School Admission Arrangements

Please note that if you wish to apply to Hackney New School during the academic year you should contact Student Services on 020 7617 7181 or complete the HNS online admissions form.  Important links and policies related to admissions are provided at the end of this page.

HNS is a state-funded, co-educational, mainstream school. The Published Admissions Number (“PAN”) for HNS in 2019/20 is 100 students.  Applications for HNS should be made via the Pan London eAdmissions Process.

As a specialist music school, we select up to 10% of our students based on their musical aptitude. Parents who would like their child to be considered for a place based on musical aptitude should complete the Music Aptitude Form and we will then invite their child to take a musical aptitude test. This will be taken in parallel with the cognitive ability tests used for Hackney New School’s banded admissions arrangements (organised by Hackney Learning Trust) which are designed to ensure a balanced representation of pupils of different abilities at Year 7 (taking 25% of students from each of 4 bands of results).

If you live outside Hackney but wish to apply for a place at Hackney New School please apply to your home local authority who will process the application.

Admission by Band

Our aim is to ensure that the intake at HNS includes an appropriate spread of children of different abilities. HNS will apply the following banding policies:

  • Children will be allocated into one of four groups depending on their performance in the CAT test;
  • Children with SEN, looked-after children or those with outstanding musical aptitude will be selected first into each band;
  • Any excess applications in each band will be dealt with in accordance with the over-subscription policies set out below;
  • In the event that there are fewer than 25% of applicants in any one band (i.e. 25 minus those places already allocated to SEN and music specialist students)
  • applicants will be chosen from the bands above and below in equal measure where this is possible.

Oversubscription and Tie Break Criteria

The following pupils will be admitted to the school:

  • Pupils with a statement of special educational needs or Educational Health & Care Plan that names HNS;
  • Pupils who have shown musical aptitude to the level required under the test (i.e. regardless of the band they are in based on their CAT test).

Any remaining pupils will be allocated within each band as follows:

  • Looked after children and children who were previously looked after but immediately after being looked after became subject to adoption, a child arrangements order, or special guardianship order;
  • Children of the founding members of the HNS trust (which will not apply before 2020 and in total will not make up more than 1% of the full school cohort);
  • Children with a social or medical need (in order to be considered under this criterion applicants must produce a supporting report from either a Senior Social Worker or medical practitioner setting out why HNS is the only appropriate school for this student);
  • Siblings of children at Hackney New School;
  • Siblings of children at Hackney New Primary School;
  • Pupils living nearest to the gates of the school on Kingsland Road as measured in a straight line using a GIS computerised batch distance measuring system.
  • Boy playing the violin

Music Aptitude Tests

Ten percent of our students are selected based on their musical aptitude.

Hackney New School has designed a process that offers the fairest assessment of all students: those who have not yet benefited from formal musical training and those who have. The process is structured in such a way as to enable the fairest possible evaluation of the musical potential of each student. The students are assessed by a team of 3 professional adjudicators.

Stage 1: Group Workshop

A 45 minute group activity during which each student is individually assessed on key rhythmic, aural, improvisational, and creative skills. Starting with a warm-up, students are taken through a series of activities which rigorously tests their musical abilities and aptitude in both a group and individual context

Stage 2: Individual Performance

Each candidate will perform a short, unaccompanied piece (of no more than 3 minutes).  This should be on the candidate’s primary instrument. A guitar amp, drumkit and piano will be available. The candidate will also be asked about their experience of, passion for, and commitment to, music.

School Admission Appeals

If you have not been offered a place at Hackney New School, the law entitles you to appeal against that decision to an Independent Appeal Panel. This panel is completely independent of the school and the Local Authority. The appeals are held in Hackney.   

If you wish to appeal, please download an Appeal Form from the school’s website. Please do NOT use ANY other appeal form or send your form to your local authority. It is suggested that you download the explanatory leaflet about appeals which you should read before you complete the appeal form.  The appeal form is in Word format. The panel would prefer the form to be typed, but handwritten forms are acceptable. In black ink. Please ensure that the clerk can read your details including telephone numbers and email addresses. ‘Signatures’ may be typed.

You should include any evidence or supporting material with your appeal form and you MUST give the grounds for your appeal at the time you lodge your appeal form. Your appeal form will not be accepted unless you state the grounds for your appeal. You may appeal for more than one school.