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Admissions FAQs

The following replies to FAQs are given for general guidance only and refer to Secondary Transfer and In Year Admissions. If you have any further queries or suggestions to add to this list, which may be of help to other parents, please contact the Admissions Office – thank you.

For Sixth Form Admissions, see Sixth Form.


1. Where do I get information about your secondary transfer admissions including the school’s Test Registration Form (TRF)?
2. What opportunities are there to visit the school?
3. When and how can I apply for the tests?
4. Once my child has taken the test/s do I need to complete a further form?
5. Can I apply under more than one criteria?
6. If I rank Dame Alice Owen’s as my second or third preference on the Secondary Authority Application Form does that lessen my chances of getting into the school?
7. What is the Local Priority Area and do I live within it?
8. Can our child take the entrance and/or music exams even though we don’t live in the Local Priority Areas?
9. So if I don’t live within the Local Priority Areas can I still apply to the school?
10. Are there ‘feeder’ schools whose pupils take priority?
11. Are any places allocated according to proximity to the school?
12. How is the geographical/distance criterion measured, i.e. as the ‘crow flies’ or shortest walking distance? Who measures the distance?
13. Do you carry out address checks on those qualifying under “closest to school” criteria?
14. I have lived in the same house for many years -do you still require proof of address?
15. I live very close to the school but have only lived there for two months. Will I qualify under the “closest to school” criteria?
16. I understand that 20 places are allocated to Islington children. How are these places allocated?
17. What is the situation regarding the school’s sibling criteria – has it changed?
18. What is the situation if my eldest child is a current pupil but will have left the school by the time my younger child would be due to start?
19. I have triplets/twins. If one is offered a place but not the other, does the sibling policy come into effect?
20. When are the Entrance Exams?
21. When will I receive details about the Entrance Exams?
22. What happens if my child is unable to attend the academic and /or music test?
23. What should I do if my child is ill on the day of the academic and/or music test?
24. I would like my child to be considered for Special Arrangements during the Entrance Exam, how do I go about this?
25. When is the Musical Aptitude Test and can you give me any more information about it?
26. My child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs and I would like him/her to come to Owen’s. What do I need to do?
27. My child is at another secondary school. We are moving into the area and we would like him/her to come to Owen’s. What do we need to do?
28. Our child has not been offered a place and we wish to make an appeal, what do we do?
29. Do siblings need to take the Entrance Exam and/or Musical Aptitude Test?
30. We wish to apply for a place at the School, but do not want to apply under the test criteria (e.g. sibling, locality), what forms do we need to complete?
31. Once the scores have been received can I see my child’s test paper?
32. How are the papers marked?
33. Once the marks have been received can I request a re-mark?


1. Where do I get information about your secondary transfer admissions including the school’s Test Registration Form (TRF)?

The application process is explained on this website under our Admissions Info page.


2. What opportunities are there to visit the school?

See our Key Dates for details.


3. When and how can I apply for the tests?

See our Admissions Info page for details.


4. Once my child has taken the test/s do I need to complete further forms?

Yes – if you wish to apply for a place at the School, you MUST include our School as one of your preferences when you submit your application to your home local authority. The is the only form you need to complete. The School no longer has a Supplementary Information Form (SIF).


5. Can I apply under more than one criteria?

Applicants are welcome to apply under one or more of our listed criteria. Each criteria is mutually exclusive – for example, if your child applies for two or more categories, and is not successful under one of them, then they would still be considered under the others. All applicants are considered under distance from the school.


6. If I rank Dame Alice Owen’s as my second or third preference on my application form does that lessen my chances of getting into the school?

The ranking that you put on your application form is not passed on to any individual school. We allocate places solely on our admission criteria. However, be aware that you will only receive one offer via your Local Authority and preferences ranked lower than the school offered will automatically be withdrawn. It is therefore very important that you rank schools according to your true preference.


7. What is the Local Priority Area and do I live within it?

The Local Priority Areas consist of various parishes and postcodes within Hertfordshire, Enfield, Barnet and Islington. The latter (Islington) applies only to children who have their permanent address in, or are being educated in, the London Borough of Islington. Please refer to our Admissions Info page for a full list.

