FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
on admissions to
Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School
“In drawing up their admission arrangements, admission authorities must ensure that the practices and the criteria used to decide the allocation of school places are fair, clear and objective. Parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for that school will be allocated” (Introduction to the School Admission Code, February 2012)
1. Q. I would like to apply for my daughter to join Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School (the School) but she does not attend Yesodey Hatorah Primary School. Can the School refuse my daughter a place because of the primary school she currently or has previously attended?
A. No. It is against the law for the School to favour applicants who attended an independent fee-paying primary school. Yesodey Hatorah Primary School is an independent fee-paying school and girls from that school may not be given any advantage in the admissions process.
2. Q. How old must my daughter be when I apply to the School?
A. For admission in September 2014 your child must have been born between 01/09/2002-31/08/2003.
3. Q. What are the main advantages of my daughter attending the School?
A. The School has a heimishe yiddishe atmosphere with a very strong frum ethos. The School was rated Outstanding by Ofsted in its most recent report; the School consistently achieves some of the highest grades in Hackney and in the country as a whole; there are no compulsory school fees payable and the School does not currently seek a voluntary contribution for kodesh studies.
4. Q. How can I obtain more information about the School?
A. Information about the School is contained at the School’s webpages here and in the Hackney Learning Trust secondary school admissions brochure (the admissions brochure). For up-to-date admission arrangements rely only on the admissions brochure.
5. Q. How can I find out about the grades achieved by the School in recent years?
A. The exam results of the School and lots of other information can be found on the School’s page on the Department for Education website.
6. Q. Has the School been inspected by Ofsted and where can I see its reports?
A. The School last had a full inspection in 2006 and an interim inspection in 2010. The full reports can be found on the Ofsted website here.
7. Q. Does the School hold an open day?
8. Q. Am I able to visit the School prior to making an application?
A. Yes. The School’s page in the admissions brochure* states that to arrange a visit you should contact the School. The School’s telephone no. is 020 8826 5500.
9. Q. Must the parents or our daughter meet the Head Teacher, the Principal or anyone else from the School before or during any stage of the application process?
A. No. It is against the law for the School to require an interview with either prospective pupils or their parents in the course of the admissions process.
10. Q. May the School refuse my daughter a place because she did not achieve good grades in primary school?
A. No. The School does not select according to ability.
11. Q. My daughter is disabled/has special needs. Is that a valid reason for refusing her a place?
A. No. It is against the law for the School to discriminate on grounds of disability or special needs. There is a separate process for children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs. This is set out at page 14 of the admissions brochure.
12. Q. What are the criteria for being accepted to the School?
A. The School stipulates that all pupils must abide “by the principles and ethics of the Charedi community.” The School’s definition of “Charedi” and its general admissions policy can be found here.
13. Q. I am of chasidish / litvish / sefardi / yekish origin. Is this a reason for the School to refuse my daughter a place?
A. It is against the law for the school to discriminate on grounds of race, religion or belief (subject to the school’s religious ethos). Decisions on admissions must also be fair and objective.
14. Q. How do I apply to the School?
A. Parents can complete the application form online at www.eadmissions.org. See below for a Step by Step Guide to Making an Application for further details on how and where to make an application and for important deadlines. You should also consult the admissions brochure on page 15.
15. Q. I do not have internet access. Can I make an application on a paper form?
A. Yes. Hackney residents can download a paper form here. Residents of other boroughs should contact their home local authority for a form. See contact details below. (If applying online it is the same procedure wherever you live.)
16. Q. Must I provide any proof of identity?
A. Yes. You must include with your application a council tax bill of this year or a housing benefit letter and a gas, water, electricity or telephone land line bill not more than 2 months old. You must submit original documents.
17. Q. What is the deadline for applying to the School?
A. Friday 25 October 2013 is the date when Hackney Learning Trust prefers all application to have been submitted either online or by a paper application. (The on-line admissions website will accept applications until 31 October 2013.) See page 9 of the admissions brochure for all important dates.
18. Q. The admissions brochure mentions a Supplementary Information Form that must be submitted as part of my application. What is this?
A. The Supplementary Information Form contains the ‘Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations (UOHC) Chareidi Ethos and Rules’. This is an important form to satisfy the religious requirements for admission to the School. The form also contains a ‘Confirmation of Chareidi Status’ which must be signed by a member of the UOHC Rabbinate.
19. Q. Where can I obtain the Supplementary Information Form?
20. Q. How do I arrange for a member of the UOHC Rabbinate to sign the Supplementary Information Form?
A. You should contact the offices of the UOHC on 020 8802 6226 (020 8458 2326 for NW London) for advice on how to obtain a signature of confirmation.
21. Q. I have read the form and I do not conform to some points on the School’s ethos. However, I think this is unfair because there are people I know who have daughters at the school and who also do not fully conform. What can I do about it?
A. Faith based criteria (which is what the Supplementary Information Form seeks to apply) must be fair, easy to understand and fairly applied. If your daughter is refused a place and you feel you have been unfairly treated you can appeal.
