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Consultation

Consultation regarding the increase of PAN (Published Admission Number) at Highworth Grammar School and improving access for ‘disadvantaged’ students

The government released an opportunity on 11th May for existing grammar schools (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/selective-schools-expansion-fund) to access a fund that would enable them to expand their school roll and improve accommodation to allow for this increase. To be eligible for this fund we have to satisfy three conditions:

  1. There is a need for additional places in the local area
  2. There are plans to increase access for ‘disadvantaged’ pupils (that is pupils eligible for the pupil premium)
  3. There are plans to work with other schools to increase access for ‘disadvantaged’ pupils and to raise achievement

 

1. The need for additional places

Historically, Highworth has always tried to accommodate all students who have passed the Kent Test (11+) and want a place at the school. We have a fantastic track record in ensuring all pupils have the best opportunity to successfully complete the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) and achieve very high outcomes across all their GCSEs. Our academic success and caring environment have made us a very popular school and this is reflected in admissions both in Year 7 and Year 12. In September 2015, there was a bulge year and we managed to cater for 7 forms of entry by maximising our existing capacity. Unfortunately, this is not sustainable every year. To allow for the predicted growth we would need to improve the capacity of the site.  Table 1 shows the forecast rolls provided by the Local Authority.

Forecast for places at Highworth provided by Kent LA 2018-2023

Table 1

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

2023

Highworth

219

235

240

228

230

246

Ashford

1425

1523

1550

1490

1513

1569

 

The 2018 forecast appears to be a realistic figure based on what we actually have for September 2018 shown in table 2. This table shows the historic demand for places and what we have been able to accommodate based on our existing provision. Owing to lack of classrooms, we would not be able to replicate the bulge year model of 2015 across all years.

Demand for places at Highworth 2014-18

Table 2

1st choice preference

Number on roll

‘Disadvantaged’ students on roll

Sep 2014

226

195

13 (7%)

Sep 2015

248

233

21 (9%)

Sep 2016

222

203

24 (12%)

Sep 2017

190

193

18 (9%)

Sep 2018

246

To be confirmed

To be confirmed

 

Currently our PAN is 184 and demand for places is substantially higher than this. Increasing our PAN to 217 would allow for 7 forms of 31 students. Given the growth of population in the local area, increasing the PAN appears to be the fairest way of ensuring that all students who pass the Kent Test and want an education at Highworth have that choice. Furthermore, ensuring there are sufficient places maintains our current demographic and catchment area.

 

We are consulting on:

1i  Increasing the PAN from 184 to 217 to meet the future demand for a selective education in the local area.

 

2. Increased access for ‘disadvantaged’ students

Highworth has always been very proactive in encouraging primary schools to participate in joint collaborative projects at the school. This has enabled a wide variety of students to see the school operating during the day and inspire them to attend a school like Highworth. Our culture is inclusive and supportive and this is reflected in the excellent outcomes at GCSE for ‘disadvantaged’ students.

  1. Our admissions policy has already been changed for 2019 to include pupil premium students in the over subscription criteria and the consultation for this was completed earlier this year (https://www.highworth.kent.sch.uk/332/key-information/category/1/admissions). However, as part of this plan, we will need to move pupil premium students to second in the oversubscription criteria and this will form part of our admissions consultation later in the year for students joining in September 2020.
  2. Aim in the first year to have 18% ‘disadvantaged’ students on roll in Year 7 (this is double our current average). This will be 39 students if our PAN is 217.  These ‘disadvantaged’ students who have passed the Kent test would have a higher priority in our oversubscription criteria. This model will be evaluated and if the 18% target is not met, we will consider the possibility of a reduced pass mark for this cohort of students. If this is successful, we will aim to increase it to 20% in subsequent years. We will consult further on this in December 2018 for admissions in 2020.

 

We are consulting on:

2i  Moving pupil premium students higher up in the oversubscription criteria

2ii  Increasing the number of ‘disadvantaged’ students on roll from 9% to 18%

 

3. Working with other schools to increase access for ‘disadvantaged’ pupils and to raise achievement

The Kent test is administered by the Local Authority and pupils sit the test at their local school. Familiarisation materials are readily available but it is uncertain if ‘disadvantaged’ families have easy access to them. We will undertake research to evaluate if this is the case by working with the schools as identified in 3ii and provide the necessary support as required. Furthermore, as part of our plan we will:

  1. Encourage headteachers of local primary schools to put forward ‘disadvantaged’ students for support during the summer holidays who will be attempting the test in the following September. If successful, develop this model to encourage students from year 4 to begin early familiarisation and confidence to sit the test.
  2. In the first year we will identify 3 schools in areas of relative deprivation[1] (that are supportive of these aims) and put measures in place to raise aspirations, assist with familiarisation and support successful completion of the test. Further measures may include naming these schools in our oversubscription criteria. We will evaluate this model and, if successful, broaden the approach by adding 3 named schools each year for the next 4 years. Where capacity allows we will endeavour to accelerate this programme.
  3. Continue to provide financial support for pupils from ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds so they can participate fully in school life; this may include:
  • School uniform
  • Transport
  • Musical instruments and tuition
  • School trips
  • School and sports equipment
  • Other specialist requests

Our Pupil Premium statement of intent is available on our website: (https://www.highworth.kent.sch.uk/332/key-information/category/21/pupil-premium)

  1. Continue to deliver and expand our outreach work with both primary and secondary schools (further details of our existing work will be available on our website under ‘consultation’)
 
We are consulting on:

3i  Supporting ‘disadvantaged’ students with familiarisation with the test

3ii  Working with 3 schools in areas of relative deprivation

3iii  Providing financial support for pupils of ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds

3iv  Continuing and developing our outreach work

 

We are planning to hold a stakeholder meeting on Wednesday 4th July at 4.00pm for those who are interested. Additionally, we will publish a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ response on our website.

If you would like to make any comments about the proposed changes to our admission policy, including the increase in PAN, or how we can improve access for ‘disadvantaged’ students, then please email consultation@highworth.kent.sch.uk.  

The consultation will close on Thursday 12th July at midnight

Further details on Highworth outreach and partnership work can be viewed in the document below.

 

[1] As identified using the Income of Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) 2015

Downloads

Title Date  
Highworth Outreach and Partnership Work 14th Jun 2018 Download