Maps indicating the Local Priority Areas are available to view at the school (in large format) and on the Admissions Info section of the School’s website.


8. Can our child take the entrance and/or music exams even though we don’t live in the Local Priority Areas?

The allocation of places under oversubscription criteria 4 (Music) and 5 (Entrance Exam) is made only to children who have their permanent home address within one of the Local Priority Areas. Therefore, if your permanent address is not within our Local Priority Areas your child would not be invited to take our tests.


9. So if I don’t live within the Local Priority Areas can I still apply to the school?

Yes you can still apply. Your application will be considered under any other applicable criteria (i.e. “any other child” – (criterion 8) which refers to distance from the school). However, as our application numbers are so high, it is unlikely that your application would be successful. Please refer to our Admissions Arrangements for full details.


10. Are there ‘feeder’ schools whose pupils take priority?

We do not have ‘feeder’ schools.


11. Are any places allocated according to proximity to the school?

Under Oversubscription Criteria (2) 22 places are allocated to applicants living nearest the school and under Oversubscription Criteria (7) we also admit on proximity to the school.

A map showing the allocation of places under criteria 2 and 7 is available to view at the school and within the Admissions Info section of the school’s website. Please also see Student Audit Report in the same section.


12. How is the geographical/distance criterion measured and who measures the distance?

Distance is measured by Herts County Council, who use a straight line method for admission allocation purposes. Distance will be measured from the address point of the child’s home (as supplied by the Royal Mail) to the address point of the school. Please refer to www.hertsdirect.org/admissions for more detailed information.


13. Do you carry out address checks on those qualifying under “closest to school” criteria?

The Governors take their duty to ensure that our admission rules are applied fairly, very seriously and that these comply with DfE (Department for Education) School Admissions Code. All applications are rigorously checked to ensure they relate to the permanent address of the prospective student.

These checks include verification by the Local Authority and the current primary school. Furthermore the parent/carer of each student is required to provide additional documentation to confirm the address submitted is the permanent address. The Governors will withdraw places or offers of places if fraudulent, incorrect or misleading information is given. The school’s Guidance Document on Verification of Permanent Addresses can be found in the Admissions Info section on this website.

IF YOU HAVE PROOF OF FRAUDULENT, MISLEADING OR INCORRECT INFORMATION HAVING BEEN GIVEN TO THE SCHOOL PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO US TO ALLOW THE SCHOOL TO INVESTIGATE.


14. I have lived in the same house for many years – do you still require proof of address?

Other than children applying under Oversubscription Criteria 1 (Looked After Children) and 3 (Sibling), parents will be required to provide proof that the home address submitted is the permanent residence of the child. You are NOT required to send this with your application. It will be requested at a later date. Acceptable evidence may include an original child benefit letter, the most recent council tax statement and an original utility bill. Further information may also be requested if this is reasonably considered necessary.


15. I live very close to the school but have only lived there for two months. Will I qualify under the “closest to school” criteria?

The Governors may refuse to allocate a place where they consider that the permanent home address as stated on the application form is a temporary address. If the child has changed address within 24 months before the date of application but the previous address has been retained, the new address will be treated as a temporary address only (even if the previous address is rented to a third party). The school’s Guidance Document on Verification of Permanent Addresses which provides more information on locality applications can be found in the Admissions Info section on this website.


16. I understand that 20 places are allocated to Islington children. How are these places allocated?

A minimum of 20 Islington places are allocated in accordance with our oversubscription criteria in number order. Therefore the number of academic ability places that can be offered to Islington children will vary depending on the number of places being offered under our statement, looked after children, sibling, music or staff criteria. The Governors maintain 2 exam result lists in rank order, one for Islington, and the second for all Local Priority Areas. This ensures that a minimum of 20 places overall are allocated to Islington children each year.


17. What is the situation regarding the school’s sibling criteria – has it changed?

The Governors and Headteacher remain totally committed to maintaining, the sibling criterion for admissions. Our current sibling criterion is as follows:-
Children who have a sibling attending the school at the time of application, excluding siblings who first entered the school in the Sixth Form (Y12 and Y13).


18. What is the situation if my eldest child is a current pupil but will have left the school by the time my younger child would be due to start?

