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Admissions Policy

Imperial College London Mathematics School Admissions Policy for September 2023 entry
 
1. Introduction and Overview
 
Imperial College London Mathematics School (ICLMS) is a small, specialist school for students with a passion and a demonstrable aptitude for mathematics. Alongside A Levels, a programme of super-curricular activities in mathematics will help develop students’ skills and prepare them for mathematical courses at the top universities and for successful careers that depend on the skills and competences that come with rigorous mathematical training.
 
ICLMS is a selective institution that wishes to attract students from diverse backgrounds, including those groups who have historically been underrepresented in maths and science.
 
2. Key principles and values
Imperial College London Mathematics School's admission policy will be:
• clear, fair, and transparent;
• designed to identify students based on both their current attainment and their potential to develop into successful mathematicians;
• based on valid and reliable assessment taking into consideration the individual needs of applicants; and
• designed to remove barriers and so maximise equality for all applicants irrespective of their background.
 
Imperial College London Mathematics School will provide information which enables students, parents, and carers make an informed decision about the suitability of ICLMS to a student’s individual needs. This information will also include the planned admission numbers, the minimum academic requirements for entry, and how places will be allocated if the school is oversubscribed. It will also include details of how the school will operate its waiting list.
 
3. Planned admissions number and capacity
In September 2023, up to 40 students to be admitted to Year 12. In September 2023 there will be no Year 13 cohort, and so no students will be admitted into Year 13.
 
In future years, the number of students admitted into Year 12 will increase once the permanent buildings are completed. Except in exceptional circumstances, it is not expected that ICLMS will admit pupils into Year 13 even once the permanent buildings are complete.
 
Applicants will normally be in Year 11 and have their sixteenth birthday during the academic year in which they apply. Interested applicants who fall outside these criteria should contact the school using the school's online admissions query form.
 
4. Minimum study programme
All students will enrol on a programme of study comprising a minimum of 540 planning hours per year. All students will study Mathematics and Further Mathematics A Level, at least one of Chemistry or Physics A Level, and a bespoke programme of super-curricular, extra-curricular and tutorial and pastoral teaching.
 
5. Minimum entry requirements
Imperial College London Mathematics School offers a challenging, academically rigorous curriculum. The entry requirements reflect the minimum required for students to effectively engage with both the A level content, the mathematical stretch programme, and the additional super-curriculum which is compulsory for all students.
 
It is important to note that prospective students will be offered places on a conditional basis until they receive their GCSE results. Conditional offers may be set at a higher level than the standards listed below.
 
For conditional offers to be confirmed once GCSE results are known, students will be expected to have achieved each of the following four criteria in their examinations *:
 
 
Criteria 1  Grade 8 or 9 in GCSE Mathematics
Criteria 2a
(for students applying for Physics A Level)
Grade 7 or above in GCSE Physics or grade 7 7 or above in GCSE Combined Science
Criteria 2b
(for students applying for Chemistry A Level)
Grade 7 or above in GCSE Chemistry or grade 7 7 or above in GCSE Combined Science
Criteria 3 Grade 5 or above in English Language or Literature**
Criteria 4a For applicants to study three A Levels, an average of grade 7 or greater, calculated for the best six GCSEs (which may include those listed above). 
Criteria 4b For applicants to study four A Levels, an average GCSE grade of 7.5 or greater, calculated from the best eight GCSEs, including English and Maths. If applying for a fourth A Level at Woodhouse College (neither Physics nor Chemistry), applicants must also achieve the minimum criteria for the chosen course as outlined in the Woodhouse admissions criteria.
 
* In highly rare and exceptional circumstances, ICLMS retains the discretion to take into account exceptional circumstances that materially affect an individual’s results.  Applicants who believe that such circumstances may apply to them must apply for special consideration to the relevant examination board for their GCSE examinations, and also inform ICLMS of the details of these circumstances in writing by emailing admissions@iclms.ac.uk by no later than the end of June 2023.
** In highly rare and exceptional circumstances, ICLMS retains the discretion to amend this if appropriate to the home language and personal circumstances of the individual, but ICLMS will not have the ability to provide any tuition or support for English language capability.
 
Interested applicants who are offering alternative qualifications should contact the school directly before applying for further information. Applicants who have already achieved qualifications which are compulsory at ICLMS will be assessed on an individual basis in the light of their potential to benefit from a specialist school with a prescribed curriculum.
 
