Parents quizzed on school oversubscription criteria

Parents and schools are being asked their views on oversubscription for community and controlled schools, particularly in relation to siblings, in order to better meet the needs of rising school numbers.

The West Sussex County Council consultation, closing on December 7, asks for views on three issues:

Whether siblings should be given priority over children from the catchment area of a school.

If there should be a sibling link between infant/first and junior/middle schools.

Whether infant/first schools should be feeder schools for junior/middle schools.

The council is stressing that this not the formal statutory consultation on admission arrangements that is required in law, but a pre-consultation designed to assess whether some aspects of the existing oversubscription criteria still meet the needs of most parents.

Peter Griffiths, West Sussex Cabinet Member for Education and Schools, said: “We are keen to hear the view of parents and schools particularly as we are going through a time of rising pupil numbers at primary level right across the county.

“We want to deliver local places for local pupils and also develop criteria that best suits the needs of families.”

The results of this pre-consultation will be used to inform the statutory consultation on admission arrangements for September 2014, which will be launched in January 2013.

The results will not affect admissions for September 2013.

The findings will be shared with schools responsible for their own admissions – Aided, Foundation schools and Academies. However, these schools will not be bound by any final decision the county council makes on the oversubscription criteria for community and controlled schools.

Details of the consultation questions and how to take part can be found on the ‘Have Your Say’ pages, which can be found by following a front page link at www.westsussex.gov.uk