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Admissions Experts - When can schools decide to increase their intake?

(12 Posts)
MyKingdomForAHorse Thu 03-Mar-16 20:18:03

If an academy decides that it can/should take more pupils than stated in its PAN in a given admissions year, is there a deadline by which they need to inform the LA so that the increased number can be included in the first round of the pan-London coordinated admissions process?

prh47bridge Thu 03-Mar-16 21:04:53

There is no deadline as such. The Admissions Code simply says that the school "must notify the local authority in good time to allow the local authority to deliver its co-ordination responsibilities effectively".

MyKingdomForAHorse Thu 03-Mar-16 21:20:59

Thanks prh, that's what I though, but it's a bit vague isn't it? e.g. if a school informs the LA within what would appear to them to be "good time" but the LA disagree then there appears to be potential for conflict.

Are there any process/technological constraints imposed by the PAN-London system itself, or is it just down to the LA's business process? Do LA's generally publish a deadline to their schools?

prh47bridge Thu 03-Mar-16 23:30:01

I can't find any deadlines published by the Pan-London scheme. However, where a school is its own admission authority they have to give the LA the list of children applying for their school ranked according to the admission criteria. Realistically they need to tell the LA if they plan to admit beyond PAN no later than the deadline for submitting the ranked list. That is around the end of January for secondary schools and early March for primary schools.

tiggytape Thu 03-Mar-16 23:34:28

There's a document that might be of interest. It outlines the admissions administration timetable for Croydon (so one of the London boroughs covered).
For example it details deadlines such as the latest date for the upload to the PLR of late applications which are considered to be on-time as 11December and a data checking exercise on January 4th. February 16th is listed as the date by which it is supposed to be in a steady state.

As prh says though, as long as it is in time to be acted upon, I don't suppose you'll get a definitive date as such.

tiggytape Thu 03-Mar-16 23:35:22

Sorry here

tiggytape Thu 03-Mar-16 23:42:36

Xpost with prh.
I think the date for that list submission in Croydon was January 11th 2016:

"Schools must provide Croydon LA with an electronic list of their applicants ranked in criteria order by 11 January 2016."

MyKingdomForAHorse Fri 04-Mar-16 06:52:41

Thanks Prh/Tiggy.

If the LA doesn't specify a deadline, and the school tells them they want to increase the number in what appears to be good time, but the LA don't include them in the first round, and don't give a clear reason why not, what then? Clearly some children may miss out because between the first and second round the late applications will have been added in.

Would those children who missed out in those circumstances have strong grounds for appeal do you think?

prh47bridge Fri 04-Mar-16 07:24:36

Immediately after the section I quoted the Admissions Code goes on to say that admission authorities can admit above PAN in-year. If they do the places will go to whoever is at the head of the waiting list at that time. They won't wind back the clock and ask what would have happened if they had increased PAN in time for the first round of offers. So I think it would be worth a try but it is by no means a guaranteed winner. I would back it up with a strong case as to why the child will lose out if they don't get a place rather than just relying on this.

PatriciaHolm Fri 04-Mar-16 08:29:49

I'm not sure the mechanics of how this can happen?

Are you saying that what has happened is that the academy has ranked the list of all those who applied and sent it back to the LEA saying "we'll take 210 this year" but the lea has only offered to 150 (or whatever)?

MyKingdomForAHorse Fri 04-Mar-16 09:43:41

PatriciaHolm, yes that's right. The LA said they would offer the extra places in the second round instead.

prh47bridge Fri 04-Mar-16 14:26:36

If the school told the LA at that they wanted to admit over PAN at the time they sent the list back I would say there is a very good case that late applicants should only get places after all the on time applicants have been dealt with. If the school told the LA at a later date the case is weaker but still worth a try. If the school didn't decide to admit beyond PAN until after offers had been made an appeal would, in my view, be a long shot. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it - you never know what an appeal panel will make of a situation like this.

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