PARENTS and carers have just six weeks left to register their views on Kirklees’ schools admissions policy.
The council’s consultation period with the public ends on March 1. Its admissions policy for 2012/13 will have to be in line with new government codes, which will be introduced next month.
Changes in the national system will make the whole school admissions structure fairer and simpler, according to ministers.
The Government claims that the old system was too complicated, unfair and unjust. It undermined parent choice and rationed places at good schools.
Under the new system, all 800,000 primary school places will be offered on the same day. This is in line with secondary schools where all places are announced on March 1. In addition, adopted children are to be given special priority.
Kirklees may have to alter its existing policy in light of the new regulations.
In October the Examiner reported on the case of adopted five-year-old Chloe Etherington from Edgerton. Her parents lost an appeal for her to attend Lindley Infant School. Her adopted twin siblings attend Lindley Junior School and the whole family had been involved with the Infant School for the previous two years.
Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “Children in care should continue to be given special priority in school admissions after they have been adopted, or leave care under a special guardianship or residence order.
“Many of these children have had traumatic experiences in their early lives. They don’t stop being vulnerable just because they are now in a loving home.”
The Government’s revised codes contain just half as many of the 650 old mandatory requirements placed on local authorities. The document has been slimmed down from 138 to 61 pages.
Kirklees can only set the admissions policy for schools over which it has control. This does not include trust schools or academies.
According to figures published, most schools are expecting this year’s intake to be in line with last year’s.
Exceptions include All Saints Catholic College, where the proposed admission number is down by 20% to 160, Salendine Nook High where admission is set to increase from 265 to 299, Birkby Infant and Nursery will be up from 120 to 150 and Whitechapel C of E Primary, Cleckheaton, from 48 to 60 new places in September 2012.
Anyone can comment on the Kirklees admissions policy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to School Admissions at Kirklees Council, Civic Centre 1, Ground Floor North, Huddersfield, HD1 2NF.