Consultation

Consultation on reducing the Published Admission Number and amending the admissions priority area at Long Lee Primary School

Purpose of the consultation

Statutory consultation on the proposed reduction in Published Admission Number for Long Lee Primary School for the 2023/24 academic year

Consultation Document

 

Bradford Council proposes to reduce the PAN at Long Lee Primary School from 60 to 45 and amend the admissions priority area from 1 September 2023.

 

Proposal: Reduce the Published Admission Number at Long Lee Primary School

 

The current Published Admission Number (PAN) at Long Lee Primary School is 60. This means that the number of children admitted to the school in reception each year is a maximum of 60. This proposal would mean that the maximum number of pupils intended to be admitted in Reception in 2023, and all subsequent Reception cohorts, will be 45. For children who already have a place at the school in other year groups there will be no change.

 

When planning primary school places, The Bradford District is split into 26 primary school planning areas. Long Lee Primary School sits in the Keighley 1 planning area.

 

The population growth across the District from 2010 increased pressure on primary school places, resulting in a large-scale expansion programme to meet the growth in demand. Due to an increase in demand in the Keighley 1 planning area, Long Lee Primary School permanently increased their PAN from 30 to 60 in September 2011. This moved through the school each year until all year groups had a PAN of 60 in 2017. The net capacity of the building is 420, made up of 60 places in each year from reception to year 6.

 

Victoria Primary School also increased the PAN from 30 to 45 in 2014 to meet the demand for places.

 

Overall across the Bradford District, there has been a decrease in the number of younger children registered with the NHS. This has led to a high level of surplus places in some of the primary school planning areas, including Keighley 1, where Long Lee Primary School is situated.

 

According to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the number of live births nationally has fallen for five consecutive years, with the total number of live births in 2020 being the fewest since 2002. Given the falling number of births nationally and across the District, the Council does not anticipate that the numbers of children requiring school places in the Keighley 1 planning area will increase significantly in the near future.

 

Across the Keighley 1 planning area, there are 375 reception places available with the total number of places allocated on National Offer Day being 283, 43 of these at Long Lee Primary School. This increased to 301 on roll in September 2021 and is still considerably below the number of available places.

 

Current published forecasts indicate that the numbers of reception places required in reception for the next four intake years across Keighley 1 are:

2022/23:        305

2023/24:        323

2024/25:        293

2025/26:         293

Reception allocations since 2018 show that on average, 52% of all pupils allocated a place in reception have an older sibling attending the school. 96% of all pupils attending the school nursery were allocated a place in reception; 52% of these had a sibling at the school.

 

Three possible PAN reduction options have been modelled using this forecast information with the following implications:

a)    Do nothing and keep the PAN at 60 – The reception class is not forecast to fill to 60, meaning the school will not receive the maximum funding to enable two classes per year group. There would however be an expectation that the school can take up to 60 pupils throughout the whole intake year which may result in a high number of in-year allocations. This could potentially require changes to class organisation during the school year.

b)    Reduce the PAN to 45 – There will be sufficient places to meet the forecasted demand for places. The school will plan the curriculum for mixed age groups with the understanding that classes should remain stable and not need to be reorganised during the school year. Funding received for the number of pupils on roll should be sufficient for the level of staffing required for mixed age groups.

c)    Reduce the PAN to 30 – The reception class is forecast to have significantly more than 30 allocations in all forecast years (up to 2025) Reducing the PAN to 30 would remove too many places from the area, meaning that children living in Long Lee may need to pass the school and travel further to access another primary school with an available place. Given the historically high percentage of siblings gaining entry to Long Lee Primary School, reducing the PAN to 30 would limit the number of children able to gain a place at Long Lee Primary School without an older sibling. Whilst it is important for the school to maintain strong connections with existing families, it is also important for the school to make links with new families living in the local area.

The School Admissions Code requires that all admission authorities consult where they propose to reduce a PAN. Bradford Council, as the Admission Authority, is therefore seeking representations on the proposed change to the PAN for Long Lee Primary School in the Keighley 1 planning area.

 

Proposal: Amend the admissions priority area for Long Lee Primary School

The current priority area was introduced for admissions in 2009, to prioritise admission to Long Lee Primary School for those children living in Long Lee before those living in Keighley who may in some cases have been nearer by straight line distance, and can more easily access a place at other primary schools. Appendix 1 shows the current priority area.

 

Since that time, a number of housing developments have been approved in the area. Whilst the majority of these housing developments are within the current priority area, there is one development on Long Lee Lane which is only partially within the priority area. This could mean that whilst some families living in the new development will be prioritised for a place at the school, their neighbours may not.

 

We are consulting on making changes to the school priority area to ensure that all dwellings within this development are within the priority area for admissions to Long Lee Primary School. Appendix 2 shows the proposed amendment to the priority area.

 

In accordance with the School Admissions Code (2021), the Council is consulting with key stakeholders, including;

  • Long Lee Primary School – Head/Governing Board/Staff
  • Parents/carers of current pupils and prospective parents of pupils
  • All other Admission Authorities within the District
  • Neighbouring Local Authorities
  • Councillors and MPs
  • Trade Unions
  • Anyone else who has an interest in the proposed changes

 

A copy has been sent to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator and the proposal will be published on Long Lee Primary School’s website.

 

This consultation will run for six weeks from 15 November 2021 to Monday 10 January 2022, after which time any representations received will be considered and a report taken to the Council’s Executive Committee for a decision to be made on the PAN for Long Lee Primary School.

 

Factors that have been considered by the Council when deciding to consult on these proposals include:

 

  • A large portion of funding received by schools is directly related to the number of pupils attending the school. Too many vacancies mean that schools will not receive the maximum possible revenue. Therefore, the Council is proposing to reduce the number of available places to enable the school to operate more efficiently and cost effectively.
  • The school is located in Keighley 1 planning area where there continues to be a falling demand for primary school places, resulting in a significant surplus across the area.
  • The total number of pupils from reception to Year 6 recorded by the school on the May 2021 census was 388, which is below the current capacity of 420.

·         Due to the lower numbers of younger children registered with the NHS who will require a school place in the coming years, the Council expects that there will be sufficient school places available for local children if the PAN is reduced. If agreed, the overall PAN for the Keighley 1 planning area will be 360 from 2023.

  • Long Lee Primary School and the Council will look creatively at solutions in the future which may help to solve any problems resulting in a shortage of school places in the Keighley 1 planning area – eg a bulge intake.
  • A number of new housing developments have been approved in the Long Lee area. One development in particular is partially within the current priority area meaning that only some families living in the new development may be prioritised for a place at Long Lee Primary School.

 

Long Lee Primary School Governors and Bradford Council believe that reducing the PAN will assist the school to provide stability in their long-term planning and allow them to deliver high quality educational outcomes for the pupils currently on roll. The reduction in PAN will ensure that an appropriate number of places are provided for future pupils, in line with forecasts. We also believe that all Long Lee residents will be given the same priority for Long Lee Primary School by amending the priority area to include the entire housing development on Long Lee Lane.

 

Please complete the online survey to tell us your thoughts on the proposal to reduce the Published Admission Number from 60 to 45 and amend the admissions priority area from 1 September 2023. Alternatively you can email SufficiencyConsultation@bradford.gov.uk a completed copy of the response form found in supporting documents.

 

Supporting documents

Let us know your views

To tell us what you think on this subject, please follow this link to an online survey. This consultation runs until Monday, 10th January, 2022.