West Sussex County Council seeks views on school oversubscription criteria

West Sussex County Council has launched a consultation on aspects of the oversubscription criteria for community and controlled schools, particularly in relation to siblings, in order to better meet the needs of rising school numbers.

The consultation, which closes on December 7, asks for views on three issues:

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

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-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 said that this is 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 results 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 council makes on the oversubscription criteria for community and controlled schools.

Details of the consultation and how to take part can be found here www.westsussex.gov.uk/your_council/have_your_say