West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2018-11-21
End date: 2019-01-31
Results: 2019-03-30

Admission Arrangements 2020/21 for Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools

We are seeking your views on proposed changes to admission arrangements for West Berkshire schools for 2020/21

Local Authorities have a statutory responsibility to determine admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools in their area by 28 February each year. In doing this, local authorities must comply with the requirements of the School Admissions Code and all relevant legislation. Where changes to the admission arrangements are proposed, consultation must have taken place by 31 January.

The pdf icon proposed admission arrangements for 2020/21 [7Mb] remain largely the same as last years, with the exception of substituting the appropriate dates.

We also propose to:

1. Reduce Spurcroft Primary School's admission number from 75 to 60

(Highlighted on page 10 of the document)

The demand for school places in Thatcham is projected to reduce over the next 5 years, and in order to create financially stability, Spurcroft Primary Schools admission number must be reduced. Just 53 children were allocated places in September 2018 due to lack of demand. If the number is not reduced there is a risk that marginally more than 60 children could be allocated, and the school would be forced to employ 3 teachers for the year group without the necessary numbers to financially support this. The school can accommodate all catchment children, and expected demand is in the region of 30 catchment applications per year, so there is capacity for catchment and other children when the number is reduced.

2. Add an oversubscription criterion for children who were previously in state care outside of England, and have ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. 

(Highlighted on page 2 of the document)

These children will be given the second highest priority, as requested by the Minister of State for School Standards. This will therefore be criterion B of the oversubscription criteria below (the full policy with definitions including permanent home address are outlined in the Draft Admission Arrangements Policy for 2020/21)

Proposed Oversubscription criteria are:

Children with an Education Health and Care plan are allocated school places through a separate review process, and will be included in the number of children allocated to the school.

For Community and Voluntary Controlled schools that are oversubscribed, the remaining places are allocated according to the over-subscription criteria as follows:

A. Looked After Children and children who were Looked After, but ceased to be so because they were adopted or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order immediately following being Looked After.

B.  Children who were previously in state care outside of England, and have ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. By children previously in state care outside of England, we mean children who have been looked after outside of England by a public authority, a religious organisation or another provider of care whose sole purpose is to benefit society. The care may have been provided in orphanages or other settings. Evidence will be required to support an application.

C. Children who have exceptional social or medical needs, supported by a written recommendation from the child's paediatrician/consultant or professional from Children's Services. The letter must explain why the school is the only suitable school to meet the child's needs, and why no other school could provide the appropriate support for the child.

D. Feeder Schools (this criteria only applies to junior school applications)
Children who attend the infant school that links to the junior school as detailed below:

  • Calcot Junior School - The feeder school is Calcot Infant School
  • Garland Junior School - The feeder school is Mrs Blands Infant School
  • John Rankin Junior School - The feeder school is John Rankin Infant School
  • Parsons Down Junior School - The Feeder school is Parsons Down Infant School
  • Westwood Farm Junior School - The feeder school is Westwood Farm Infant School

E. Catchment Area Pupils, ie Children whose permanent home address is within the school catchment area of the school. 

If it is not possible to offer all catchment children a place, priority will be given to siblings (the definition of sibling is as explained in criteria D of the oversubscription criteria) in catchment, before utilising the listed tie breakers.  

F. Non-Catchment Siblings - pupils with a brother or sister (including step/foster sibling and children of the parent/carer's partner) living in the same family unit, who is already on the roll of the preferred school and will continue to attend compulsory education at the school during the following academic year.

For infant and junior school applications, the brother or sister will also be considered a sibling if they are already on the roll of the partner infant or junior school of the preferred school, and will continue to attend compulsory education at the school during the following academic year.

Where the child's sibling is currently in Year 2 of the partner infant school they will be considered a sibling if:

1.    An application for the partner Junior school is received for the sibling, and

2.    The admission team are in a position to offer the sibling a place at the partner junior school

G. All Other applicants who do not meet any of the Oversubscription criteria A to F

Priority will be given within any of the over-subscription criteria in the following order:

1.    For reception applications only. A child entitled to the Early Years Pupil Premium Grant (during the application period, 12 September to 15 January) who attends the nursery school that is linked to the school.
Parent's must have applied to the West Berkshire Council early years team for the early years pupil premium grant and been entitled between 12 September and 15 January for consideration with their on-time school application. Parents must indicate within their reasons for applying for a school place that they are entitled to the Early Years Pupil Premium Grant and this will be verified by the school admissions team.

Where parents apply for, and are entitled to, the Early Years Pupil premium Grant after 15 January and while their child still attends the nursery that is linked to the school, this will be taken into account after the national offer date (16 April).

This applies to the following schools that have a nursery on site that is managed by the school:

  • Calcot Infant School
  •  John Rankin Infant School
  • Mrs Bland's Infant School
  • Pangbourne Primary School
  • Purley Primary School
  • Robert Sandilands Primary School
  • Springfield Primary School
  • Spurcroft Primary School
  • Thatcham Park Primary School
  • The Willows Primary School
  • The Winchcombe Primary School
  • Theale Primary School
  • Westwood Farm Primary School

2.    Child whose permanent home address is nearest to the preferred school. Distances will be measured using a Geographical Information System taking a straight line between the home address and the school using the unique property identification points within the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG).

3.    Where 2 or more applicants meet the same admission criteria and the measured distance between home and school is the same to 3 decimal places, a lottery system will be used to set the rank order for each child. In order to ensure fairness, the School admissions team will administer the lottery system overseen by the Head of the Education Service. The applicant's names will be drawn in order, and that order will be applied to their ranked order in the admission list for the school.


Who To Contact

Contact details for West Berkshire's School Admissions Team

01635 519771