Agenda and draft minutes

Kent Schools Admissions Forum
Thursday, 10th November, 2011 1.30 pm

Venue: Billiard Room, Oakwood House

Contact: Geoff Rudd  (01622) 694358

Items
No. Item

10.

Minutes of Meeting held on 14 July 2011 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 October 2010 are correctly recorded and that they be signed by the Chairman.

 

11.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

There were none

 

12.

Update on Admissions Schemes and oversubscription criteria for Community and VC Schools pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)   Mr Bagshaw tabled the proposed coordinated scheme and admission arrangements for primary admissions in 2013/14 and advised the Forum that he was not proposing any significant changes but drew the members attention to the In Year Admissions Proposals.

 

(2)    Mr Bagshaw referred to the Admission to Primary School Booklets and advised the Forum that less of these would be produced with parents and schools being lead more towards an information sheet and making applications on line. Schools have become more involved in helping parents access the use of a computer and the number of on line applications has increased. Mr Wetherell asked if anything was being done to help those who could not read or for whom English was not the first language. Mr Bagshaw confirmed that there was a  positive move to work closely with MCAS on this point.

 

(3)   Mr Bagshaw advised the Forum that PAN for the new Voluntary Cof E school in Northgate should be 60 and not 30 as shown. Mr Whiting also referred to the oversubscription criteria for Eastchurch CEP School and the nearness of homes to an equidistant point between the Eastchurch site and the Warden Bay site. Some parents may prefer the Warden Bay site and therefore this aspect of the criteria needed clarifying. Mr Bagshaw agreed that this issue wasn’t a straight forward one.

 

 

(4)     Mr Whiting also drew attention to the fact that the document refers to the LA  and not County Council but the Glossary of Terms refers to both. Mr Bagshaw felt that it might be better to remove the Glossary of Terms altogether and he would give consideration to doing this.          

 

(5)    Mr Masters noted the proposed increase in the PANs of Pembury, Claremont and St Matthews primary schools in Tunbridge Wells.

 

(6)    Mr Bagshaw tabled the proposed coordinated scheme and proposed admission arrangements for secondary admissions in 2013/14 and advised the Forum that he was not proposing any changes to the proposed scheme but would consider removing the Glossary of Terms as with the proposed primary scheme.

 

(7)     Mr Bagshaw advised the Forum that he proposed the removal the Scheme of Education criteria as discussed in paragraph 35 of the minutes of the meeting dated 12 July 2011. He informed the Forum that he had profiled admissions as if the scheme had not existed and found that there would be little shift overall and that the only community school likely to be affected significantly would be Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys. Consequently Mr Bagshaw had proposed significant bespoke oversubscription criteria for Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys. He considered that the revised arrangements were in keeping with the traditional intake for the school which might otherwise be upset as a result of the wider changes relating to the schemes of education criteria.  In the event that anybody did not consider this to be the case they would have the right to outline this in the consultation and indeed challenge arrangements with the adjudicator  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Update on Proposed changes to the School Admissions and Appeals Codes pdf icon PDF 661 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)     Mr Bagshaw tabled a summary of the proposed changes to the School Admissions Code. He advised the members that the County Council had made its views known to the DFES and had made the County’s MPs aware of these. He also advised the Members that some aspects of the Admissions Code had been relaxed from September 2013. The necessity for the LA to coordinate in year applications had become optional. He was critical of the proposal to give priority to the siblings of former pupils and felt that it was bizarre. Mr Bagshaw also advised the members that one of his reservations about the proposals was that there would be room for different interpretations and this was a cause for concern. Mr Bagshaw concluded by informing the Members that Kent’s admission arrangements would be broadly similar to previous years. He invited the Members comments.

 

(2)         Mr Dalton sought Mr Bagshaw’s views on whether there was any guidance on managing the over capacity issue in some areas. Mr Bagshaw acknowledged that there didn’t seem to be anything about this but that the DFES working group, of which he was a member, would be able to look at the practical interpretations of this and other aspects of the Code.

 

 

(3)         Mr Masters referred to the expansion issue and how this would affect grammar schools. Mr Bagshaw felt that some schools would be better placed than others to expand. He explained that DFE intention was for parents to get their preferred schools and to give more flexibility to schools with the option of taking another form of entry where they see fit, although this may cause significant wider place planning issues. Mr Wetherell emphasised the importance of making parents aware of the change to the PAN in good time. Mr Bagshaw agreed and suggested that this information is published on the school website and the LA be kept informed. Rev Genders perception was that parents thought that it was a good idea but schools. LAs and Dioceses were not so keen. Mr Wetherell commented that appeal panels were putting more pupils into grammar schools who were not putting a strong case forward as to why they shouldn’t.

 

(4)         Mr Bagshaw referred to the new provision which allows academies to prioritise pupils eligible for pupil premium status. Because this will allow academies to attract greater pupil funding i9t could be regarded as another way for the DFE to persuade schools to seek academy status. The key issues as he saw it centred around flexibility of PANs and funding. He was concerned that funding would not be made available for capital issues where schools choose to expand on a whim.

 

(5)         Mr Masters referred to the issue of priority being given to children of staff at the school and asked whether schools had expressed their views on this. Mr Bagshaw advised that the general feedback had been some for it but the majority against it – most recognising that it could impact on local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Date of next meeting

Minutes:

(1)    Reverend Genders, Mr Bagshaw and Mr Rudd to liaise regarding the date of the next meeting. Mr Bagshaw advised that the likelihood was that it would be towards the end of January or beginning of February 2012.

 

(2)    The Members agreed that they preferred Oakwood House and at the later start time.

 

(3)      Mr Whiting requested that an item be placed on the agenda regarding the numbers of children in primary schools.