Rule 2 – medical or social needs
Children for whom it can be demonstrated that they have a particular medical or social need to go to the school.
All Hertfordshire schools can support children with a wide range of additional needs and are expected to accommodate severe medical needs.
An application made under Rule 2 should clearly demonstrate why the school applied for is the only one that can meet your child’s need in a way that no other school can.
Applications for children adopted but previously looked after abroad (outside England) will be considered under this rule and accepted if the child's previously looked after status and adoption is confirmed. Hertfordshire's "virtual school" will be asked to verify all such applications.
Evidence needed (Rule 2)
You may wish to complete the Rule 2 application form (DOC, 85kb) if you're making an application for a school or academy whose social / medical arrangements are considered by us. Check the rules of the school you're applying to for clarification on how to apply under Rule 2.
Recent independent objective evidence, for example from a doctor, psychologist, social worker or other professional involved with your child.
Professional evidence that outlines exceptional family circumstances making clear why only one school can meet your child’s needs.
If the requested school is not the nearest school to your child’s home address, give specific reasons why closer schools will not meet your child's needs.
Evidence must relate specifically to the school being applied for under Rule 2.
A panel of officers will decide whether the evidence provided is enough to meet the requirements for this rule.
Contact the admissions team if there are exceptional reasons stopping you from getting independent objective professional evidence by the application deadline. Applications without this evidence will be rejected.
Examples of cases that have and haven't been accepted under Rule 2
Examples of cases that have been accepted under Rule 2:
- children with an exceptional illness or disability (for example, restricted mobility) who can only reasonably attend one school
- where only one school is suitable due to child protection issues. We'll give priority to children whose education would be seriously affected if they did not go to a particular school
- in exceptional cases relating to disability, where more than 1 school in the county can meet the child's specific needs, but a clear case has been made for the 'nearest school' with the relevant facilities, environment or location
- children who have previously been cared for by the state abroad (outside England) and have been subsequently adopted.
Examples of cases that have not been accepted under Rule 2:
- cases made around childminding arrangements, such as using a childminder that children are already familiar with who caters for children attending certain schools. Or childminding by family members who live close to a specific school. These cases weren't upheld because they're not exceptional. Many families rely on complex childminding arrangements.
- Cases made for children with specific learning or behavioural needs where the professional evidence submitted is not school specific.
All schools are able to support children with a wide variety of individual needs. If a child’s individual needs warrant an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, the EHC plan will name the appropriate school.
- Medical cases where even though there is a severe illness, more than one school could accommodate the child’s needs.
Applying under Rule 2 during the continuing interest process
We'll only consider applications under Rule 2 (medical or social reasons) when you first apply for a school.
However, if your child's medical or social circumstances have changed a lot since your original application, you can apply under Rule 2 at the continuing interest stage.
You'll need to tell us the change in circumstances and include relevant professional evidence.
Rule 3 – linked school
In the case of junior schools, children who attend the linked infant school at the time of their application.
This rule is only relevant if you're applying for a place at a junior school and your child is currently in Year 2 of the linked infant school.
If your child is currently attending a community or voluntary controlled infant school with a linked junior school, you will qualify under Rule 3.
See linked infant and junior schools
Rule 4 – siblings
Children who have a sibling on the roll of the school (or linked school) at the time of application.
This applies to:
- infant, junior and primary schools – Reception to Year 5
- first schools – Reception to Year 3
- middle schools – Year 5 to Year 7.
- brother or sister
- half brother or sister
- adopted brother or sister
- child of the parent / carer or partner
- children looked after or previously looked after. This doesn't include children temporarily living in the same house. For example, a looked after child in a short term foster or bridging placement.
In every case, the sibling must be living permanently in the same family home (at least Monday to Friday).
A sibling must be on the roll of the named school or linked school at the time of application (and when child starts), or have been offered and accepted a place.
Academies, voluntary aided and foundation schools may have a different sibling definition. Check the rules of the school you're applying to.
Rule 5 – child's nearest school
Children for whom it is their nearest school or academy, excluding those that allocate places based on faith. This can include schools outside Hertfordshire.
If you don't include your nearest school in your school preferences then you won't be considered under Rule 5.
How we measure home to school distance
Rule 6 – children living closest to school (distance)
Children who live closest to the school are given priority. Children not considered under Rule 5 will be considered under Rule 6).
How we measure home to school distance
Admission rules are applied in order. If more children qualify for a school place under a particular rule than there are places available, children will be prioritised using the next rule (for rules 2-5).