Hounslow Council


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Chaspal Sandhu on 020 8583 2065 email:  chaspal.sandhu@hounslow.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

111.

Appointment of the Chair

(Clerk – Kevin Prunty was elected Chair at the last meeting but has since stepped down from the Forum so a new Chair needs to be elected. Please delete this note before publishing.)

Minutes:

Euan Ferguson nominated Councillor Tom Bruce as Chair of the School Admissions Forum and this was seconded by Kathryn Harper-Quinn.

 

Resolved – 

That Councillor Tom Bruce was appointed Chair of the School Admissions Forum.

 

112.

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

Minutes:

The meeting officially started at 6:40pm as the meeting had been inquorate until this point.

 

Apologies for absence were noted.

113.

Minutes of the meeting held on 30 June 2014 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were approved subject to the following amendments:

 

Page 4, Minute Item 105, Hounslow Town Primary School Expansion, paragraph 1, sentance1

 

Replace ‘Cabinet was due to receive a report on the proposed expansion to’

 

with ‘Cabinet was due to receive a report on the proposed expansion from’.

 

Page 4, Minute Item 105, Hounslow Town Primary School Expansion, paragraph 2, sentence 3

 

Replace ‘At the moment £30m was available for the expansion’

 

with ‘At the moment there was a £30m shortfall’.

 

 

Matters Arising:

 

School Admissions Forum Constitution

Mrs Hothi confirmed that the Preschool Learning Alliance still existed. She advised that Kathryn Harper Quinn was currently a representative from the Preschool Alliance on the School Admissions Forum.

 

Ms Hothi advised that she had requested nominations for a parent governor to be put forward; however, she had not received any responses to date.

 

Update on Place Planning          

In response questions, Ms Poley advised that there was a surplus of secondary school places in Feltham.

 

114.

Briefing for Admissions Forum - Place Planning and Expansions pdf icon PDF 321 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms Poley advised that as part of the place planning and expansion programme the Borough was currently in the middle of a building and expansion phase. She advised that a report had been taken to the Cabinet to agree the proposed 2016-2020 School Expansion Delivery Programme. Ms Poley advised that the London Borough of Hounslow was one of 5 London Boroughs with the highest percentage of growth, at 24.4% in the primary phase between 2012-2017. Ms Poley advised that there were more schools being added to the expansion programme including Hounslow Heath Infants, Hounslow Heath Junior, Beavers Primary, St Pauls Brentford and St Marys Isleworth.

 

Ms Poley advised that £11m of Council reserves would be allocated to reduce the capital shortfall. She advised that current calculations indicated that by 2018-2019, 29.5 forms of entry would be required to meet the need for places in Hounslow.

 

Ms Poley advised that there were some pending Free School applications and it would be a combination of new Free Schools and the expansion programme that would meet the increasing level of demand for places. 

 

6:47pm – Councillor Chopra arrived at this point.

 

A £30m funding gap had been identified; therefore additional funding would be required to support the programme. Ms Poley advised that the Admissions Department had been working closely with Heads of Secondary Schools to identify costs and feasible options for the expansions programme.

 

The expansions programme had also delivered additional places in 3 Special Educational Needs (SEN) schools, 7 SEN Centres in mainstream schools and 9 new settings to enable the local authority to fulfil its statutory duty. Additional funding would be required to expand Marjory Kinnan and Oaklands School. An expansion of the existing Marjory Kinnan site was planned. A new build was planned for Oaklands School on the Gresham Road site.

 

In relation to Wellington School, Ms Poley advised that the expansion consultation was coming to an end. The results of the consultation would be taken to the December Cabinet meting with a proposal to expand the school on to the Church Meadows site. High numbers of objections had been received from residents in relation to an increase in noise and traffic. Councillor Chopra advised that a lot of concern had been raised by residents about wanting to retain the use of the site as playing fields rather than use the site for school expansion. Ms Poley advised that the plans were to build onto the concrete hard-standing and not the actual fields, this would continue to allow the fields to be used for sport. The Cabinet would need to make a judgement about whether to leave the fields alone for sports use or whether to fulfil the Local Authority’s statutory duty to provide school places. She advised that the Council was working with various sports groups to work out how to allow a continuance of sports facilities on the fields as well as expand the school.

 

In response to questions, the forum was advised that there  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114.

115.

Update on School Status

Minutes:

Ms Hothi advised that there were currently no school conversions planned. She advised that Space Studio West London would be opening in 2015. She also reported that an application for Logic Studio School had been resubmitted.

 

There had been a rise in the number of Free Schools opening across West London. Mrs Hothi advised that Edison Primary and Floreat Brentford had been given approval to open.

 

Ms Hothi advised that the following applications for Free Schools had been submitted in October 2014:

 

*HIP Education Free School

*The Green School for Boys

*The Thomas Lucas Academy

 

Ms Hothi advised that an application for St Georges Free School had been declined. An application for Europeace Free School had been deferred and an application for the Avanti West Free School would be submitted next year.

 

 

 

116.

