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

137.

Appointment of the Chair

Minutes:

Euan Ferguson nominated Councillor Tom Bruce as Chair of the School Admissions Forum and this was seconded by Ann Broughton.

 

Resolved – 

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

 

138.

Appointment of the Vice-Chair

Minutes:

Councillor Bruce nominated Euan Ferguson as Vice-Chair of the School Admissions Forum and this was seconded by Ann Broughton.

 

Resolved – 

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

 

139.

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

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were noted.

 

140.

Minutes of the meeting held on 16 March 2015 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 16 March 2015 were agreed as an accurate record.

 

Matters Arising:

 

Page 1, Membership of the School Admissions Forum

Michael Marks advised that Jill Coughlan was no longer the Interim Head of the Green School.

 

Page 5, Oakhill Primary – Objections to proposal to change age range sent to the Regional Schools Commissioner

Ajit Singh noted that at the previous meeting it was felt that it would be useful to encourage Mr Martin Post, Regional Schools Commissioner, to attend a meeting of the School Admissions Forum. Michael Marks advised that they had not yet undertaken a meeting regarding Oakhill Academy. He advised that a meeting would be arranged and he agreed it was important to invite Mr Post to a future School Admissions Forum meeting.

141.

Review of the Membership of the Forum

Minutes:

Sheena Poley reported that at the last meeting it was agreed that the membership of the Schools Admission Forum would be brought back to the June meeting for discussion. 

 

It was agreed that it would be necessary to increase the representation from Community Primary Schools on the Forum and also to include representation from Heathland School, as it was the only remaining Community Secondary School in the Borough.

 

Mr Marks advised that it would be important to increase Parent Representation by recruiting more Parent Governors. Sheena Poley advised that Parent Governors could be recruited via the schools. Jacqui Corley suggested that a letter could be sent out to schools advertising the need for parent representation on the Schools Admission Forum. The letter could also be uploaded onto the schools websites.

 

Councillor Bruce advised that there would need to be more Primary representation on the Forum so that the School Admissions Forum was representative of the breakdown of schools within the London Borough of Hounslow.

 

The following recommendation was made for the School Admissions Forum Membership:

 

·         2 Local Authority Representatives

·         6 Community School Representatives

·         2 Voluntary Aided School Representatives

·         2 Diocesan Board Representatives

·         3 Community Representatives

 

Mr Marks advised that existing members of the School Admissions Forum would be appointed where possible.

 

Resolved:

 

That the following membership was agreed:

·         2 Local Authority Representatives

·         6 Community School Representatives

·         2 Voluntary Aided School Representatives

·         2 Diocesan Board Representatives

·         3 Community Representatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

142.

Update on the Primary and Secondary School statistics for September 2015

Minutes:

Secondary Transfer

 

Ms Poley provided an update on Primary and Secondary school statistics for September 2015. She advised that there were no outstanding secondary transfer applications waiting to be processed. She advised that 1147 late applications had been received and all of the applicants had been allocated a school place. She reported that there were no successful appeals for Heathland School. She advised that there had been one successful appeal for Lampton. Ms Poley advised that school appeal dates had been scheduled for secondary transfer places to Heston Community School, Cranford Community School and Chiswick Community School.

 

 

Primary Transfer

 

Ms Poley advised that 121 late applications had been received for primary transfer places. There were only 63 vacancies left including places that would be allocated at Floreat School. If the places at Floreat School were to be removed there would only be 3 places left to allocate. However, Ms Poley advised that a lot of movement was taking place within Primary Schools and this would impact on the number of vacancies available to allocate. She advised that the Primary School appeals would be taking place later this week.

 

Mr Marks felt that it would be helpful to have a breakdown of where the shortage of places were in each PAA.

 

Resolved:


That the School Admissions Forum noted the update on Primary and Secondary School statistics for September 2015.



143.

Communication plan for On-Line application process for September 2016 pdf icon PDF 180 KB

Minutes:

Sheena Poley advised that at the previous meeting there had been a discussion regarding the number of online applications. It was noted that the London Borough of Hounslow would need to increase the number of applications for school admissions being made online. Ms Poley explained that Hounslow’s online application figures were quite low in comparison to other London Boroughs.

 

It was agreed that, for 2016 school admissions, Hounslow would be removing the option to apply for a school place via a paper application form. All applications would need to be submitted online. Ms Poley advised that Primary School Head Teachers would be provided with additional support to assist parents with online applications. The Hounslow Admissions web pages and application form pages would be improved to make them easier to navigate. Ms Poley advised that LBH Communications would be advertising the changes to the application procedure and would provide links to the website via online social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook. In response to questions, Ms Poley confirmed that the details of online applications would also be published in the HM magazine which was delivered to all homes within the Borough. She advised that the starting school in Hounslow booklet and the Secondary Transfer booklet would no longer be produced. Instead an A5 sized leaflet with an online link to all of the admissions information would be produced and distributed to all homes within the Borough.

 

The Admissions department would also carry out workshops within schools, at the Civic Centre and other community locations to help parents to apply online. Drop in sessions at schools and libraries would also be arranged. Ms Poley felt that it would be important to target those schools with a history of families not submitting paper applications forms on time to ensure that online support could be provided quite early.

 

Ms Poley reported that the annual meeting with Year 6 parents would be taking place on 9 September 2015. She advised that at the meeting it would be emphasised to parents that applications would need to be made online. Parents would be advised that staff would be happy to help and provide support and assistance to parents when filling in the applications online.

 

Euan Ferguson welcomed the shift to online applications rather paper applications. He advised that he was happy to upload a link on the Isleworth & Syon Boys School website to the Local Authority’s application form pages. Mr Ferguson suggested that a youtube link could be added that would show parents a simple guide on how to apply online. He stated that he was happy to provide a venue at his school to film the youtube help video.

