Admissions

The secondary school is now open for admissions for places in September 2015. You can see the admissions policy here and apply for a place here. Applicants will be notified whether they've been successful at the beginning of March 2015. Those that apply online will be able to view the outcome on www.eadmissions.org.uk.

120 places are available at the school each year. Ten per cent of children are admitted based on their aptitude for music and, in accordance with the School Admissions Code, priority is given to children with statements of special educational need and children in care. We also have a sibling policy that applies to siblings of children at the WLFS Secndary and the WLFS Primary. We want to ensure that the school serves local families and after we've allocated places to music scholars, statemented children, siblings, etc, we allocate 50% of the remaining places on the basis of proximity. The remaining places are awarded by lottery, with a majority being allocated to those who live within a one mile radius of the school and a smaller number to those within a three-mile radius.

The application deadline for Year 7 places in 2015 is 31st October 2014. Applications received after the closing date but before midday on 15th December 2014 will only be treated as on-time applications in exceptional circumstances and entirely at the discretion of the Chair of Governors and the Headteacher acting together on behalf of the school's governing body. To be treated as on-time applications, they need to be accompanied by written evidence of exceptional medical, pastoral or compassionate grounds for doing so. Otherwise they will be treated like late applications and added to the Waiting List after 31st August 2015. Applications received after midday on 15th December 2014 and before midnight on 31st December 2015 will also be added to the Waiting List after 31st August 2014 and be considered for any vacancies occurring during the period 1st September to 31st December 2015.

Those applicants who applied on time (and those applicants treated as such) and who aren't offered places at the beginning of March will be placed on our Reserve List. (The order of the Reserve List will be determined in accordance with the order determined by the over-subscription criteria.) Any places not taken up by those we've initially made offers to at the beginning of March are then offered to applicants on the Reserve List in a second wave of offers. This process continues until all the places are filled. It is only if all the places haven't been filled by 31st August that we then make offers to applicants on our Waiting List. For more details on the admissions criteria applied to those on the Reserve List and the Waiting List, see our admissions policy.

The admission arrangements of the West London Free School fully comply with the School Admissions Code and Admissions Law. The school is open to anyone and is non-selective.

How your application will be processed 

The West London Free School Academy Trust is the Admissions Authority for the school. For admissions in 2015, the process will be overseen by the local authority and the Pan-London Admissions Board. 

If the West London Free School is oversubscribed, its published admissions criteria are used to decide the order in which applicants will be offered places.

If you are not offered a Year 7 place in September 2015 and feel that you have been dealt with unfairly, please download an appeal form and explanatory notes here.  Appeals should be received by 4th April 2015 and the appeal hearing will take place no later than mid June 2015. 

Musical Aptitude 

The West London Free School is a music specialist school and sets aside 12 places each year for children with a particular aptitude for music. There is no geographical limit on who can apply for a musical aptitude place, but all applicants will have to take a musical aptitude test at the school. No prior musical experience is necessary – you don't need to be able to play an instrument or read music – and the test is designed not to discriminate in favour of those who've already had instrumental lessons. While some music scholars will already be proficient musicians, we recognise that there are many pupils who have excellent musical potential but who haven't yet had the chance to learn an instrument. So long as your child has a love of music, we would encourage you to apply. The test assesses pitch perception and sense of rhythm/pulse. The candidates will not be asked to prepare anything or bring an instrument as the test is all completed vocally. It is not a test of vocal quality.

The deadline for applications for musical places is noon on Friday October 3rd 2014. Click here to apply. The school will take all reasonable steps to inform parents of the outcome of selection tests before the closing date for applications on 31st October 2014.

Music scholars will benefit from free tuition in one instrument, but they in turn are expected to make a commitment to their musical education, arriving at the school early on some days, giving up their lunch break on others, etc. These extra lessons are used to develop the practical abilities of the music scholars as well as deepen their understanding of how music works. Keyboard skills, ensemble playing, pitch perception and music theory will be at the centre of these lessons, along with learning to use notation and sequencing software.

See below for more detail on how musical places are allocated by the Pan-London Admissions Board.

Forms

To register with us if you're the parent of a child in Year 5 or below, click here.

To apply for an in-year place, click here. If you have been turned down for an in-year place and wish to appeal, click here.

If you are turned down for a Year 7 place in September 2015, you can download the appeal form here.

Filling in the Common Application Form 

Some parents who think they'll only be eligible for a lottery place at our school, not a proximity place or a musical place, have asked whether they should place us first on the Common Application Form. After all, if their chances of getting in are quite small, won't they be "wasting" their first preference by ranking us first? Wouldn't they be better off ranking a school they have a higher chance of getting in to first?

This is based on a misunderstanding of how the pan-London admissions process works. The Pan-London Admissions Board does not vary the amount of weight it gives to a parent's application to a particular school depending on where that parent has ranked the school on the Form. Rather, it takes all the schools you've named on your Form, regardless of where you've ranked them, and applies the over-subscription criteria of those schools. Once it has worked out which of the schools on your Form you qualify for a place at, then (and only then) does it look at your order of preferences. You'll then be offered a place at the school you've ranked highest amongst the schools you qualify for a place at.

Suppose you place the West London Free School first and St Custard's second. If your child doesn't qualify for a place at our school – because he or she is unsuccessful in the lottery, for instance – but does qualify for a place at St Custard's, you'll be offered a place at St Custard's. Your child won't be discriminated against in the admissions process because you've placed St Custard's second rather than first. Some people imagine the way the admissions process works is that the Board initially applies a school's over-subscription criteria to just those applicants who've placed that school first on the Form and only after the successful applicants have turned down their offers do they then apply the school's oversubscription criteria to those who've ranked it second. But that isn't how it works. The Board applies each school's over-subscription criteria to all those who've named that school on their Forms, regardless of its ordinal position on the Forms.

In the above scenario, the only risk you're taking by placing us first and St Custard's second is that if you qualify for a place at both of our schools you'll only be offered a place at our school and not St Custard's. As explained, the Board takes all those schools on your Form you qualify for a place at and then offers you a place at whichever one of those schools you've ranked highest on the Form. You'll only be offered one place – you won't be informed of all those schools you've qualified for a place at and be asked to choose between them.

The bottom line is that if the West London Free School is your first preference you should put us first. If another school is your first preference, put that school first. You shouldn't base your decision of where to rank us on your assessment of your chances of qualifying for a place at our school since that consideration is irrelevant.

Allocation of Musical Places

Some applicants have asked how the allocation of musical places works within the pan-London admissions process. What happens is that the school will place all the applicants who take the test in rank order according to how they performed and pass that list on to the Pan-London Admissions Board. The Board will then see which of those we've placed in the top 12 have ranked the West London Free School either first on the Common Application Form or above any of the other schools they're eligible for places at. If only six of the top 12 have ranked our school above the other schools they're eligible for places at, the Board will work its way down the list until it's able to offer places to 12 applicants in total. It will then offer the musical places at the beginning of March at the same time as all the other offers of places. If any musical aptitude places aren't taken up, those places will be offered to the applicants on our musical aptitude Reserve List.

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