Statutory consultation on proposed admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled primary schools for 2021/2022

Statutory consultation on proposed admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled primary schools for 2021/2022

From 8 November 2019 to 20 December 2019

When changes are proposed to admission arrangements, all admission authorities must consult on their admission arrangements that will apply to admission applications for the following school year.

At least every 7 years, admission authorities must consult on their admission arrangements; even if there have been no changes during that period.

We would like your views on a number of proposed changes to the admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled primary schools for 2021/2022.

Admission authorities must consult on proposed changes to its admission arrangements for a minimum of six weeks between 1 October (at the earliest) and 31 January (at the latest) in the determination year.

The consultation period for 2021/2022 admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled primary schools will run from Friday 8th November 2019 to Friday 20th December 2019.

Proposals

  1. We are proposing the inclusion of the groups of children named below within the oversubscription criteria as they have exceptional social circumstances, are often disadvantaged and may have encountered adverse childhood experiences. The groups of children are: Children who were previously in state care before coming to England
  2. The local authority are also proposing to change the way in which we deal with applications received from parents with shared parental responsibility: The address used on the common application form must be the current one at the time of application, i.e. the child’s main residence. If the address changes subsequently, the parents/carers should notify the admissions authority of this change. Where the parents live at different addresses, and there is shared parenting, the address used will normally be the one where the child wakes up for the majority of Monday to Friday mornings. If there is any doubt about this, then the address of the Child benefit recipient will be used. Where more than one person with parental responsibility for the child submits an application for the same child, then neither application will be considered and the parents/carers will be asked to agree a single application. The local authority will require the parents to resolve matters between themselves, taking legal advice if necessary and inform the local authority which application should be processed. Please note:if agreement is not reached or a legal decision is not made before the closing date, this may affect the chances of your child being allocated a place at the preferred school(s).
  3. The local authority are also proposing to consider unaccompanied asylum seeking children and Children of ‘Zambrano Carers’ under the social, medical and welfare criterion. A 'Zambrano' carer is a person from a non-EEA state whose residence is required in order to enable a child or dependant adult, who is British, to live in the UK (or the rest of the EEA). This will not however guarantee admission to a preferred school.

Summary of the changes to the oversubscription categories are as follows (proposed changes are written in bold)

2021/22

  1. ‘Looked after’ children (see below); children who were previously ‘looked after’ but immediately after being looked after were adopted or became subject to a child arrangements order, or special guardianship order, and children who were previously in state care before coming to England. (Looked after’ means that the child was
    • (a) in the care of a local authority, or
    • (b) being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions).
  2. Children with an older sibling (sibling means a brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister or the child of the parent/carer’s partner) who will still be attending the preferred school when the younger child is admitted. NB
    • (a) cousins are not included in the definition of sibling
    • (b) in every case, the children should be living in the same family unit at the same address.
  3. Children with proven exceptional medical, social or welfare needs which are directly relevant to the school concerned. If you wish to be considered under this category you must provide appropriate supporting evidence with your application from a doctor, social worker or other professional. This evidence must explain why the preferred school is the most suitable and what difficulties would be caused if the child had to attend another school.
  4. Geographical proximity - under this category, the remaining places will be offered to children who live nearest to the preferred school. The distance will be measured in a straight line between the home front door and the main gate of the school using a computerised programme.

Tie-breaker: Within each of the oversubscription categories, if there are more applicants than remaining places available, geographical proximity (as set out in category d) will be used to allocate places.

Consultees

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

  • 08.11.19 Consultation opens.
  • 20.12.19 End of consultation period and deadline for submitting responses to the local authority.
  • Week commencing 13.01.20 Analysis of consultation responses and preparation of information to be considered by the local authority.
  • 16.02.20 Meeting of the local authority’s decision panel to consider the responses and agree admission arrangements.
  • 28.02.20 Formal determination of admission arrangements.
  • 15.03.20 Publication of determined admission arrangements.

How to respond

This consultation will run from 8th November 2019 to 20th December 2019 (a period of six term time weeks). You are invited to submit responses about the proposal above to the local authority by:

  • Online survey
  • Alternatively, download the consultation response form below and return via:

Responses must be received no later than 5pm on Friday 20 December 2019. Responses received after this time and date may not be considered.

More information

If you would like to discuss the proposal or would like more information, please email admissions@blackburn.gov.uk