Castleward Spencer Academy, is a one form entry primary school built within the new housing development of Castleward, in the centre of Derby. The school aims to give children the best possible start to their education through an innovative curriculum and by providing opportunities to explore and investigate. We want our children to be excited by the curriculum and challenged to achieve their full potential. By working closely with our parents and the community our aim for our school is for all to grow and achieve.

Castleward Spencer Academy, will be closely linked to Wyndham Primary Academy, a local outstanding school also within the Spencer Academies Trust.



The Published Admission Number (PAN) for Castleward Spencer Academy for 2022-2023 is 30 pupils in Foundation Stage 2 (Reception). The school will accordingly admit this number of pupils if there are sufficient applications. Where fewer applicants than the published admission number(s) for the relevant year group are received, the Academy Trust will offer places at the school to all those who have applied.


Catchment Area

Castleward Spencer Academy has a defined catchment area, which can be seen below outlined in red. The fact that a child lives within the catchment area does not guarantee a school place. See section on Admission Oversubscription criteria.

Application Process

Applications for first admission into Foundation Stage 2 must be made through the child’s home local authority (the area where the child lives).

For Derby City residents this can be found on the Derby City Council website at

Applications should be completed by the closing date for applications as stated in the Derby City Council’s Coordinated Admissions Scheme.

All other applicants must apply to their home local authority (the area where the child lives).

Parents will be notified of the outcome of applications on National Offer Day which is 17th April 2023.

For applications into other year groups, see the section on in year applications.


Late Applications

Any applications received after the closing date, including changes of preference, are considered as late applications and will be processed after all on-time applications unless there are exceptional circumstances which must be made clear at the point of application, with supporting evidence, and before places are allocated.


Admission Oversubscription Criteria for Reception

In accordance with the School Admissions Code, Castleward Spencer Academy operates within the Derby City Council Coordinated Admissions Scheme. We do not currently require additional information to consider your application fully.

In the event of oversubscription, the following criteria will be applied, in priority order, to decide which applications will be granted once places have first been allocated to pupils who have a statement of special educational need or education, health and care plan (EHCP) which names the school:

  1. Highest priority is given to looked after children and all previously looked after children, including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.
  2. Priority will next be given to children living in the normal area served by the school at the time of application and admission who have brothers or sisters attending the school at the time of application and admission.
  3. Priority will next be given to children living within the normal area at the time of application and admission. A map of the school’s normal area is available on the school’s website. Children living on the boundary line will be considered to be living within the normal area.
  4. Priority will next be given to siblings of pupils who will already be on the roll of the school at the time of the admission. For the purposes of this criterion, siblings shall include children brought up in the same household
  5. Other


Tie break for Oversubscription

In the event of oversubscription, within any criterion, preference will be given to children who live nearest to the school as the crow flies. Distances are measured from the entrance to the child’s home to the principal entrance of the main administrative building of the school using Derby City Council’s computerised distance measuring system. In the event of two distances being equal the measurement will be taken from the next decimal point.  In the event that two distances remain equal, lots will be drawn by a person independent of the school.


In Year Applications

Castleward Spencer Academy participates in Derby City Council’s non-statutory In Year Admissions Scheme to (a) assist in safeguarding matters and (b) to help prevent parents/carers from having to make multiple applications.


Deferred entry for Reception Aged Pupils

Parents offered a place in Reception for their child have a right to defer the date their child is admitted, or to take the place up part-time, until the child reaches compulsory school age. Places cannot be deferred beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the offer was made.

Children reach compulsory school age on the prescribed day following their 5th birthday (or on their fifth birthday if it falls on a prescribed day). The prescribed days are 31 August, 31 December and 31 March.


Admission of children outside the normal age group

Parents may seek a place for their child outside of the normal age group, for example, if the child has experienced problems such as ill health. Children should only be educated out of the normal age group in very limited circumstances.

Parents/carer should submit a request in writing to the Principal as early as possible. Decisions will be made on the basis of the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child concerned. This will include taking account of the parent’s views; information about the child’s academic, social and emotional development; where relevant, their medical history and the views of a medical professional; whether they have previously been educated out of their normal age group; and whether they may naturally have fallen into a lower age group if it were not for being born prematurely. The views of the Principal will also be considered.

