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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 23 March, 2015

Report of the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools

School Admission Arrangements 2016/2017

Purpose of the Report

1. To advise Cabinet of the conclusion of the Council’s statutory consultation exercise on school admission arrangements for Community Schools in accordance with the Education (Determination of Admission Arrangements) (Wales) Regulations 2006.

Recommendations

1. To approve the Schools Admissions Policy for 2016/2017 attached at Appendix A, so that the requirement to determine the policy by 15 April 2015 is met and the admission arrangements may be implemented for the academic year 2016/2017.

 

2. That Cabinet authorises the use of article 13.09 of the Council's Constitution (urgent decision procedure) to approve the School Admissions Policy for 2016/17.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. The Council is required to review school admission arrangements annually and to determine the arrangements for 2016/17 (following appropriate consultation) by 15 April 2015.

 

2. To ensure that the requirement to determine the policy by 15th April 2015 is met.

Background

2. A local authority has a statutory duty to consult on school admission arrangements annually. The school admission arrangements for the academic year 2016/ 2017 must be determined by 15 April 2015.

 

3. The Local Authority has a statutory duty to consult with all neighbouring local authorities, the admission authorities of those schools which have delegated admission powers and the governing bodies of all other maintained schools in the relevant area. The relevant area is the geographical area of the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

4. Local Authorities are advised that they should consult with the Admissions Forum serving the relevant area and parents of children where a significant change is proposed.

 

5. The School Admissions Policy was issued for consultation on 10th January 2015 to Headteachers and chairs of governors of all schools in the Vale, neighbouring Local Authorities and Diocesan Directors of Education. Responses were required by 1st March 2015.

 

6. The authority is required to produce a document each year for the subsequent school year's admission round detailing school admission arrangements for all maintained schools in its area. This can be found within the Council’s Parental Guide to School Admissions which is available on the Council’s website, at local libraries and all schools in the Vale of Glamorgan. A hard copy is also available on request.

 

7. The LA has consulted on minor changes to the existing admissions policy. These changes are as follows:

  • To determine the catchment area of the new primary school in Llantwit Major formed through the amalgamation of Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr Primary Schools.  The proposed catchment area of the new primary school will be the combined catchment areas of Eagleswell and Llanilltud Fawr primary schools.
  • To determine the catchment area of Dinas Powys Primary School formed through the amalgamation of Dinas Powys Infant and Murch Junior Schools. Both schools share the same catchment area.  The proposed catchment area of the amalgamated school will be the existing catchment area of Dinas Powys Infant and Murch Junior Schools.
  • The proposed changes detailed above will not have a significant effect on parents. The catchment areas of the new schools will be exactly the same as the individual school catchment areas. There will be an organisational impact from these statutory changes which will be managed within existing resources.
  • The authority’s admission arrangements will enable effective management of the admission intake to schools under which catchment area children are ranked as a high priority when allocating places in the event of oversubscription at primary and secondary schools.

8.     There are no changes proposed to the oversubscription criteria currently in place.

Relevant Issues and Options

9. The LA received no written responses to the consultation exercise.

 

10. The admission arrangements detailed in the attached School Admissions Policy 2016/2017, if approved, will be operational for the 2016/17 academic year.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11. There are no immediate resource implications.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.  There are no specific sustainability and climate change implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13. Section 88 and 89 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 as amended by the Education Act 2002 and the Statuary School Admissions Code 2013 determines that the Admission Authorities shall, before the beginning of each school year, determine in accordance with the Act the admission arrangements which are to apply for that year. The Education (Determination of Admission Arrangements) (Wales) Regulations 2006 set out the procedure which the Admission Authorities should follow when determining their admission arrangements, including the consultation and notification process as well as timescales. This report reflects these requirements.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14. There are no immediate implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15. Legislation Regulations and the School Admissions Code 2013 provide the basis for decision making, consultation and notification. The Local Authority is required to comply with its duty under S. 149 of the Equality Act 2010. S. 149 requires a public body when carrying out all of its functions to give due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in respect of the defined “protected characteristics”.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16. The proposal provides a basis for the Council to achieve its corporate objectives for Education and Lifelong Learning and links with the Council's objectives for social well being and tackling disadvantage.

Policy Framework and Budget

17. This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18. Consultation has taken place with statutory consultees as detailed in the main body of this report.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19. Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Lisa Lewis – Access & Policy Manager - 01446 709899

Officers Consulted

Paula Ham – Head of Strategy, Community Learning & Resources.

Responsible Officer:

Jennifer Hill - Director of Learning and Skills

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