Agenda item - School Admission Arrangements 2023-2024

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Agenda item

School Admission Arrangements 2023-2024

Report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning (copy to follow)

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed -

 

(i)             To make no changes to the council’s admission arrangements (other than those listed below) or school catchment areas (where applicable);

 

(ii)            To consult upon a change to the Published Admission Number (PAN) of Bevendean Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;

 

(iii)          To consult upon a change to the PAN of Carden Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils;

 

(iv)          To consult upon a change to the PAN of Coldean Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;

 

(v)           To consult upon a change to the PAN of Queens Park Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils;

 

(vi)          To consult upon a change to the PAN of Rudyard Kipling Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;

 

(vii)         To consult upon a change to the PAN of Saltdean Primary School from 90 to 60 pupils;

 

(viii)       To consult upon a change to the PAN of Woodingdean Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;

 

(ix)          To make no changes to the “relevant area”;

 

(x)           Noted the expectation that in the next 3-5 years proposals to consult upon a change to the Published Admission Number (PAN) of more schools will be required alongside the possible closure of some primary schools in the city. To best ensure schools are best placed to face this future increasing focus will be placed upon developing more and larger collaborations between schools which it is hoped will provide greater resilience to the challenges that will follow.

Minutes:

38.1    The Committee considered the report of the Executive Director Families Children & Learning regarding the proposed school admission arrangements for the city’s schools, for which the Council is the admission authority, for the academic year 2023-24. The report was introduced by the Head of School Organisation.

 

38.2    Cllr Brown accepted that the PAN for schools needed to be addressed but would have preferred the larger schools to have reduced their admission number, and was concerned that having an admission number of 45 for some schools could be difficult. Cllr Brown asked what the intake number had been for the two primary schools in Woodingdean. The Head of School Organisation said that in September 2021 there had been 43 at Rudyard Kipling and 60 at Woodingdean Primary. He said that the forecasts showed that there would be 92 children starting primary school in Woodingdean area in 2023 and 78 children in 2025.

 

38.3    Cllr O’Quinn asked how carefully the reduction in PAN had been looked at and the impact on the local areas. The Head of School Organisation said that the authority were committed to ensuring that every area had a local school and the options had been fully considered but there would be a surplus of places in the future. Cllr O’Quinn was concerned that the consultation would be held over the Christmas period and asked if the consultation could start in January instead. The Head of School Organisation said the under the School Admissions Code the admission arrangements for a September 2023 start would have to be agreed by 28 February 2022, and therefore the consultation would have to be completed in January in order for the responses to be taken into consideration and arrangements agreed within the required time frame.

 

38.4    Ms Boyd asked if the impact on the speech and language provision at Carden Primary School had been considered if the PAN were to be reduced. The Head of School Organisation said schools would be able to respond to the consultation and set out any concerns they may have.

 

38.5    Cllr McNair stated that he was a Governor at Carden Primary School. The Chair asked the lawyer for confirmation that he could speak and was advised that if he asked a general question on the report he could as there was no pecuniary interest, but when the matter came back to this committee for a decision that would be reviewed and advise taken from the Monitoring Officer. Cllr McNair asked why schools rated Good by Ofsted may have their PAN reduced, he suggested that changing the admission number at some schools may mean children had to travel further away and asked if any impact on sustainable travel had been looked at. He asked if data from estate agents had been collected, and noted that the proposed changes were from schools in less affluent areas. The Head of School Organisation said that the Council needed to look at the whole city and proposals addressed the surplus places across that area. He accepted that schools with Good Ofsted ratings had been included, but the decision on the schools listed in the report was not based on how good they were. Transport links would be looked at as part of the consultation. The projected figures on the number of young children were based on data from the NHS and the projections had not shown any significant changes and so the Council were confident on the figures provided.

 

38.6    Councillor Hamilton said that there may still be spaces at schools even if the PANs were reduced, and felt that on the projected figures that no child would not be able to attend their local school, and in the circumstances the recommendations were the best way forward.

 

38.7    Cllr Bagaeen noted that some schools may have a PAN of 45 and asked if that would be one class of 30 and one of 15. The Head of School Organisation that there would be mixed age teaching and examples of how that would work were set out in the appendices to the report.

 

38.8    RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed -

 

(i)             To make no changes to the council’s admission arrangements (other than those listed below) or school catchment areas (where applicable);

 

(ii)            To consult upon a change to the Published Admission Number (PAN) of Bevendean Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;

 

(iii)          To consult upon a change to the PAN of Carden Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils;

 

(iv)          To consult upon a change to the PAN of Coldean Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;

 

(v)           To consult upon a change to the PAN of Queens Park Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils;

 

(vi)          To consult upon a change to the PAN of Rudyard Kipling Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;

 

(vii)         To consult upon a change to the PAN of Saltdean Primary School from 90 to 60 pupils;

 

(viii)       To consult upon a change to the PAN of Woodingdean Primary School from 60 to 45 pupils;

 

(ix)          To make no changes to the “relevant area”;

 

(x)           Noted the expectation that in the next 3-5 years proposals to consult upon a change to the Published Admission Number (PAN) of more schools will be required alongside the possible closure of some primary schools in the city. To best ensure schools are best placed to face this future increasing focus will be placed upon developing more and larger collaborations between schools which it is hoped will provide greater resilience to the challenges that will follow.

Supporting documents:

 


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