Agenda item - School Admission Arrangements 2019/20

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Agenda item

School Admission Arrangements 2019/20

Report of the Executive Director for Families, Children & Learning (copy attached).

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee –

 

1.    Agreed to consult upon the light touch temporary review of the secondary school catchment areas to take effect from 2019.

 

2.    Agreed to recommend to Full Council that any change to secondary school catchment areas remain in effect for two years and that there should be a further review in 2019 to look at admission arrangements from 2012 onwards.

 

3.    Agreed to the proposed schedule of public consultation events as detailed in the report.

 

4.    Noted the forecast of pupil numbers in each catchment area as noted in the report.

 

5.    Agreed to consult upon the proposed revised primary school Published Admission Numbers (PAN) to take effect from September 2019.

Minutes:

28.1    The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Families, Children & Learning which outlined the proposed changes to the secondary catchment areas and some primary school Published Admission Numbers (PAN), and sought permission to make a temporary light touch change to the secondary school admission arrangements. The report was introduced by the Head of School Organisation.

 

28.2    The Chair thanked officers and members of the Cross Party School Organisation Working Group for their involvement to date in the process. He advised that members had already been contacted by those commenting on the proposed changes to the secondary school catchment areas and primary schools admission numbers, and confirmed that all comments would be included in the consultation.

 

28.3    Councillor Brown said it was unfortunate that the reviews had to be undertaken but understood why it was necessary, and encouraged all parents and carers to attend the public consultation events to give their views.

 

28.4    Councillor Brown was concerned over the proposal to reduce the PAN for Benfield Primary School, which was a Teaching School, had been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and had an increasing number of first preference applications to the school.

 

28.5    Councillor Phillips said parents were paying the price for a lack of leadership and any changes to the catchment areas would be upsetting for parents and therefore the Green Group would be abstaining from voting on Recommendations 2.1 and 2.2. The Chair reminded the Committee that the Council’s power over the new school was very limited, and the Authority had done all it could to push for the opening of a new secondary school.

 

28.6    Councillor Hamilton referred to the possible reduction of PAN for Benfield Primary School, and said that other primary schools in Portslade were already operating a one form entry and so to reduce the PAN in those schools would result in them closing. He noted that Benfield currently only had 27 children in two Reception Classes and so, with regret, he felt it would be the correct decision to reduce the PAN for Benfield Primary School.

 

28.7    Ms A Mortensen asked whether officers had considered reducing the PAN of other schools across the city such as Westdene Primary. The Head of School Organisation said they had looked across the city, and would provide information at the public meetings.

 

28.8    Councillor Penn said she understood parent’s frustration with places in secondary schools, and she hoped that the Department for Education and the University of Brighton Academy Trust would work together to ensure the new secondary school did open in 2019. 

 

28.9    Councillor Taylor asked for reassurance that if there were changes to catchment areas that the sibling connection would remain. The Head of School Organisation said that a sibling connection would remain.

 

28.10  Mr Jones noted that if PAN were reduced at schools it would impact on their finances. The Head of School Organisation agreed and said that officers had looked at the practicalities of any reduction, but said that population numbers were constantly changing and the Council wanted to avoid closing any schools and thereby removing any future provision of places.

 

28.11  RESOLVED: That the Committee –

 

1.    Agreed to consult upon the light touch temporary review of the secondary school catchment areas to take effect from 2019.

 

2.    Agreed to recommend to Full Council that any change to secondary school catchment areas remain in effect for two years and that there should be a further review in 2019 to look at admission arrangements from 2012 onwards.

 

3.    Agreed to the proposed schedule of public consultation events as detailed in the report.

 

4.    Noted the forecast of pupil numbers in each catchment area as noted in the report.

 

5.    Agreed to consult upon the proposed revised primary school Published Admission Numbers (PAN) to take effect from September 2019.

Supporting documents:

 


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