As many local churches have been closed during lockdown, this will affect the ability of parents to provide evidence of church attendance required when applying under a faith based criteria.

Admissions authorities are therefore required to amend their admissions policies accordingly to include the following statement to be compliant from September 2021 admissions: '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 admission arrangements in relation to attendance will only apply to the period when the church or alternative premises have been available for public worship'

Please click here for a copy of the guidance. The variation must be formally applied for on behalf of the admissions authority by the Diocese to the OSA, please contact

Young man with hand up in classroomOur vision is to ensure that every child and young person in our Diocese is at the heart of mission, having the opportunity of a life-enhancing encounter with the Christian faith and the person of Jesus Christ; that they reach their God-given potential and are an integral part of churchlife.

We believe that schools remain at the centre of the Church’s mission to the nation, the heart of local communities, for children of all faiths and none. We aim to promote distinctive, inclusive communities of learning that seek to be underpinned by Christian values sourced in the Gospel narrative, enriching the whole educational experience.

We believe that all human beings are made in the image of God and are precious and valued in God’s sight. In schools we commend a distinctive approach, serving young people in ways that relate to their humanity in all its fullness.

By enabling leaders in Christian schools to interpret faith for their communities, we acknowledge and confront our responsibility to safeguard the vulnerable, those marginalised by society, living out Kingdom values of justice and mercy.


  • The Canterbury Diocesan Board of Education (CDBE) carefully considers Church School Admissions policies in the context of church school heritage, mindful of changing times and changing circumstances, in which the CDBE seeks to promote distinctive, inclusive schools.
  • The CDBE believes that Church of England schools and academies have a dual purpose; to offer a Christian education to the children of Christian parents whilst fulfilling the Church’s historic mission in the practical expression of its pastoral responsibility to all children in the local community, irrespectiveof faith.
  • Given the mission imperative that underpins the Church’s provision of schools, each organisation must hold in balance the nurture and service roles, mirroring the Church’s own purposes in both building up those of the faith and of serving and reaching out to those not of the faith. In individual schools the balance will depend on ethos, history and tradition and local circumstances.
  • Church schools must have regard to their responsibility to beliving Christian communities, strongly related to the local community and demonstrating wider inclusivity. The CDBE encourages the policy of offering open and foundation places, which ensures that local children who are not connected with the church are able to gain admission.


Please do use the Church of England Education Office Admission Builder Tool 
This tool offers options for your school admission arrangements that are legally compliant while letting you take into account your school's character and local context. In practical terms, you’ll soon see that you have to work through each section, including all the required fields, before being able to move to the next one.

When schools have finished working through the Admissions Builder a PDF of their admission arrangements will be generated which can be downloaded or requested to be sent by email. As well as the text the school has selected,  the final PDF will contain additional standard provisions so that parents are informed about matters such as admissions outside the normal round, appeals and other waiting lists.

Please be aware that you will need to separately generate the SIF, the catchment area map itself and the standard ‘Clergy Reference Letter’. Schools don’t have to restrict using this tool to create brand-new admission arrangements; it’s also a good way of reviewing their current arrangements (which Governors are required to do annually) or considering how those admission arrangements reflect the school's vision and mission as a Church of England school, serving the common good. Church of England schools are called to bring life in all its fullness to their pupils and the wider community. They seek to offer wisdom, hope, community and dignity  to those they serve. The admission arrangements are the beginning of that service. 


The responsibility for Appeals rests with the admissions authority: in VA and Foundation schools this will be the Governing Body, in Academies it is the Trust Board, for VC schools the admissions authority is the KCC. Please click here to read the Schools Admissions Appeals Code.

All schools regardless of category can instruct Kent County Councils Independent Appeals Team to provide expert support for independent appeal panels deciding appeals for primary and secondary school places throughout Kent.

The team at KCC include highly qualified and experienced clerks with a wide knowledge of legislative and procedural requirements for appeals panels and of the relevant codes and best practice. Within the parameters of the code, KCC provide a service that achieves a balance between the needs of the parents and those of the school; helping facilitate a process that is fair and achieving outcomes that are sound.

KCC services include the appointment of independent panel members, all relevant correspondence to appellants, liaising with the school, copying and distributing all relevant materials to all parties, processing travel expenses, clerking and advising panel members of current legislation at appeals, providing a venue with refreshments and preparing and dispatching decision letters.

All of the independent panel members and clerks that KCC use receive both in house and external independent expert training, including input from the Local Government Ombudsman or Education Funding Agency representative, on an annual basis. For prices and more information please contact: 

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