Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 12 January, 2015
Report of the Cabinet Member for Children's Services
School Admission Arrangements 2016/17
Purpose of the Report
1. To seek Cabinet approval to consult on the authority's school admission arrangements as required by the Welsh Government's School Admission Code issued in July 2013.
1. To approve the consultation required to local authority admission arrangements to ensure compliance with the Welsh Government's School Admissions Code 2013.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. The Council is required to review school admission arrangements annually. In order to determine the arrangements for admissions to school in September 2016 by 15th April 2015 following appropriate consultation, consultation on admission arrangements will take place between the 15th January and 1st March 2015.
2. A local authority has a statutory duty to consult on school admission arrangements annually. The School Admission Arrangements for implementation in September 2016 (must be determined by 15 April, 2015).
3. The Local Authority (LA) has a statutory duty to consult with the governing bodies of the relevant schools (those schools who have delegated admission powers); all neighbouring LAs; the admission authorities for all other maintained schools in the relevant area and the governing bodies of all other schools in the relevant area (i.e. community and voluntary controlled schools which do not have delegated admission powers). The relevant area is determined as the geographical area of the Vale of Glamorgan.
4. The Authority is required to publish a composite document each year for the subsequent school year's admission round detailing school admission arrangements for all maintained schools in its area. This information is contained within the Council’s information guide “Parent Guide to School Admission in the Vale”.
5. The Welsh Government's School Admissions Code 2013 requires admission authorities to act in accordance with the code. The code includes practical guidance and imposes requirements, on local authorities and admission authorities, regarding the discharge of duties in respect of admissions.
6. The LA is proposing to consult on the proposed admissions policy (Appendix A) as required by the Welsh Government's School Admissions Code 2013.
Relevant Issues and Options
7. The Welsh Government issued a revised School Admissions Code in July 2013. The council must “act in accordance with the Code” as determined by the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.
8. The proposed changes to the Council's admissions policy as required by the School Admissions Code 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 the new primary school in Dinas Powys 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.
9. 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 to these statutory changes which will be managed within existing resources.
10. The authority’s admission arrangements will manage 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.
11. Catchment areas are regularly reviewed to ensure that they meet the needs of the population they serve.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
12. There are no resource implications. Organisational impact of the proposed changes to the admission arrangements will be managed within existing resources.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
13. There are no specific sustainability and climate change implications.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
14. Section 89 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 and regulation 4 of the Education (Determination of Admission Arrangements) (Wales) Regulations 2006 require Admission Authorities to consult and determine school admission arrangements annually. The act also requires councils to “act in accordance with the (School Admissions) Code”. The regulations set a timescale for the consultation and determination of admission arrangements and this report reflects those requirements.
Crime and Disorder Implications
15. There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
16. The admission arrangements provide the only basis for decision making. There are no Equal Opportunities Implications arising from this proposed change to the Admission Arrangements.
17. 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 wellbeing and tackling disadvantage.
Policy Framework and Budget
18. This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
19. The views of Members have been considered in developing the proposed revisions to the school catchment areas.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
20. Lifelong Learning.
Lisa Lewis, Access & Policy Manager
Paula Ham – Head of Service, Strategy, Community Learning & Resources
Anne Brown – School Organisation Manager
Mike Matthews - Principal Strategic Planning Officer
Director of Learning and Skills