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Please click here to download Admission Criteria for entry in September 2020




Admissions Criteria September 2019

The Governors are committed to continuing the present admissions policy for the school with respect to its comprehensive character. They reserve the right, however, to respond to changes instituted by national and local authority initiatives. The following arrangements with respect to admissions from September 2019 onwards will apply to all applications.

Year 7 Admissions

Students will be admitted to Year 7 at age 11 without reference to ability or aptitude. The Published Admission Number (PAN) for Year 7 will be 200.

Oversubscription Criteria

If the number of applications for places exceeds the number of places available, the following criteria will be applied, in the order set out below, to decide which students to admit.
1. All “Looked after” children or children who were previously “looked after”. (See definitions)
2. Children with siblings who attend Mark Rutherford School. (See definitions)
3. Children attending Putnoe Primary School.
4. Children living in the catchment area. (See definitions)
5. Children attending Brickhill Primary School, Goldington Green Academy, Great Barford Primary School, Ravensden Primary School, Renhold Primary School, Roxton VA Primary School, Scott Primary School, Sheerhatch Primary School, The Hills Academy, Wilden VA Primary School.
6. Children of staff where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made.
7. Any other children.

In any situation where the application of the above criteria results in a situation where there are more children with an equal right of admission to the school than the number of available places, the tie break will be distance from the school, measured in a straight line, using the Local Authority's computerised mapping system. The distance will be measured from the address point of the child's home to the main school gate, with those living closer to the school being accorded higher priority. The Governing Body does not give priority within each criterion to children who meet other criteria. The Local Authority will measure all distances for the Governing Body.

Pupils who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs are required to be admitted to the school which is named on the statement, even if the school is full. Pupils identified for admission through the Fair Access Protocol will also be admitted even if the school is full.


  1. “Looked after” A child is a child who is (a) in the care of the local authority, or (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions (see Section 22 (1) of the Children Act 1989).
  2. “Previously looked after” A previously ‘looked after’ child is one who immediately after being ‘looked after’ became subject to an adoption, residence, or special guardianship order. An ‘adoption order’ is an order under section 46 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. A ‘residence order’ is an order settling the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under section 8 of the Children Act 1989. 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).
  3. “Home Address” A student’s home address will be regarded as the address of the parents/carer with parental responsibility with whom the child normally lives. This will not normally include grandparents, aunts or uncles. Where a child spends time with parents/carers at more than one address, the address used to allocate a school place will be the one at which the student is ordinarily resident and where the child spends the majority of the school week (Mondays to Fridays) including nights. If there is any query on the home address this will be checked against original official documentation, e.g. council tax bill, a recent utility bill (gas, electricity or water), child benefit annual statement or family tax credit information.
  4. “Sibling” A sibling is defined as a brother or sister, or half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or the child of the parent/carer’s partner, and in every case should be living at the same address. The sibling must be in the school at the time of application and be likely to remain in the school at the proposed date of admission.
  5. “Catchment” The Catchment area for the school is as shown on the Bedford Borough website.

Application Process

Information about the transfer process will be given to all students by their current school. Parents can also apply using the on-line application procedure for the Local Authority in which they live. When completed, the form must be returned by the date specified on the application form.

The allocation of places will take place after this deadline and parents will be notified on the national offer day in early March, by the Local Authority in which they live of whether their applications have been successful. Parents, who make applications after the official deadline, even if they live in, or move into one of the catchment area, will not be entitled to automatic places if this would mean exceeding the Published Admission Number.

In exceptional circumstances the Governors will consider agreeing to the admission of a child to a year group other than is applicable to their chronological age. Circumstances will be considered on merits and in all cases; decisions will be taken in the best interests of the student.

Casual Admissions

Whilst admission will normally be into Years 7 or Year 12, students may be admitted to Year 8, Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 where there are vacancies. The above criteria will apply in these circumstances. Requests for admission into other year groups should be made to the school using the In-Year application form. The form is available from the school or Local Authority and can also be downloaded from the Local Authority website.

If your child is attending an independent school or a school outside Bedford Borough, please contact the Local Authority for more information.


Parents of pupils not offered a place at the school will have the right of appeal to an independent Admissions Appeals Panel. The decision of the Appeals Panel will be binding. Details of admissions and appeals arrangements will be published each year.

Waiting List

Parents not offered a place are kept on a waiting list to be re-allocated if places become available. The waiting list for places in Year 7 will be maintained until the end of the autumn term following the normal admission date of students; parents wishing to remain on the waiting list beyond this point need to notify the Local Authority in writing not later than December 31st. Waiting lists for other year groups will be kept until the end of the term in which the place has been requested.

The Nightingale ASC Centre

The Nightingale ASC Centre is a specialist provision for pupils with Autism. It provides education for students from Year 7. Students need to have an Education and Health Care Plan which clearly identifies that they have a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Condition as their primary need. The admissions process is different for the centre please contact the Nightingale ASC Centre on 01234 290251 for more information.

Sixth Form Admission Arrangements

The Governors are committed to maintaining the present policy for Year 12 admissions into the school with respect to its comprehensive character and age range.

Students already on roll at Mark Rutherford School and students currently at other schools will be admitted to Year 12 provided they meet the general admission requirements. However acceptance on to individual courses of study will be dependent on students meeting specific course entry requirements. Further information on Sixth Form entry requirements can be found in the Sixth Form Information Booklet on the Mark Rutherford School website.

Mark Rutherford School
Wentworth Drive, Bedford, Bedfordshire Mk41 8PX
Telephone 01234 290200 : Fax 01234 290236 : Email: