Change in primary school admission policy(14 Posts)
Hello, does anyone know if primary schools are now allowed to give priority to those applying who attended the attached nursery above those who live in catchment and siblings?
It's unlikely to be honest, it's not the school itself that allocates places it's the LEA.
I think academies can set their own rules, though (also faith schools on religious criteria) so it could be possible.
I think there's quite a long consultation period before changes can come into effect.
In short, I think it's very unlikely but not impossible. It's certainly cited 10-100× more often than that though!!
It's an Academy, if that helps. I just thought that there were still certain "rules" that had to be adhered to within a school's admission policy. It just seems that this would not necessarily prioritise the local community.
As long as it is put out for consultation and public allowed to comment on it for a Certain amount of days a year or two before the changes come into effect then they can change them. If they haven’t done the consultation period correctly then the new changes are unlawful.
Each school can have its own admission policy, and as long as it is legal, they can put what they like almost.
So, an academy can chose to have the nursery or the primary that also belong t o that academy as a feeder. We have one secondary with a feeder on the other side of town as it is the same academy group.
It must be clearly stated on their application process etc as the the criteria they use, and then they have to stick to them by law. But the criteria can be 'interesting'
It's unlikely to be honest, it's not the school itself that allocates places it's the LEA
It is more complex than that. The LA's role is to co-ordinate admissions and act as admission authority for community schools and VC schools. Academies, free schools and VA schools are their own admission authority. That means they can set their own oversubscription criteria amongst other things. Each year they receive a list of applicants from the LA. They must put that list in order using their admission criteria and return it to the LA. The LA then removes from the list any who have a place at a higher preference and makes the offers.
As others have said, the school is entitled to give priority to those attending the nursery provided it is clear. Looked after and previously looked after children must be first priority. After that the school can put the various categories in any order they want.
One of my local schools does this: it's a faith school, and you have to meet the faith criteria to stand any chance of a place in the nursery in the first place.
Whilst it is quite possible to have this as an admission criteria the issue is around are you giving all parents a reasonable chance of getting into the school in reception. So if you have a PAN of 60 and the nursery only takes 20, there are 40 other places readily available for those that did not get a place in the nursery and that would be considered OK. However if the nursery had 56 places then in effect you are saying you have to get a place at the nursery to have much chance of getting a place at the school. That is therefore not giving everybody a fair chance and would probably be considered unfair.
The other point is around the nursery. If it is run by the school then they obviously have some say on the admission criteria to the nursery but if the nursery is in the same building but not part of the school, then the school do not really have any control over the nursery admissions. This again would mitigate to how can the school feel secure that all parents have an opportunity to apply for reception and the answer has to be no they do not with increasing numbers in the nursery.
We had an academy in our Trust wanting to do this, but the LA advised that because compulsory education does not begin until Reception it could be challenged by parents as giving an unfair advantage. They cited an example that had gone to the ombudsman and the challenge had been upheld. However, they also said that the proportionate disadvantage was a factor, eg, the proportion of spaces that would still be available to parents who had not sent their children to the nursery.
I hope that helps.
I hope this doesn't become the norm. A child born late August would only be a few days past their 3rd birthday and having to join the school nursery in order to secure a reception place. And possibly with only a 1:13 adult/child ratio.
Thanks everyone, some interesting points here.
Our school looked at this but there was a legal challenge around it. At our school due to massive over subscription, parents would be in effect forced to use the school nursery ( 30'hours ) whether they wanted or needed to. A lot of parents who wanted to continue to use CM, private nurseries, no nursery etc until reception when mad.
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