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Council planning of school places?

(17 Posts)
3asAbird Mon 24-Oct-16 11:56:09

Curious do councils have a formula for assuming X amount kids go faith/ private or out of area?

Is primary booms years 2006 onwards or more 2007?

We applying for year 7 place this year.

Advice on mumsnet is always put down nearest school as 1 of preferences.

Comp 1 has 2 has 6 /7primaries nearest too it within official school catchment .
Both have an intake of 210 year 7 places.
But if you add up all the local primaries closest to it it's 360 spaces short as 420 places offered and the combined 780.

There's a 3rd school locally that takes some if this area but it has official catchment priority for villages first before town kids.
Takes 300 so unsure if has space to expand numbers.
Not sure if the 210 schools have space to take 300 a year

We have no faith provision in our county.
So a small minority would go to neighbouring counties faith schools.
We know a few who go private but it's super expensive wouldent say huge amounts go state primary then switch to private.

Council shut 1 seniors down which means the 4th nearest school is under pressure to take kids from their immediate area .
They only have 150 intake and hard to see how they can expand too much as they built a primary within school grounds which is all through so in 6 years time 60/150 will go to kids who attended local primary.
That area is also bursting at seams in their primary schools and many kids are travelling to nearby county schools as close to border of 2 different local authorities so although it's possible go further afeild theirs no right to go out of county.

Within the next 5 years 10k new houses will be built
Least 4000 close to my nearest 4 senior schools

The council have published a document caller core strategy commissioning of school places which doesn't plan any new senior provision. Or hardly any new primary schools within a short time frame.
Possible date for new senior school is 6 years time!
All local primary schools are mostly full even at ks2 .
New primary opened but adds 1 year at a time so no ks2 spaces.
The Document says for every 100 new houses 18 senior school places needed.
It says local schools will have to absorb the extra.
Can only think of just 3 local primary that have have space to build and extend to 3 form intakes.

Not sure how many extra the 2 nearest senior schools can take.
Unsure why the new primary cannot maybe hire extra teacher and have 2 mixed ks2 classes as currently huge new build school with capacity to take 420 kids currently has just 60 and 2 classes whilst others are breeching 30 a class.

Has the primary boom slowed down now will their be less or more primary applications in jan.
Last couple years it's been so hard local people get primary places.
I don't see much action from council at all .

Feel like we heading for trouble and no one seems to care or be aware right now.

I have raised it with local councillors but they talk about surplus but many if the spare spaces on outer rural edge of the county not the heavily densely populated areas that families choose to move to for great local primaries.

Hoping dd 1 gets good school as sibling link for my 2 younger kids as imagine be far worse in 2020 when apply for dd2 and dd3 is 2011 biggest birth rate year since 1973.

I think we may move counties as feel it's too risky stay where we are.
Dd1 has many freinds in year 5 stressing already but I guess if it follows primary admissions year in year no year 7 places will increase last year most people managed get what they wanted.

Comp 1 breeched numbers by 30.
We know of a couple of split sibling's
Only 2 local primaries have spaces one in requires improvement and brand new primary.

I guess it's only when huge amount kids cannot get a school will locals actually start to pressure the council.
It's obvious to see the figures don't stack up.

I was trying to work out if we were unlucky and got none of 3 preferences where they would allocate as very few senior schools remotely close undersubscribed .

Ladymuck Mon 24-Oct-16 12:56:42

Councils do look at the number of spaces needed, and would usually ensure that there is a small surplus. Without knowing your council it is hard to make further comment. Certainly I have 5-10 year projections for my area with an indication of where additional schools will be built.

The difficulty for LAs at present is that free schools are outside of their control. So there may be additional schools being built, but not by being commissioned by the local authority.

EwanWhosearmy Mon 24-Oct-16 13:14:09

OP I think you are somewhere near me.

I think you missed a bit in *Comp 1 has 2 has 6 /7primaries nearest too it within official school catchment .
Both have an intake of 210 year 7 places.*

The boom seems to have started in 2006 and got worse year on year. We currently have a child in Y5. Year on year I've been looking at the stats of how many 1st prefs have been met where and this year it seems more schools are over subscribed on first allocation.

Last year and this all our Y6 and the neighbouring primary Y6 went to our catchment secondary. We didn't like it when we went to look, but I'm worried where she'll end up if we don't get any of the schools we actually like.

