Agenda item

Determination of School Admission Arrangements September 2023

To seek approval for the proposed admission arrangements for all Community Schools in North Tyneside for the 2023/2024 academic year including the

co-ordinated admissions schemes.


Cabinet considered a report detailing the proposed admission arrangements for all Community Schools in North Tyneside for the 2023/2024 academic year including the coordinated admissions schemes.


All Local Authorities were required to formulate and consult on a scheme for each academic year for co-ordinating admission arrangements for all maintained schools within their area.   Co-ordinated schemes were intended to simplify the admission process for parents whilst reducing the likelihood of any child being left without a school place.  Co-ordination established a mechanism that ensured that, as far as was practicable, every child living in a Local Authority (LA) area who had applied in the normal admissions round received one, and only one, offer of a school place on the same day.  While it was for each LA to decide the scheme that best suited its residents and its schools, authorities must ensure that they:


a)    complied with law and regulations, including all the process requirements; and

b)    did not disadvantage applications to their schools from families resident in other local authorities.


The Scheme applied to applications received from September 2022 for entry into maintained schools in September 2023. The School Admissions (Admission Arrangements and Co-ordination of Admission Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012 required the LA to exchange specified information on applications with neighbouring Authorities.


The purpose of the Scheme was to co-ordinate admissions into all mainstream maintained first and primary, middle and high schools in North Tyneside. The Regulations also placed a duty on all local authorities to make arrangements within their Scheme for cross-Authority border co-ordination of admissions.  The Co-ordinated Admissions Schemes were attached as Appendices 1 and 2 to the report. 


All schools had to have an admission number for each ‘relevant age group’. Admission Authorities of maintained schools must set admission numbers with regard to the capacity assessment for the school under the Regulations.  The Planned Admission Numbers were detailed in Appendix 3 to the report.


Pupils would be able to go to their preferred school unless there were more applications to that school than there were places available. If there were more applications than places available at a school, oversubscription criteria would be used to allocate places after any children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan had been provided for where the Statement or the Education, Health and Care Plan named a specific school.  Admissions Policies for admission to North Tyneside Community Schools and Nurseries for which the Local Authority was the Admissions Authority; and the oversubscription criteria used by the LA where there were more applications than places available were set out in Appendices 4 and 5 to the report.


Where a secondary school operated a sixth form and admitted pupils from other schools at age 16, for instance, an admission number would be required for Year 12 as well as for the main year or years. Admission numbers must refer to pupils being admitted to the school for the first time and not transferring from earlier age groups. The entry requirements for sixth form were largely dependent on the course of study that a student wished to access.  Details of specific requirements and courses available may be obtained for individual schools. All schools published information about their post 16 provision.


The local authority was responsible for consultation and determining the admission arrangements for community schools in the North Tyneside areas in accordance with the School Admissions Code 2021. 


The North Tyneside Learning Trust had been established in September 2010 and currently comprised 44 schools.  The governing bodies of these schools were responsible for determining their own admission arrangements.  Five of the schools in the Learning Trust were Special Schools and these arrangements did not apply to them.


The governing bodies of Voluntary Aided Schools and of the four Academies were also responsible for consultation and determining their own admission arrangements.


Any school which subsequently changed status would be responsible for determining their own admission arrangements following such change.


Cabinet considered the following decision options: either to agree the recommendations as set out in section 1.2 of the report, or alternatively to disagree with the proposals and request officers undertake further work to change the proposed admission arrangements.


Resolved that (1) the proposed 2023 admission arrangements and limits for Community Schools, as outlined in Appendices 1 to 5 to the report, be approved, subject to the appropriate publication of Statutory Notices;

(2) the Director of Commissioning and Asset Management be authorised to proceed in administering admission arrangements for the 2023/2024 academic year, subject to the publication of Statutory Notices and compliance with obligations required by the Secretary of State in accordance with the timescales set; and

(3) the Director of Commissioning and Asset Management, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Learning, be authorised to formally seek approval, as necessary, from the Schools Adjudicator in accordance with the School Admissions Code 2021 for any necessary variations to the determined arrangements for the 2023/24 academic year should these arise.


(Reason for decision: to secure compliance with statutory requirements as outlined in the report).


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