Secondary Transfer 2014

Minutes:

Ms Hothi advised that there had been no issues with Secondary Transfer applications in 2014. All Year 7 applications had been allocated places. She advised that there had been very little pupil movement and most children had stayed put at their allocated schools.

 

In response to questions, Mrs Hothi advised that new applications were being dealt with as soon as they were being submitted to the admissions department. She advised that most applications had been allocated places without any problems.

117.

Reception Admissions 2014

Minutes:

Ms Hothi advised that all schools within the Borough had increased their intake for reception admissions. She advised that due to the increase in school places there were no more capacity issues in reception classes that had been problematic in the past.

 

Ms Hothi advised that due to less movement between schools and families not moving out of the area, capacity was tight in year 6 within the Central Hounslow area. In previous years there had been more movement freeing up more spaces in years 5 and 6.

 

Michael Marks suggested that it would be useful to track reception figures to identify any year on year patterns. In response, Ms Poley advised that initially it seemed that there were a lot of unallocated places, however those places were being allocated and the capacity was becoming tighter.

 

Ms Hothi felt it would be useful to identify any changes to allocations and capacity since the introduction of the Super PAA areas.

 

 

 

118.

Consultation on Admissions Code pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Minutes:

Ms Hothi advised that the consultation paper for the Admissions Code came in over the summer and the London Borough of Hounslow submitted a response to the Department of Education.

 

Pupil/Service Premium Priority

The response expressed concerns about the potential impact on sufficiency of places in small or heavily subscribed schools particularly for those families not eligible for Pupil Premiums. There were also questions about how it would be determined whether a family was eligible for a Pupil Premium.  There would be a need for families to provide a lot of additional documentation which would make the online application process incredibly complicated. There were also questions around the timeframe to apply for the pupil premium and also whether families were made aware of the process by which to apply.

 

Liz Wolverson advised that the introduction of the Universal Credit would mean that all families, regardless of whether they were working on low wages, would get free school meals. She stated the Universal Credit did not discriminate and working parents only receiving low wages would be eligible to receive the universal credit.

 

Nursery Priority

Ms Hothi advised that a number of concerns had been raised about the nursery priority proposal. She advised that the Draft Code had remained silent on the specific issue of giving priority from nursery to reception within admission arrangements for all pupils. It was felt that the Code would need to provide some specific clarification on this issue. It was felt that if priority was given to nursery children, in some areas where the number of reception places were limited the local children would miss out on places in reception class. She advised that 33 London Authorities had raised similar concerns. Ms Poley advised that the Code could say that the nursery priority could be used as an acceptable oversubscription criterion. If that were to be the case it would have to be published as part of the admission arrangements.

 

Summer Born Children

Ms Hothi advised that there would also need to be further clarification regarding the admission of summer born children. There was a need for further clarification in the code about the expectation for children to be educated out of cohort in exceptional circumstances.

 

Ms Hothi advised that that the consultation response timeframe was very tight and it did not give the Admissions Authority much time for reflection. A new Admissions Code was like to be introduced in February 2015.

 

119.

Proposed Admission Arrangements 2016-2017 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms Hothi advised that there had been very few changes made to the proposed admission arrangements for 2016-2017 overall. The only main change was the date for community school applications.

 

She advised that Nishkam School had introduced priority for nursery to reception places for 2016-2017. However, Mrs Hothi advised that she had written to Nishkam School to advise that they could not currently give priority to nursery places as it was not recognised within the Admission Code.

 

The Forum was advised that Forge Lane Primary School had now become St. Richards Church of England School.

 

Oakhill Academy had recently submitted their admissions arrangements and they had stated that they would give priority to children attending an aspirational school.

 

In response to a question from Kathryn Harper-Quinn, Ms Hothi advised that some schools offered admissions priority to staff and their children. However, Hounslow Council had not adopted this policy although some of the academies did give staff priority admission.

120.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

Membership of the Forum

 

Ms Hothi referred to a tabled document which outlined the current membership of the Forum. She suggested that Members took the paper away to consider future membership changes. She advised that it was important to formulate the membership in accordance with the proportions of different types of schools within the Borough. Ms Hothi advised that there were no Head Teacher representatives from any of the primary school academies within the Borough on the School Admissions Forum.

 

Mr Marks stated that the schools with Hounslow had evolved considerably since the constitution of the School Admissions Forum was last updated.

 

Action: Sabi Hothi/ Sheena Poley to revisit the Membership of the Schools Admissions Forum once Members had decided which groups needed to be represented at the Forum.

 

The School Admissions Forum members agreed to remove voluntary aided representation from the membership as there were no voluntary aided schools within the Borough.

 

Euan Ferguson proposed a much smaller membership would be productive with four representatives from secondary schools and 4 primary school representatives.

 

Ms Hothi suggested it would be fair to appoint one representative from every different category of school within the Borough.

 

Action: Mr Marks felt it would be useful to bring this discussion back to a future meeting to allow Members to consider the different options and categories for school representatives.

 

 

121.

Date of the next meeting is 16 March 2015

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was 16 March 2015.