We come under SG. I'm wondering if they take notice of the county boundaries when allocating schools, so if we didn't get one of our 3 (why can't we have 6 like other areas?) they wouldn't be able to allocate a failing school in the City? Would they send us to a more distant SG school?

Creatureofthenight Mon 24-Oct-16 13:21:01

As I understand it, councils can't build new council run schools, they could build the actual building, but would have to put it out to tender to be run as a free school. There have been many calls for this to change as free schools don't always open where need is greatest, but no change from the govt, free schools are still their pet project.

eddiemairswife Mon 24-Oct-16 13:41:02

Yes, it's the council's responsibility to provide enough places for the children in the authority, but they can't build their own new schools to make up the shortfall. Some bright young thing who thought this up isn't so bright after all.

DoctorDonnaNoble Mon 24-Oct-16 13:49:31

Indeed, and my Tory MP who I have written to about this several times continually fobs me off with 'it's the council's job'.

3asAbird Mon 24-Oct-16 15:43:28

Ewan whose army

Yes its sg bristol gets all all the media attention.

They seem to be actively building new school's and expanding places.

Progress south glos super slow

360 kids is a lot of shortfall are they assuming all 360 go banes /bristol schools or private.

We have very few independent schools this side of town

School=d has been oversubscribed last 2 years over 700 apllications for 210 places.
Last year it took 240 some who wanted it were given school r even though it's outside the area of prime responsability.
I expect d will have quite a few siblings
Most roman catholics also picking r so it's feeding from St a as rc secondary schools are miles away.

M been less popular but was only just under last year by 10 places I heard from staff.
M maybe more popular this year due to new head uniform and gcses bettet than d.
Of course it's in requires improvement but so is r and so is jca.

Both r and d are much lower than bath or bristol schools.

M has to take one nearby village.
It also takes kids from bs16 as they shut down the Grange.

KO bs15 has extended to 150 a year which is tiny.
Because they built a primary in grounds not sure they can expand and future primary kids get priority admission plus siblings leaves hardly any places for bs16 kids hence why m takes so many.

Jca being lottery not really local school as lottery.

Jca has good results but bad osfted wondering if more people choose m or d first.

R has good results but distance, bad osfted ,rumours poor pastoral care and 300 intake puts many off.
Eg and lg is out catchment officially although previous years kids got in.

This year's open evening business manager got up said nothing is ruled out
Staff cuts/ bigger classes/ cuts in subject as they so in debt plus so many changes of heads.
R got allocated kids last year who live closer to d that was odd.

The idiots also built bs community school too small so lots go to r.
Most people I know lusting d or m as one of 3 preferences to avoid r.
If m and d were 300 intake not sure many locals be that pleased or if they have enough grounds to do so.

Bs16 and 15 primaries are full.
They Need more local primary places too no idea what happen with prinary admissions this year last 2 years many got allocated LG or bc primary as only ones under within a 3miles radius.
They coukd easily extend 3 to 3 form intake but they haven't.
Why they don't merge local infants and junior together and cut heads wages I don't know.
They just strike me as incompetent.

The new build LG primary looks good such huge space to remain half empty for next 5 years until it fills up when people moving to area can't find ks2 space.

Mod kids add and extra challenge in numbers .

LG seniors not scheduled until 2023.
LG village be complete built by then as will 500 houses on old hospital site and 500 coal heath .

Where houses at uwe meant to go for seniors?
FA community school are oversubscribed .

Only ones under are sbl/ yate international and possibly chipping sodbury /thornbury.
They only really care about the north of the county the east really has been done over.
We live on the border but pay sg council tax and we go to sg primary.

They cannot allocate you a bristol school don't worry although some bristol schools are better. The met was impressive and brunel is not bad.

Always wise list nearest one which most freinds are as 3rd preference and looking at bristol / banes schools as 1 and 2.
With quite a few lottery schools 3 doesn't seem enough bristop and sg need 6 and maybe need to be working together.

South glos is lowest funded lea in uk bristol schools get more money per pupil and look lot less run down than sg ones.

I know sg cabt open own schopls but apparently there are circumstances they can if can find no one else.
They could encourage and support more academies to open new schools or free school's a lot sooner than 2023.

Waiting for shock horror march 1st and april when local parents find out we may have a problem .

Seriously baffled where the 360 kkds locally will go.
Expect more siblings be split with their strict local sibling rule .
If we got allocated r then younger kids would not have sibling link.

