School Admissions Policy

Bishop Hedley Catholic High School will act in accordance with all relevant provisions of the statutory codes of practice as they apply at any given time to maintained schools and with the law on admissions as it applies to maintained schools.

Reference in the codes to “admission authorities” shall be deemed to be references to the Voluntary Aided Governing Body of Bishop Hedley Catholic High School.  References to “the Local Authority” or “LA” shall be deemed to be references to the Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.  In particular, Bishop Hedley Catholic High School will have regard to Archdiocese of Cardiff advice and will participate in the co-ordinated admission arrangements operated by the Local Authority.

In line with Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Caerphilly, Neath-Port Talbot and Blaenau Gwent schools’ admission policies application for admission to Bishop Hedley Catholic High School will be made in line with parental preference.

The Indicated Admission number is 120.

Bishop Hedley Catholic High School will accordingly admit at least 120 students in the relevant age group each year if sufficient applications are received.

All first preferences will be met except where the number of applications exceeds the number of places available and then places will be allocated on the basis of the oversubscription criteria.

A formal decision either to offer or to refuse a place will be made and notified to the applicant within 15 school days or 28 calendar days whichever is the sooner.

Oversubscription Criteria


  1. Looked after Children and previously Looked after Children. The definition of a Looked after Child is a child who is looked after by the Local Authority in accordance with Section 22 of the Children Act 1989 and will take priority in all categories 2 to 7. Looked after Children or Previously Looked after Children who are Baptised Catholic are given priority over non baptised children.


  1. Pupils with Statements of Additional / Special Educational Needs where Bishop Hedley Catholic High School is named on the Statement.


  1. Baptised Catholic children whose families are residing in the parish boundaries of /or whose children attend All Saints (Ebbw Vale), St. Aloysius (Gurnos), St. Illtyd’s (Dowlais), St. Joseph’s (Tredegar), St. Margaret’s (Aberdare), St. Mary’s (Brynmawr), St. Mary’s (Merthyr).


  1. Baptised Catholic children with a brother or sister currently in the school.


  1. Baptised Catholic children not in either of the above categories but whose families are residing in the catchment area of the school. (The catchment area of the School is the Parishes of – Aberdare, Hirwaun, Glynneath, Merthyr Vale / Treharris, Merthyr, Dowlais, Gurnos, Rhymney, Tredegar, Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr).


  1. Baptised Catholic children residing outside these areas.


Confirmation of Baptism will be required for categories 3 to 6.


  1. Evidence of children who have expressed a desire to be baptised into RC Church and are currently preparing for the sacrament, confirmed by the parish priest in writing, can be equated to “baptism”.


  1. Children from families where there is a medical or social need. A letter will be required from a doctor or health professional providing supporting evidence to accompany the application.  Priority will not be given if there is no supporting evidence.


  1. Children baptised into other denominations who reside in the areas referred to in Category 2, 3 and 4. Priority will not be given to applications in this category unless an accompanying letter from a minister is provided confirming baptism.


  1. Children baptised into other denominations who reside in areas other than referred to in Categories 2, 3 and 4. Priority will not be given to applications in this category unless an accompanying letter is provided confirming baptism.


  1. Children whose parent(s) or guardian(s) are active and practising members of Churches together in Wales (Cytun). This includes churches such as Presbyterian Church of Wales; Union of Welsh Independent Churches; Baptist Union of Wales; Methodist Church; United Reformed Church; Covenanted Baptist Churches; Salvation Army; Roman Catholic; congregational Federation of Churches; Religious Society of Friends; Orthodox Church. Priority will not be given to applications in this category unless an accompanying written statement of affiliation or reference signed by the minister or church’s representative is provided confirming membership of the church.


  1. Non-baptised children who have brothers or sisters in the school.


Definition of sibling is as follows:  Children who have a sibling on roll at Bishop Hedley Catholic High School in the September the applicant would be begin school.  Priority will be by reference to the youngest sibling in the school, the youngest commanding the highest degree of priority.  Any sibling

connection must be stated in the application.  For admission purposes a sibling is a child who is the brother / sister, half brother / sister (children who share one common parent), step brother / step sister where two children are related by one marriage.  This definition also includes adopted or fostered children living at the same address.


