Formal consultation on school admission arrangements to start

Published Monday, 16th October 2017

School station in shades of blue

School admission arrangements for primary schools from September 2019 onwards will go to formal public consultation from 6 November to 15 December 2017.

Along with proposed changes to admissions criteria, views on the final recommended model for the Leigh area (councils are required to consult on only one option) will be sought through the formal process.

The final recommended model agreed by Cabinet emerged through the public engagement exercise earlier this year 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 final recommended model for catchment areas in the Leigh area is a direct result of that process.

“I would now urge residents to have their say through the formal process when it begins. We are aware that there are conflicting views on our proposals, but we have listened to the views of 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.

“Residents and other stakeholders will be able to have their say online and we will also be holding an open session on 23 November at 6.30pm in the Civic Centre council chamber for people to talk to council representatives and schools for more details. We want residents to have their say, so please come along and encourage all your neighbours and friends to get involved too.”

The final recommended model proposes to move a section of school catchment area from West Leigh to Leigh North Street, 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, the final recommended 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 also included priority areas for current Leigh North Street Primary and Chalkwell Hall Schools but we could not get consensus from all Admission Authorities for this model.

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

Further information about the consultation is available on our school catchment page.