My mp been equally useless.

3asAbird Mon 24-Oct-16 15:49:59

3asAbird Mon 24-Oct-16 16:37:50

I find it hard to believe their figures

2000 surplus places is that's year 7 to 13 across whole county.
Our nearest 7 sg senior schools all oversubscribed or close to oversubscribed.

Same with the 4k plus primary places in the last 3 years locally

They only only extended 1 firm intake primary into 2 60.

1 2 form primary into 3 so 90 intake

Few years back they had 2 year bulge class and then dropped down to 30 at a 1 form primary which means only 2 non sibling out 30 got in last year.

4 new primaries built but spread apart so serve different areas.

3 opened year before last so only have years r and yr 1.
2/ 3 are linked to already oversubscribed small intake senior schools.
1 takes 30 the other 60.
1 primary opened 30 a year meant to be 60 has massive brand new build lots empty classroom unused.

1 other new primary is in its 3rd year so only ks1 provison no juniors and takes 60.
All new schools are academies
All senior schools are academies
But many of sg primaries still local authorities controlled so they could extend.

3 primaries I know of were rebuilt but still remain at 2 form 60 intakes so not exactly extra spaces.

I think primary boom locally is 2005 onwards.
They shut down 1 senior school
Extended intake 1 senior academy to take an extra 30.

Their plan seems be reveiw annually year 7 places so oh look we don't have enough spaces let's just breech and expand existing schools making them super large I guess as they all academies they can refuse.

10k plus new homes

Dates for new schools seem far away if all local primary are full and booms started.
Makes me nervous about march 1st as I either get nothing or a poor performing school I don't like.
2 nearest schools same academy chain therefore reducing parental choice.

Ladymuck Mon 24-Oct-16 16:52:50

When you say a school which is "over 700 apllications for 210 " spaces is hugely over subscribed, it isn't necessarily. Those 700 applications could have been 1st, 2nd or 3rd choice on the CAF. You would expect each school on average to have 3 applications per place on a balanced system.

Academies have a greater degree of flexibility in determining their PAN. "Breeching" PAN possibly isn't the correct way of putting it - the academies chose to take in extra classes (and of course the money associated with such). It is certainly more cost efficient to run larger secondary rather than smaller ones, so academies which have room to expand will usually do so.

If you want more information than the council have put on their website then you could put in a Freedom of Information request. I find "whatdotheyknow" an easy site to use. Your council should be able to tall you the current numbers of children by year group at each school for example.

prh47bridge Mon 24-Oct-16 19:50:23

but they can't build their own new schools to make up the shortfall

Yes they can but they have to find someone else to run the school.


PAN is the minimum number of pupils a school will admit, not a maximum. A school can go over PAN provided they tell the LA.

As Ladymuck says, a school with 700 applications for 210 places is not massively oversubscribed. Imagine there are 3 schools in a town, each of which admits 210 pupils. If there are 630 pupils of the right age and all parents use all three of their preferences for schools in the town, all three schools will have 630 pupils applying for 210 places. There will still be enough places to go round.

In 2016 South Gloucestershire had a surplus at both primary and secondary levels. There were 2,854 children applying for 3,003 secondary school places and 3,223 children applying for 3,751 primary school places. Based on national statistics it will be another 2-3 years before there is a problem at secondary school level.

Because South Gloucestershire has a surplus, 99% of parents got one of their three preferences this year. In the South West only Cornwall, Plymouth, Swindon and Wiltshire did better. Nationally only 14 LAs managed to give more parents one of their top 3 preferences.

Based on this I suspect you are worrying unduly. You could be one of the unlucky ones that doesn't get one of your preferences but the likelihood is that you will be fine.

3asAbird Tue 25-Oct-16 08:25:50

Only poor performing schools on outer edge of the county are undersubscribed with spaces.
This is what sg means by surplus in wrong places.
Only 1 school local to me was undersubscribed last year and speaking to that schools and local parents we expect it to be oversubscribed.

Sg just lists how many 1st preference and on time offers.
1 local school breeched from 210 to 240 last year.
Our 5th most local school is lottery fair banded and takes bristol kids too.

I just don't get how add up how many primary schools numbers within area of prime responsability adds up to more places than amount senior provision.
Of course there are some bristol kids at sg primaries near border and some of those pick bristol senior schools.
Some actually travel a distance so may not live close to the primary the child attends.
Some go private .

