Primary school admissions consultation
Proposed changes from September 2020
When changes are proposed to admission arrangements admission authorities are required to formally consult in accordance with the requirements of the School Admission Regulations 2012 (paragraph 1.3; 12 to 17). These requirements are summarised within the School Admissions Code (December 2014), Section 1, paragraphs 1.42 to 1.45.
Blackpool Council is proposing to change the admission policy for the primary schools for which it is the admission authority.
These are Boundary Primary School; Kincraig Primary School & Children’s Centre; Layton Primary School; Stanley Primary School; Bispham Endowed C of E Primary School and Moor Park Primary School.
The proposed changes are:
- An addition to the existing criterion for looked after children to include children who were previously in state care outside of England and have ceased to be in state care as they have been adopted. This is in accordance with a recommendation by the Minister of State for Schools.
- A consolidation of medical/social/welfare applications under a single criterion and clarification that the Council (as the admission authority) will determine if the reasons given, based on the evidence provided, are sufficiently exceptional to prioritise an application for a specific school.
- Confirmation that for siblings consideration of eligibility under the agreed criterion is at the time of application and allocation (the statutory offer date). The offer will not be subject to review at the time when a child starts at school (unless misleading or fraudulent information necessitates retrospective reconsideration of the offer).
If agreed the proposed changes will be determined by 28 February 2019 and will apply from September 2020 (September 2020 reception intakes and all in-year applications after that date).
Proposed primary admissions policy 2020/2021
Community and voluntary controlled primary schools
Below are the proposed allocation/over subscription criteria for 2020/2021 and thereafter for Boundary Primary School; Kincraig Primary School and Children’s Centre; Layton Primary School; Stanley Primary School; Bispham Endowed C of E Primary School and Moor Park Primary School.
When setting the Published Admission Number, the local authority has due regard to the available space within the school as defined by the school's net capacity. Where a school is oversubscribed, the local authority's determined admission arrangements must specify how it will determine the allocation of places.
Each school’s Published Admission Number (PAN) determines the number of available places.
Where there are more preferences for a particular school than there are places available, the council uses its oversubscription criteria to objectively determine which children should be offered a place at that particular school.
In the event of the admission number being reached within any one of the oversubscription criteria in the order listed below, the distance criteria will be used as a ‘tie breaker’. In the event of equal distance measures, a random allocation will be used to determine who takes priority for an available place.
Children with an education, health and care plan (formerly a statement of special educational needs)
When a child has an education, health and care plan that names a particular school, all admission authorities are required by Schedule 27, Section 324 of the Education Act 1996 to admit the child. Schools and academies must admit these children whether they have available places or not.
The over subscription criteria will be applied in the following order:
1) Looked after children
Blackpool Council gives the highest priority to Looked After Children (LAC), as required by the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and the Education (Admission of LAC) (England) Regulations 2006.
A looked after child is a child who is in the care of a local authority or provided with accommodation by that Authority, as defined in Section 22 of the Children Act 1989, at the time of application and allocation.
Under legislation, children who leave public care through adoption, a residence order or special guardianship order, will continue to be given the same priority although they are no longer looked after by the state.
Also children who were previously in state care outside of England and have ceased to be in state care as they have been adopted. These are children who were looked after outside of England by a public authority, a religious group or another provider of care whose sole purposed is to benefit society. Parents and carers will be expected to provide evidence of previous looked after status.
2) Medical/Social/Welfare reasons
Children for whom the council accepts that there are exceptional medical social or welfare reasons associated with the child and/or family which are directly relevant to the school concerned.
Only exceptional reasons which are directly relevant to a particular school will be considered. If you feel that there are exceptional medical, social or welfare reasons associated with your child and/or family which support admission to a particular school you must indicate that this is the case on your application.
All applications will be considered but supporting professional evidence will be required to demonstrate exceptional or compelling reasons why only a specific school can cater for a particular child’s needs. This must set out the reasons and the level of risk to the child or family and why the school in question is the only suitable school; plus any difficulties which would arise if the child had to attend an alternative school.
It should be noted that all schools can make provision for special educational needs, and can also manage common conditions e.g. asthma, epilepsy, diabetes.
Only exceptional reasons directly relevant to a particular school will be considered. Priority will be given to the child for the preferred school only if the submitted evidence unequivocally proves the circumstances and demonstrates why any alternative schools would be unsuitable.
Priority will be given to brothers and sisters of children already attending the school at the time of application and allocation (the national statutory offer date).
This includes full brothers and sisters, half brothers and sisters, step brothers and sisters and adopted and foster brothers and sisters who are living within the same family at the same address.
Full brothers and sisters who do not live at the same address will still be given priority as siblings. Half, step, adopted and foster brothers and sisters who do not live at the same address will not be classed as siblings.
Blackpool Council determines the distance from the applicant’s home address to the school with the nearest to a preferred school having priority for a place.
The distance between the applicant’s home and school is taken as a straight line between the Local Land and Property Gazetteer (LLPG) address point of the applicant’s home address and of the school. The LLPG is a point within the boundary of the property and is usually located at its centre. Distances are measured using the council’s geographic information system.
If the local authority is unable to determine eligibility on distance, i.e. two or more addresses are equal distance from the school; a random allocation will be carried out. In the event of a random allocation, someone independent of the children’s services department and of the school would supervise the process, and parents/carers would be invited to attend.
Any comments or suggestions in relation to the proposed admission arrangements for 2020/2021 should be returned by 11 January 2019 to:
Blackpool school admissions team
PO Box 4
Voluntary aided schools and academies
These schools are their own admission authorities and set their own admission policies. These schools are their own admission authorities and set their own admission policies. Individual admission arrangements are published on the school or academy's website.
Schools must consult on any proposed changes for a minimum of 6 consecutive weeks within the consultation period of 1 October 2018 to 31 January 2019. Admission authorities must take account of any responses received to their proposed policies when determining their final admission arrangements.
The following schools and academies are proposing changes, which can be viewed on their own websites.
Blackpool Gateway Academy
Christ the King Catholic Primary School
Mereside Primary School
St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School
St John's CE Primary School
St John Vianney Catholic Primary School
St Nicholas' CE Primary School
St Teresa's Catholic Primary School
Westcliff Primary Academy
Westminster Primary Academy
Blackpool Aspire Academy
Highfield Leadership Academy
St Mary's Catholic Academy
Determined admission arrangements 2019-20
Blackpool Council is the admissions authority for community and voluntary controlled schools. There is one admissions policy for these schools.
Admissions Policy 2019-20
Co-ordinated admission scheme
Blackpool has a co-ordinated admissions scheme which applies to families seeking school places for September 2019.
The scheme makes applying for a school place more transparent for all parties involved in the admission process. As coordination is a legal requirement, all Blackpool schools are included within the arrangements.
The aim of the coordinated scheme is to provide all parents with an offer of a single school place on the same day.
Coordinated School Admissions Arrangements 2019-20 [PDF 122KB]
Admissions policies are in line with the school admissions code and the school admissions appeal code:
School Admissions Code 2014