Early warning for Lancashire schools on pupil class numbers

First published in News Blackpool Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

EDUCATION bosses will notify primary schools sooner about pupil numbers for the next academic year, it has been revealed.

After a consultation with primary schools, Lancashire County Council will now issue proposed offers in March instead of later in the year.

The council has taken the move because schools said they needed more time to plan for the next academic year.

However, under measures set by the Department for Education, the admissions team will have less time to deal with all of the applications.

But parents will be notified by mid-April about which primary school their child has been allocated a place.

The report compiled by Lancashire County Council said: “The primary schools all confirmed that the alternative timetable with the closing date late November or early December and offer date March was preferred.

“They indicated that an offer date in April did not assist the effective induction of children or planning arrangements for the forthcoming school year.”

Every year as part of the Department for Education guidelines the council must review its admissions procedures for the following academic year.

The report said: “A draft scheme for Lancashire primary schools was circulated for consultation with the governors of all Lancashire primary schools, diocesan representatives and neighbouring authorities during autumn term 2011.

There were concerns about these proposals from a number of local authorities, including Lancashire and many of its neighbours.

“Representations from 166 Lancashire primary schools asked for earlier closing and offer dates.

“The imposed timescale does not take account of varying workload levels between local authorities and of the need to consult a large number of other admission authorities.

“The Department for Education has, however, now imposed nationally the proposed dates.

"These reduce the amount of time within which primary admission applications must be considered and places allocated.”

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