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Impact of Priority Area Size on Secondary School Allocation Planning Process Jim Wharton Year 5 Parent Presented to Scrutiny Topic Group 7 th June 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Impact of Priority Area Size on Secondary School Allocation Planning Process Jim Wharton Year 5 Parent Presented to Scrutiny Topic Group 7 th June 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Impact of Priority Area Size on Secondary School Allocation Planning Process Jim Wharton Year 5 Parent Presented to Scrutiny Topic Group 7 th June 2006

2 Every child should have the opportunity to attend a local school, preferably within their local community Objective

3 Non-faith Co-educational Secondary Schools Under-subscribed following initial allocation in March 2006 Fully-subscribed following initial allocation in March 2006 Non-faith Boys School Non-faith Girls School Faith School Approx. boundary of Priority Areas Examples of 2006 allocations Current Picture

4 Problem Within the Harpenden area, the demand for school places, has exceeded supply for the last few years, and this problem is expected to continue/grow. Within other surrounding areas (eg. Hemel Hempstead, Welwyn & Hatfield), supply exceeds demand. Result: Suboptimal allocation of school places, with a number of children in the Harpenden area initially denied a school place within their home town, and even within their Priority Area.

5 Impacts HEMEL HEMPSTEAD HARPENDEN Children (being denied a school place in their home town) : –Separation from peer group at a sensitive time of life –Less opportunity for social interaction/development both inside and outside school –Longer journeys mean less able to benefit from walking/cycling to school –No chance of younger siblings being allocated to preferred school via sibling rule Schools : Less opportunity for support from the local community Local Community : Less integration with schools within the local community Taxpayer : Higher cost to taxpayer for ‘free’ transport to distant schools Environment : Longer average school runs adds to congestion and pollution PRIORITY AREA BOUNDARY

6 Solution Based on the location of available school places,and the distribution of children allocated to Harpenden schools, the simplest way to ensure that every child has the opportunity to attend a school within (or close to) their local community, is to reduce the size of the Harpenden & St Albans Priority Area. Given that the catchment area for Harpenden schools is heavily weighted to the western side of the Planning Area, and that the villages on this side are also closer to more alternative, undersubscribed schools than any other villages within the Planning Area, this is where any changes would result in the biggest overall benefit. Secondary school allocations within both the Harpenden and Hemel Hempstead areas affected can be optimised by moving the western boundary of the Harpenden & St Albans Priority Area towards the M1, to the point where demand within the boundary matches the supply of Harpenden school places.

7 Non-faith Co-educational Secondary Schools Under-subscribed following initial allocation in March 2006 Fully-subscribed following initial allocation in March 2006 Non-faith Boys School Non-faith Girls School Faith School Approx. boundary of Priority Areas Solution

8 Conclusion HEMEL HEMPSTEAD –Schools will be an integral part of the local community –Schools will be supported by the local community –This will provide the most firm foundation for future development and improvement of the schools PRIORITY AREA BOUNDARY HARPENDEN This change would be to the overall benefit of the children, the schools, the local communities, the taxpayer and the environment This will ensure that schools in both Harpenden and Hemel Hempstead area are populated from the local, or nearest communities

9 Source: Appendix


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