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Orchards Infant School as an academy is part of the Sparkle Multi Academy Trust. As such we are our own admissions authority.

Start of year admissions

The local authority has designated a Pupil Admission Number of 90 per year group. This will be reviewed on an annual basis to reflect the growth of the academy trust. This will be communicated to the local authority. The application for transfer into Reception for 2025 will be coordinated through West Sussex County Council.
For admission into reception at the standard point of entry: You should use the application form provided by the local authority. You can use this form to express your preference for a minimum of 3 state-funded schools, in rank order. Further information on this process can be found at places/apply/starting-school-places/ 

You will receive an offer for a school place directly from your local authority.

Children are admitted as follows:

Children are able to start school in the academic year in which they become five.

Parents who wish to defer their child's admission until the term in which they have their fifth birthday should indicate their preference in writing, in order that a place is reserved.

Parents are very welcome to look around the school. Please telephone (01903 700234) or e-mail ( for an appointment if your child is starting with us mid-year.

Meetings are arranged during the Autumn term for parents and children who are starting reception in the following September. These meetings will be advertised on our website. Please also feel free to phone and ask for dates if you are unsure.

Please read the policy below to understand the over subscription criteria.

In year admissions

An ‘in-year admission’ is defined as a request made for a place at Orchards after the commencement of school for the stated academic year or at the start of the year if in another year group than Year R. Orchards will operate its own in year admissions in conjunction with WSCC and manage its own waiting lists. Admission will be in relation to the over subscription criteria and therefore the position on the list of a particular child does not indicate they will always be the next to be admitted. Local authorities will be informed of all applications and their outcome. The school will participate fully in locally agreed fair access protocols.
Should you wish to apply for a place you should complete an application form available from the school website or the school office. This should be returned directly to the school. We also strongly advise you make an appointment to visit the school.