In the event of the school being oversubscribed with applications from Baptised Catholic Children, Governors will consider the age that the child was baptised, with the youngest given the highest priority.


In the event of a tie breaker being required governors will admit those applicants who live nearest to the school.  The distance will be measured from the front door of the reception entrance in Phase 2 to the front door of the house or flat of the applicant.  In the case of a child whose parents have

joint shared responsibility the parent who has the greater responsibility during the school week and whose residence is nearer the school will be the determining factor.  A letter from the parents will have to be provided to confirm that fact.


The school will use the Geographical Information System (GIS) to calculate home to school distances in miles.  The shortest walking route is calculated using Ordnance Survey (OS) customised route data from an applicant’s home address to the nearest open school gate.


For pupils applying for Year 7, applications must be made by means of a completed application form and returned to Bishop Hedley Catholic High School Governing Body, the admitting Authority, by 30th November 2021.

The Governing Body Admission Panel will meet to determine Admissions and if required apply the oversubscription criteria. Parents/carers will be notified by 18th February 2022.


Parents/carers will have the right of appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel if they are dissatisfied with an admission decision of Bishop Hedley Catholic High School.  The Appeal Panel will be independent of the school.  The arrangements for Appeals will be in line with the Code of Practice on School Admission Appeals published by the Welsh Assembly Government in July 2013.  The determination of the appeal panel will be made in accordance with the Code of Practice on School Admission Appeals and is binding on all parties.


Appeals will be dealt with within 30 days, in line with the School Admissions Appeal Code 2013.


Late applications will be considered and applicants notified within 15 school days if a place is available. Governors will consider applications for the first round received after the closing date when a good reason is given, provided applications are received before the admissions committee meet to consider applications and make decisions.


A waiting list will be maintained until 30th September in the school year in which the applicants applied.  Should places become available then the places will be allocated on the basis of the oversubscription criteria.  The school will notify the parents of where their child has been on the waiting list.


For applications into any year group, the school will notify the parent if a place has been allocated.  If the applicant is rejected the parent will be notified and given the following information:

  • Number of applications received
  • Number available
  • Oversubscription criteria
  • Right of appeal
  • Process for that appeal
  • Deadline for response


For mid-year transfers, or for transfer from another secondary school, the school reserves the right to utilise the mid-term transfer form available from Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, a copy of which is available upon request.




Parents/carers have a right of appeal against a refusal decision by the Admission Panel to admit their child and should put their appeal in writing to Bishop Hedley Catholic High School as is the Admission Authority. This should be done within 15 school days from the date of the refusal notification that the admission application was unsuccessful. Appeals will be arranged, with an independent appeal panel and conducted in accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code, Welsh Government Statutory Code 2013.  The decision of the Independent Appeal Panel is binding on the school’s Governing Body.


Appendix 1

If your child’s nationality is not British, could you please support your application by providing us with a copy of one of the following acceptable forms of identification:

  • Current valid Passport – UK or EEA (or Non-EEA in combination with a Biometric Residence Permit or current Work Permit/Visa)
  • Biometric Residence Permit (UK)
  • Birth Certificate (UK & Channel Islands) –issued within 12 months of date of birth; Full or short form acceptable including those issued by UK authorities overseas, such as Embassies, High Commissions and HM Forces
  • Certified copy of Birth Certificate (UK & Channel Islands) – Issued after 12 months of date of birth
  • Adoption Certificate (UK)
  • A document from Central/Local

Government/Government Agency/Local Authority giving entitlement (UK & Channel Islands)* – e.g. from the Department for Works and Pensions, the Employment Service, Customs & Revenue, Job Centre, Job Centre Plus, Social Security

  • EU National ID Card
  • Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo (UK)