Proposed PAN reduction consultation The Academy St James

To be completed by: Mon 31 Jan 2022


Time: -Mon 31 Jan 2022 | Venue:


Proposed PAN reduction consultation The Academy St James

Academy St James Consultation on PAN reduction proposal at School

The purpose of this communication is to provide an opportunity for stakeholder views on the change of the PAN from 60 to 30 per year group. We are making a request to the Department for Education to change the PAN from September 2023.

Background

The current Published Admission Number (PAN) at Academy St James is 60. This means that the number of children admitted to the school in Reception each year is a maximum of 60.

Academy St James and BDAT are proposing to reduce the PAN to 30.

This proposal would mean that the maximum number of pupils intended to be admitted in Reception in 2023, and all subsequent Reception cohorts, will be 30. For children who already have a place at the school in other year groups there will be no change.

Currently, the net capacity of the school is 420, made up of 60 places in each year from Reception to Year 6. However, currently there are 254 children due to a decrease in pupil numbers over the past 5 years.

When planning primary school places, The Bradford District is split into 26 primary school planning areas. School Name sits in the North West 2 planning area.

The fall in pupil numbers at Academy St James is reflected in pupil numbers across the Bradford District. There has been a decrease in the number of younger children registered with the NHS which has led to a high level of surplus places in some of the primary school planning areas, including Academy St James.

According to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the number of live births nationally has fallen for five consecutive years, with the total number of live births in 2020 being the fewest since 2002. Given the falling number of births nationally and across the District, the Council does not anticipate that the numbers of children requiring school places in the North West2 planning area will increase significantly in the near future.

Across the North West2 planning area there are 315 Reception places. In September 2021 only 270 of these places were actually taken leaving a surplus of 45. Academy St James currently has 30 surplus places (there are currently 30 children on roll in Reception) or approx. how many (i.e one third) of all surplus places in  the planning area

Current published forecasts indicate that the numbers of Reception places required in Reception for the next four intake years across NorthWest2 planning area will continue to fall. This means the current 2021 surplus reception places at Academy St James will not improve. Forecasts for Reception places needed over the next four years in NorthWest2 planning area are:

2022/23:      255        
2023/24:      249       
2024/25:      209 
2025/26:      209  

The school has used the Local Authority Reception places forecast information to model the school budget over the next five years in order to make an informed decision on its future. The school has considered the following three options:

a)   Do nothing and keep the PAN at 60 – The Reception classes are not forecast to fill to 60 meaning the school will not receive the maximum funding to enable two classes per year group. Although the forecast indicates that reception will not fill, there would be an expectation from the Local Authority that the school can still take up to 60 pupils throughout the whole intake year. This may result in a high number of in-year allocations that could potentially require changes to class organisation during the school year which is detrimental to the pupils and the school.

b)    Reduce the PAN to 30 The Reception cohort is forecast to have between 25 and 30 allocations in the forecast years (2023 - 2025)– There will be sufficient places to meet the forecasted demand for places.

The School Admissions Code requires that all admission authorities consult where they propose to reduce a PAN. Academy St James and BDAT are therefore seeking representations on the proposed change to the PAN for Academy St James and Nursery in the NorthWest2 planning area.

 Specific proposal: Amend the PAN from 60 to 30

Academy St James and BDAT, propose to reduce the PAN from 60 to 30 from 1st September 2023.

This means that the maximum number of pupils intended to be admitted in Reception in 2023 and all subsequent Reception cohorts, will be 30. For children who already have a place in the school there will be no change.

In accordance with the School Admissions Code (2021), Academy St James and BDAT are consulting with key stakeholders, including;

  • Academy St James and Nursey, Staff
  • Parents/carers of current pupils and prospective parents of pupils
  • All other Admission Authorities within the District
  • Neighbouring Local Authorities
  • Councillors and MPs
  • Trade Unions
  • Anyone else who has an interest in the proposed changes

A copy of the proposal has been published on Academy St James website.

This consultation will run for six weeks from Monday 13th December 2021 to Monday 24th January 2022, after which time any representations received will be considered and a report taken to BDAT for a decision to be made on the PAN for Academy St James.  Any questions in relation to the consultation should be sent to the school via School contact email address

Factors that have been considered by Academy St James and BDAT when deciding to consult on these proposals include:

  • A large portion of funding received by schools is directly related to the number of pupils attending the school. Too many pupil vacancies mean that the school will not receive the maximum possible revenue. Therefore, the school is proposing to reduce the number of available places to enable the school to operate more efficiently and cost effectively whilst not having a detrimental effect on the education it offers its pupils.
  • The school is located in NorthWest2 planning area where there continues to be a falling demand for primary school places, resulting in a significant surplus across the area. There are also significantly lower numbers of younger children across NorthWest2 and the wider Bradford District, registered with the NHS who will require a school place over the coming years
  • The total number of pupils from Reception to Year 6 recorded by the school on the October 2021 census was 254, which is below the current capacity of 420.
  • Academy St James and BDAT are more than willing to look creatively at solutions in conjunction with Bradford Local Authority in the future which may help to solve any problems resulting in a shortage of school places in the NorthWest2 e.g. a bulge year. Should the LA ask the school to admit children substantially in excess of 1.5FE, the LA will employ it’s bulge class funding approach.

This consultation paper will be published on the BDAT website September 2023 Admissions Arrangement Consultation and PAN Consultation - Bradford Diocesan Academies Trust (bdat-academies.org) The Academy at St James (academystjames.com)

Academy St James and BDAT believe that reducing the PAN will assist the school to provide stability in their long-term planning and allow them to deliver high quality educational outcomes for the pupils currently on roll and prospective pupils. The reduction in PAN will ensure that an appropriate number of places are provided for future pupils, in line with forecasts.

You can let us know what you think by completing the online questionnaire:

 PAN Consultation Comments


Consultation

Published: 13/12/2021
Audience: Headteachers, schools, admissions authorities, Councillors, Local Authorities, MP's, Community and R
Contact: Claire Berry

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