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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee [Lifelong Learning] : 25th June 2012

 

Report of the Chief Executive

 

Admissions Forum Representation

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek nomination of a Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee Member to the Council's Admissions Forum.

Recommendation

1.             That the Scrutiny Committee nominates a Member to sit on the Council's Admissions Forum.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             That membership of the Council's Admissions Forum was revised in 2009 to include a Member of the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee.

Background

2.             All Councils are required to establish an Admission Forum in accordance with Section 85A of the School Standards & Framework Act 1998 (inserted by section 46 of the Education Act 2002).

3.             The role of the Admissions Forum is set out under The Education  (Admission Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2003 and whose responsibility is to:

  • Consider how well existing and proposed admission arrangements serve the interests of children and parents within the area of the LA;
  • Promote agreement on admission issues;
  • Consider the comprehensiveness and accessibility of the admission literature and information produced for parents by each admission authority within the area of the forum;
  • Consider the effectiveness of the LA’s proposed co-ordinated admission arrangements;
  • Consider the means by which admissions processes might be improved and how actual admission arrangements relate to the admission numbers published;
  • Monitor the admission of children who arrive in the LA’s area outside a normal admission round with a view to promoting arrangements for the fair distribution of such children among local schools, taking account of any preference expressed in accordance with arrangements made under section 86 (1) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 and in accordance with the Welsh Assembly Government School Admissions Code of Practice;
  • Promote the arrangements for children with special educational needs, children in care and children who have been excluded from school;
  • Consider any other admission issues that arise.

4.             In discharging its responsibilities, the Forum must:

  • Review the comprehensiveness, effectiveness and accessibility of advice and guidance for parents by the LA and schools through the published composite prospectus;
  • Agree procedures for ensuring that potentially vulnerable children and those who arrive in the area outside the normal admissions round are placed in a school as quickly as possible. Vulnerable children include those previously excluded from school, children in care, young offenders, children with ALN (Additional Learning Needs) and/or disabilities, Gypsy and Traveller children, or those who are hard to place, or have challenging behaviour. Managed transfers of such children should be handled as quickly and sensitively as possible. The forum should ensure that all admission authorities in the area are aware of the agreed procedures and should monitor to ensure that they are working effectively.
  • Monitor compliance with the School Admissions, and School Admission Appeals Codes and related legislation.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Admission Forums have a key role in ensuring a fair admissions system that does not disadvantage one child compared with another and is straightforward and easy for parents to understand.

6.             Admission Forums provide a vehicle for admission authorities and other key interested parties to discuss the effectiveness of local admission arrangements, consider how to deal with difficult admission issues and advise admission authorities on ways on which their arrangements can be improved.

7.             In accordance with The Education (Admission Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2003, the core membership of an admission forum shall comprise as follows:

 

MEMBERS NOMINATED BY

NUMBER

LA – any member or officer of the authority

1 to 5

Church in Wales Diocesan representatives

1 to 3

Roman Catholic Diocesan representatives

1 to 3

Schools  - community and voluntary controlled

1 to 3

Schools - foundation

1 to 3

Schools - voluntary aided

1 to 3

Parent governor representatives

1 to 3

Representatives of the local community

up to 3

 

8.             Each representative of a school should be a head, or a governor (other than one appointed to the school by the LA who is also a member of the authority).

9.             The core membership may ask the LA to appoint anyone it considers appropriate to represent significant interests in the local community.

10.        Meetings of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Admission Forum will take place at least twice a year.

11.        Each core and school member are appointed for a period not exceeding 4 years, after which they are eligible for reappointment.

12.        Members are able to nominate a substitute to attend meetings of the Admission Forum in their absence.

13.        The Forum needs to be kept to a manageable size in order to facilitate constructive discussions. In view of this, the Vale of Glamorgan’s Admission Forum shall comprise of 16 members.

14.        The Membership of the Admission Forum is set out in Appendix A to this report.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

15.        There are no resource implications arising directly from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.        There are no legal implications.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        There are no crime and disorder implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        There are no equal opportunities implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.        This report is consistent with the Council's priorities for Education and Lifelong Learning.

Policy Framework and Budget

20.        There are no policy frame and budget implications.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.        Ward Member consultation is not appropriate.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.        Lifelong Learning.

Background Papers

Admissions Forum Constitution and Terms of Reference.

 

Contact Officer

Paula Ham, Head of Strategic Planning and Performance, 01446 709161

 

Officers Consulted

Members of the Admissions Forum.

 

Responsible Officer:

John Maitland Evans, Chief Executive

 

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