NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 14th, 2019.
Flintshire Council is aiming to discourage parents from transferring their children between schools amid claims it can disrupt their education.
The local authority is seeking feedback on proposed changes to its school admission policy for the 2020/21 academic year.
It includes the addition of comments designed to reduce the number of times pupils are transferred between schools in the county.
In 2017/18 the authority’s admissions team processed a total of 1,228 applications to change schools.
Senior figures said while some circumstances such as house moves were unavoidable, parents should give ‘serious consideration’ before choosing to move youngsters between seats of learning.
The proposed policy, which has been agreed by headteachers, states: “The local authority does not encourage transfers between schools and a change of school mid-term can seriously disrupt the continuity of a child’s education.
“If parents feel that a problem at school is so serious as to necessitate a change they are urged to take all reasonable steps to resolve the issue with the school first and then to seek advice from the admissions team if necessary before applying for a transfer.
“In cases involving school transfer requests that do not involve a house move, the local authority reserves the right to arrange for the child to start the new school at the beginning of the next half term to minimise disruption to their own and other children’s education.
“All secondary schools have mid-year transition programmes that will support pupils who are undertaking a mid-phase transfer.
“The programmes include extended visits to school by parents/carers and pupils”.
According to the council, some Welsh local authorities already include similar wording in their policies.
A report set to go before Labour cabinet members next week shows around 96 per cent of parents see their children given approval to go to their preferred school.
However, it is anticipated that some secondary schools will be oversubscribed as a result of a larger amount of year six pupils coming through.
Changes have been proposed to admission numbers at two schools to reflect changes in accommodation.
Both Ysgol Derwenfa in Leeswood and Ysgol Bryn Gwalia in Mold will have reduced numbers following consultation with the respective headteachers.
Cllr Ian Roberts, Flintshire Council’s cabinet member for education and youth said: “I am pleased that most children in Flintshire are, once again, able to attend the school of their choice.
“I would like to urge parents and carers to complete their online applications by the required date.
“ I would also like to thank all those who took part in the recent consultation exercise and I am confident that the vast majority of parental preferences will continue to be met.”
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).