Ark Dickens Primary Academy is a two form entry primary school which offers 60 nursery places and 60 reception places each year. It is a non-denominational, non-selective school for local children. If you would like to find out more about the academy, or to visit us, please contact the school on 023 9282 6514.

Children born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 are due to start Reception Class, the first year of primary school, in September 2020.

Applications to Ark Dickens Primary Academy are made through Portsmouth City Council, rather than directly through the school. You can find details of how to apply on the Portsmouth City Council primary admissions site.

Portsmouth City councils online application service will open on 5th November 2019 and all applications for reception places in September 2020 must be received by 15 January 2020.

If you would like to find out about our admissions policy, then please click the link below. Alternatively if you would like further assistance with regards to the admissions process, please contact the school office on 023 9282 6514.

Ark Dickens Admissions Policy 2020-21

FileArk Dickens Admissions Policy 2021-22

FileArk Dickens Admissions Policy 2021-22 addon

This policy was amended with the authorisation of the Education Funding Agency to clarify that applicants within the catchment area would be prioritised by straight line distance from the school.

Ark network appeals timetable

Due to the COVID-19 situation it will clearly not be possible to hold panel hearings in the usual way this year.  The Department for Education has now issued revised guidelines for Admissions Authorities on how appeals should be dealt with, it being preferable that appeals are heard before the beginning of the Autumn term. All appellants will therefore be contacted with information about the exact process, which will be the same for all Ark schools.  The aim is to complete hearings and for parents to be notified of the outcome of their appeal by 30th June 2020.

September 2021 entry

Appeals for children refused a place at a preferred school for admission to Reception class in September 2021 will be heard in line with the School Admissions Appeals Code (2012).  


  Offer date Deadline for lodging an appeal
Primary TBC TBC

Information on appeals can be found on Portsmouth City Council's website.

‘On-time’ appeals will be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals. Appeals lodged after these dates will be heard within 40 school days of the appeal deadline or 30 school days of being lodged, whichever is the later date.

Mid-year appeals must be heard within 30 school days of receipt of the appeal.

Parents/carers will be notified of their appeal date by an external agency engaged by the Ark network.

Any additional evidence parents/carers wish to submit in support of their appeal must be sent to the external agency at least five working days before the hearing. Any evidence not submitted by this deadline may not be considered by the independent appeal panel.

Please read this guidance about infant class size appeals and follow this link to the primary appeal form. Please contact Mrs Cooper in the school office if you need a paper form. 


Appeals process

Download our Guidance on Infant Class Size Appeals here