RIPLEY ST THOMAS SCHOOL REFERENCES
HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
Information for Parents
Supplementary Admissions Form
The Ripley St Thomas Academy’s admissions policy includes a supplementary form that needs to be countersigned by the vicar for those who are applying under category 3 of the admissions policy, which is the majority of pupils. The form lets the school governors know the level of church attendance by those who are applying, in terms of the duration (how long you have been coming to church) and the frequency (how often). It is important that all parents read the school admissions policy in order to understand how the school places are allocated. You can find the admissions policy on the school website, and if you scroll down to pages 5 and 6 you can see the supplementary form which must be completed and countersigned by the vicar.
Internal Attendance Registers
At Holy Trinity we have our own internal method for monitoring parental and/or child attendance at public worship, which is to give parents a simple sheet on which attendance dates are recorded. You as the parent bring this with you to church when you are present, and either the vicar or one of the churchwardens will sign it each time. Then when the time comes to complete the supplementary admissions form, both parties can clearly see the duration and frequency of attendance, and therefore which box on the form should be ticked. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS TO REQUEST AN ATTENDANCE SHEET FROM US, and we likewise expect you to bring it with you each time you attend church so that we can sign it.
On one level it seems a shame to turn church attendance into a box ticking exercise, as it is not what we are all about. However, it is better to have this system in place than to find ourselves in dispute with parents. Places for Ripley School are competitive, and emotions run high when it comes to parents getting their child a place at their desired school. Using an
attendance sheet makes everything transparent. In the event that a parent applying to Ripley has been attending Holy Trinity, but not using an attendance register (because they were unaware of it), the vicar and churchwardens would discuss together how often we think we have seen you at church, and for how long, in order to make a judgment. We would rather not be placed in this position when we have a well-publicised register system which makes the whole process unambiguous; so please request an attendance sheet from us.
According to the admissions policy, attendance at public worship that is recognised by the school can be by the parent or the child. If your child is attending one of our church services without their parent/guardian, under the supervision of another adult, please ask the adult who is responsible for your child on that occasion to take your attendance sheet with them so that it can be signed by us. Likewise, a parent attending church without their child can bring their register sheet to us for signing.
The monthly Messy Church does count as ‘attendance at public worship,’ along with all our other services on Sundays and on Wednesday. Details of all our church services can be found on the Holy Trinity website. https://bolton-le-sands.org.uk/
Completing the Supplementary Admissions Form
Each year applications for secondary school places must be submitted between 1st September and 31st October, for a place starting the following academic year. This means that you have a couple of months starting 1st September to bring a printout of the supplementary form to the vicar for signing, along with your completed attendance register which shows your level of church attendance. The simplest thing is to approach the vicar with the form after one of our services, or if this is difficult you can arrange a different time to bring down the form for signing, by emailing [email protected].
The application for a place at Ripley school is made by 31st October via the government online portal, alongside your other two school preferences. https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/children-education-families/schools/apply-for-a-school-place/starting-secondary-school/ In addition to this, YOU MUST DELIVER THE PAPER COPY OF THE COMPLETED SUPPLEMENTARY FORM TO THE SCHOOL OFFICE before October half term, if you are applying to Ripley under category three of their admissions policy.
Relax and Enjoy!
Openness and transparency enables everyone to relax and enjoy being a part of Holy Trinity Church. If your motivation for attending church is to obtain a school reference, be upfront about this, and take one of our register sheets. We won’t judge you as being a lesser member of our church family ‘because you’re only here for a school place…’ You will be fully welcomed into the life of our church. The school reference system is something we have to navigate, and the admissions policy must be adhered to, but we just want to bless you and welcome you regardless of whether your presence at Holy Trinity is something short-term, or longer-term. We welcome you in Christ’s name.