Admissions Policy

Canterbury New School operates a socially inclusive admissions policy that is free from any discrimination on the grounds of disability; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation or gender reassignment.

We consider all children as having individual needs, and we aim to meet those needs as best as possible taking into consideration the child’s age, developmental stage and other circumstances. We accept children who have the potential to thrive in our school.

We will help parents to have a good understanding of our approach in order to enable them to make an informed decision before they apply and to have a mutually supportive relationship with us once the children have been accepted and throughout their time at the school.

This policy is subject to current legislation, the school’s policies for Equal Opportunities and in particular section 85 of the Equality Act 2010.

Selection for entry

Selection for entry to the school will be made on the basis of the Admissions process and in consideration of the following criteria:

  1. Canterbury New School’s suitability for the child's age, ability or special educational needs.
  2. Whether we can make reasonable adjustment to accommodate a particular pupil’s needs.
  3. Whether the acceptance of the applicant is compatible with the effective education of the children already placed in our school.
  4. Whether we have the resources to meet his/her needs within our own Learning Support Team.

Special Needs

We aim to follow the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2015. Where resources and the curriculum allow, adjustments will be made to accommodate children with medical or Special Educational Needs. As part of the admission process, in the case of pupils with medical needs, a risk assessment will take place as well as consultation with relevant specialists to ensure that an informed decision is made.

We have an external SEN consultant who can offer additional support. The costs of this have to be met by the parents in addition to the Initiative's fees. 

We strive to provide an inclusive education and will consider all applications carefully. Unfortunately sometimes we have to take the difficult decision that the school cannot meet a child’s special educational needs adequately.

This Admissions policy ensures children with SEN are only accepted when:

  • the child’s needs can be met within our approach and reasonable adjustment budget, and
  • their acceptance to the school does not adversely affect the education of the pupils already in our care.

As we are not a Section 411 school, the Local Authority will not normally name us in an Educational Health Care Plan. (EHCP) 1 Section 41 is a new category of independent school “specially organised” to make provision to pupils with SEN.


In case of oversubscription, the order of priority is:

  • Siblings
  • Children of staff
  • Children transferring from other Waldorf schools
  • Length of time on waiting list


Appeals about an Admissions decision must be made to the Initiative in writing within 5 working days of the receipt of the admissions decision. A response to an appeal will normally be provided within 10 working days of receipt unless external specialist advice is required in which case a response will be provided as soon as practicable.

Temporary Education away from the Initiative and re-entry

If a child is away from the Initiative for an authorised reason, their place will be kept in the class for up to one term provided that parent(s) continue to pay the fees up to date and in full.

Classes and their equivalents in the State sector

 The chart below is designed to show the order of the classes, the ages of the children in each class and how these correspond with schools in the state sector. The cut off birth date for a class is 31st August.

Pupil age Year group in National Curriculum schools – Steiner school equivalent

3 – 4 years | Nursery  = Kindergarten

4 – 5 years | Reception = Kindergarten

5 – 6 years | Year 1 = Kindergarten

6 – 7 years | Year 2  = Class 1

7 – 8 years | Year 3 =  Class 2

8 – 9 years | Year 4  = Class 3

9 – 10 years | Year 5  = Class 4

10 – 11 years | Year 6  = Class 5

11 – 12 years | Year 7 =  Class 6

12 – 13 years | Year 8  = Class 7

13 – 14 years | Year 9  = Class 8

When Canterbury New School opens we anticipate that it will go up to Class 4 but would be open to additional classes if older children apply. 

Admissions Procedure

As we will provide a distinctive approach to education, it is important that parents understand our methods and some of our educational philosophy. Experience has shown that pupils benefit if parents and the school have a mutual understanding of child development and our curriculum. Prior to registration, parents can book an informal conversation with a teacher over the phone, who will answer any immediate questions. At the end of this chat, the teacher will arrange a time when you will be invited to come and have a look around the site and to have a more in depth conversation.

A finance discussion will also take place with the school during this visit to ensure parents are aware of billing arrangements, notice periods and the requirement to maintain timely fee payments. A place will not be offered if there is evidence of an inability to pay fees or non-payment of fees/significant debts at another educational setting. A school place may be subsequently withdrawn if financial commitments to the school are not met.

These initial chats take place between parents and teachers without the child because we want to ensure that the school is the right fit for the child, family and school, before introducing the child to the possibility.


Once these chats and the first visit have taken place parents complete an application form, which should be returned with all the appropriate documentation and an application fee of £100. Without full reports [attainment, behaviour and SEN information] from the previous setting, including other Steiner Schools, we cannot proceed with the Admissions process. At any stage in the process, the School may request that an applicant has further SEN assessments before moving to the next stage.

After you submit an application, you will receive an acknowledgement within a week and we will set up an interview for your child with their class teacher.

Interview for Kindergarten |  3 to 6 years old 

Entry into the Kindergarten is from the term after the child’s third birthday. Both parent(s) and the child will meet the teacher together for an interview before admission. Parents will have ample opportunity to share information about their child.

Interview for the combined Class 1, 2 & 3 | children 6-10 years 

The child and parent(s) will be invited for interview. Your child will be interviewed by a class teacher and sometimes the SENCo and parent(s) will have a separate meeting. The aim of this process is to gauge the suitability of the school for each pupil and the suitability of each pupil for a particular class.

What's Next...

Following interview, and assuming we are able to admit your child, you will receive a formal offer together with a copy of our Partnership Contract. It is at this point that you make your final decision whether to take up a place for your child.

Acceptance of a place should be confirmed in writing within 5 working days. You will be asked to pay a deposit and sign a contract and the child can start once all payments are received.

If a place cannot be offered, parents will be informed in writing. Children are usually admitted at the beginning of each half-term. All places in the classes are offered on half-term probation. In exceptional circumstances the probationary period may be extended, this will involve writing a provision map for the pupil. After the probationary period, any withdrawal is subject to one term’s notice.