Wokingham consider changes to school admissions0
Wokingham Borough Council are to consider changes to 2014/15 school admissions on March 28.
Shared catchment areas for some primaries in hotspot areas of the borough needing additional places, and the current rules for out-of-catchment siblings when a primary school is oversubscribed are among the recommendations to be discussed.
Some of the recommendations also respond to the wishes of local schools and stakeholders, as well as public feedback from the annual consultation into the co-ordinated admission schemes for all state- funded primary, junior and secondary schools within the Wokingham Borough.
This includes free schools and academies, as well as specific rules for schools maintained by a council such as community and voluntary-aided.
The consultation asked if The Colleton Primary and Polehampton CE Infant and Junior schools should share a single catchment area. Respondents and the schools were in favour of this change.
Members of the public who took part in the consultation and council both believe this change would give parents greater choice in the Twyford area, and reduce the risk of siblings being split.
Therefore, the executive will consider the recommendation to introduce a single catchment area for these schools from 2014/15 onwards.
Under the Education and Skills Act 2008 (as amended) and the statutory School Admissions Code, all admissions authorities, such as Wokingham Borough Council, must carry out annual consultations into their admissions arrangements for the following academic year where changes are proposed.
The public consultation for 2014-15 admissions arrangements therefore ran for eight weeks during January and February of this year. It is held annually at about this time because admission arrangements for each school year must be decided by April 15 in the previous year.
Following the consultation and determination/setting of the admission arrangements, a person or body can still object to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator. However their objection will only be considered by the adjudicator on the grounds that the arrangements, as determined, fail to comply with the statutory requirements of the School Admissions Code.
Once set, a council has a statutory duty to administer its admissions as set out. It cannot vary them unless there is a change in a school’s organisation, or the law, or to comply with a decision from the Office of the School’s Adjudicator.