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Admissions Policy 2024

Year 7 Admissions September 2025

Please apply for a place at Blessed Thomas Holford through your local authority. The closing date for Trafford secondary school applications is 31st October 2024. A supplementary application form for Blessed Thomas Holford is not required, but please note that proof of Baptism is essential for Catholic applicants. Copies of Baptism certificates should be submitted directly to the school via email only, to the Admissions Officer by 8th November 2024.

Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College Admission Policy - September 2024

Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College was founded by the Diocese of Shrewsbury to provide education for children of Catholic families. Whenever there are more applications than places available, priority will always be given to Catholic children in accordance with the oversubscription criteria listed below. The school is conducted by its governing body as part of the Catholic Church in accordance with its trust deed and instrument of government and seeks at all times to be a witness to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

As a Catholic school, we aim to provide a Catholic education for all our pupils. At a Catholic school, Catholic doctrine and practice permeate every aspect of the school’s activity. It is essential that the Catholic character of the school’s education be fully supported by all families in the school. We therefore hope that all parents will give their full, unreserved and positive support for the aims and ethos of the school. This does not affect the right of an applicant who is not Catholic to apply for and be admitted to a place at the school in accordance with the admission arrangements.

The governing body is the admission authority and has responsibility for admissions to this school. The local authority undertakes the co-ordination of admission arrangements during the normal admission round, excluding admission to year 12. The governing body has set its admission number at 290 pupils to year 7 and 125 applicants to year 12 in the school year which begins in September 2024.


Pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan (see note 1)

The admission of pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan is dealt with by a completely separate procedure.  Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan that names the school must be admitted. Where this takes place before the allocation of places under these arrangements this will reduce the number of places available to other children.


Oversubscription Criteria

At any time where there are more applications for places than the number of places available, places will be offered according to the following order of priority. Proof of baptism is essential. For a definition of parent (see note 5).

  1. Catholic looked after and previously looked after children. (see notes 2&3)
  2. Catholic children who attend a Shrewsbury Diocese Catholic primary school listed below (see note 3)
  •  St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School
  •  St Hugh’s Catholic Primary School
  •  St Margaret Ward Catholic Primary School
  •  St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
  •  Holy Family Catholic Primary School
  •  All Saints Catholic Primary School
  •  Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School
  1. Catholic children who attend a Salford Diocese Catholic primary school listed below: (see note 3)
  •       English Martyrs Catholic Primary School
  •       St Monica’s Catholic Primary School
  •       St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Primary School
  •       St Ann’s RC Primary School
  •       Our Lady of the Rosary RC Primary School
  •       St Teresa’s RC Primary School
  •       St Alphonsus RC Primary School
  1. Other Catholic children. (see note 3)
  2. Other looked after and previously looked after children. (see note 2)
  3. Any other children.

Within each of the categories listed above, the attendance of a brother or sister at the school at the time of enrolment will increase the priority of an application within each category so that the application will be placed at the top of the category in which the application is made. (see note 4)


Tie Break

Priority will be given to children living closest to the school, calculated in a direct straight line from the child's permanent place of residence to the School.  The co-ordinates that will be used for the School are 377397, 387864.For the home address the distance will be calculated using property co-ordinates provided from Trafford’s Local Land and Property Gazetteer (BS7666) (Royal Mail postal address information may be used in some instances). In the case of a child living in a block of flats, co-ordinates will be obtained in the same way. In the event of distances being the same for two or more children where this would determine the last place to be allocated, random allocation will be carried out and supervised by a person independent of the school. All the names will be entered into a hat and the required number of names will be drawn out.

In the case of parents who are separated the application will be considered from the address where the child lives most of the time, even though the child may regularly spend some time at another address. Where it is claimed that the child’s residency is shared equally between two addresses parents may decide which address will be used for the purpose of the application.  You may be required to provide proof of residency.


Application Procedures and Timetable

To apply for a place at this school in the normal admission round, you must complete a Common Application Form available from the local authority in which you live.

The timetable for admission to Year 12 is set out on the Sixth Form section of the school website. Places are awarded on the GCSE results day when the outcome of a candidate’s GCSE results are known.

For Year 7 applications you will be advised of the outcome of your application on 1st March 2024 or the next working day, by the local authority on our behalf. If you are unsuccessful you will be advised how to exercise your right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.

All applications which are submitted on time will be considered at the same time and after the closing date for admissions which is 31st October 2023.


Late Applications

Applications or changes made after 31st October will only be considered once all on time applications have been dealt with. You are encouraged to ensure that your application is received on time. 


Admission of Children Outside their Normal Age Group

A request may be made for a child to be admitted outside their normal age group, for example if the child has missed significant amounts of schooling or is a recent arrival in the UK.

