New school admission arrangements proposed

Published Thursday, 5th October 2017

Notepad & Pen

A detailed report on school admission arrangements from September 2019 onwards will be considered by the council’s cabinet next week (Tuesday 10 October).

Along with proposed changes to admissions criteria, the report also includes analysis from the recent public engagement on proposed changes to primary school catchments within the Leigh area. Cabinet councillors will be asked to approve a preferred catchment option to be taken forward to formal public consultation later this year (6 November to 15 December 2017). 

The preferred option is an alternative model (Model K) that has emerged through the public engagement and discussion at the Admissions Forum.

Cllr James Courtenay, Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, says:  “We have undertaken a comprehensive listening and engagement phase ahead of the required formal consultation, and the new proposed model for catchment areas in the Leigh area is a direct result of that process.

“We have encouraged people to have their say, have listened to the varying views expressed by parents, the Admissions Forum, and schools and own admission authorities affected and have developed what we believe is a fair and balanced approach to admissions and catchments areas that is fit for the future. If approved, the proposals will be taken forward to formal statutory consultation, where local people will again be able to have their say.”

Model K proposes to move sections of school catchment areas (from West Leigh to Leigh North Street, from Leigh North Street to Darlinghurst and from Chalkwell Hall to Darlinghurst), identifying affected roads in the current West Leigh catchment as a separate ‘priority area’ which would give them priority to their previous catchment school for years of under subscription.

Cllr Courtenay concluded: “We believe that given the options available to us, this model is best suited to manage the demand for places in West Leigh. It was the wish of the Admissions Forum and the Council that the final recommendation for Model K also included priority areas for current Leigh North Street Primary and Chalkwell Hall Schools but we could not get agreement from one admission authority, as they felt this would be detrimental to the improvement journey they are on.

“Therefore, in order to allow the Council to consult on the changes to catchment, it has adopted the conditions required.”

The report has been referred directly to People Scrutiny committee on Tuesday 10 October at 6.30pm.