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 Post subject: net capacity
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 3:02 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 4:50 pm
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Hi Etienne

I wonder if you could help with another question. The school that I am appealing for is 93 children over net capacity. I have not been given minimum or maximum capacities.

I have two questions:

1. What would be good reasons for a school to be over net capacity by such a large number?

2. How does a school and a panel decide that a school is full when it has gone over net capacity?


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 Post subject: Re: net capacity
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:30 pm 
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Hi, Sam

You are entitled to ask the admission authority for the school's last net capacity assessment (quoting the Freedom of Information Act, if necessary). It could be around 7-8 pages long for a large secondary school. Most of it will comprise details of individual rooms, with a note of the size of each room and how many pupils it can accommodate. (The maximum is normally 30 pupils per classroom, but, when authorities talk about "small rooms", it's interesting to see whether a lower number is quoted.) There is also a page which lists the maximum and minimum number of workplaces, the net capacity, the indicated admission number, and the published admission number.

There are various reasons why a school might be significantly over capacity. It might have chosen to expand its sixth form!!! Or, exceptionally, the LA might have asked it to take on an additional class because of a general shortage of school places in the area. Or it might have lost a stage 1 when there were 30+ appellants. Or a combination of these and other factors. Certainly this is worth querying at stage 1.

However, the net capacity is not the most important bit of information for the panel, although a number on roll much higher than the N.C. does suggest "general overcrowding" (congestion in corridors and communal areas etc.).

The key information is probably going to be the published admission number for a particular year, and how many pupils per class.

For example, even if the number on roll were to be significantly lower than the N.C., putting an extra pupil into a year where there are already 32 pupils per class is never going to be easy.

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Etienne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:12 pm 
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Dear Etienne

Thanks - In this case it looks as if the school has chosen to expand its sixth form. You put !! after what you wrote about the posibility of expansion. Could you please elaborate on why? I am just wondering whether this could help in any way.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:17 pm 
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They cannot really claim 'not to have any space' if they have chosen to expand their Sixth form. A popular school in Bucks was criticised for this and has had to limit external admissions to the sixth form - the appeal panel picked it up at stage 1 but it did not stop the school winnnig that stage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:34 pm 
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What would the best way to tackle this? If the school is still likely to win stage one - Is there any point in bringing this up?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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Quote:
They cannot really claim 'not to have any space' if they have chosen to expand their Sixth form. A popular school in Bucks was criticised for this and has had to limit external admissions to the sixth form - the appeal panel picked it up at stage 1 but it did not stop the school winnnig that stage.

Confirms my point that what really matters is the prejudice of exceeding the PAN in the year group in question.

Quote:
What would the best way to tackle this? If the school is still likely to win stage one - Is there any point in bringing this up?

Although the school is likely to win stage 1, there's no reason why you shouldn't politely chip away at their case - it could still help at the balancing stage.

If they are putting forward arguments that don't stand up to scrutiny (for example, talking about all the problems of general overcrowding, but simultaneously expanding the 6th form), you could request an explanation. :)

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Etienne


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