Report by the Director of Children’s Services
25.1 The Lead Member considered a report by the Director of Children’s Services seeking approval of the admission arrangements for the 2020/21 school year.
25.2 The Lead Member RESOLVED to approve the admission arrangements for 2020/21, and (1) The proposed admission priorities and community areas;
(2) The proposed admissions numbers, noting that the proposed increase to the PAN (Published Admission Number) for Willingdon Community School has been deferred to 2021/22 at the request of the school so that the PAN will remain at 200 for admissions in 2020/21, and that the PANs for Buxted CE Primary School and Danehill CE Primary School will increase to 30 (from 25) and 15 (from 12) respectively at the request of their governing bodies;
(3) The proposed co-ordinated admissions schemes with the following changes from previous years:
• That the primary and secondary scheme be amended slightly to reflect the assumption that it is in the best interests of summer-born children to be admitted to reception at compulsory school age where their parents request it, unless there are clear reasons why this would be inappropriate, and that own admission authority schools in East Sussex should be advised of this assumption and encouraged to adopt it by the County Council;
• That parents still be required to make a case for this so that it can be demonstrated that the County Council has considered the rationale behind the request and made the decision in the child’s best interests;
• That the County Council continue to advise all parents, whose request for admission out of year group is agreed, of the potential difficulties this could cause later on, and continue to require parents to agree that they have understood this and take responsibility for this decision.
(4) That with respect to in-year admissions (for example, families moving into the area with a child who has already been deferred in another area or admission authority) that the County Council should work on the same assumption;
(5) That in cases where parents submit in-year applications (or phase transfer applications for junior or secondary school) for their children to be educated out of year group where this has not happened before, or where they have come from provision that does not follow the National Curriculum (e.g. private provision or overseas) the County Council advise parents of a likely delay and make a decision in the best interests of the child in consultation with the Headteacher of the relevant school as in the case of summer born children applying at reception entry.
(6) That the County Council adopt the recommendation set out in a letter from the Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State for School Standards, that the definition of ‘looked after children and previously looked after children’ in the glossary of the County Council’s ‘Apply for a school’ guidance be amended to clarify that ‘this may include children previously in state care outside of the UK’.
25.3 The County Council is required by law to carry out consultation on admission arrangements every seven years, or sooner if there are any changes to those arrangements for the schools where the local authority is the admission authority.
25.4 The determined admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools will be published on the East Sussex County Council website by 15 March 2019 as required under current legislation. Any objections to these arrangements can then be made to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator until 15 May 2019. The final arrangements will be published in the composite prospectus online (and available in hard copy on demand) by 12 September 2019 as required by the School Admissions Code 2014.