Consultation [Closed] : on a proposed reduction in the published admission number (PAN) for Audley Infant School with effect from September 2023

The Schools Admissions Code 2021 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

The schools admission code on GOV.UK.

Background

The current Published Admission Number (PAN) for Audley Infants School is 105. This means that the number of children admitted into the school reception class each year is limited to 105.
In recent years the school has seen a reduction in the number of applications for school places at Year R.

The number of children on roll in each year group (May Census 2021) were:

  • R: 91
  • 1: 69
  • 2: 80

Due to the gap between the Published Admission Number (PAN) of 105 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 has created a significant challenge for the school in respect of providing a cost effective class structure and managing to maintain a balanced budget. Although the school has managed the budget effectively over the past 5 years this is no longer sustainable.

Reducing the PAN at Audley Infant School will assist the school’s 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 Local Authority, as the Admissions Authority, will consider representations and recommendations from the consultation exercise before making any decision on the proposal.

Demographic information

Housing

Within the Blackburn East area there are plans to build 395 new homes over the next 5 years, of which 43 of these homes are to be situated within the Audley ward. It is not anticipated that the new housing developments within the immediate area will significantly increase demand for primary school places.

Population

The population growth for children aged birth to 3 years in the Audley Infant School area indicates that the intake for the school over the next 3 years will remain similar to the intake over the last 3 years.

Specific consultation proposal

The Local Authority, as the Admissions Authority for Audley Infant School, proposes to reduce the published admission number of the school from 105 to 90 for Reception Year with effect from September 2023 onwards.

This means that the number of places available for children in Year R in 2023 – and all subsequent Year R cohorts will be 90.

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

For noting

The Local Authority also intends to reduce the admissions number from 105 to 90 for the current reception and the September 2022 intake. The legal process to making this change is by way of application to the Office of School Adjudicator, not by public consultation.

For children who already have a place at the school in other year groups there will be no change but the maximum number that will be admitted to all years will be 90.

Who are we consulting with

We are seeking views from:

  • Parents in our borough who have children between the ages of two and eighteen
  • Other persons in our borough who the Local Authority believes will have an interest in the proposed admissions;
  • All other admission authorities within the borough;
  • Governing bodies in the borough (who are not admission authorities);
  • Our adjoining/neighbouring local authorities where the admission authority;
  • The bodies representing the religions/religious denomination of the faith schools in our borough

Consultation timetable

  • 30 November 2021: Consultation opens.
  • 22 January 2022: End of consultation period and deadline for submitting responses to the Local Authority.
  • w/c 24 January 2022: Analysis of consultation representations and preparation of information to be considered by the LA.
  • 31 January 2022: Meeting of the Local Authority’s decision panel to consider the responses and agree admission arrangements (Children’s SLT).
  • 28 February 2022: Formal determination of admission arrangements.
  • 15 March 2022: Publication of determined admission arrangements.

How to respond

This consultation will run from Tuesday 30 November 2021 to Saturday 22 January 2022 (a period of six term time weeks). You are invited to submit responses about the proposal above to the Local Authority by:

Responses must be received no later than 5pm on Saturday 22 January 2022. Responses received after this time and date may not be considered.