ADMISSIONS 21-22 CONSULTATION

Walker Riverside Academy (WRA) is consulting on a proposal to change the admissions arrangements for entry from 2020-21 school year.


WRA is required to consult on the Admissions Policy, having not consulted for the previous seven academic years. As a result, trustees are proposing to consult on amendments to the WRA Admissions Policy. The consultation period with regard to changes to the Admissions Policy will commence on DATE XXXXX and will conclude at Midnight on DATE XXXXX.


The local trustees of Walker Riverside Academy are consulting only on admission arrangements for entry into Year 7 at Walker Riverside Academy form September of 2021 for 2021/22 Academic Year and each year thereafter. There will be no change to the Pupil Admission Number (PAN) which will remain at 220 places.


A note of consultation has also been shared with Newcastle City Council for wider consultation through their community communications and notification has also been posted in local press.


We would welcome your views on the proposed changes.

There are four proposed changes to the ‘how places are allocated section’ within the Admissions Policy, which will be considered by governors. These changes are as follows.

1.

A request was made to all schools by the Secretary of State in June 2018, to include Looked After Children (other than England) as a category in school admissions policies. As a result the following category is proposed in category 2 -

Children adopted from outside England Children who appear to the local authority to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. (A child is regarded as having been in a state of care in a place outside of England if they were accommodated by a public authority, a religious organisation or any other provider of care whose sole purpose is to benefit society. Parents / carers of children adopted from outside of England will need to provide a photocopy of the relevant order or proof of the child’s adoption from care direct to the local authority with the application form).

2.

Currently the school is drawing students from over 25 primary schools. There have been instances where, due to the large number of students attending WRA from schools other than named feeder schools, siblings have been on a waiting list and unable to access a place at WRA resulting in families sending siblings to different schools. Having siblings at different secondary schools results in unnecessary stress for parents and carers. Sibling link will apply to students from any primary school. Therefore a proposed change is to move ‘sibling link’ to category 3 in the new policy.

Students who have an older brother or sister (a sibling) who will be attending the school on the date that the younger child will be admitted in September 2021. ‘Sibling’ can be a brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or the child of the parent or carer’s partner, as long as the children live at the same address. Sixth form students are not eligible as sibling links. For applicants in year, the sibling link may be an older or younger child that will be attending the school when the applicant would be admitted, with the exception of Sixth Formers.

3.

Less than half of the current intake of Year 7 students are applying as first choice from the historic named feeder schools. Students who live closest to the school should be allocated a place in their local school regardless of their primary school. Therefore a proposed change to move ‘distance from school in a straight line’ to category 4 in the new policy.

Students whose home address is closest to Walker Riverside Academy. Students living nearest to the school as measured in a straight line distance from a single fixed central point at the school to a point in the centre of the home address of the child, using the Local Land and Property Gazetteer or a suitable alternative geographical information system.

4.

Tie Break - In the event of any tie break with criteria, a simpler method of distance from school will be used. Therefore a proposed change to the tiebreaker criteria.

Distance from home to the Academy will be the deciding factor for the remaining children. In the event that more than one child has an equal right to an available place the place will be offered by random allocation.

The consultation is being communicated by WRA as follows -

→ Notification to Newcastle City Council.

→ Notification to all parents, carers and guardians of students at the Academy by letter and through the Academy website.

→ Headteachers and Principals of all schools in the authority and local area.

→ Parents, carers and guardians of all students in Primary schools in the local area.


Recipients are welcomed to respond by emailing comments relating to the admissions changes to consultation@walker.academy.


On conclusion of the consultation on DATE XXXXX, all responses will be collated and presented to the Local Trust Board Meeting on DATE XXXXX for full consideration. The outcome of the consultation will be notified to all parents by the end of February 2020 with a full report posted on the Academy website. Consultation outcome, and a final revised policy, will also be presented to Newcastle City Council Admissions by 28th February 2020 ahead of application process for applications for 2021/22 entry.

► Who is being consulted on within the consultation process?

The consultation is being communicated by WRA as follows -

→ Notification to Newcastle City Council.

→ Notification to all parents, carers and guardians of students at the Academy by letter and through the Academy website.

→ Headteachers and Principals of all schools in the authority and local area.

→ Parents, carers and guardians of all students in Primary schools in the local area.


A note of consultation has also been shared with Newcastle City Council for wider consultation through their community communications and notification has also been posted in local press.


► Why is the school consulting on changes?

Firstly, we are obliged to do so as it is approaching seven years since our last consultation. Schools are legally required to consult every seven years, even if there are no changes to Admissions Policies.


Secondly, we are hoping to streamline the procedure for allocating places to reflect a simpler application model. We feel that siblings should, wherever possible, be in the same secondary school and that local students should be able to attend the school closest to where they live. The current policy makes it more likely that either of these scenarios will occur and will make it less likely that families in either of these situations find themselves without a place.

► Will all current and future parents/carers be aware of any proposed changes?

All current parents will be written to as part of the consultation process and all parents in local primary schools will be notified of the consultation also. Any parent is able to contribute in writing to the Chair of Governors at WRA or via the email address consultation@walker.academy.

► How will I know the outcome of the consultation?

The consultation will be completed and all contributions referred to the trust board of WRA for consideration. Outcomes of the consultation will be published on the Academy Website and will be listed under the policies section. All contributors will be contacted after the conclusion of the consultation and informed where to find details of the outcome.

► My child is currently in Primary School. Will my child still be able to get a place at Walker Riverside Academy?

As with all schools, this will depend on where you and your child sit on the categories laid out in the proposed admissions criteria. We can assure parents that applying for WRA as your first choice ahead of the initial application closing date in October, gives you the very best chance of securing a place. Similarly, our advice is to accept the place as soon as you can. Those applications that are late run the risk of not securing a place. Should the proposed changes go ahead, those families with siblings already at WRA, who live close to school, will be better placed to secure a place.

► My son/daughter is already attending WRA or I have already applied to WRA for September 2020. Will this affect me?

These proposed changes are for the cohort of Year 7 students (current Year 5 cohort) entering WRA in September 2021. All older student / including those that have already applied will not be affected.