Children and young people are referred to Bradfields Academy for admission by Medway LA SEN Team and those of other neighbouring LAs. The academy’s admissions criteria were initially drawn up in 2010 by Medway LA and Bradfields Academy Leadership Team to ensure placement is through appropriate and positive choices which best meets the needs of the child or young person and the Academy.


Bradfields Academy will have regard for all legislation, including The School Admissions Code of Practice and Appeals Code & The SEN Code of Practice. These documents can be found at:

School Admissions Code (Updated March 2022)

The SEN Code of Practice (Updated April 2020)

Admissions Policy Statement

The Academy’s Designation with the DfE is:


Special Education:
Complex Learning Needs [MLD / ASD]
Places (PAN):341
Age Range:4-19


[Complex Needs : ASD with associated needs]


[Complex Needs: MLD with associated needs]


Bradfields Academy provides education for students who primarily experience complex learning difficulties and disabilities which may include speech, language and communication, emotional, sensory, physical or autistic spectrum disorder. All students must have a Statement of Special Educational Needs / Education, Health & Care Plan [EHCP].

Assessment of students’ needs on entry:

An assessment is made of all new students’ needs by the academy’s own Admissions Team and is based on:

  • Full receipt of previous school information [School Reports / Annual Reviews / Ed. Psych & Medical Reports, OT/SALT reports, etc.].
  • Completion of ‘New Intake Student Profile’ by Transition Team ideally completed in conversation with current school.
  • Classroom observation, where appropriate.
  • Transition visits / Interview and/or Home Visit with parents, where appropriate.
  • Full review of all documentation to evidence suitability of transfer.
  • Level of funding from referring LA secures continuity of provision.

Characteristics of Students

The students at Bradfields primarily experience autism or complex learning difficulties and disabilities which may include speech, language, emotional, sensory, physical disability or emotional and mild behavioural difficulties may compound difficulties in some instances but will not be the primary area of need. These needs will present a barrier to accessing the curriculum and this will lead to achievement substantially below their peer group.

Children within the Academy’s primary provision must have a diagnosis of Autism and associated complex needs in order to be eligible for a placement. Typically, children within the Primary provision are funded at G or higher. All students will most likely have the following projected attainment levels for acquisitional, receptive and expressive language skills on entry:


At the end of KS1Up to BS 2.9 (formally P4)
At the end of KS2Up to BS 9c (formally NC 1a)



Secondary & Sixth Form
At the end of KS3Up to BS 15c (formally NC 3a)
At the end of KS4Up to BS 21c formally NC 5a)
At the end of KS5Up to 33c which equates to level 3 qualifications

Levels of attainment will be dependent on individual need and diagnoses.

Characteristics not usually considered include:

  • SEMH difficulties which do not stem from the child’s communication difficulties or learning difficulties (social, emotional and mental health not obviously resulting from communication needs or learning difficulties).
  • Violent and Physically Challenging Conduct (which may have resulted in permanent exclusion from prior educational setting).
  • Extreme early traumas resulting in behaviours that challenge or the need for specialist psychological support.
    severe and profound learning difficulties, where students are working bellowing P3 at the end of KS2.

Additional Criteria for Entry

It is essential that the curriculum on offer at Bradfields Academy meets the needs of the students and that all elements of the statement/EHCP can be delivered. In order to facilitate efficiency of learning, there should be an appropriate peer group and a vacancy in the Year Group. Admissions selection is, therefore, primarily based on student need, balanced against the need to maintain stable curriculum provision and high standards of pastoral and medical care and support for existing students within the academy.

Transfer Dates

Children and young people will usually be admitted to Bradfields Academy at the beginning of an academic term or an academic year. Students who apply for places during the academic year [e.g. if they move to Medway or another adjoining LA from another LA] will be considered according to the admissions criteria; with particular note taken of access to exam courses and other accreditation routes for those in KS4 & KS5.

Process for Decision-Making, Referral and Review

Admission of children and young people will be through the standard in-house SEND processes and within the agreed admission arrangements established between the referring LA, the Principal/CEO and the Trustees. Parents/Carers are encouraged to make a visit to the academy at one of the identified parent events, these may be in person or via a Facebook Live Event (Covid-19 dependent), or review the Virtual tours of the Academy for their child’s transition point. These can be accessed via the Academy’s website. The Academy does not comment on the appropriateness of the provision for the child, should the parent ask during a visit or Facebook Live Event.

The referring LA will provide the current EHCP, Educational Psychologist reports/medical reports, Annual Review paperwork and other relevant documentation (as appropriate). This detail will be reviewed by the Principal/CEO and the Transition Team to identify suitability for consideration of a placement at the Academy and if a place is available. Staff from Bradfields Academy may visit the home or school in order to observe the child in the classroom and liaise with staff who have knowledge of the child, as appropriate.

If the Principal/CEO and the Transition Team decide the Academy cannot meet the child/young person’s needs the authority is advised the reasons for this decision in a form that can be shared with parents. Should the LA opt to ignore the response of the academy and name Bradfields Academy on a child’s EHCP, steps will be taken to challenge the decision. This may include an appeal to the Secretary of State. If it is agreed that a placement is possible, the Principal/CEO will inform the referring LA in writing to outlining the offer, detailing if a transition plan would be needed and the level of funding required. If the placement is not deemed suitable, the referring LA will be informed in writing. In both instances, a response will be given to the referring LA within 15 days of receipt of the referral papers. Medway LA will be informed of responses to other local LAs in order to support partnership working. If requested, key staff from Bradfields Academy will attend an Annual Review at the young person’s existing school.

Admissions will take place mainly at the time of commencement at school age and primary /secondary transfer but also as appropriate at the point of annual review or as part of the statutory EHCP process of individual children. Any relocation proposals resulting from annual review will be considered by the referring LA SEND Team who will refer to the academy for consultation. Referrals will be considered only on the basis of the criteria outlined above, and not on any other circumstances (including their current/prior school/academy).

An induction programme, appropriate to the individual child/young person, will be drawn up to support transfer to Bradfields Academy. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Visits by key staff between schools
  • Additional visits/part-time/phased placement to support move by child/young person
  • Visits to coincide with mainstream secondary induction programme for Year 6


Over subscription criteria is down to LAs and is done on a case by case basis.

Appeals Procedure

Appeals will be considered in accordance with the requirements of the School Admission Appeals Code in that they will, in the first instance, be heard by the First-Tier Tribunal.

Academy Tours and Virtual Tours

Tours for prospective Parents & Carers will be held throughout the Academic Year.

To sign up for one of these Afternoon teas, please visit our Tours Form page:

Throughout this academic year, we will be hosting tours of our Primary Communities for prospective Parents & Carers.

To sign up, please visit our Primary Tours Form page:

To watch our virtual tours, please visit our dedicated page:

Equal Opportunities Statement

Bradfields Academy is committed to the positive promotion of equal opportunities for all and ensuring equality of access to its activities and services.