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Admissions experts - when does a new PAN become effective?

(5 Posts)
fatfloosie Sat 27-Apr-13 19:02:30

DD's infants school is joining with the neighbouring juniors to become a primary from September this year. The PAN for the infants is currently 70 and for the juniors is 75. The primary PAN will be 75 and 75 places have been allocated for reception admission in September.

DD is currently in Reception, which has 71 children due to appeal. I am wondering when the extra four places will be allocated. I don't think there is still a waiting list in the summer term so if you rang and asked for a place now, could you be given one for September 2013 start in Year 1? Or is your best bet to ask for an in year transfer and appeal if declined - and your appeal should then be allowed as non-ICS and PAN increasing to 75 anyway?

admission Sat 27-Apr-13 21:35:00

The official rule is that each year group has a PAN. When the reception children were admitted the PAN was 70 and it in theory stays at 70. That is certainly what the admission authority will argue at any appeal.
However there has to be some sense applied. The school has determined that a PAN of 75 is appropriate and therefore every year group that enters the school at reception will be 75 strong, so that in six years time the school will have 75 in every year group from reception to year 6. There will not be any change in the classrooms or accommodation, it is a paper change.
Many appeal panels would take the view that if the school has agreed the PAN is now 75 that there is no reasons to not admit on appeal but it will depend on exactly what the current class arrangement is - it could be running with 7 classes of 30 at present and therefore the appeal would be an infant class size regs. What class structure they will be running in september I do not know.
My inclination would be to apply for a place in year 1 to start september. You would need to time the application so that the admission authority would accept that it would be for a September start. I would have thought that would mean an application sometime in June but different LAs have different views on this. They will say full and then you go to appeal and talk through the changes that will be in operation in September

fatfloosie Sun 28-Apr-13 01:22:09

Thanks very much for your reply admission.

So if the PAN is supposed to remain at 70 for DD's year group then places should only be given at appeal or under the Fair Access Protocol etc and not just doled out to anyone who rings up or is on a waiting list?

That would be good on two counts:

(1) I would like DD to keep the slight advantage of being in a class of 28 instead of 30 for Y1 and Y2.

(2) One of DD's nursery friends is at a school miles away because her mum messed up the application last year. Last time I saw mum she was worried that her next child would not get a place at his sister's school this year and would instead be going to DD's school. If this is indeed what has happened then there's potential for her to appeal for a place for the elder child at DD's school (it wouldn't be ICS as there are 3 reception classes and 5 Y1/2 classes).

Do you know where I would find the 'rule' about the year group having a PAN?

Thanks again

fatfloosie Sun 28-Apr-13 01:27:52

Sorry, should add that the reason I'd like to know where the 'rule' is is because I spoke to the LEA on Thursday and they just said the PAN was 75 for all year groups with no mention of it being rolled out annually, so I don't trust them to do things correctly!

admission Sun 28-Apr-13 17:29:03

Fatloosie, it is possible that the LA is taking a pragmatic view of the situation. The law says that an admission authority can admit over the PAN in-year, which is what you are effectively talking about as a year 1 admission - paragraph 1.4 of the 2012 code. This would be done by arrangement with the school. Paragraph 1.5 goes on to say that any admission above PAN as set out in 1.4 does not constitute an increase in PAN.
As I said in the post above many appeal panels will having been told the school have increased the PAN from 70 to 75 will award a place at appeal because the school cannot prove that the school is full with 70 in the year group when they are officially increasing the number to 75 in reception.
Paragraph 1.2 of the 2012 code says that as part of determining their admission arrangements, all admission authorities must set an admission number for each relevant age group. The relevant age group is the age group at which pupils are or will normally be admitted to the school e.g reception. I am afraid that the 2012 code is much shorter and does not have the detail that previous versions have had and so whilst it is implied in paragraph 1.2 that the PAN stays with the cohort as it goes through the school, it is not written down anywhere in the code.

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