Corpus Christi, Brixton

English Martyrs, Tower Hamlets

English Martyrs, Walworth

Holy Family, Tower Hamlets

Our Lady of Victories, Kensington

Sacred Heart, Battersea

St. Anne’s, Tower Hamlets

St. Anne’s, Vauxhall

St. Anthony’s, Dulwich

St. Elizabeth’s, Tower Hamlets

St. Francesca Cabrini, Forest Hill

St. Francis, Peckham

St. George’s Cathedral School

St. Helen’s Brixton

St. James the Great, Peckham Rye

St. John’s, Surrey Docks

St. John the Evangelist, Islington

St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Borough

St. Joseph’s Junior School, Camberwell

St. Joseph’s Primary School, George Row

St. Joseph’s Primary School, Gomm Road

St. Joseph’s Primary School, Macklin Street

St. Mary’s, Battersea

St. Mary’s Clapham

St. Mary and St. Michael’s, Tower Hamlets

St. Mary Magdalen’s, Brockley

St. Monica’s, N1

St. Peter & St. Paul, Islington

St. Vincent de Paul, Westminster

St William of York, Forest Hill

Westminster Cathedral, Pimlico


h) Schools not designated as “Feeder Schools” will be considered as “Other Schools”.


i) The child’s home address is where the parent/carer lives and the child permanently resides unless otherwise directed by a Court Order. This will also apply to informal care arrangements. It excludes any business, relatives or childminder’s address which are not the normal place of residence. Where a child spends time with both parents/carers in separate homes and both have parental responsibility, the school will need to establish where the majority of school nights (Sunday to Thursday) are spent. This will then be treated as the home address.


In year admissions

Applications for places outside the normal round of admissions (in year admissions) will be allocated in accordance with the school’s published admissions criteria and processed as per Southwark’s agreed protocol.