That accounts for some of 360 kids who attend local primary schools.

All the primary and secondary surplus is in thornbury / yate and chipping sodbury.
Where they building thousands of houses and more densely populated areas within outer edge of bristol they ignoring.
Strategy is just breech numbers.

prh47bridge Tue 25-Oct-16 09:50:39

If parents are generally getting the schools they want spare places will tend to be at schools that are performing poorly or that are difficult for most pupils to get to. That doesn't mean there is a problem. It is only an issue if lots of pupils are getting places at schools they didn't want.

The most significant thing on the page to which you link is that only three schools (Bradley Stoke, Downend and John Cabot Academy) had more first preferences than places. Those are the only schools that are really oversubscribed.

Looking at this year's school census the number of places in South Gloucestershire will still exceed the number of applications. Looking historically it appears that there is around a 5% drop off from primary to secondary, i.e. the number of applications for secondary schools is around 5% less than the number of pupils in Y6. Also from the census it is clear that quite a few primary schools are not full in Y6, so they don't need as many secondary school places as there are Y6 places.

As per my last post, exceeding PAN is not a problem provided the school can cope. If a school has set its PAN at the lowest possible level it can generally expand by around 11% without any problems.

If new homes are being built that will lead to a requirement for additional school places, but not necessarily as many as you think. The council will know how many additional places will be required. They may be able to accommodate by expanding existing schools or they may need to build some new schools. So there may be a problem in future. But, based on the statistics, I don't think there is a problem for 2017 admissions. It is possible you will be unlucky but you have a much better chance than most parents of getting a school you want.

OdinsLoveChild Tue 25-Oct-16 10:49:33

I would like to think that councils have some idea of numbers expected to move up to high school however in my town they don't seem to have a clue.

They closed a high school 6 years ago and distributed the children to the other 2 high schools in the town. From this September they started sending busses to the neighbouring towns high schools to accommodate the children they cant fit into the local high schools. It must have been clear there was a massive increase in numbers born in 2005/6/7/8 and that those students would need a high school place in the town starting 2016.

They also closed 5 primary schools 5 years ago (and sold off the land) and now 3 remaining primary schools are having new classrooms built to double the number of students they can take due to the demand for places. Our primary school used to have 1 form entry per year. This year it took 2 forms and next year it plans to take 4 forms. Theyre building an additional 6 classrooms and have already converted several offices into classrooms.

There are no plans for the council to reopen the empty old high school site. In fact it has a for sale sign up on it. We haven't had an influx of migrants or anything. We are fairly rural with very little work opportunities so no clear reason why we are so short of spaces other than the council closed schools because they thought the number of children had dropped then they didn't look at it again....ever hmm

3asAbird Tue 25-Oct-16 11:34:57

Thanks prh

John cabot is a lottery and fair banded takes kids from all over Bristol.

The % if people who get first preference does not separate by sibling link would love to know what it is minus siblings.

Downend furthest distance has cut by half recent years last year 1.55 miles.

I know nearly all the local primary schools nearest to downend are full there maybe surplus places but not within this area.

Due to ridings and John cabot involving bus journey many locals want local schools.

John cabot/ridings have highest gcses results in County but recent poor ofsted.
The next nearest school to downend will probably fill up this year as school on the up .
If that's full nearly all sg senior schools except 4 on outer edge will be full
It's such a mixed county and their strategy of places admits surplus not evenly distributed and schools near border and 3 specific areas of the county will find things challenging at the same time as authorising thousands of new homes in those areas.

A brand new estate built nearest to downend schools 2k homes they say 18 places needed per 100 homes built.
Proposed new secondary school for that estate in 2020.

Bradley stoke is a new build built so small it only accommodates a few kids that live there.
Others have to go to the ridings a large secondary in a village.
Some go castle in thornbury
Some get stuck at patchway a undersubscribed poor performing school.

I think we get our preferences but worried about some freinds preferences .
If the local 3 fill up.

Obviously they must have school census data from oct so hopefully they know exactly how many year 6 applying and where they live.

Ladymuck Tue 25-Oct-16 11:38:38

Certainly at a local level it is very likely that secondary schools have a handle on the position, and will aim to expand if there is scope to do so.

3asAbird Tue 25-Oct-16 13:51:57

Lady muck the 2 local ones possibly could extend intake but would need significant investment into new builds and not all parents want huge schools.

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