School Admission Arrangements 2020/21
As detailed in the recommendation and noting that Flintshire County Council discourages (rather than ‘does not encourage’) moves during the school year.
The Senior Manager – School Planning and Provision introduced the School Admission Arrangements 2020/21 report which advised on the outcome of the statutory consultation exercise on the admission arrangements for September 2020.
In accordance with the School Admissions Code, the local authority was required to undertake a statutory consultation exercise on its admission arrangements for the following year. Consultation must cover the full admission arrangements, including the admissions policy, over-subscription criteria, the timetable for admissions and admission numbers, all of which were detailed in the report.
Comments were received during the consultation period from the Secondary Heads Federation on the process for changing schools during the school year. They were concerned, in particular, about the number of requests to transfer schools which were made during a school year and the disruption those could cause to a learner’s education. In 2017/18 1228 transfers were processed which was a similar number to some other local authorities in Wales. Many transfers were as a result of house moves but some were not. In order to ensure that parents had given serious consideration to all options prior to requesting a transfer, it was suggested that the following wording, as agreed with Secondary Head teachers, be included in the policy:
“The Local Authority does not encourage transfers between schools, and a change of school mid-term can seriously disrupt the continuity of a child’s education. If parents feel that a problem at school is so serious as to necessitate a change they are urged to take all reasonable steps to resolve the issue with the school first and then to seek advice from the Admissions Team if necessary before applying for a transfer. In cases involving school transfers request that do not involve a house move, the Local Authority reserves the right to arrange for the child to start the new school at the beginning of the next half term to minimise disruption to their own and other children’s education. All secondary schools have mid-year transition programmes that will support pupils who are undertaking a mid-phase transfer. The programmes include extended visits to schools by parents/carers and pupils”.
The wording was supported by Members with the caveat that the wording “the Local Authority does not encourage” being changed to “the Local Authority discourages”.
Councillor Attridge asked for further information on the number of mid-year transfers that took place. The Senior Manager – School Planning and Provision explained that the figure was similar to previous years and some transfers were unavoidable. The aim was to minimise the disruption to a learner’s education.
In response to a question from Councillor Thomas, the Senior Manager explained that 96% of pupils got their first choice of school which was a higher percentage than some other local authorities. The transport policy was made clear to parents that free school transport would only be provided if the school was the nearest one to their home.
The Admissions team were thanked for all of the work undertaken throughout the year.
That the proposed admission arrangements for 2020/21 be approved, noting that Flintshire County Council discourages (rather than does not encourage) moves during the school year.
- School Admission Arrangements 2020/21, item 332. PDF 85 KB
- Appendix 1 - Admission Arrangements 2020/21, item 332. PDF 108 KB
- Appendix 2 - Primary School Admission Numbers, item 332. PDF 66 KB
- Appendix 3 - Secondary School Admission Numbers, item 332. PDF 51 KB