6. Application process and oversubscription criteria
Steps in the application process are as follows:
6.1. Stage 1: Submit an Application Form
Applicants will be required to complete an application form in Year 11, by 23rd November 2022.
6.1.1. The application form will require details of any particular arrangements which will need to be accommodated during the application process, including any access arrangements.
6.1.2. The application form will require details of a teacher at the applicant’s current school (usually the Head of Mathematics or the Head of Year) who can provide a reference about the applicant’s suitability for the ICLMS curriculum, their predicted grades, their capacity to work hard and their record of punctuality and attendance. Home-educated applicants should choose as their referee a tutor or other individual who can confirm the applicant’s academic suitability.
6.1.3. Any applicants whose application indicates they do not meet the criteria for admissions will not be progressed further.
6.1.4. Remaining applicants will be assessed, scored, and progressed to Stage 2 of the process.
 
6.2. Stage 2: The ICLMS Admissions Test
Applicants that submit successful applications will be invited to sit the ICLMS Admissions Test.
6.2.1. The ICLMS Admissions Test is designed to test students’ algebraic fluency, mathematical problem-solving skills and potential for abstract mathematical thinking.
6.2.2. The admissions test will not require knowledge of material beyond that taught for GCSE mathematics.
6.2.3. Specimen questions similar to those in the Admissions Test are available on the school's website.
6.2.4. The Admissions Test score will be combined with the assessment of the application to create a ‘pre-interview’ score for each candidate. All candidates whose ‘pre-interview’ score is above a given threshold for this particular admissions cycle will be invited to interview.
6.2.5. Students will not normally be informed of their test score but may request their mark as part of the admission process feedback. Applicants who believe there has been an error in the marking of the Admissions Test may request a mark review, in which case the application of the mark scheme will be reviewed by an independent marker. If appropriate, the candidate’s ‘pre-interview’ score (see 5.2.4) will be updated and the application decision reviewed.
6.2.6. Students who believe that exceptional circumstances may affect their performance in the admissions test must inform ICLMS of these circumstances in writing by emailing admissions@iclms.ac.uk in advance of the sitting of the admissions test.
 
6.3. Stage 3: The interview
Those applicants that meet the threshold will be invited to an interview. The interview will consist of two parts: a mathematics interview, and a personal interview.
6.3.1. The mathematics interview will be used to assess further the applicant’s mathematical skill and understanding, and to determine how well the applicant can learn and apply a mathematical technique when guided by an ICLMS teacher.
6.3.2. The personal interview will explore the applicant’s aspirations concerning their career and future applications of their mathematical knowledge; their suitability for the school; their likelihood of benefitting from small, specialist educational provision; aspects of their biography; and will support the assessment of how much value the school may add to the applicant in terms of having an impact on their attainment and progress.
6.3.3. Applicants will be assigned three scores at interview. In each case, they will be awarded an integer value for 0 to 10.
6.3.3.1. A score for the further assessment of mathematical skill and understanding;
6.3.3.2. A score representing how well they learnt a mathematical technique when guided by an ICLMS teacher;
6.3.3.3. A score representing their fit with the school's vision and values and how they will benefit from the school's learning and teaching environment.
The three interview scores are combined with the pre-interview score to form an overall Total Score.
 
6.4. Stage 4: Admissions Panel Decision
6.4.1. The Admissions Panel is responsible for determining which candidates receive offers, which are rejected, and which are placed on the waiting list.
6.4.2. Applicants are ranked by the Total Score. Two thresholds are identified based on the number of places available: an automatic offer score and a lowest offer score.
6.4.3. Applicants above the automatic offer score are made a conditional offer, subject to receipt of a satisfactory school reference and confirmation from the SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator) that any adjustment required by an applicant with an identified special educational need or disability is reasonable and compatible with the efficient resources and/or efficient education of others, in line with the SEND Code of Practice 2015.
6.4.4. All applicants with an EHCP or LAC status with scores above the lowest offer score are made a conditional offer, subject to receipt of a satisfactory school reference and confirmation from the SENDCo that any adjustment required by an applicant with an identified special educational need or disability is reasonable and compatible with the efficient resources and/or efficient education of others, in line with the SEN Code of Practice 2015.
6.4.5. Applicants with scores below the lowest offer score are not progressed.
6.4.6. All other applicants are considered individually by the Admissions Panel. Members of the panel not involved in stage 1, 2 and 3 will review the information contained in the personal statement and the teacher reference of the remaining applicants to assess the suitability of the applicant based on contextual information, and will award a reference score, taking an integer value from 0 to 10. Remaining applicants will be ranked by this score.
6.4.7. Two further thresholds are identified based on the number of places available. Applicants whose reference score is above the upper threshold will be made a conditional offer (subject to the same two conditions listed above), and those below the lower threshold hold are not progressed, and remaining applicants are placed on the waiting list.
6.4.8. Conditional offers must be accepted with 10 working days of receipt. If an offer is not accepted within this timeframe then the offer will be withdrawn.
6.4.9. Offers may be withdrawn by the school if it becomes apparent that an applicant, prior to enrolling at ICLMS, submitted an application that was not factually correct, or if the applicant is not eligible for a place for some other reason.
6.4.10. When applicants are ranked, any applicants with an identical score will be ranked first by their pupil premium status, with those eligible for pupil premium funding ranking higher, and then according to the straight line distance of their home postcode from the school, with the nearest ranking higher. In the event there is still a tie, the ranking will be determined by random allocation.
 
