Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Katrina Bell on 020 8583 2072 email:  katrina.bell@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

97.

Appointment of the Chair

Minutes:

Euan Ferguson and Debra Kane nominated Kevin Prunty as Chair of the School Admissions Forum and this was seconded by Ajit Singh.

 

Resolved – 

That Kevin Prunty was appointed Chair of the School Admissions Forum.

 

98.

Appointment of the Vice-Chair

Minutes:

Ajit Singh nominated Euan Ferguson as Vice-Chair of the School Admissions Forum and this was seconded by Debra Kane.

 

Resolved – 

That Euan Ferguson was appointed Vice-Chair of the School Admissions Forum.

 

99.

Apologies for Absence, Declarations of interest and any other communications from Members

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were noted.

100.

Minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2014 and matters arising pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were approved as an accurate record of the meeting. The following matters were discussed:

 

Agenda item 87. Mr Singh asked whether a list on the sites identified for new schools was available. Sheena Poley confirmed that they were available which will she will forward to the Clerk to send out.

 

Action: Ms Poley to send list to Clerk to distribute to members.

 

Agenda item 89. Members requested Sabi Hothi to send out information about the open days.

 

Action: Ms Hothi to circulate dates for open days

 

 

 

 

 

101.

School Admissions Forum constitution - For noting pdf icon PDF 12 KB

Minutes:

Ms Hothi stated that it had been a while since the School Admissions Forum constitution had been reviewed. There had been some changes since the document was last updated therefore it was important to consider representation from all relevant areas.

 

Ms Hothi referred to the constitution on page eight in the agenda pack and highlighted the following gaps in membership:

 

6.5             No representative for secondary community school and there was no   

           primary community school representative for Chiswick;

6.8             Currently there was only one parent governor;

6.9.1       Cross borough representation from Ealing was low therefore members agreed to invite a representative from Richmond to attend meetings;

6.9.3       It was agreed that local business representation was not required;

6.9.4       Members were not sure whether Preschool Learning Alliance still existed and requested Ms Hothi to confirm this.

 

The following suggestions were made by members in terms of updating membership:

 

·        Recruit parent governor from secondary community school;

·        Recruit primary school representative from Chiswick;

·        Importance of having voluntary aided head teacher on the forum;

·        Euan Ferguson suggested reducing the membership to core members for example six teachers from both primary and secondary community schools.

 

Actions:

·        Ms Hothi to check whether Preschool Learning Alliance still existed

·        To have membership and constitution as an agenda item for the next meeting

·        Ms Hothi to compile a table on membership with current vacancies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.55pm Councillor Chopra arrives at the meeting

 

102.

Update on Primary Admissions 2014

Minutes:

Ealing and Richmond councils were performing better due to online facilitating and by having a firm policy on online applications. Ms Hothi stated that most parents were new to the system. The chair, Mr Prunty, asked whether schools could help with the uptake of online applications. Ms Hothi responded that schools would be asked to assist with the process.  Ms Hothi stated that she and her team were also planning to do more outreach work to increase the uptake. Mr Ferguson asked about the benefits of applying online; Ms Hothi responded that online applications allowed parents to change preferences until the deadline and at the same time it allowed local authorities to gather useful data. Ms Kane asked whether any schools were adversely affected. Ms Hothi stated that the data was skewed by a small amount of schools carrying high rate of vacancies such as Beavers Community Primary and Edward Pauling Primary schools. Ms Hothi stated that the issue with primary admissions was also that parents did not want their children to travel much and preferred that all their children went to the same school and therefore there was a need to find capacity in the same schools.

103.

Update on Secondary Admissions 2014

Minutes:

Ms Hothi summarised the current vacancies at Brentford School for Girls which were four, Feltham Community College which were 121, 75 at Kingsley Academy and four at Rivers Academy.

104.

DfE Guidance for discussion pdf icon PDF 216 KB

  - Summer borns

Minutes:

Ms Hothi referred to the advice on the admission of summer born children from the Department for Education. The document sets out clear guidance on deferred entry. Ms Hothi stated that further discussions shall be held with her colleagues on Friday 4 July as to how to implement these guidelines. Ms Hothi stated that each application would be considered individually and parents would be notified with the available options which would include a performa for parents to complete and submit.

 

Mr Prunty asked whether the approach would differ between academy and local authority school. Ms Hothi stated that parents would approach the local authority with their application which would be passed on to the relevant admission authority if needed. The application would be processed for the current year while the school considers the deferred entry.

 

7.25pm Councillor Bruce arrived at the meeting

 

Liz Wolverson stated that the process would be more complex when admitting pupils into secondary school.

