Admissions Policy

ADMISSIONS POLICY AND PROCEDURE

POLICY

The British International School of Stavanger (The School) is a non-profit institution committed to providing a first-class education in an English speaking environment, through the employment of experienced and inspirational teachers, and supported by the provision of first-class facilities, so that all pupils can achieve the highest possible levels of academic excellence, and maximise their potential in terms of personal and social growth.

Aims & Objectives:
  • To provide age appropriate education for children in the Stavanger/Sandnes area, whose parents wish their children to experience The International Baccalaureate Curriculum, including the UK National Curriculum in English and mathematics, between the ages of two and nineteen years.
  • To give priority for places to English speaking children, who are residing in Stavanger for limited periods and who require continuity of education in respect of English language and/or UK National Curricula.
  • To make information available on the school website outlining the curriculum and the education provided at The British International School.
  • To make application forms available in both hard copy and electronic format.
  • To encourage visits to the school in advance of making formal applications.
  • To inform parents of progress regarding their applications within 10 working days, of receipt of an enquiry.
  • To support new pupils and their families during the induction phase.
Class Organisation

Classes are organised into four stages, Early Years, IB Primary Years Programme, IB Middle Years Programme and IB Diploma Programme/IBCP Programme, with children whose birthdays fall between September 1st and August 31st of the following year placed in the same year group. The academic year runs from mid August to mid June.

The school reserves the right to organise classes and limit class sizes on a flexible basis in order to:

  • maximise the number of places available at any one time
  • to make effective and efficient use of teaching staff
  • to ensure an acceptable gender balance is maintained within each class
  • to ensure that the demands of children with English as an Additional Language can be supported appropriately
  • to ensure that pupils with special educational needs can be supported appropriately
  • to facilitate class sizes, that are advantageous to the academic and social development of all pupils.

The school aims to maintain average class sizes of twenty pupils, but is able to admit up to twenty four pupils per class. If a particular year group is likely to exceed these numbers, a decision will be taken as to whether to split the year group into smaller classes, or to employ a teaching assistant to support the class teacher.

For Pre-School, Norwegian pre-school staffing regulations apply.

Pre-School – for children aged 2-4

Lower Primary School – for children aged 4-7

Upper Primary School – for children aged 7-11

Lower Secondary School – for children aged 11-14

Upper Secondary School – for children aged 14-16

Sixth Form College - for children aged 16-19

Special Educational Needs and Disability

Parents should be aware that the school has no legal right in Norway to access funding for the support of special needs education (SEND), although assessments can be made through a school referral to the Norwegian PPT service. Similarly, children attending The British International School have no legal right to receive instruction in Sami, sign language, or special teaching for children belonging to linguistic minorities – be it mother tongue, dual language skills, or Norwegian language teaching following a special plan. However, the school may apply to the state for support in respect of such activities.

The school is able to admit students with mild learning difficulties, who demonstrate the potential to access the curriculum with only limited assistance. The school is able to provide for these children and for those who require English as an Additional Language, at School Action level. Extra academic and pastoral support is offered as far as possible, as long as this support does not detract from the education of other students. The school will assist parents in the organisation of privately funded professional consultations if an educational psychological assessment is required. Where a statutory statement is recommended, the cost of supporting the child must be met in full by the parents or the company sponsor. Applications from children with mild special educational needs will be considered on the basis of previous school reports, previous assessments, including psychological educational evaluations, and current achievement levels. It is the responsibility of parents to give a full declaration of possible special educational needs. Failure to do this may result in the withdrawal of a child's school place.

The school is suitable for wheelchair users and is able to admit physically disabled students, where all other needs can be met in full.

English as an Additional Language

Applicants with no previous experience of English will be considered for admission. Students may be assessed to ascertain the level of support they require. Students who are admitted with little or no English will receive English as an Additional Language support from teaching assistants.

School Transport

Parents should be aware that the school has no legal rights or obligations to provide school transport in accordance with the Norwegian Act relating to Primary and Secondary Education. However, the school currently provides a school transport service across the Stavanger/Sandnes area.

Attendance

The school reserves the right to withdraw the school place of pupils under the age of 6 years where the pupil has a poor or inconsistent attendance record. For older children, the school is required to inform the local authorities of unauthorised absences totaling more than 10 days in any one academic year.

Discipline and Behaviour

Students are required to adhere to the Pupil Code of Conduct. A copy of this is provided to all new families.

PROCEDURE

The British International School is a non-selective school within the limits of its educational and financial resources. However, demand for places is often high and the school is not always able to admit all applicants. A priority system therefore exists. Please see the Priority for Admission Table, below.

Initial enquiries

International applications are considered throughout the year.

Applications from local residents for assisted places are requested in January every year, for a start in August. Any remaining places will be allocated to late applicants in line with availability and the admissions procedure.

Initial enquiries can be made to the Admissions Officer by telephone, by email, or via the school’s website.

