Parents, carers, school staff and local people are set to have their say as South Ayrshire Council consult on proposed changes to admissions for Primary Schools, Secondary Schools (P7-S1) transfers and placing requests.
The new proposals set out criteria which determine who would get priority when catchment schools have limited spaces and also include an element of priority for denominational children who wish to attend their local denominational school.
At present, parents and carers can choose to send their child to a denominational or non-denominational school, however there is no priority given to denominational children and young people who want to attend their denominational catchment school.
The new proposals say that where there are more placing requests for a school than there are spaces available, the following criteria will apply to children / young people who live within the school's catchment area — priority will be given when:
- The medical needs of the child or young person can only be met in the school requested
- Children do not live in the catchment area of a secondary school but attend an associated primary school
- Denominational children and young people have a Roman Catholic baptismal certificate and wish to attend their catchment denominational school
- There are older brothers or sisters in the school requested; and/ or
- When places are allocated by ballot.
These priorities would then apply for those outside the catchment area if spaces are still available.
The consultation on these proposals will take place from 30 April to 15 June 2018. For full details and to have your say, visit www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/consultations.
A public meeting will also take place on Wednesday 23 May at 7:00pm. This will be held in County Hall, County Buildings, Wellington Square, Ayr KA7 1DR
Councillor William Grant, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder said: "Our schools are performing well but success means that some are operating close to capacity. With new housing planned for South Ayrshire, now is the time to put clear procedures in place to avoid possible overcrowding in the future.
"We want our young people to have the best education possible and we don't want resources to become stretched, so these new criteria can be applied if necessary. I would encourage people to get involved in the consultation as Councillors will examine the feedback before making a decision."
The outcome of the consultation exercise will be reported to Councillors at Leadership Panel in September 2018.
If agreed, the proposals would be incorporated into the 2019/20 primary registration and secondary school transfer arrangements which begin January 2019.