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Revised Schools Admissions Code From September 2011


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Hi. I've just been invited to a meeting at Local Authority to discuss the likely impact of the revised schools admissions code from September 2011 and it's likely impact on Nursery providers.

 

I know that this will have a significant, if not devastating effect on our setting, but would like to hear from you guys on how you feel it will impact you, so that I can gain as broad a picture as possible and endeavour to represent everyone's experiences. With your comments I can make sure our Authority can more effectively begin to explore how best to address some of the issues raised (if possible).

 

If there's anyone else on FSF who represents providers at their Local Authority please feel free to crib the replies for your county! I will feed back any comments I receive from the LA, positive and negative.

 

Thank you!

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My first reaction was (as I understood it!) "great now parents get more choice about when their child is ready for school rather than being pushed into it by the birth date". However I'm not sure if it is that simple and when I started a brief discussion with my staff (who are generally less cynical than me) they just laughed and said they couldn't see any school letting parents delay the child's entry until later in the school year. I'll be interested in hearing views also as I am on the local Schools Forum and I feel this might come up in future meetings. Also so I can be told I'm totally misunderstanding the proposal by people I consider friends rather than looking a twit in front of the LA bigwigs!

Edited by Guest
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So does this mean I didn't make a twit of myself here then :o ? I guess you are also on the School's Forum. If you ever want to chat PM me.

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However I'm not sure if it is that simple and when I started a brief discussion with my staff (who are generally less cynical than me) they just laughed and said they couldn't see any school letting parents delay the child's entry until later in the school year.

This is obviously a big bone of contention - some schools have allegedly been telling parents for years that if they didn't accept a place in school as a rising five they wouldn't be guaranteed a place when the child became statutory school age. :o As I understand it parents will have the right to defer their child's entry to school, with funding for that child being given to the pre-school setting, but that schools are not able to fill that child's space in the meantime.

 

In practice I'm not sure how it will work in practice - and will schools be actively prevented from taking children into school earlier than they should? We are losing five children to school at the end of term but because they are going as rising fives (and are therefore being admitted to school a whole term earlier than our LA's admission policy dictates), their families won't be sure there are spaces for them until March 19th, when the September cohort will be informed whether they have got their first choice of primary school.

 

I'm really hoping that the new admissions procedure will make it easier to plan an effective transition for children leaving to go to primary school - but I am yet to be convinced!

 

Maz

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In real terms, for many LAs, who have had single point entry in schools(ie September) for many years, it will have little effect in terms of pre schools losing children earlier. So it might appear that the 'losers' in that respect may be the LAs where this is not the case. Maz I dont think schools will be able to take in children any earlier than the September following 4th birthday, unless they have theri own nursery.

 

My concern has always been the funding issue beacuse the school has to hold the place for a child (where in the past they did not have to, as maz said, and this often put pressure on parents to take up places earlier than they wanted to). Unless I have missed something, With SFF, schools will only be funded for children present, not for children whose place is being held for them, which could be a financial disaster if there are a number of parents choosing this option. I'm not sure the impact of this has been fully thought through.

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In real terms, for many LAs, who have had single point entry in schools(ie September) for many years, it will have little effect in terms of pre schools losing children earlier.

For us mundia it may have the opposite effect, if schools are prevented from admitting children into primary school earlier, since we currently have a three point entry into school. (We're moving to a two point entry from this September). Under the EYSFF I understand the only children entitled to a full time place will be those in a reception class, so this will affect those maintained nurseries who currently offer their older children a full day at nursery before they go to primary school.

 

So will this make extra spaces in the maintained sector which will attract more and more children away from pre-school?

 

Maz

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Hi Maz, If I have understood your correctly, there are two different issues here?

 

1. the school arrangements and parental choice.

2. The impact of the SFF on maintained nursery provision?

 

In the first case, apparently two thirds of LAs already have a single point entry, so those that might lose out would be in the third that dont. Interestingly enough though, for settings that can offer a full day, they will be able to get funding for 25 hours should those parents choose to have their child in a nursery rather than school (I certainly know some that would prefer this option). I dont know if this will therfore impact on setting that can only offer half days, if parents would then move their child from that setting to one offering a full day (time maybe will tell?).

Im not quite sure what you meant by schools being prevented from starting school earlier?

 

In the second case, I can see what you are saying, I think, that nursery classes currently offering full time may choose not to because they will only be funded for the 15 hours and so may go to part time places for twice as many children.

Im not sure how much this is likely to happen, certainly where I worked in full time nurseries, it was because of the high level of poverty and deprivation, and even if we took twice as many children, there would still be plenty to go around. When I worked as a CC teacher, we had to find over 40 funded places in our location and that was just the ones we knew about.. we did not have sufficiency.

 

Interesting what happens, do we wait and see?

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That's interesting about settngs being able to get 25 hours funding - how does that work under the Single Funding Formula? And it directly contradicts what we were told about 'full time' places outside of reception classes (although I know that five hours a day doesn't really equate to full time).

 

My query about children starting school earlier was a bit muddled - but we're moving from a three point to a two point entry in September and I was wondering aloud whether schools would be prevented from taking children into school after Easter too. Otherwise we'll be back to square one - our local primary takes children as rising fives even though they receive no funding for doing so.

