Today, parents and carers of reception age children across Cornwall will received details of which school their child is due to attend in September. The good news is the majority of children being allocated a place in their first preference school. It is an understandably a fraught time until parents and carers know which school they have been allocated.
Cornwall Council has received 5225 applications for new reception school places to start school in September 2014. Of those 4910 (94 %) have been offered a place at their first preference school, with 315 pupils being allocated a place at either their second (169 pupils), third (40 pupils) preference school. This means that 97.9% of children were allocated one of their three preferences.
I would like to credit the School Admission Team for their hard work in processing the applications and getting the information out to parents and carers.
This is a similar picture to 2013 when 93.1% of children were allocated a place in their first preference school, with 97.5% being allocated one of their three preferences. 317 children did not get a place in their first preference school. In 2012 93.1% of pupils were allocated a place at their first preference school, with 97.4% being allocated a place in their second or third preference. 406 failed to get a place at their first preference school.
However there might be disappointment for the 106 pupils (2.1%), who were not allocated a place at either their first, second or third preference school, but at the nearest school to their home address with room for the 2014 intake. All reception age pupils who applied for a school place in Cornwall have been allocated a place.
Based on the figures to date, there are 47 oversubscribed primary schools for new reception September 2014 admissions in Cornwall. This is a similar number to the figure for the past two years, with 45 oversubscribed schools in 2013, and 49 oversubscribed schools in 2012. There has, however, been an increase in the number of schools which are full for new reception admissions in September 2014; with 71 out of Cornwall’s 236 primary schools are full, compared with 60 schools in 2013.
The Council is actively working on addressing the issue of oversubscribed schools in Cornwall with two funding streams. These are the Target Basic Need which eight schools have been identified and expansion plans are currently being progressed. The other fund is Basic Needs, which the Council has been awarded £32m for the 2015-17 periods.
Despite much publicity, the Council’s admissions team have received 247 late applications for new reception places so far this year, with further late admissions expected in the next few weeks. The deadline for the second round of applications is 2 May. So those who have not applied might find it difficulty of getting their first three choices if their school is one of those 71. This compares with 447 late applications by the second round May deadline in 2013, and a total figure of 804 late applications by 31 August. There were 494 late applications by the second round May deadline in 2012, with a total of 767 late applications by 31 August. If the application was received after 16 January 2014 it will be a late application – these will be processed and letters will be sent out by 02 June.
Of course not all parents and carers will send their child to school and may opt to home educate. In Cornwall we have roughly 400 children who are home educated.
In the next few days, parents and carers who have applied will receive a letter on their allocation. For those who applied online, they would already have received an email confirming their allocation. These were sent out at 00:01 Wednesday 16th. . If they have applied on-line they can log back onto their application using their password and it will show them the result. Everyone will receive a letter.
For those parents and carers who did not did not get their 1st/2nd/3rd preference school, then they will need to wait for their letter which will explain how the process works i.e. for appealing the decision/going on the waiting list. If parents wish to appeal the letter will specify whether they need to get the appropriate forms and details from the admissions team or from the school (Academies do their own appeals).
If parents and carers wish their child to go on the waiting list for any school they have been refused they must return the waiting list form listing which schools they wish to go on, they can only go on the waiting list for a school that they have been refused and cannot add a new school to that waiting list. The waiting lists will become active after 02 May as all late applications have to go onto the waiting lists with the on-time refusals. If any places have been given up at oversubscribed school the places will be allocated after that date. If school place is no longer required they need to inform us in writing (letter or email) with full details, full name, DOB, address and reason. That way those places can be reallocated.