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The First Federation Trust is the admissions authority for all of the Trust schools. This means that it is the Trust that makes decisions about whether to admit a pupil or not, in accordance with the School Admission Code.

However, parents need to apply via Devon County Council for a place at any of our schools. 

How to apply for a school place in Devon

More information about admissions to schools in Devon can be found on Devon County Council website by clicking on the following links:

Variation of church attendance oversubscription criterion for admission arrangements:

  • Three of the Trust schools, Lady Seaward’s, Rockbeare and Sidmouth have an oversubscription criterion that gives priority to children who regularly attend, or whose parents regularly attend, a Christian church. The definition of regular attendance is “either the parent or child attends church services on at least a monthly basis, and for a minimum period of two years immediately prior to the application being made”
  • Because churches have been shut for a period of time due to Covid-19, and because some people may not be able to or feel able to attend church services as they are or feel vulnerable, the criterion cannot be fulfilled.
  • Legally, admissions policies cannot be changed after they have been determined (i.e. agreed).Therefore a variation in the admissions policies for these three schools needs to be applied for.
  • The OSA, DFE, Regional Schools Commissioners and the National Church of England Education Office have agreed a standard wording for the variation and a process for the Diocese to do this “in bulk” on behalf of schools.
  • The agreed wording for the variation is “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”.
  • The Trust has agreed for Exeter Diocese to apply for the variation in admission arrangements for the three schools. 

Appeals timetables

The government has issued new regulations about holding admission appeals over the coming eight months or so. Due to covid-19 restrictions, there is no requirement for appeals to be heard in person at a face to face hearing. For appeals lodged until the end of January 2021, the default position will be appeals by video call or by telephone conference. Those parents unable to take part can have their appeals heard in absence on the papers that are submitted. The strict timetable for appeals to be heard within a set number of days has been abandoned during this period too: they must be heard as soon as is reasonably possible, particularly over the summer holidays. The appeals timetable referred to in the above policies no longer applies for this summer.

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Join our trust - Please call 01626 821316 or email