04 November 2019
Consultation on a proposed reduction in the published admission number (PAN) for
George Pindar School, Hope Learning Trust, with effect from September 2021
Length of consultation: 6 weeks, ending on 16 December 2019
Admission authorities must have determined their admissions arrangements for entry in September 2021 by 28 February 2020. They must publish them on their website and have sent a copy to their local authority before 15 March 2020.
As an academy, we are our own admissions authority and as such must ensure that:
- consultation lasts for a minimum of 6 weeks and must take place between 1 October 2019 and 31 January 2020.
- we consult with:
- parents of children between the ages of two and eighteen;
- other persons in the relevant area who may have an interest in the proposed admissions;
- all other admission authorities within the relevant area;
- the local authority
- for the duration of the consultation period, a copy of our full proposed admission arrangements (including the proposed PAN) is published on our website together with details of the person within the admission authority to whom comments may be sent and the areas on which comments are not sought.
- send upon request a copy of the proposed admission arrangements to any of the persons or bodies listed above inviting comment.
To decrease the published admission number from 175 students to 120 students.
Although the Regulations and Code of Practice relating to school admissions no longer require an admissions authority to consult when maintaining or increasing a school’s PAN, there remains a requirement to consult when the proposal is to reduce a PAN. Hope Learning Trust, as the admissions authority, is seeking comments on this proposed change.
The current Published Admission Number (PAN) for George Pindar School is 175. This means that the number of children admitted into the school at Year 7 each year is limited to 175. However the actual average current year group total is 119, the smallest year 99, the largest year 143.
Due to the necessary changes to the building, to make it fit for purpose that have taken place over a number of years, we believe the current PAN if it were to be met would exceed the physical capacity of the academy to accommodate this number of pupils. Reducing the PAN will ensure that the current building is suitable, safe and fit for purpose.
The building was originally designed and built in 1956. Since opening it has had a number of alterations to accommodate changing government educational requirements and foci – in particular a Technology block and Sports Hall.
In recent years, there has been a national focus on increasing the number of students studying History, Geography and Modern Foreign Languages through to GCSE. This includes recognising students who complete the EBacc, ie achieving a ‘pass’ grade in English, Maths, Science, a humanity and a Modern Foreign Language. There has also been a need to increase the amount of teaching time in Core Subjects – Maths, English and Science. As a result, the school is now very limited on the number of general teaching spaces and the number of Science laboratories available. There has been a need to ask staff to deliver lessons in spaces that are not designed for the purpose; Science in general spaces, or general lessons in Technology spaces; none of which is conducive to high quality lessons.
In addition to the above, the area set aside for dining in the academy is small. The academy has attempted to address this lack of enough space by introducing a split lunch that takes place over a longer period of time of 90 minutes. This involves staggering lunch, so around half of students have a 30 minute lunch within their allocated time, whilst the remaining students are still in lessons. Lunch rolls through in this way, to ensure that all students are served promptly and can be seated, and eat in a calm, civilised manner for the remainder of the lunchtime, and we have ensured the purchase of additional furniture to facilitate this. Our circulation space is limited from the original building design, with all pupils accessing the dining hall in particular from one narrow intersection made up of an exit from Science, a stairway from Mathematics and a corridor from the rest of school, creating a potential confluence of nearly 600 students at break time – if the school fulfilled the current PAN this would increase by a further 275 students. Due to the “add on” nature of the design over the last 63 years, transition between spaces requires travel inside and outside. The corridor to PE is over 50m long and less than 5ft wide with 4 turns, both of these situations create significant tensions in regards to safety when volumes of pupils become high. In short, there is simply not enough space in the academy to accommodate the total PAN at 875 (175 per year) at George Pindar School.
Specifics of the Proposal
George Pindar School, Hope Learning Trust, proposes to reduce the published admission number of the academy from 175 to 120 with effect from September 2021.
This means that the number of places available for children in Year 7 in 2021 – and all subsequent Year 7 cohorts – will be 120. For children who already have a place at the school in other year groups there will be no change; the admission number for all other years remains at 175.
The capacity of the school building is the sole factor in deciding to consult on this proposal.
Comments are sought only in relation to the proposed change of published admission number and not any other aspect of the admissions arrangements.
George Pindar School, Hope Learning Trust follows the North Yorkshire County Council Local Authority Agreed School Admissions Arrangements and will continue to do so. The latest copy of this document is available on the academy website. We will follow any dates published by the local authority for 2021-2022.
How to Respond
This consultation will run from 04 November 2019 to 16 December 2019 and you are invited to submit comments in writing about the proposal above to: Liz Andrews Wilson, Executive Assistant, Hope Learning Trust, Rawcliffe Drive, Clifton, York, YO30, 6ZS. Please send any comments by 16 December 2019.
Following the consultation period the Academy Trustboard will consider any comments received and how to proceed. Admission arrangements for 2021 will be determined by 28 February 2020 and any subsequent objections would need to be made to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator.
Hope Learning Trust