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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. 

Consultation on our Admissions policy for 2022-23

  • Please click here to access a link to our proposed admissions policies for 2022-23. (You will be able to view the proposed policies for all state-funded schools in Devon and the Local Authorities policies there too). We are consulting on this between 1 November and 8 January and invite any parent or other person with an interest in our admission arrangements to read the policies and make any comments you wish. You will see where there are changes, the text is in red – either something we propose to add or, if it has a line through it, something we propose to remove.
  • One of the proposals is to add children who have been adopted from state care outside of England to our oversubscription criterion 1. This is in anticipation that the Department for Education will require this change for all schools as it has just consulted on changes to the School Admissions Code. It is possible that the Department’s timescales may mean that the Code is not amended before the end of February, when we have to formally set our policy. If that is the case, we may have to determine our policies without that change and then alter it later in spring or summer. We are bringing it to your attention though as a change in policy that we expect to have to introduce.
  • Other than changes in red and dates moving forward a year, the way our policies will work is the same as in the previous year, 2021-22 which you can also see using the same link. The only exception to this is the admission policy for Salcombe CE Primary School, where we are proposing to reduce the PAN from 15 to 12, in order to keep the number of children attending the school within the capacity of the school. 
  • If you have any comments, you can make them to Devon County Council which is co-ordinating the consultation. Further information is available at
  • The consultation ends on 8 January and all policies must be determined by 28 February and published in the same places by 15 March.

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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