Admission oversubscription criteria and Published Admission Number consultation
The Governors and Senior Leadership Team of Alderman Pounder Infant and Nursery school propose to reduce the Published Admission Number (PAN) for new Reception pupils from 70 to 60, whilst updating the oversubscription criteria, to take effect from September 2024.
The proposed change to PAN will support the school financially as the number of pupils in each year group are typically lower than 70, however we need to maintain staffing to meet potential demand (e.g. using predicted numbers, only 2 children joining the school during the 2024-25 academic year will result in the need to employ an extra teacher which is not financially viable). The reduction will allow us to continue focusing teaching and learning resources effectively to maintain the high-quality of education offered at AP.
We have engaged with the School Place Planning Team to understand the future projected pupil numbers within our local area and their predictions indicate they will still meet their planned requirements across the area once this proposed change has been made. Our revised oversubscription criteria ensures that children within our catchment area are appropriately prioritised for school places.
The proposed change will not affect the current pupils or those who choose to accept an offer for a Reception place in September 2023. Anyone making an in-year admissions application during 2022-23 or 2023-24 will also not be affected by the proposed changes. All current and future parents and any other interested stakeholders can make comments on this proposal, information on how you can do this is detailed below, under the section titled “How to make your views known”.
The Published Admission Number (PAN) at Alderman Pounder Infant and Nursery School is currently 70. The Governors and Senior Leadership Team at Alderman Pounder Infant and Nursery School wish to reduce this by 10 places which will result in an annual pupil intake of 60, effective September 2024 onward. This means that the number of school places for pupils wishing to join the school in Reception from September 2024 will be 60, as will all subsequent Reception cohorts thereafter. For pupils who already have a place at AP in other year groups, there will be no change.
In response to guidance from an adjudication authority, the Governors and Senior Leadership Team are also consulting on a reviewed oversubscription criteria. The proposed criteria have been informed by the local authority’s model whilst also maintaining a priority for children who attend our nursery setting. The proposed criteria will be:
- Looked after children and previously looked after children, including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted;
- Children who live in the catchment area at the closing dates for applications and who, at the time of admission, will have a brother or sister attending the school or Eskdale Junior School (our linked junior school) and children who do not live in the catchment area at the closing date for application and who, at the time of admission will have a brother or sister attending the school or Eskdale Junior School (our linked junior school) who was displaced as their Nottinghamshire community catchment area school was oversubscribed at the national offer day for first admission to school;
- Children who live in the catchment area at the closing dates for applications and who, at the time of application and on national offer day, attend Alderman Pounder Seedlings Nursery;
- Other children who live in the catchment area at the closing date for applications;
- Children who live outside the catchment area and who, at the time of admission, will have a brother or sister attending the school or Eskdale Junior School (our linked junior school);
- Children who live outside the catchment area and who, at the time of application and on national offer day, attend Alderman Pounder Seedlings Nursery;
- Children who live outside the catchment area and who have a parent or guardian working at the school where the member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission is made or the member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage;
- Children who live outside the catchment area.
It is important to the school to consider the views of our parents and the wider community. If you would like to contribute to the consultation, please complete the Stakeholder Response Form available below.
Background and justification for change
With a PAN of 70, if all places in the school were to be taken, this would result in there being a total of 7 classes including at least 2 mixed age-group classes (Reception-Year 1 mix and Year 1-Year 2 mix). Although many schools teach children in mixed-age classes, this is not optimal, and so it is our preference to avoid this wherever possible, if our class structure allows. A reduction to a PAN of 60 will result in single-age classes only.
The number of children attending AP has continued to decline since 2017, in line with numbers in other schools across the local area. The Local Authority's pupil place planning predictions (which show how many children are likely to be in the school in future years) suggests that this pattern will continue in future years with 179 pupils in the school (Reception to Year 2) during 2024-25. This figure is significantly lower than our PAN allows resulting in a 30+ place surplus each year from 2024-25 (equivalent to enough empty places for one full class of pupils to join AP). In addition, within the school’s planning area, predictions show in excess of 245-293 places available each year. Whilst there are 6 housing developments highlighted in the school’s planning area, these are already reflected in local authority's projected numbers suggesting that there would still be sufficient places if the school’s PAN were to be reduced from 70 to 60. The Local Authority's pupil place planning predictions have historically been inaccurate with fewer children joining the school than predicted in many instances. For September 2022, it was predicted that 64 spaces would be required in Reception, however this year group has only 52 children. This has meant that funding estimates are inaccurate and are significantly lower than anticipated. Reducing the PAN to 60 is unlikely to have an impact on place availability within the area.
As an infant school, our class sizes are capped at 30 pupils. With fluctuating numbers in each year group cohort, the current PAN makes it necessary to change the year group structure on an annual basis. As the predicted number of pupils is fewer than 180, we would ideally operate with a total of 6 classes. However, as we are close to the maximum class sizes of 30, we need maintain an additional teacher in case children join during the academic year. Careful consideration is also needed to prevent the need for a mid-year class re-structure if new children were to join the school (e.g. if the school started the year with two single-aged classes in each year group, should any year group reach 61 children, there would be a need to either open a new class for a single child, or restructure classes to introduce mixed-classes mid-year). An additional two children joining the school during the 2024-25 academic year would result in the need to increase from 6 classes to 7 classes. This is not financially viable as the funding generated by the additional two children would not cover these costs resulting in a loss in per-pupil funding for all other children in the school. By reducing the PAN to 60, the school will have greater financial sustainability and will be able to operate with a fixed model of two classes per year group.
Reducing the PAN will assist the school in provide stability in its long-term planning and allow the school to secure high-quality educational outcomes for the pupils currently on our roll, while continuing to provide an appropriate number of places for future pupil numbers in line with demand in the school’s planning area.
The current oversubscription criteria prioritises children who attend our nursery provision above some children who live in the catchment area. The proposed criteria addresses this to appropriately prioritise children who live in the catchment area above those who do not and is informed by the local authority's model criteria.
How to make your views known
The consultation will run from 4 November 2022 until 16 December 2022. All stakeholders are invited to submit comments in writing about the proposal to:
Admissions Consultation, Alderman Pounder Infant and Nursery School, Eskdale Drive, Nottinghamshire, NG9 5FN
For the duration of the consultation the Alderman Pounder website (https://www.aldermanpounder.notts.sch.uk/admissions-consultation/) will display the following documents:
- Proposed new Admissions Statement
- Stakeholder Response Form
- Stakeholder letter
- Admissions Arrangements (Sept 2023)
- Current Admissions Statement (Sept 2022)
Stakeholders are deemed to be:
- parents/carers of children at the school between the ages of two and eighteen;
- other persons in the relevant area who in the opinion of the admission authority have an interest in the proposed admissions (including family of schools, local pre-school settings, school employees);
- all other admission authorities within the relevant area (except that primary schools need not consult secondary schools);
- whichever of the governing body and the local authority is not the admission authority;
- any adjoining neighbouring local authorities where the admission authority is the local authority; and
As set out in the Schools Admission Code, we are entering into a 6-week statutory consultation. Following the consultation the school shall formally apply for the proposed changes.
Additional information about school admissions can also be found at https://www.aldermanpounder.notts.sch.uk/apply-for-a-school-place/