The Admissions Officer will respond by telephone or e-mail. Following the enquiry, application forms will be sent, usually by e-mail. Alternatively, the Admissions Officer may request further details.

A school visit will be arranged wherever possible.

Application process

Parents must submit an application form for each child, including all the requested attachments.

As part of the application process, the school will request academic records and a teacher evaluation from the child’s current school. For children currently attending barnehage or nursery, a special form is available.

Parents are required to declare who is responsible for payment of tuition fees by completion of the Declaration Payment of School Fees form.

A colour copy of the photo identification page of the child’s passport is required.

Parents can contact the Admissions Officer to arrange a tour of the school and/or a telephone interview with the Principal.

Applicants will be asked to attend an interview, wherever possible, and may be asked to sit assessment tests in mathematics and English.

Applicants are considered according to the availability of places, the circumstances of the individual applicant and the resources available in the school to meet his/her needs. (Please refer to the priority for admission table below).

Places may be held for pupils moving into the area at the discretion of the Principal, but for no longer than one term. After this, a new application may be required.

Where applications exceed available places, pupil names are held on a prospective register and when places become available allocated according to the Priority for Admission Table (see below).

The school will issue a written offer to successful candidates.

The applicant must sign and return the acceptance form and the declaration of payment of school fees in order to secure the school place.

On receipt of the signed acceptance form, the application fee and the first month’s tuition fees will be invoiced. These are non-refundable. Please see the school’s Terms and Conditions Policy for more details.

All personal data relating to admissions is maintained in the school’s school management system (iSAMS).

New students are not normally admitted to MYP 5 (Year 11), unless they are transferring from an IB school where the Middle Years Programme has been followed. Please contact the Admissions Officer if you have any queries about your particular circumstances.

Assisted Places and fees

The British International School offers a limited number of assisted places whereby the standard tuition fee is reduced by up to 40% (minimum NOK 90.000). This applies to students attending the Main School only (Reception Class - MYP5) and applies to the cost of tuition only.

Who is eligible to apply for an assisted place?

1. Siblings of children attending The British International School, who already enjoy an assisted place.

2. Families with children already attending The British International School, who experience an unforeseen, or significant change of financial circumstances, resulting in an inability to meet the standard tuition fee.

3. New families applying to BISS for the first time, who fulfil one or more of the following criteria:

  • They have strong reasons for their child to receive an English speaking international schooling
  • The employer(s) for whom the family works, does not meet (directly or indirectly) the cost of school tuition fees;

If you wish to be considered for an assisted place, please ensure that you discuss your particular circumstances with the Admissions Officer.

Please see the current Tuition and Fees page for details of tuition rates.

Unsuccessful applicants are invited to make a new application for the following academic year. The school does not keep waiting lists from year to year.

Please click here to view the Priority for Admission Table.

Transfer of Current Students to the next Academic Year

Students are automatically transferred to their subsequent year group if no notification of withdrawal has been received by the Admissions Office. This is the case for all year groups with the two following exceptions:

  • Transfer from Pre-School to Reception class.
  • Transfer from MYP5 to the Sixth Form College.

In these two cases, new applications for admission are required. The Admissions Office should be contacted for further details.

Application Process Pre-School.

Families must contact the school for an application form. These forms are also available on our Admissions Forms page. If your family is already resident in Stavanger, you may also register your child on the Stavanger Kommune website. However, places are normally only allocated after an application has been made directly to the school.

Please see the Application Process, above.

Secondary education

Pupils nearing the end of their Middle Years Programme in MYP5, can apply to continue their IB studies by entering the IB Diploma programme at the Sixth Form College, or apply for entry to a Norwegian Videregående Skole (for students aged 16 – 19 years). Entry requirements to Norwegian school vary and families should contact Rogaland Fylkeskommune, or the school in question for details. A guidance booklet for families wishing to transfer to the Norwegian system is available from the School Office.

Orientation

New students are introduced to the school by the Admissions Officer. Senior members of the academic staff can be available by arrangement.

Notice of Withdrawal

If you, or your company/NATO, intends to withdraw a child from the school, three months’ written notice of withdrawal must be given to the Admissions Office. Notice will commence on the 1st of the month following receipt of your notice.

For company/NATO places, no refund of tuition fees is available. However, the company/NATO may use this place for any new child arriving during the same academic year. In such cases, the annual tuition fee is waived and only the application fee is payable.

For assisted places, failure to give sufficient notice will result in a penalty of one term’s tuition fees (one third of the annual tuition fee).

For withdrawals at the end of the academic year, notice must be given by 31st March. Where no notice of withdrawal has been received, current students are automatically allocated a place for the following academic year*. Failure to give sufficient notice will result in a penalty of one term’s tuition fees (one third of the annual tuition fee).

*Except for students moving from Pre-School to Main School reception class, and from MYP5 to the Sixth Form College, where new applications must be submitted.

This policy is reviewed annually.

Stavanger, April 2016