Where we agree to a parent’s request for their child to be admitted out of their normal age group and, as a consequence of that decision, the child will be admitted to the age group to which pupils are normally admitted to the school, the application will be processed as part of the main admissions round, unless the parental request is made too late for this to be possible, and on the basis of our determined admission arrangements only, including the application of oversubscription criteria where applicable.

Parents have a statutory right to appeal against the refusal of a place at a school for which they have applied. This right does not apply if they are offered a place at the school but it is not in their preferred age group.


Special consideration

In exceptional circumstances, special consideration may be given to children with particular medical needs, mobility support needs, special educational needs or other social circumstances that are supported by written evidence from a doctor, social worker or other relevant professional giving reasons why the school is the only school which could cater for the child’s particular needs. The evidence must be presented at the time of application.

The governing body will consider the written evidence provided to decide whether the application may be processed as ‘special circumstances.

Admission under ‘special circumstances will have priority over all but the first numbered criteria.


Right of appeal

If your child is not allocated a place then you have a statutory right of appeal.  Details of how to do this can be found in the letter refusing your application.


School Appeal Dates

Appeal dates for school entry into Reception class in September 2022

  • National offer date:                                                   17.04.2023
  • Deadline for lodging appeals:                               21.05.2023
  • Date all on time appeals to be heard by:          02.07.2023


Appeal dates and application forms – please contact the School Administrator on 01332 571153 for further information.


Waiting lists

Where an application has been refused because the number of applications received has exceeded the number of places available, waiting lists will be maintained from offer day (for admission to the intake year) or, for in-year applications, the date when the application was refused. Applications are only placed on the waiting list for a school where they have been refused a place and where it is ranked above a preference that has been allocated.

Priority on the waiting list will be determined by reference to the admission criteria and not by the date an application was received. Waiting lists are maintained in partnership with Derby City Council. Inclusion on a waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available.


False information

Where the offer of a place is found to be based on fraudulent or intentionally misleading information on the application, which effectively denied a place to a child with a stronger claim to the place at the school, the offer of a place may be withdrawn.  Where a child has started attending the school on the basis of fraudulent or intentionally misleading information, the place may be withdrawn depending on the length of time that the child has been at the school. Where the place or an offer has been withdrawn, the application will be reconsidered and the usual statutory right of appeal made available if a place is subsequently refused.



Attending school is taken to be on roll at a school for the purposes of admissions.

Looked after and previously looked after – A looked after child is a child who is (a) in the care of a local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions in accordance with section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989 at the time of making an application to a school. Previously looked after children are children who were looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order). This includes children who were adopted under the Adoption Act 1976 and children who were adopted under section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. Child arrangements orders are defined in section 8 of the Children Act 1989, as amended by section 12 of the Children and Families Act 2014. Child arrangements orders replace residence orders and any residence order in force prior to 22 April 2014 is deemed to be a child arrangements order. Section 14A of the Children Act 1989 defines a ‘special guardianship order’ as an order appointing one or more individuals to be a child’s special guardian (or special guardians).

Home Address – The child’s place of residence is taken to be the parental home, other than in the case of children fostered by a local authority, where either the parental address or that of the foster parent may be used. If a child’s parents live at separate addresses, the address where the child permanently spends at least three ‘school’ nights (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) will be taken to be the place of residence. Addresses of other relatives or friends will not be considered as the place of residence, even if the child stays there for all or part of the week. Evidence that a child’s place of residence is permanent may also be sought by the governing body. The evidence should prove that a child lived at the address at the time of the application. Informal arrangements between parents will not be taken into consideration

Parents – For school admissions the school will consider the following as parents:

  • the mother of the child
  • an adoptive parent
  • the father of the child where he was married to the mother either when the child was born or at a later date
  • the father of the child if (since 1 December 2003) he was registered as the father on the birth certificate
  • any other person who has acquired ‘parental responsibility through the courts


Siblings – For school admissions the school will consider the following as sibling:

  • a brother or sister who share the same parents
  • a half-brother or half-sister or legally adopted child living at the same address as the child
  • a child looked after by a local authority placed in a foster family with other school age children
  • stepchildren or children who are not related but live as a family unit, where parents both live at the same address as the child.