7. Waiting list
7.1. The Total Score is used to order candidates on the waiting list.
7.2. Late applicants may be added to the waiting list if they meet the entrance criteria for that year’s recruitment round (see 10).
7.3. Conditional offers will be made to those who are highest on the waiting list in the following instances:
7.3.1. following the offer acceptance deadline (and the deadline for any places subsequently conditionally offered) and until GCSE results publication, any places that have not been accepted would be offered to the next student on the waiting list;
7.3.2. should a current offer holder withdraw, or be withdrawn for any reason;
7.3.3. in the week following GCSE results publication, should places at the school become available (for example because current offer holders do not meet the terms of their conditional offers);
7.3.4. at any point up to 1 October 2023, should additional places at the school become available for any reason.
 
8. Enrolment
8.1. Offer holders that meet their conditional offer are expected to enrol at ICLMS on GCSE results day. Specific details of the enrolment process will be communicated with offer holders in advance of receiving their GCSE results.
8.2. On enrolling at ICLMS, offer-holders will be advised on their curriculum options. All students are enrolled to study Mathematics and Further Mathematics A Levels, and all students will study at least one of Physics and Chemistry A Levels. Co-ordinated timetabling and the proximity of ICLMS to Woodhouse College will allow students to choose a fourth A level subject from the broader Woodhouse curriculum, which should be chosen at the time of application. The availability of other A level subjects at Woodhouse College will be subject to timetabling and capacity constraints.
 
9. Additional admissions cycles
In any year where there is more than one admissions cycle, the same processes will be applied, and the same scoring systems will be used to rank candidates.
 
10. Appeals
Applicants who are not offered a place through this process have a right to appeal against the decision. Details of the admissions appeal procedure, including grounds on which appeals may be lodged, are detailed in the ICLMS Admissions Appeals Policy, available on the school website.
 
11. Late applications
Applications received after the closing date will only be considered should places remain available after the consideration of all applications received on or before the closing date.
Sanctuary applications may be considered after the closing date, such as for persons displaced by war. If places are granted after this extraordinary process, they will be additional to the published admissions number.
 
12. Equality and diversity
12.1. ICLMS will, in operating its admission arrangements, do everything it reasonably can to remove barriers to equality of opportunity and enable every student to perform to the best of their ability. In making admissions decisions, ICLMS will implement a process which is fair and free from discrimination.
12.2. ICLMS is keen to encourage applications from all students who feel that the educational provision ICLMS offers is suitable for them. If an applicant has a disability or an Education, Health and Care Plan, they are encouraged to make an application if they meet the admissions criteria. ICLMS will make all reasonable adjustments needed to avoid substantial disadvantage to any applicant during all stages of the admissions process.
 
13. Application timetable
Specific dates will be published each year on the school website. The table below shows the outline timeline for any admissions cycle.
 
 TIMELINE  ACTIVITY OR ACTION
 September   Admission arrangements published. Application form opens for entry on the school website.
September-November  Open Evenings and Taster Days for prospective applicants and their parents/carers to find out more about the school. Details are available on the ICLMS's website in the application section. Attendance at open evenings and taster days is not required for applicants; nor does it confer any advantage to applicants in the offer decision process. Spaces on Open Evenings and Taster Days may have limited capacity.
 Late November  Application deadline for main admission cycle.
 December  ICLMS Admissions Test.

 January-February  Interviews.
February-March   Conditional offers made.
 August (GCSE results day)  Offers are confirmed and students are enrolled.
 September   Classes commence.
 
14. Policy use
Please ensure you are using the latest version of this policy, which is available on the ICLMS website. This version relates to the 2023 admissions cycle (students starting study at ICLMS in September 2023). This policy will be reviewed annually and any amended policy for the following September will be published on the ICLMS website before the end of the preceding September (ie. The policy for the 2024 admissions cycle will be published in or before September 2023). The policy will remain on the ICLMS website through the year.
 
15. Complaints
If you are unhappy with any aspect of the admissions policy or appeal process you may submit a complaint, outlining your concerns to EFA at Academy.QUESTIONS@education.gsi.gov.uk, though you should first raise any concerns directly with ICLMS via the email address enquiries@iclms.ac.uk.
 
16. Monitoring and Reviewing
 
 Action   Individual / Group   Date   Role
 Created   ICLMS Admissions and Curriculum Group   August 2021  
 Ratified   ICLMS Steering Group  August 2022