Priority school places for vulnerable or disadvantaged children in Warwickshire

Shire Hall.
Shire Hall.

Vulnerable or disadvantaged children will have a better chance of landing a place at their preferred school following changes to Warwickshire County Council’s admissions policy.

A report to the council’s cabinet meeting on Thursday last week explained that the views of children’s services and social workers could also be taken into account.

In looking at school admissions for 2020/21, the report explained: “Priority for places at local authority maintained infant, primary and junior schools within the county will be given to children who are classed as vulnerable and/or disadvantaged.

“This includes children who are in receipt of the early years pupil premium, as well as young people who are under a child in need plan and/or a child protection plan.

“The aim of introducing such criteria is to assist families who are vulnerable and/or disadvantaged and present them with the opportunity to send their child to their preferred school.

“This may be the closest school to the family home, or the school where a sibling already attends, so as to assist with transportation and logistics, even if the preferred school is not the family’s catchment school.

“The views of children’s services and social workers may also be beneficial in allocating specific school places to those children who should not attend their local school due to safeguarding issues.

“The allocation of places in such categories will be limited to a certain percentage of each school’s Published Admission Number so as not to create a disproportionate number of disadvantaged children within any one school.”

Councillors agreed to the recommendation along with others which were in line with existing policies.

Portfolio holder for education and learning Cllr Colin Hayfield (Con Coleshill South & Arley) said: “When you consider how many kids we get through on admissions each year then we do pretty well but I’m sure we can do better.”