Response to Consultation on proposed admission arrangements for Fakenham Junior School from September 2025.
The admission arrangement consultation proposed Fakenham Junior School’s PAN to be reduced to 60 from September 2025. This is due to a falling roll in the area and based on projections of the number of children transferring from Fakenham Infant and Nursery School. It also proposed an alteration to the oversubscription criteria to protect the children and families who currently use FINS. The consultation lasted for 6 weeks from 1st November 2023 until 13th December 2023. It was sent to all parents, all staff, our local feeder school, the Local Authority (via the admissions department) and relevant unions. It was acknowledged by some of the organisations, but no formal response was received from any of them. No staff responded to the consultation, there was one response from a parent. We also had questions from a governor.
The response from the parent concerned a fear that the change might affect their child who is currently at Fakenham Infant and Nursery School. Due to the priority list for admissions being altered, to move the following reason – ‘Are transferring from Fakenham Infant and Nursery School at the end of KS1 (Y2)’ - to third on the list, it is likely this protects the child and family, along with the other children and families who attend FINS. The only case where this may be an issue is if Fakenham Junior School was to receive applications for children ‘in LA care’ or with an EHCP, who don’t currently attend FINS- in this case we are legally required to take them first. The change means that whilst a risk exists, based on previous knowledge and experience, it would be low.
The governor asked about future intake and the prediction of pupil numbers in the coming years. Also, if the school had a contingency plan if numbers were to significantly increase. We know that the next 3 years are likely to have cohorts of 60 or below. The predictions also show numbers staying this low for the next few years after that. However, new houses could be built or children move into our catchment. We are expected to make decisions based on the numbers in front of us and as funding is based on pupil numbers, we need to plan staffing for the expected number of children and therefore, classes required. If numbers were to significantly increase quickly we would speak with the Local Authority about emergency capacity funding.
Following the consultation, I therefore recommended that the Local Governing Body of Fakenham Junior School accept the initial proposal to reduce the Pupil Admission Number of the school to 60 from September 2025. This has been accepted and the Local Authority Admissions Team have been informed of the change.
Fakenham Primary Federation
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