Agenda and minutes

Local Admissions Forum - Thursday 17 February 2022 10.00 a.m.

Venue: Microsoft Teams

Contact: Dawn Mitchell, Governance Adviser 

No. Item


Welcome to New Members


The Chair welcomed Ray Griffiths and Sandra Butterworth to their first meeting of the Forum.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 18th November, 2021 pdf icon PDF 148 KB


Consideration was given to the minutes of the previous meeting held on 18th November, 2021.


Agreed:-  That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 18th November, 2021, be approved as a correct record.



Matters Arising from Previous Minutes


There were no matters arising.


Membership of the Local Admissions Forum pdf icon PDF 97 KB


Further to Minute No. 18 of the previous meeting, the updated membership of the Forum, was noted.


Schools Admission Consultation 2023/24 Academic Year pdf icon PDF 440 KB


Further to Minute No. 17 of the previous meeting of the Local Admissions Forum consideration was given to the report which detailed the admission arrangements (criteria and admission number) following the consultation outcome, which would apply for admission in 2023/24.


The timetable for the year was:-


Autumn Term 2021

Governing Bodies consider the arrangements which will apply


By 19th November, 2021

All relevant details to be forwarded to the Local Authority


6th December 2021-21st January, 2022

Period of consultation via the Local Authority’s website


By mid-February

Local Authority and the Local Admissions Forum consider any changes and forward any comments to appropriate Admission Authority(ies)


By 18th February, 2022

All admission authorities to determine their arrangements and notify those consulted



The report included information relating to:-


-        Admission numbers and criteria for Community and Controlled Schools, Voluntary Aided Schools/Academies/Trust Schools

-        Admission of children outside their normal age group and summer born children

-        Co-ordinated Admission Arrangements

-        Waiting List

-        Local Authority ‘Admission to School’ Booklets

-        Consideration of the ‘relevant area’

-        In Year Admissions Policy


Concern was expressed regarding the increasing popularity of the Waverley Junior Academy and the lack of school places available.  The DfE formula for generating the number of children by the number of houses occupied had been used, however, the numbers far exceeded those predicted. Anecdotally the Woodlaithes estate had taken 10 years to generate the full pupil yield; Waverley currently exceeded that.


Part of the current Section 106 Agreement planned for a second school to be built and originally 4,000 houses to be built on site.  If the final total of houses built would determine the number of future school places to be generated.


Agreed:-  That the information be supported.


Update on Admissions and Secondary School Allocations for September 2022


It was reported that the offer date for admission to secondary school was 1st March, 2022, and final checks were being undertaken before notification was sent to parents as to which secondary school their child had been allocated. 


The offer date for Primary admission was 19th April, 2022, and again final checks were being undertaken.


The number of applications made online had increased substantially.  Parents would receive an email informing them of the place allocated unless they had opted not to do so. 


Although too early to say for definite, it was possible that a couple of secondary schools that would normally be over subscribed could potentially not be the case this year. 


Agreed:-  That the update be noted.


School Admission Appeals Update pdf icon PDF 223 KB


It was reported that the submission of appeals still continued at a steady flow with a number of inyear transfers.


An online appeal form was in development and hoped to be in operation for those parents wishing to appeal their child’s secondary placement.  The online method would run alongside the paper method.


The DfE was consulting on the revised School Admission Appeals Code from 7th February-3rd April, 2022, and considering making some of the temporary regulations permanent e.g. flexibility of holding appeals remotely, being able to proceed with a panel of 2 members if one had to withdraw at short notice.


It would be beneficial to retain some of the positives that had been derived from the lockdown and the options available with technology.


Agreed:-  That the information be noted.


Update on School Organisation


In terms of school organisation, it was noted:-


-        That the proposal to increase the number of planned places at The Willows from 120 to 150 had been approved by Cabinet in January

-        The Capital investment to increase capacity at Brinsworth Academy had been approved at the Cabinet meeting held on 14th February.  It would be an 18 months’ programme commencing in March, 2022 with design and consultation on the planning application moving forward to the build programme within the scheduled programme

-        There was a current delay in relation to the Social Emotional and Mental Health free school at Dinnington due to the initial sponsor having formally withdrawn from the process.  Work was now taking place with the DfE to appoint the second preferred bidder through the Free School Sponsorship Programme and a decision awaited from the Regional Schools Commissioner


Update of School Term Dates Consultation for 2023/24


Further to Minute No. 22 of the previous meeting held on 18th November, 2021, feedback was provided on the proposed term dates for 2023/24.


The Rotherham consultation on school term dates had closed at the beginning of February and considered by the Education Consultative Committee (ECC) at its meeting on 10th February, 2022, where it was agreed that Rotherham would follow the fixed Easter pattern.  This would align with Doncaster and Sheffield.  Barnsley was still considering the traditional pattern.


It had been agreed by the ECC that annual consultation would continue on both the traditional and fixed model and include any feedback into the decision making process moving forward.  The positive for the fixed term model was that it did incorporate Good Friday and Easter Monday in the calendar.


Agreed:-  That the information be noted.


Update on Fair Access Protocol


The Fair Access protocol was used when all statutory processes had been exhausted around admissions and appeals and a child was still without a school place and a Fair Access Panel was convened. 



A case would be referred to a meeting of the respective 3 secondary partnerships (first tier) based on home address to allocate a school place.  If the partnership was unable to agree a school place it would then be referred to the strategic panel (second tier) made up of a Head Teacher from each of the 3 partnerships and the local authority and a decision made on placement.



A slightly different model given the number of primary schools.  It worked in the local community learning areas with a Head Teacher panel convened initially from the local schools in the area in which the child lived.  If the panel was unable to make a decision on a placement for the child, a strategic panel of 3 Head Teachers outside the local learning community was convened to determine a placement.


This was now part of the protocol since September 2021 and had recently been utilised in relation to a case.


The number of secondary cases going to Fair Access was fairly stable year on year but there had been an increase in primary cases.  Since September 2021 there had been 2 primary Fair Access Panels held.


Academy conversions and Multi Academy Trust updates pdf icon PDF 101 KB


The Forum noted the updated list of Rotherham schools which had converted/about to convert to academies as at February, 2022.


Since the last meeting there had only been one school full academised and converted to academy (Meadow View Primary School) and 4 awaiting conversion – Saint Pius Catholic High School, St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Our Lady and St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and West Melton J. & I. School.


It was noted that the 3 Catholic schools were to join the newly formed St. Clare Catholic Multi-Academy Trust which was looking to set up 2 Trusts across South Yorkshire


The dates for conversion were outside of the Local Authority’s control and was a decision for the DfE Regional Schools Commissioner.


Agreed:- That the information be received and the contents noted.


Dates of Future Meetings

Thursday,     16th June, 2022

                     17th November

                     9th February, 2023


Commencing at 10.00 a.m. venue to be confirmed


Agreed:-  That further meetings be held on:


Thursday,     16th June, 2022

                     17th November

                     9th February, 2023


commencing at 10.00 a.m. venue to be confirmed.