Second Consultation on proposed changes to Admission Arrangements

Second Consultation on proposed changes to the Admissions Arrangements for Waddesdon Church of England School to take effect from the beginning of the academic year 2020 – 2021

Every year the admission authority for all schools and academies are required to review their admission arrangements. The aim is to ensure that the arrangements continue to be appropriate, and that they comply with all the relevant requirements. The admission authority must consult on proposed changes to the admission arrangements.

The admission authority for Waddesdon School is its Governing Body. The Governing Body carried out a consultation on proposed changes to the school’s admission arrangements which would take effect from the beginning of the academic year 2020 to 2021 between 1 October 2018 and 12 November 2018.

As a result of that consultation, the Governing Body has determined to proceed with the proposed changes, namely:

  • Children with a sibling already on roll in Years 7-10 at Waddesdon CE School at the time of application and who are expected to still be on the roll on the date of admission of the younger child will be given priority over church applicants in the over-subscription criteria;
  • Children with siblings in other year groups will no longer qualify under the sibling criterion in the over-subscription criteria;
  • To bring forward the removal of part of the catchment area comprising part of the Parish of Fleet Marston (shown hatched on the current catchment map) which is due to be removed completely in 2022 in accordance with our 2011 consultation.

In response to submissions made during the consultation process, the Governing Body has decided to retain the existing priority for children with a strong Church of England commitment and a sibling on roll in Years 11 and 12 at Waddesdon CE School at the time of application and who are expected to still be on the roll on the date of admission of the younger child, over other C of E applicants in the admission arrangements.

New proposals

Sibling priority within criterion of strong church commitment to other churches
The Governing Body considers it appropriate that the same arrangements for children with siblings in Years 11 and 12 should apply within the criterion of strong church commitment to other churches which are affiliated to or represented at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland or the Evangelical Alliance.
 
Supplementary Church Commitment Form
As a result of submissions that wording of the supplementary form may lack clarity, the Governing Body propose to change the wording of this form to make it explicit that Clergy are verifying only attendance at a church service, and no other evidence of commitment to faith is required (or taken account of in deciding if an applicant has demonstrated strong church commitment).
 
Children of members of staff
As part of the consultation process, submissions were received asking the Governing Body to consider giving priority in the over-subscription criteria to children of staff employed by the school.

The Governing Body fully considered the submissions and had regard to the admissions arrangements of other secondary schools in the locality, including Buckinghamshire County Council’s own admissions arrangements, which give a level of priority to the children of members of the school’s staff where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application is made and/or the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.  The Governing Body also reviewed the inclusion of this criterion in other Church of England schools within the Diocese of Oxford.

The Governing Body is persuaded that the arguments promoting family values (which were one of the major factors for prioritising siblings above applicants with a strong church commitment) could also be seen to apply to the staff of the school and their families. In seeking to balance the founding principles of the school, the emphasis placed on family and the designation of the school as a Church of England school, the Governing Body feels it is right to consult on including a criterion to give priority to children of members of staff within the over-subscription criteria.

The Governing Body will consider all responses received as to the inclusion of priority for staff children and its place within the oversubscription criteria before reaching a final decision. It’s initial view is to afford priority to child(ren) of members of staff who have been employed by the school for a minimum of three years at the date of application (in line with the length of church attendance required to show strong church commitment), and to give this priority within the strong commitment to the Church of England criterion (after siblings) to children of staff who have strong commitment to the Church of England, and to add a new criterion after the strong commitment to the Church of England criterion for other staff children. If this is the case, the over-subscription criteria in the event that there are more applicants than places available in Years 7 to 11 would be applied in the following order:

1. Children Looked After (CLA) and children who were previously looked after (PLAA) but ceased to be so because immediately after being looked after, they became subject to an Adoption Order, Child Arrangements Order or Special Guardianship Order

2. Children who are resident in the catchment area

3. Children with a sibling already on roll in Years 7-10 at Waddesdon CE School at the time of application and who are expected to still be on the roll on the date of admission of the younger child

4. Children where a parent has a strong commitment to the Church of England (measured on the basis of church attendance twice a month for the three years preceding the date of application). Applications under this criterion will be considered in the following priority order:
a) those with a sibling already on roll in Years 11 and 12 at the time of application and who are expected to still be on the roll on the date of admission of the younger child
b) child(ren) of members of staff who have been employed by the school for a minimum of three years at the date of application
c) those without a sibling at the school (as defined by criterion 3)
A church commitment form completed by the minister is essential for this criterion to be considered.

5. Child(ren) of members of staff who have been employed by the school for a minimum of three years at the date of application

6. Children where a parent has a strong church commitment to other churches which are affiliated to or represented at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland or the Evangelical Alliance (measured on the basis of church attendance twice a month for the three years preceding the date of application). Applications under this criterion will be considered in the following priority order:
a) those with a sibling already on roll in Years 11 and 12 at the time of application and who are expected to still be on the roll on the date of admission of the younger child
b) those without a sibling at the school (as defined by criterion
A church commitment form completed by the minister is essential for this criterion to be considered.

7. Children who have exceptional educational, medical or social reasons for gaining a place at the school which are supported by written evidence from at least one professional explaining the particular reasons why Waddesdon CE School is the only school which can meet their needs and difficulties, and why they cannot attend their catchment school

8. All Other Applications

The Governing Body reserves the right to change the proposed order of the over-subscription criteria and their terms after consideration of responses made during the course of the consultation process.

The full proposed admission arrangements can be downloaded below:

Second Consultation Letter

Proposed Admissions Policy 2020 – 21

Supplementary Church Commitment Form

Catchment Area

The Governing Body invites comments on the proposed changes. Please send your comments to Nicki Logan, Clerk to the Governing Body, Waddesdon C of E School, School Lane, Waddesdon HP18 0LQ, or email clerk@waddesdonschool.com

The consultation will run from 29 November 2018 until 25 January 2019.

Graham Parker
Chair of Governors