Our sibling criterion includes siblings of students that are in Year 13 at the time of application but does not extend beyond this to past siblings. The sibling criterion does not apply to the siblings of students that joined the School in the Sixth Form.


19. I have triplets/twins. If one is offered a place but not the other, does the sibling policy come into effect?

Our sibling policy applies to multiple birth applicants provided one is offered a place under one of our listed criteria. The other multiple birth sibling/s will then be offered a place under our sibling criterion.


20. When are the Entrance Exams?

See our Key Dates for details.


21. When will I receive details about the Entrance Exams and/or Musical Aptitude Tests?

See our Key Dates for details.


22. What happens if my child is unable to attend the Academic and/or Musical Aptitude Tests?

Children that are medically unfit on the test day (a medical certificate will be required) or have religious reasons for being unable to attend will be offered one further date to attend.

PLEASE NOTE – WE ARE UNABLE TO ACCOMMODATE CHILDREN WHOSE HOLIDAY COMMITMENTS CLASH WITH OUR TESTS OR FOR ANY OTHER REASONS THAN THOSE STATED ABOVE


23. What should I do if my child is ill on the day of the Academic and/or Musical Aptitude Tests?

You must notify the Admissions Office at the School as soon as possible (within 24 hours of the tests taking place) – written/email confirmation will also be required.  On receipt of official confirmation (ie a medical certificate) one further date may be offered.  A child may only take the Entrance Tests for admission to Year 7 once.


24. I would like my child to be considered for Special Arrangements during the Entrance Exam, how do I go about this?

There is information on this under the Secondary Transfer/Special Needs section of the school’s website.


25. When is the Musical Aptitude Test and can you give me any more information about it?

Please see Key Dates. There is more information about the Musical Aptitude Test on the Secondary Transfer/Music Test section of the school’s website.


26. My child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs and I would like him/her to come to Owen’s. What do I need to do?

Parents of children with Statements of Special Educational Needs are invited to meet with the Headteacher to discuss their child’s individual needs.  In the first instance please contact the Admissions Officer – Mrs Debbie Coles, using the Contact Us section of the school’s website.


27. My child is at another secondary school. We are moving into the area and we would like him/her to come to Owen’s. How do we apply for an In Year Admission?

We are currently oversubscribed in all year groups so are unable to offer any places. We very rarely have any such vacancies as the number in a year would need to fall below the agreed admission number of 200 before we could offer a place. The numbers in all year groups remain above this figure and as student’s very rarely leave the school it is unlikely we will be able to offer a place to any child.  Applications to the school must be made via Hertfordshire County Council’s In Year Department –http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/edlearn/admissions/inyear/
Please refer to our In Year Admissions information for more details.


28. Our child has not been offered a place and we wish to make an appeal, what do we do?

Hertfordshire County Council organise our appeals for us and a summary of their process is can be viewed on our Overview page under Appeals. Further information can also be found on their website at: http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/edlearn/appealpanels


29. Should siblings take the Entrance Exam and/or Musical Aptitude Test?

We are no longer inviting siblings to take these tests. All new starters now undergo CATs (Cognitive Ability Tests) in June (Year 6), which provides us with sufficient objective data to help us ensure students are appropriately grouped for the start of Year 7. As the overall numbers taking the tests increases year on year this will also go a little way to relieving the financial and capacity pressure on the school during these very busy test days.


30. We wish to apply for a locality/sibling place at the School – what do we need to do?

You MUST include our School as one of your preferences when you submit your application to your home local authority. There are no additional forms to complete for the school. We no longer require a Supplementary Information Form (SIF).


31. Once the scores have been received can I see my child’s test paper?

Viewing of the English and maths papers may be considered after 1st March.  The verbal reasoning paper is subject to copyright by an external supplier so is not available to view.


32. How are the papers marked?

Each paper has a mark scheme which is strictly adhered to. The papers are marked within departments. Each section of the English paper is marked by the same English teachers working together  to ensure complete consistency in the marking.   Samples of each tests marking are taken and re-marked to ensure accuracy.


33. Once the marks have been received can I request a re-mark?

Re-marking of the papers may be possible.   Requests should be put in writing to the Admissions Department and parents should allow up to 4 weeks for the re-mark.