Issue - meetings
(a) That the report be noted;
(b) That a tick box be added to the on-line admission application form for primary schools to ensure that parents understood that the admission into a primary school did not mean automatic admission into the secondary school in that area; and
(c) That the Committee recognise the excellent work of the admission team.
The Chief Officer introduced the report to provide a policy overview and update on numbers. She gave background information and invited the Admissions Manager to present the report.
The Admissions Manager reported on the main considerations, as detailed in the report, and advised that the capacity of all schools in Wales was calculated in accordance with the National Assessment methodology provided by Welsh Government and all schools had an agreed Admission Number which was derived from the calculated capacity. She explained that there was no automatic right to a school place at a particular school and if more applications are received than places available places must be allocated in accordance with the agreed oversubscription criterial set out in the admissions policy.
The Admissions Manager advised that it was important that applications for admission were returned by the published closing date as late applications were dealt with after those received on time. This meant that if a preferred school was full, even if the school concerned was closest to the child’s home address, a late application would be refused and the parent offered a right of appeal to an independent appeal panel. This process was in accordance with the published admission arrangements.
Councillor Kevin Hughes referred to the appeal process and the number of appeals which were upheld. The Chief Officer reiterated that if an application for admission was refused the parent had a right of appeal to an appeal panel which was independent and impartial. She also explained that oversubscription did not necessarily result in appeals as parents may accept a second or third preference school or an alternative school with a space available.
In response to the questions raised by Councillor Geoff Collett concerning new build of residential developments and the impact on local schools, the Chief Officer gave an outline of how the Authority planned and managed school places and the data used to assist. In response to the further comments raised by Councillor Collet the Chief Officer said that if Members had a specific query or concern regarding a school(s) in their Ward they could contact her and she would demonstrate in further detail how school places were planned and managed.
Councillor Geoff Collet commented on the admission process to secondary schools. Councillor Ian Roberts advised that admission into a primary school did not guarantee a child a place in a secondary school in the same area. Officers emphasised there were no designated school places or catchment areas. The Admissions Officer commented on the work undertaken to ensure parents made informed decisions and said that schools were expected to be compliant with the information provided to parents. The Committee supported the suggestion that a tick box be added to the on-line admission application form for primary schools to ensure that parents understood that the admission into a primary school did not mean automatic admission into the secondary school in that area.
Councillor Andy Dunbobbin commented on the Council’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and asked if ... view the full minutes text for item 29