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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 17TH JUNE, 2013

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (LIFELONG LEARNING) – 23RD MAY, 2013

 

 

“           SCHOOL ADMISSION ARRANGEMENTS 2014/15 (REF) –

 

Cabinet had referred the report to the Scrutiny Committee for information following the conclusion of the Council’s statutory consultation exercise that was undertaken.  The report outlined that the Local Authority had a statutory duty to consult on school admission arrangements on an annual basis.  The School Admissions Policy had been issued for consultation on 11th January 2013 to Headteachers and chairs of governors of all schools in the relevant areas, neighbouring local authorities and Diocesan Directors of Education.  Responses had been required by 1st March 2013.  The LA had received 785 written responses to the consultation exercise of which 22 respondents had stated they were in favour of the changes with the remainder being either opposed or having serious concerns. 

 

The main themes emanating from the consultation exercise were summarised at Appendix B to the report.

 

The responses to the consultation highlighted the importance that local people attached to the use of attendance at designated feeder schools as an admissions criterion in the case of oversubscription.  Taking into account this clear view the proposals had been amended to retain the feeder school system as an oversubscription criterion for entry to secondary schools with minor modification to address certain anomalies within the system ensuring that local children who did not attend a linked feeder primary school were enabled to attend their local secondary school. The revised arrangement also addressed the legislative requirements in terms of a Local Authority prioritising pupils within its Authority area.

 

The current oversubscription criteria for secondary schools together with the proposed criteria consulted on and revised criteria post consultation were attached at Appendix C to the report.

 

The admission arrangements detailed in the attached School Admissions Policy 2014/2015 at Appendix A would be operational for the 2014/15 academic year.

 

In considering the report, the following queries were raised and responses  provided:

 

Question

Response

How is capacity calculated?

Capacity was calculated on the size of the school with a formula set by Welsh Government.  The whole school was measured with the criteria taking into account the space within the school.  It was noted that in certain circumstances the LA could admit over admission numbers but that would be dependant on class organisation and agreement with the Governing body and the Headteacher.

Do we have any over subscriptions in the Vale?

Yes, there were a number of schools.  The admission criteria would be implemented from September 2014.

To date how many appeals have been made in respect of school admissions?

Approximately 15 appeals with some children being offered second preference accepting that they were unable to have their first preference.

What consideration does the Council give to military personnel? 

The Authority has due regard for the military covenant, but this is not legally binding on the Authority.  The normal criteria was moving into an area was that the Authority would need to see a guarantee of an address.  With regard to the military, they Authority needed to see information regarding the address of the unit.  The Local Authority had regular discussions with the RAF and the contact officer had advised that  there was no intention for the military to have preference over and above those currently living within the Vale of Glamorgan.

What arrangements for 2018 are we making for the military?

We are currently working with the MoD and seeking clarity on future expectations.

How do we deal with late applications?

Any late applications are considered after all the applications that are received before the deadline.

In considering the number of primary pupils, what are the plans for future Welsh medium comprehensive education?

Forecasted pupil numbers show that there will be a need to increase Welsh medium secondary sector places as the larger primary cohorts feed through.  This requirement is being built into our planning assumptions.

 

Having considered the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the amended arrangements be endorsed and the contents of the report noted.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to consider the possible forthcoming military expansion in the area to ensure that school admissions are planned for accordingly.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In support of the school admissions policy for 2014/15 as contained within the report.

 

(2)       To ensure that adequate plans are put in place for the future.â€

 

 

 

 

 

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