 

Ajit Singh expressed concern that the move to 100% online applications could appear harsh for those people that did not understand the process, or were not IT literate or did not speak English as a first language. Councillor Bruce advised that the vision was for schools to actively support parents with the application process and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 143.

144.

Update on the objection made to the Schools Adjudicator on the Admission Arrangements for Rivers Academy 2016 pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Minutes:

Ms Poley advised that she, Michael Marks and Ann Broughton attended a meeting with Rivers Academy and the Schools Adjudicator. At the meeting it was clear Rivers stance on the proposed changes to the published admission number and admission arrangements for September 2016 was unchanged. Concerns were raised at the meeting in relation to proposals to introduce ability testing. Ms Poley advised that Rivers had been asked to clarify details about the catchment area and criterion that would be used to allocate places in the event of oversubscription. Ms Broughton advised that a reduction in the published admission number for Rivers Academy would have a detrimental impact on the students at her school. Further concerns were expressed in relation to the lack of communication by Rivers Academy with affected parties including parents and local schools within Feltham.

 

Ms Poley advised that objections to the Schools Adjudicator would need to be lodged by 30 June 2015. The outcome from the Schools Adjudicator would be sent to all Members of the School Admissions Forum.

 

 

 

145.

Update on the Oak Hill Primary proposal to expand from 4 form entry junior school to 2 form entry primary school

Minutes:

Sheena Poley advised that the Local Authority had submitted an objection to the Schools Commissioner with regard to the proposal. There were serious concerns regarding the proposal to reduce the number of admissions from four forms of entry at the school to two forms of entry.

 

The Local Authority had been advised that Martin Post, Regional Schools Commissioner, and a member of his team would be considering the objections received on 7 July 2015.

 

Ms Poley advised that she would circulate the response from the Schools Commissioner to all members of the School Admissions Forum.

 

 

146.

Update on the School Expansion Programme 2016 -2020

Minutes:

Sheena Poley advised that the Local Authority would not be able to deliver all of the school places required without places in Free Schools across the Borough. She emphasised that Free School places were essential in addition to the Schools Expansion programme to ensure that every child could be offered a place at school.

 

Michael Marks advised that there had been a slight increase in terms of place projections for secondary schools. A report would be presented to Cabinet to discuss the next phase of the School Expansion Programme.

 

Resolved:

 

That the update on the School Expansion Programme was noted.

147.

Update on the Free School and Academy Status pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Minutes:

Ms Poley provided an update in relation to Free Schools and Academies within the London Borough of Hounslow. She advised that a temporary site for the Floreat School had been identified at Brent Lea and that the terms and conditions had been approved by the Cabinet.

 

Ms Poley updated that both the Hipp School and the Green School for Boys would be opening in September 2017. Work was underway to identify suitable sites for both schools. Nishkam School was still currently located in temporary accommodation and a planning application for the site had been submitted to the Council. Mr Marks advised that due to size restrictions in relation to the current building, Nishkam was unable to expand and take more children. However, he advised that the school had engaged positively with the Local Authority and would like to expand in the future once a suitable site was identified.

 

Ms Poley advised that a feasibility study would need to consider the long-term location of Floreat School, Nishkam, Hipp School and the Green School for Boys. Euan Ferguson felt that it would not be sensible to locate a new single sex school in a location where single sex education provision already existed.

 

Mr Marks advised that the Local Authority was keen for the Hipp School to be located between Kingsley Academy and Chiswick Community School. He explained that there was an identified need for a co-education school in that area, especially due to the high number of single sex schools already in existence in that area.

 

Councillor Bruce reminded the Forum that the Academy and Free School Reference Group regularly met to discuss progress being made with new Free Schools and Academies within the Borough. The Academy and Free School Reference Group met with schools to encourage dialogue and communication. Through dialogue with schools the Local Authority was able to have some input into the applications that were submitted to the EFA. Mr Marks felt that the Academy and Free School Group was a very important and positive group. 

 

Resolved:

 

That the update on the Free School and Academy Status was noted.

 

 

 

148.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

Councillor Bruce advised that he had received a lot of correspondence from a parent regarding part time admission to Reception in September 2015. He advised that the parent was disappointed that the part-time hours she had requested had been refused by the Local Education Authority. She had expressed concern that the Admissions Code advised that the parent had a right to request and be offered part time hours at school for her child. Ms Poley advised that the Admissions Code had been used to determine all admission arrangements for 2015. However, in February 2015, the Department of Education had circulated an amendment to the Admissions Code that included changes to deferrals, admissions of summer born children and part time entry. Ms Poley explained that her interpretation of the changes to the Admissions Code was that they would be applicable to admissions in 2016-2017 and onwards. However, subsequent to discussions with the Department of Education, Ms Poley was advised that the changes to the Admissions Code were to be implemented immediately.

 

Action: Councillor Bruce advised that the Admissions Department would write to the parent to inform her that the Local Education Authority accepted her request to enter into dialogue with the school in question for part time entry in September 2015. The School Admissions Forum endorsed the Parent’s request to meet with the Head teacher at the school requested to discuss and agree a part time timetable.

 

Mr Marks felt it would be helpful to raise this issue at a future PAN London meeting to find out how other London Education Authorities had interpreted the changes to the code. It would also be helpful to seek detailed clarification from the Department of Education about all changes in the Admissions Code in time for the 2016-17 Primary and Secondary Transfer applications.

 

 

 

 

149.

Date of the next meeting - 4 November 2015

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That the date of the next meeting on 4 November 2015 was noted.