Bulge class - any help to understand this?(15 Posts)
In terms of maintaining a bulge class, this would have the impact of permanently adding an extra form per year, thus requiring 7 additional classrooms as well as playground space, school hall use etc. Putting in one bulge class is more straightforward as they can be accommodated in a portacabin or another room which has been temporarily converted (eg a library or music room say).
In terms of why you wouldn't have got in, hard to tell, but I agree that it is counter-intuitive. No harm in asking your council or the school as to why - occasionally there can be a very large number of siblings.
Could it be that other schools in the area had bulge classes in the other years and were preferred by parents? And probably a silly question but are you sure you're matching the years up right? e.g. the stats for the previous year might be published in the current year's admissions docs.
It is worth reading the admissions policy for the school as I'm sure they'll address it, but unfortunately you are probably right - 2 years after a bulge is often a problematic year with a high number of siblings. I have found that school secretaries can be a useful source of knowledge - they'll often have an informal headcount of how many siblings they have.
It could be that the bulge was added after the initial admissions round and the data shows the initial pre bulge admissions (clutching at straws but would explain the need for the bulge).
Perhaps the birth rate for that year group in that area was just high! Our current year 5 is a bulge class, and many other local schools are also bulging in that year group - there are just more kids of that age in our area than other ages!
The 'distance offered' is for first round offers. The bulge class would have been added after that, and it suggests there were an awful lot of children seeking places that year (hence small original footprint).
And yes it does mean that the 2-3 years after the bulge class (given typical family spacing) will have high numbers of siblings applying.
Bulge classes are hard to predict and certainly cannot be relied upon. They are generally added after the initial offers are made in April.
They are only added if more school places are needed. They are not added just so that more parents can be given their top choice school.
Bulge classes are often the only solution for councils when faced with dozens or hundreds more children than there are places but they are not problem free. Some schools can accomodate extra pupils but others lose playground space, school fields, music and I.T rooms to fit in extra pupils and have to have staggered assemblies, staggered lunches etc to cope with the numbers so it really is used as a last resort rather than used to increase parental choice. If there is a school slightly further away with spaces, pupils will be sent there instead.
The bulge class you refer to was possibly to accommodate a very large year group when the council was struggling to find a place for everyone. There may well be another bulge class this year too but you won't know about that for a little while.
we are able to admit local children despite the increased birth rate
It doesn't say all local children though and also, it doesn't define local so I would say that statement is probably true of virtually every primary school. If they are already highlighting the increased birth rate though, it may mean they are anticipating being asked to take an extra class at some stage.
We have a bulge class and as others have said, two or three years later admissions have been very tight. But in the bulge itself, people got in from much further away. As others have said, maybe check the distances on initial offers day and in September?
My DD2 is in a bulge class and I think there are some disadvantages. My DD1 who is 2 years older did lots more trips than DD1 has done. I wonder if this is because it is more difficult up organise for 3 classes rather than 2? There are in fact 2 bulge classes and they are currently years 5&6. No doubt that when these children go onto secondary school they will add another 2 bulge classes, ax this ix what happened last time.
In my area bulge classes were quickly put into some schools a couple of years ago as a temp measure - they ran out of places. These schools were not ones however that could take an extra class long term. It creates big issues later on when you have 3 classes worth of sibling for a 2 class school etc - 2 years later very few people got in on distance.
Different schools near by, who had big playgrounds / field etc were actually then properly expanded permanently and subsequent years the PAN for all the schools changed again - some went up, some went down.
Our school distance went down to its lowest ever 2 years after a bulge class, but the last 2 years went back up again, year on year - as more people apply to the expanded primaries etc
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