Any such request should be made in writing to the Admissions Officer at the school at the same time as the admission application is made. The governing body will make its decision about the request based on the circumstances of each case and in the best interests of the child. In addition to considering the views of the head teacher, including the head teacher’s statutory responsibility for the internal organisation, management and control of the school, the governing body will take into account the views of the parents and of appropriate medical and education professionals, as appropriate.


Waiting Lists

In addition to their right of appeal, unsuccessful children will be offered the opportunity to be placed on a waiting list. This waiting list will be maintained in order of the oversubscription criteria set out above and not in the order in which applications are received or added to the list. Waiting lists for admission will operate throughout the school year. The waiting list will be held open until 31st August 2025.

Inclusion in the school’s waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available.


In-Year Applications

An application can be made for a place for a child at any time outside the admission round and the child will be admitted where there are available places. Application should be made to Admissions Officer at the school or by completing the information on the school website:

Where there are places available but more applications than places, the published oversubscription criteria, as set out above, will be applied.

If there are no places available, the child will be added to the waiting list (see above).

You will be advised of the outcome of your application in writing, and you have the right of appeal to an independent appeal panel.


Fair Access Protocol

The school is committed to taking its fair share of children who are vulnerable and/or hard to place, as set out in locally agreed protocols. Accordingly, outside the normal admission round the governing body is empowered to give absolute priority to a child where admission is requested under any locally agreed protocol. The governing body has this power even where admitting the child would mean exceeding the published admission number.

The governing body reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a place or, where the child is already attending the school the place itself, where it is satisfied that the offer or the place was obtained by deception.


  1. An Education, Health and Care Plan is a plan made by the local authority under section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014, specifying the special educational provision required for a child.
  2. A ‘looked after child’ has the same meaning as in section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989 and means any child who is (a) in the care of a local authority or (b) being provided with accommodation by them in the exercise of their social services functions (e.g. children with foster parents) at the time of making application to the school.

A ‘previously looked after child’ is a child who was looked after but ceased to be so because he or she was adopted, or became subject to a child arrangements order, or special guardianship order. Included in this definition are those children who appear (to the governing body) to have been in state care outside of England and who ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.

  1. ‘Catholic’ means a member of a Church in full communion with the See of Rome. This includes the Eastern Catholic Churches. This will normally be evidenced by a certificate of baptism in a Catholic Church or a certificate of reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church. For the purposes of this policy, it includes a looked after child who is part of a Catholic family where a letter from a priest demonstrates that the child would have been baptised or received if it were not for their status as a looked after child (e.g. a looked after child in the process of adoption by a Catholic family).

For a child to be treated as Catholic, evidence of baptism or reception into the Church will be required. Those who have difficulty obtaining written evidence of baptism should contact their Parish Priest who, after consulting with the Diocese, will decide how the question of baptism is to be resolved and how written evidence is to be produced in accordance with the laws of the Church.

  1. ‘Brother or sister’ includes:
  1. All natural brothers or sisters, half brothers or sisters, adopted brothers or sisters, stepbrothers or sisters, foster brothers or sisters, whether or not they are living at the same address; and
  2. The child of a parent’s partner where that child for whom the school place is sought lives for at least part of the week in the same family unit at the same address as the applicant.
  1. A ‘parent’ means all natural parents, any person who is not a parent but has parental responsibility for a child, and any person who has care of a child.
Admission to the Sixth Form

The school operates a sixth form for a total of 250 pupils. 125 places overall will be available in year 12. While the admission number is 125, if fewer than 125 of the school’s existing pupils transfer into year 12, additional external pupils will be admitted until year 12 meets its capacity of 125.

Both internal and external pupils wishing to enter the sixth form will be expected to have met the same minimum academic entry requirements for the sixth form. These are that pupils will have achieved at least grade 5 in both English Language and Mathematics and the minimum entry requirements for each subject area, which is grade 6 or above.

Any applicant who has studied an alternative curriculum, such as, overseas students who have not studied GCSEs, the qualifications achieved must be equivalent to GCSE standard and grades must be converted prior to enrolment into Year 12.

If applicants fail to meet the minimum course requirements, they will be given the option of pursuing any alternative courses for which they do meet the minimum academic requirements. Course requirements are published annually in the school’s prospectus and website.

When year 12 is under subscribed all applicants meeting the minimum academic entry requirements will be admitted or permitted to progress.

When there are more applicants that satisfy any academic entry requirements, priority will be given in accordance with the oversubscription criteria set out above.

Where there is a space in year 13 i.e. where there are fewer than 125 pupils in the year group, the school will admit additional pupils up to this number using the oversubscription criteria set out above.