22. Q. I have recently moved to London and no one really knows me here / my family does not live in the Stamford Hill area and I do not know members of the Rabbinate. Can I still apply?
A. The law requires admission procedures to be fair. You should contact a rov or dayan who knows your family and ask them to write a letter for you or to contact a member of the Rabbinate to provide a reference on your behalf.
23. Q. Where do I send the completed Supplementary Information Form?
A. The completed Supplementary Information Form should be sent to the School, details below NOTE: ONLY THE SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION FORM IS SENT TO THE SCHOOL. IF THE PAPER APPLICATION FORM IS USED IT MUST BE SENT TO YOUR HOME LOCAL AUTHORITY’S SCHOOL ADMISSION TEAM. (For Hackney residents this is Hackney Learning Trust.)
24. Q. What is the deadline for returning the Supplementary Information Form to the School?
A. 31 October 2013. It is very important that you contact the UOHC about the Supplementary Information Form as soon as possible.
25. Q. I do not live in Hackney. Does that put me at a disadvantage?
A. The School may not discriminate because you live in another borough. You must apply through your home local authority who will forward your application to Hackney Learning Trust. See the contact sheet for details of some neighbouring local authorities.
26. Q. Is the distance that I live from the School relevant to the admissions process?
A. Generally no. However, if the School is oversubscribed (see below) and after having prioritised applicants under the oversubscription criteria there still remain insufficient places then priority will be given to the applicant living closest to the School.
27. Q. I applied just before the deadline. Will parents who applied before me have priority?
A. No. A child may not be given priority because their application was later than others so long that the application was submitted before the deadline.
28. Q. Once I have made an application by when can I expect a reply?
A. On or shortly after 3 March 2014 you will receive a letter or email from Hackney Learning Trust. If you do not receive a reply by that time you should contact your home local authority.
29. Q. My daughter has been offered a place at the School. Must I do anything further to accept the place?
A. The acceptance letter will have a reply form attached. You must complete and return the reply form by 17 March 2014 to confirm that you are accepting the offer. You can also accept the offer online at www.eadmissions.org.uk. If you don’t do this, the offer of a place at the School may be withdrawn.
30. Q. My daughter has been refused a place. Must the School give me a reason?
A. A refusal to offer you a place must state the reasons why admission has been refused. The refusal letter must also give you information about the right to appeal, the deadline for lodging an appeal and the contact details for making an appeal.
31. Q. The School has told me that they had more applications than places available, (oversubscribed), and they have no place for my daughter. Is this a legitimate reason for refusal?
A. It may be in some circumstances. The school publishes oversubscription criteria as part of the admissions information which can be found here. The oversubscription criteria themselves must be fair and objective and must also be fairly and objectively applied. Parents must be able to understand easily how the religious requirements in the oversubscription criteria can be reasonably satisfied.
32. Q. Do pupils of Yesodey Hatorah Primary School have priority if the School is oversubscribed?
A. No. See the reply to Q.1 above.
33. Q. Is the School generally oversubscribed?
A. Last year there were 59 applications for 80 available places at the School. All applicants were successful.
34. Q. My daughter has been refused a place and I’m not sure what else I can do about it. Can I appeal?
A. Yes. You have a right to appeal to an independent school admissions appeal panel which the school must set up to hear your appeal. It is beyond the scope of this FAQ to cover appeals and a separate appeals FAQ may be published should the need arise. For useful information on appeals see this link here.
35. Q. What is the deadline to appeal?
A. 24 March 2014. This is a very important deadline and you must lodge your appeal before this date. If an appeal is lodged after this date relating to a late application the School will still have to make arrangements for your appeal to be heard.
36. Q. My daughter has been refused a place and I would like to know who made the decision. How can I find out?
A. You should ask the School which should provide you with that information. It is against the law for a single person to decide on admissions.
37. Q. I am concerned that the reasons given to me for a refusal may not be the true reasons and I would like to know what information the School or the UOHC hold on me. How can I obtain this information?
A. Under the Data Protection Act you may make a subject access request to the School and/or the UOHC to provide you with all the personal information they hold on you. Further information how to make such a request can be found here.
38. Q. My daughter is already at a secondary school and we would like to transfer her to the School for the coming school year or during the current year (In-year Admissions). Are we able to do this?
A. Yes, provided there are vacancies in the class. According to the most recent information provided by the School there are vacancies in Year 7 and in Year 11. You can apply even where there are no vacancies and you will be placed on a waiting list.
39. Q. What is the procedure for In-year Admissions and is there a deadline?
A. An application form can be requested from Hackney Learning Trust. This form should be returned directly to Hackney Learning Trust irrespective of the borough in which you live. You will also have to complete a Supplementary Information Form which should be returned to the School. There is no deadline and you can apply at any time.
40. Q. Where can I find further information?
A. Please refer to the admissions brochure for all further information or call Hackney Learning Trust on 020 8820 7501
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The YHS Forum is independent from Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls School and is not associated with the School.