Can a school choose to admit over it's PAN?(22 Posts)
Hi, just that really- can a school choose themselves to allow any admissions over their Published Admission Number? If so, how does the communication take place between the school and the Local Authority. Eg, if the school decided to take more children than the PAN, how is council made aware of this in order to correctly allocate places?
When we looked round the school we have subsequently chosen as first choice, the Headteacher told us he didn't envisage a problem in our DC getting a place (despite us living out of catchment) although he wasn't allowed to formally say of course. He mentioned something briefly about the possibility of moving some Year 1's up t the next class.
I'm just musing really as I think it's going to be a close call a to whether dc gets a place, so grabbing at straws! Thanks.
It is bang out of order for the Head to say something like that.
The published criteria must be followed. Admissions will be to PAN, but more children might join if there are successful appeals (or if LEA needs to activate the Fair Access Protocol). Offeriing a place to a (distant) child who should not have been offered one is he sort of mistake that means the parents of the child who would otherwise have been admitted will have a winnable appeal.
Thanks- he didn't offer a place as such, just responded to myself and DH's queries as to whether the school was normally fully- subscribed etc. He said himself that obviously there was no guarantee and I think was insinuating that the structure of the foundation/year 1 class might change to allow for more reception in the future.
Funnily enough, in the second school we looked round, the head also said a similar thing I.e they didn't foresee any problems but couldn't guarantee a place. I didn't realise they weren't supposed to...
Thanks again for your reply.
schools with mixed year classes are often happy to admit more than their PAN if they were below PAN in the previous year and they want to keep their total numbers up.
The procedure for how this is done seems to vary.
Oh right, that's interesting- it's a mixed age class in this case, and its the procedure I have been wondering about (I am clueless in all this!). So for instance, I assume the local authority sort through all primary applications and allocate places accordingly. If, as you say, a school is happy to admit over the PAN in some cases, I just wonder how all this is all sorted out with the LEA so they can allocate the place?
Our school (mixed classes, PAN of 15) admits to PAN in reception but is happy to admit over PAN higher up the school to have bigger junior classes, or if one year is smaller it may admit more children to the years either side.
The rules on this have changed with the latest Admissions Code.
The admission authority can decide to admit children beyond PAN. That means a VA school, academy or free school can make the decision itself but a community or VC school cannot - it is up to the LA. Even if the school is able to make the decision itself it is still required to notify the LA in good time.
I'm sure there are some schools where the head ignores this and admits over PAN without the necessary authority.
I see. Very dependent on individual schools by the sound of it. I know the last two years our first choice school has been quite under-subscribed but seems to be a much bigger intake this year. Is that true of other areas too? Heard something on the news recently about a shortage of primary places so guess it might be.
Just to add, if the head was very much out of order with what he said. He may not have formally offered you a place but saying that he "didn't envisage a problem" could be interpreted as a promise of a place. If, as he implies, he tries to manipulate things so that favoured applicants get places that would be a serious breach of the Admissions Code and should get him in trouble.
The school is VA school. So is this under their own control (admissions I mean?)
They are their own admission authority. So yes, it is their decision rather than the LA's. However, it should be the governors making the decision, not the head. And if they do decide to vary PAN any additional places must go to those highest up the admission criteria. The head cannot pick and choose who to admit.
Ok, think I understand now! So when parents submit their admission form to the LEA, how does the process differ when a VA school is involved? Do the LEA just hand over a list of applicants to the school for the governors to look through?
Great, thank you! Appreciate all the replies. Such a nerve-wracking time...
That has explained things brilliantly, thanks tiggytape. Think most of the people who have it as a first choice have made themselves known iyswim eg through the attached nursery/pre-school. But do think it is a good second choice school for others so not holding out too many hopes.
We also like our second choice school very much and dc stands a good chance of getting in there so all would not be lost.
DDs old school had mixed years varying from 22 to 8, fairly randomly, but with a general fall in the total number in the school as two conservative very large years left.
They aim to keep combined classes under 30, but have certainly admitted over that in KS2. I'm certain they would jiggle things if at all possible as they are way below the number if DCs and classes they had when DD1 started and they have loads of physical space.
Even the most popular schools have some mobility. Even if you do not initally get offered a place then you might get offered a place on the continuing interest list. People often move areas due to changes in relationships, family size and jobs.
If you are desperate for a place in a particular school then you might get a place in the middle of reception.
Thank you all. Guess its just a matter of waiting now. The annoying thing about the date of the school decision is that pre-school are asking for fees/wanting to book days for next term now. If DC does not get in to first choice, then I will have to do some serious jiggling around and see if they can attend any sessions at the pre-school of second choice school so would be so much better if knew school decision before the end of this term. Ah well, not a lot can be done about it. Thanks again.
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