Consultation on a proposed reduction in the published admission number (PAN) for Meadowhead Junior School with effect from September 2018

Why are we consulting?

The Schools Admissions Code 2014 sets out a requirement for all Admission Authorities to undertake statutory consultation where they propose a variation to the Published Admission Number (PAN) of a school.

The purpose of consultation is to ensure transparency and openness on the contents of a proposal and allow parents, carers and other interested stakeholders to make a representation that will be considered as part of the determination of the proposal.

Requirements for notification and publication

School Admission Code 1.43 - For admission arrangements determined in 2017 for entry in September 2018 consultation was completed on 31 January, 2017 and determined on 15 March, 2017.

The schools admission code.

Background

The current Published Admission Number (PAN) for Meadowhead Junior School is 90. This means that the number of children admitted into the school reception class each year is limited to 90.

Over a period of 4 years the school has seen a decrease in the number of families choosing to send their children to Meadowhead Junior School.  The current numbers of children on roll in each year group are:

  • Year 3 = 60
  • Year 4 = 63
  • Year 5 = 57
  • Year 6 = 77

Due to the disparity between the Published Admission Number (PAN) of 90 and the actual pupil numbers attending the school there is a need to consider reducing the PAN of the school as part of the wider review of school places in this area. Excessive surplus places create significant challenges for schools in respect of providing a cost effective class structure and managing to maintain a balanced budget. Reducing the PAN at Meadowhead Junior School will assist the school Governing Body to provide stability in its long-term planning and allow the school to continue to secure high quality educational outcomes for the students currently on roll, while continuing to provide an appropriate number of places for future pupil numbers in line with demand.

The challenges faced by Meadowhead Junior School are replicated at the neighbouring Infant School. A similar consultation exercise that is proposing to reduce the PAN at Meadowhead Junior School is being undertaken within the same timeframe. The Local Authority as the Admissions Authority will consider representations and recommendations from both consultation exercises before making any decisions on the proposals.

Demographic information

Housing - There are plans within a 2 mile radius of Meadowhead Junior School for new housing developments across 2 sites those being Gib Lane and Heys Lane. It is anticipated that this will see increased property yield of 1260 new properties.

Due to the scale of new housing that is being delivered in this region there will be an increase in demand for school places. Of the six Primary schools within the areas of the new housing developments there are currently 215 Primary school places available. Although places at both Meadowhead Infant and Meadowhead Junior Schools account for the greatest percentage of available school places, it is unlikely that these places will meet the anticipated demand on school places that will created through the development of up to 1260 new properties.

Population – Demographic data for children aged birth to 3 years in the Meadowhead catchment area indicates that the intake for the Infant School over the next 3 years will remain similar to the intake over the last 3 years.

Schools are often requested to admit children during an academic year. The Meadowhead area has a high percentage transient population therefore it is not an area where a contingency level of additional school place capacity is required.

Specific proposal

The Local Authority as the Admissions Authority for Meadowhead Junior School proposes to reduce the published admission number of the school from 90 to 60 with effect from September 2018 for Year groups 3, 4, 5 & 6.

This means that the number of places available for children in Year 3 in 2018 – and all subsequent Year 3 cohorts will be 60. For children who already have a place at the school in other year groups there will be no change but the admission number for all other years will reduce to 60.

This is the only proposed change, the oversubscription criteria will remain the same.

Who are we consulting with?

During this statutory consultation period we want to seek representations form:

  • Parents and carers of children already attending the school
  • Parents of any other children aged from birth upwards
  • School staff
  • Trade Unions
  • School Governors
  • Local Primary Schools - St Francis’ CEP School, St Paul’s RCP School, Feniscowles CP School, The Redeemer CEP School, Meadowhead Junior School, St Aidan’s CE Academy, Griffin Park CP School, and St Peter’s RCP School.
  • Other Primary, Infant and Junior Schools in Blackburn with Darwen
  • Local Secondary Schools – St Bede’s Catholic High School, Witton Park Academy and Darwen Vale High School.
  • Other Secondary Schools in Blackburn with Darwen.
  • Blackburn & Salford Diocese
  • Green Lane Community Centre
  • Bentham Road Health Centre
  • Councillors and MP’s
  • Relevant Local Authority Departments
  • Any other interested parties

Timetable for the consultation period

4th December 2017 Start of consultation
26th January 2018 End of consultation period/Deadline for submitting representations to the Local Authority
29th – 31st January 2018 Analysis of consultation representations and preparation of information to be considered by the LA
2nd February 2018 Meeting of the LA’s decision panel to consider representations and agree future arrangements.
w/c: 5th February 2018 Local Authority to present the consultation outcomes and the LA’s decision to Meadowhead Junior School Governing Body.
9th February 2018 Variation report and recommendations arising from the consultation forwarded to the Schools Adjudicator for their consideration and approval.

What happens next?

In February 2018 the Local Authority as the Admissions Authority for Meadowhead Junior School will consider the results of the consultations and make a final decision on the proposed in year variation of the published admissions number for 2018/19. Should the proposal to reduce the published admission number be agreed, information on the consultation and a request for an In Year Variation for Admissions in 2018/19 will be sent to the Offices of the Schools Adjudicator for their approval.

When would any changes come into effect?

If a decision to reduce the PAN for Meadowhead Junior School is agreed and approved, the arrangements would be introduced from September 2018 entry onwards.

How to respond

This consultation will run from 4th December 2017 to 26th January 2018 (a period of 6 school weeks).  You are invited to submit representations in writing about the proposal above to the Local Authority. You can email your representations to admissions@blackburn.gov.uk or send by post to the Place Planning & Admissions team, 10 Duke Street, Blackburn, BB2 1DH, or Meadowhead Junior School, Anglesey Street, Blackburn, BB2 4QG.

All representations must be received by 3pm on Friday 26th January 2018. Representations received after this specified time and date will not be considered.

Further information is available on the Local Authority website at www.blackburn.gov.uk and also on Meadowhead Junior School’s website at www.meadowheadjuniors.co.uk

Notice of consultation letter​​​​

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