 

Maz

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Otherwise we'll be back to square one - our local primary takes children as rising fives even though they receive no funding for doing so.

 

Maz

 

One of our local primary schools takes rising 3's - with another one starting to do the same this September, so there's little hope for us!

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Anju, Ill link to documents when I can remember where I found them.

 

Maz, I dont think my early morning post made all that much sense...serves me right eh? The 25 hours will be for children of 'reception' age ie in the September following their 4th birthday they can choose to have their 25 hours in a school or other setting. (this is definitaley my understanding but when I find the appropriate document we can check to make sure I haven't imagined it) Parents will have the right to choose for their children to start in September, Januray or April, but if they choose to defer for a whole year, the children will go into year one and will have to re apply for a place. I can see that for your LA, it seems daft to make a change for 2010 and then make it back again in 2011.

 

LAs are obliged to inform parents of their options too, but I do wonder how much these choices will be actively publicized and how many parents will still think their child has to start school at 4 regardless.

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sorry thumperrabbit I missed your post. Have you challenged this at all, I dont think schools can actually take children who are not yet 3 (although Im sure someone out there knows more than me on this) although some independent schools are registered on the EY register separately from the main school.

 

Again we can read the document when I find it

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Ok, bed time reading time,

 

here

 

I read the memorandum first, section 7 re full time places outside of schools. There has been an impact assessment for schools via additional funding for the additions they may need (eg staffing), but I am yet to see any impact assessment for the PVI sector. I think I read somwhere this will form part of the new code for EYE when we get it.

 

Happy reading...

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Just bringing this one up to the top again in case any more of you wish to add your comments for me to feed back!

 

Thanks in anticipation!

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I'm not full up on the changes but my views are;

 

Our LA have been single entry September for a good few years.If a child takes the option to defer I'm not sure how the funding will impact. At the moment the census of children on roll is taken on the 3rd week in January and the budget for the following year (ie when a child would be year 1) is based on it. There could be a huge gap in funding which would effect all aspects including staffing.

 

In the passed the only children who have defered have been special needs children even if the it was obvious a child was not ready.

 

In practise I think our client base will always choose school if offered. We have a high proportion of non working parents so children are not in other day care settings. The majority come straight from home but school offers a full day without a break and a free meal. Staying in nursery breaks into their day I'm afraid and most can't wait for them to start 'big school'.

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We also have a single entry date for primary school - I hadn't thought about the census date issue biccy. I'm guessing that if this proposal comes to fruition there would have to be some kind of workaround for the census and funding.

 

I can see very few of the parents near me taking up the option to defer entry as they will feel their child will be falling behind otherwise, and our setting could not provide 25 hours of funded attendance. I wonder if parents would still be able to choose to use us in that case and just not take their full entitlement.

 

I am also slightly confused by the proposal as my feeling was that, despite evidence to the contrary, the government were not working towards a later start for formal education. (I refer to the report last year whose name currently escapes me). I am confused as to why if this is the case they are creating some complex system whereby individual parents can opt to do just this.

 

I still look forward to more information before schools forum ask me for my opinion :o

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Hi Holly. The actual date of the start of schooling does remain the same, ie the term following the child's 5th birthday. This has been the case for many years and is not changing.

 

But in the past LAs who decided to have a single entry point and were therefore accepting children into school who may just be 4, would argue that they would not hold a place for you if you did not want to take it up in the September. This always put parents under pressure to take up a place at their preferred school rather than run risk of losing it. LAs will not be able to do this any more, they must hold the place for the child to begin in January or April.

On the other hand if your LA was one that had 2 or 3 entry points, they must now offer a September intake for all children, and this is where PVIs may lose out on children.

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Thanks mundia. So for us we shouldn't lose children but may potentially be in the situation where a parent wants to delay their child starting until they are nearer five years old? Again though I can't see many near here doing this.

 

It does still seem to be a move towards a later start by giving parents a more secure choice to delay, in that they will have a place the term after or later. Do you know how the census part will work at all mundia? Or even how it will work in your area so I can share good practice with my LA? :o

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Gosh, Holly I love your optimism and I truly hope things go your way. The cynic in me thinks my parents will have their children in school as soon as they are 4 years old, regardless of what's best for the child. This will undoubtedly mean closure for us :o

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Ah its not enthusiasm, just that we already do lose them as soon as they are four (or even three for school nursery) because they feel that way too. But as we already only have a single entry point it won't make much difference. Because, and tell me I'm not reading this wrong, the school can't accept them if they turn four part way through the year. They have to wait until the next September don't they? So glad I'm not trying to sort this out in the meeting or else I'll be asked to leave for stupidity!

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It's official - I am definitely losing my mind!

 

"For admission to the 2011–12 school year, and subsequent years, admission authorities for primary schools must provide for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday"

 

When does that mean a child with a September 08 birthday will go??

So what about a child with an October 08 birthday? A whole year later????? :o

 

I am SO confused. I'm with you Holly, need to get this utterly straight in my head before the meeting! My mind is focussed on our existing 2 point entry model and refuses to budge!!

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In our LEA 31st of August is our deadline for school admission in the September after their 4th birthday so a child born 30th August 2008 will be admitted to reception class 1st September 2012, a child born 2nd September 2008 will be admitted 1st September 2013

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