 

Mr Prunty stated that more thought needed to be given to the process and that the whole system needed to be looked at. He suggested that it would be useful to review the policy for each admission authority and based on this provide advice to parents.

 

 

 

105.

School organisation and Expansion Programme pdf icon PDF 194 KB

 - Oak Hill Academy Consultation to expand to an all through Primary School

 - Forge Lane Primary School - change of category to VA status

 - Hounslow Town Primary School expansion

 - Wellington Primary School expansion

 

Minutes:

Oak Hill Academy Consultation to expand to an all through Primary School

 

Ms Hothi referred to the consultation on the Oak Hill Academy West London changing from a four form entry Junior School to a two form entry Primary School on page 20 of the agenda pack. Ms Hothi stated that a response shall be prepared in due course. A meeting was also held a week before with teachers regarding this proposal.

 

Members raised the following questions in regards to the proposal:

 

·        How the school shall be able to accommodate the change without changing the building;

·        Staff training and recruitment process for key stage one;

·        The affect of the proposed change on reception children.

 

Members generally felt seriously concerned about the matter and had a real concern on behalf of the Primary Community schools. Councillor Bruce also highlighted that as this specific proposal hadn’t been mentioned in the original proposal it raised questions over the legality and morality of the whole process.

 

Mr Prunty asked Ms Poley whether a contribution could be made to the consultation. Ms Poley confirmed that comments on the proposal could be forwarded to the organisation. The procedure would be for the Trust to prepare a business case which would include evidence from the local authority which would then be sent to the Secretary of State to consider. Ms Poley also stated that parents were also being consulted.

 

Mr Prunty asked members whether they agreed with responding to the consultation. There was mutual consent to proceed with a response and it was agreed that Ms Poley would draft a response for Mr Prunty to sign off on behalf of the members.

 

Action: Ms Poley to draft letter of response to the consultation and forward to Mr Prunty.

 

Forge Lane Primary School – change of category to VA status

 

Consultation to close as a community school and open as a voluntary aided school had taken place. The closure was now being considered by the Secretary of State.

 

Hounslow Town Primary School expansion

 

Cabinet was due to receive a report on the proposed expansion to three form entry to five form entry school. First part of consultation had taken place and so far no major objections had been made. It was anticipated that the expansion shall meet the demand in Central Hounslow in 2016. Governors were supportive of the proposal. The next stage was designing the building.

Wellington Primary School expansion

 

The proposal to expand the school included the assessment of the suitability of the site which had now been done. The funding needs for the project had to be met. At the moment £30m was available for the expansion. Work was also being done with the School Travel Plan team.

 

 

106.

UTCs - 14/19 admissions update pdf icon PDF 5 MB

   - Admission of students to Space Studio London

 

Minutes:

Ms Hothi referred to the document on the admission of students to Space Studio West London on page 22 of the agenda pack. Ms Hothi stated that in the first year all admissions shall be managed by the school itself however the 2015-16 admissions shall be managed under the Pan-London Co-ordinated Admissions System.

 

Members queried whether there will be two Sixth Forms. Ms Hothi stated that further investigation was required on this.

 

Councillor Bruce asked why there was still a difference between an Academy and Free school. Ms Hothi stated that both schools were still separated due to data collection purposes.

 

Mr Singh stated that the whole process raised questions about the responsibilities of local authorities and the need to reconsider the local authority’s strategy. Councillor Bruce added that regardless of the type of school that was being dealt with; the rules should remain consistent.

 

Ms Poley stated that the local authority was managing the admission coordination for the school.

 

Mr Prunty requested this discussion to be a standing agenda item.

 

Action: Studio schools would be put as a standing item on the School Admissions Forum agenda.

107.

Update on Place Planning

Minutes:

Ms Poley stated that 14 schools were expanding in September. In 2015 five schools were expanding and in 2016 the Hounslow Town Primary school was expanding. There was a surplus of places and Ms Poley and her team were currently liaising with Secondary School Head teachers about the challenges lying ahead. A feasibility study had been conducted by analysing data, parental preference, etc. Regardless of growth more places were still required in the borough. The key issue was the lack of funding available for expansions. Ms Poley was meeting with officers from the Department for Education regarding the issue with funding.

108.

Forward Plan

Minutes:

The draft forward plan had been circulated for review.

109.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

The report to the School Adjudicator outlined a range of issues to do with school admissions in Hounslow including how admissions arrangements served the interest of looked after children, types of schools, how well coordinated admissions took place, fair access protocols in school admissions and how well they were managed. Details on the way in which fraudulent applications were dealt with were also provided. 

 

Action: To send out the report to the School Adjudicator with the minutes for the meeting.

110.

Date of the next meeting is 3 November 2014