Day Admissions FAQs
relating to Admissions for September 2020
Can you tell me the exact catchment area in Harpenden for the school? Is there a map?
There is no "map" of the catchment area of the school: we do not have one. After children (in or formerly in) public care, children of staff, siblings and siblings of previous students, places are offered to those applicants living closest to the school who meet the church commitment criterion in the first instance.
Distances are measured on a straight line basis and can be requested directly from Admissions Dept at Hertfordshire County Council.
The number of sibling and other “high priority” applicants can vary widely, and this affects how close one might need to live in order to be likely to be offered. In the year group which entered in 2017 the number of siblings was very low, at 71. This, and other factors such as the size of Year 6 that year, the number opting for independent education, and the number of first place preferences for St George’s, meant that on “Allocation day”, the final place offered went to a family which satisfied the Church criteria who lived 5.5km from the school. This was unusually good.
In 2018 on the other hand, the number of siblings and other high priority was much bigger, with siblings numbering 93. This, along with more first preferences (279), meant that the final place allocated on allocation day was to a Church criteria applicant at 980 metres. After allocation day some parents will decline a place offered, generally because their child is going to be independently educated but in 2018 this happened in very few cases.
Subsequently, because of the failure of Katherine Warrington School to open, the Governors agreed to offer as a one off an additional 30 places for 2018 entry. This allowed places to be offered to many more Church applicant families,
However, this cannot and will not be repeated. The admission number will be 170 day and 10 boarder students.
In 2019 the distance reached by the last Church Member was 813m and in 2020 the distance was 818m and there were 107 siblings/prior siblings. Both years reflected a high sibling year.
Do you have to attend church to apply to the school?
No. St George’s School is a multi-denominational Christian foundation. Those families that show they attend church regularly will be able to apply under the Christian commitment criterion which ranks higher than distance alone. The school is generally oversubscribed at this level.
Do you have to attend a particular school or church to apply to the school?
No. St George’s School is a multi-denominational Christian foundation. Those families that show they attend Christian church regularly will be able to apply under the Christian commitment criterion which ranks higher than distance alone. The school is generally oversubscribed at this level.
To successfully satisfy the church attendance criteria your church must belong to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (website: www.ctbi.org.uk) or be in association with the Evangelical Alliance (website: www.eauk.org ) but this church can be located anywhere within the UK. Overseas churches that belong to a Christian denomination as verified by their church leader are also eligible.
The School does not have feeder schools and therefore the primary school attended by the applicant is not relevant to the application process.
Do you have entrance exams?
No – the school is not selective on academic ability.
I am a little confused how places are allocated beyond your sibling policy
Once children (in or formerly in) public care, children of staff, siblings and siblings of previous students have been allocated, the next criterion is Christian commitment. To claim this criterion the child and at least one parent should attend Christian church at least once a month and have done so for two years. Your church leader will be asked to sign a letter confirming this.
If the school is oversubscribed at this stage, it will use the next three criteria act as a tie-break. Those applicants that have a church commitment, live in the school’s priority area (civil parish of Ayot St Lawrence, Flamstead, Harpenden, Harpenden Rural, Kimpton, Kings Walden, Markyate, Redbourn, St Paul’s Walden and Wheathampstead) and have a social/medical reason which makes St George’s uniquely suitable are ranked next, followed by those that have a church commitment, live in the school’s priority area, and have parents that regularly attend church at Christian churches of different denominations, which again must be confirmed by the church leaders of both churches.
The final criteria for a tie break is church commitment and shortest distance from the child’s normal residence to school which is measured on a straight line basis.
Those applications that do not meet the Church commitment will be ranked after this.
How many places are available to a family applying that does not have siblings or previous siblings at the school?
As a guideline around half of places are taken each year by siblings or former siblings. This is a guideline however and does vary significantly from year to year.
What is the Multi denominational criterion and why do you have it?
The school is a Christian Foundation school. By offering a non-denominational chapel, it has traditionally supported families who have been separated by their denomination (for example one parent belongs to the Catholic Faith whilst the other to the Anglican Church) and have therefore been unable to regularly worship together. To meet this criterion both parents must hold letters signed by their separate Church Leaders to say they worship at least once a month and have done for the last two years.
My family and my child worship weekly in a non-Christian setting. Can this count as Church attendance?
St George’s School is a Christian school and is allowed in law to give priority to applicants from who satisfy the Christian Church attendance criteria. Attendance at other faith settings does not qualify. Note that children of other faiths or indeed no faith can be admitted, but the school generally runs out of places to allocate in the Christian Church attendance criteria.
There are numerous students of other faiths on the school role, who perhaps joined the school as sixth formers; or on the child-of-staff criteria, or the child in public care criteria, or perhaps as a result of a successful school appeal.
I hear stories of people moving house to get a place; or letting a property close to the school; or procuring a Church reference that is not warranted. This makes me worried as to the fairness of the process.
St George’s School takes very seriously the need for the process to be fair and transparent. We use all means available to check the firm standing of addresses and references. We will not allocate places where we detect applicants have entered wilfully misleading information. It is rare for this to occur, but we put disproportionate resources and attention into this aspect of admissions work to be sure no valid applicant loses out to sharp practice.
How do I make an In-Year application?
St George’s School takes most of its day pupils at Secondary Transfer and therefore all year groups tend to be full and oversubscribed. Should you wish to make an application outside of Secondary Transfer you will need to contact the Admissions Officer for a separate form which, once completed, will be added to the Waiting List. Should a place become available your application would be considered along with others on the waiting list.