Schools admission consultation 2023-24

Following the recent consultation about the admission arrangements for primary schools in Salford, the following proposals have been formally agreed and the changes will be effective from the September 2023 reception intake:

  • Cadishead Primary School - reduce the admission number from 60 pupils to 30 pupils
  • Marlborough Road Academy – reduce the admission number from 60 pupils to 45 pupils
  • Mossfield Primary School – reduce the admission number from 60 pupils to 30 pupils

Any further objections to the proposal must be submitted directly to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator on GOV.UK by 15 May 2022.

During the consultation period the following comments were received, unfortunately we cannot reply individually so please find the responses to the comments/questions below:

Consultation on reduction in PAN at Cadishead Primary School 

Disadvantage to local pupils in securing a school place

“This will definitively force children who are pupil premium and from under privileged family out of school, due to the fact that there is already children who are not attending school as they are on a waiting list for a school place in the Irlam and Cadishead area.”

“Cadishead is already an area of high deprivation reducing class size could potentially lead to families having to travel further for school places which is then a cost many may be able to afford and therefore absences could increase.”

“If Cadishead primary places are reduced it will impact parents getting their first choice not just at Cadishead primary but at other schools where parents who would have attended Cadishead primary will go elsewhere”

Local authority response: Cadishead Primary School has been experiencing falling roll numbers and has been undersubscribed for reception intake for the last four years. First preferences for the September 2022 reception intake are 26 applications for 60 places. Demand in the area is low with other local schools also having capacity. This is the picture across Salford, and even nationally. To allow Cadishead Primary School to continue with a PAN of 60 would adversely affect the school’s finances. 

The proposal does not remove any building accommodation at the school. Should a situation occur where an increase in numbers in experienced that requires the PAN to increase again this could be easily achieved, without the need for consultation, utilising the existing accommodation.

Concern that new developments will lead to an increase in demand for places

“More housing being built all the time in Irlam so their school places will be in demand.”

“If the building on chat moss goes ahead, where are the children that live in these houses going to go to school.”

“School places in Irlam and Cadishead are already limited with three new estates in the last 15 years and no more primary schools being built.”

Local authority response: 800 homes are proposed on land to the north of Irlam Station in Places for Everyone. There is requirement for the development to set-aside land for the creation of additional primary places. It has been indicatively assumed by the city council that the first completions on the site would be in 2026/27 with a build out rate of 100 dwellings per annum (ie an eight year build period for 800 dwellings and so development would finish in 2034/35). The detail regarding any school provision will be determined at the master planning /planning application stage.

Over the last few years there has been a reduction in demand for reception school places. This has led to a number of schools across the area carrying a higher level of surplus places. With latest primary pupil forecast data projecting further reduction in demand going forward, the projected level of surplus capacity across the area is set to rise further. This could have a detrimental impact on school budgets. The proposal to reduce the planned admission number at Cadishead Primary school will assist in managing the projected level of surplus whilst ensuring a suitable level of surplus capacity remains available.

The timing around when a new development could generate additional children or the age of the child is very difficult to say with any certainty. In order to capture any changes and plan for places in a timely manner, the local authority monitors pupil demand closely. Should demand begin to rise and exceed the available capacity across the area, then in the first instance, the local authority would create additional places in the form of bulge classes. This can be achieved very quickly within the existing school estates.

Concerns that nursery children will be disadvantaged if the nursery PAN remains higher than the reception PAN

“This will have a detrimental affect on the children that are in the nursery already to then have to move school completely for reception away from friends that they have made.”

“…if there numbers remain the same then all children will not then be able to progress into reception.”

Local authority response: Nursery is non-statutory education and the decision to reduce the PAN for the nursery class rests with the governing body of the school. The current nursery class only has 25 children on roll. There are 28 first preferences for the nursery class for September 2022. The school will consider the admission number for the nursery class and a final decision will be reached after the outcome of this consultation is finalised.

Consultation on reduction in PAN at Marlborough Road Academy

There were no responses received.

Consultation on reduction in PAN at Mossfield Primary School

Only one response to this consultation was received from the parent of children age 0 to four. The parent was concerned about siblings gaining a place at the school. The admissions criteria for the school prioritise admission for children with siblings already attending the school. In the most recent admission round, all children with siblings at the school (20 pupils) were offered places. This was similar the previous year, where 22 places were offered to pupils with siblings. This demonstrates that there is sufficient capacity with a PAN of 30 for all pupils with siblings to be accommodated at the school, as well as a number of additional pupils living in the surrounding area and allocated on the basis of distance from the school. In addition there are also other local schools with places available.

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