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Uttoxeter School Places

 

                                                            Staffordshire County Council and

                                                      Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education

                                                                          Complete proposal

                                                                               Dove First School

                                                           Dove Lane, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5LA

The related statutory proposals to close Dove First School on 31 August 2016 and to open it as a new Church of England voluntary controlled (VC) school on 1 September 2016  have been approved.

Proposals

 

Part   1 is related to Part 2 of this notice.

Part   1: Discontinuance of Dove First School on 31 August 2016

and

Part 2: Establishment of a new Church   of England Voluntary Controlled school on 1 September 2016 (Dove First CE (VC)   School)

Proposals published by:

Part 1: Staffordshire County Council

Part 2: Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education

Date proposals published:

6 May 2016

End of representation period

2 June 2016

Local Authority area:

Staffordshire

This information is to be regarded as in the public domain and may be shown to interested parties without further notification.

                                                               Staffordshire County Council 

                                                        Part 1: Discontinuance of Dove First School

Contact details

The proposer is Helen Riley, Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families & Communities, Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Place 1, Stafford, ST16 2DH.

Implementation

Staffordshire County Council intends to discontinue Dove First School, Dove Lane, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5LA from 31 August 2016. Dove First School (“Dove”) is a community school.

Reason for closure

The objective of these related proposals is to facilitate the Governors’ wish to change the status of the school from Community to Voluntary Controlled with a Church of England (CE) religious character. The Governors believe that the educational experience of pupils would be further enhanced if Dove became a CE school. The county council believes it is vital that schools build strong and formal networks and partnerships that promote the sharing of expertise, experience, capacity and resources to drive forward school improvement and can see the schools wish to benefit from a strong partnership with the Diocese.

The proposals are related to each other as legislation requires that the proposed change can be achieved only by closing the existing community school and opening a new CE voluntary controlled school.

Pupil numbers and admissions

Dove is a co-educational school, with an age range of 5 -9 and 89 pupils on roll (October 2015). No pupils at Dove would be displaced by these related proposals. Current pupils would continue to attend the proposed Voluntary Controlled CE school from 1 September 2016. Parents who applied for a place at Dove would be considered to have applied for a place at the new school, although parents have the right to change their stated preferences. Dove’s existing oversubscription criteria would apply to the new school and the admission authority for the school.

Impact on the community

Following the closure, the new school would continue to serve families in its catchment area, across the community of Rocester and the wider area. There are no  plans to change the oversubscription criteria of the new school, which give priority for admission to children resident in the defined catchment area and, using the distance criterion, priority to local families outside the catchment area.

Travel

No students will be displaced and the county council’s normal home-to-school transport policy will continue to apply http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/schooltransport

Consultation

The consultation was conducted between 12 October and 9 November 2015. Those consulted were: the Governing Body of Dove First School; Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education; the families of pupils at Dove First School; teachers and other staff at Dove First School; Staffordshire County Council; teachers, staff and the families of pupils at other schools who may be affected by the proposals including the families of pupils at all Uttoxeter schools; trade unions; and MPs and councillors in the Uttoxeter area. A public meeting and staff consultation meeting was held at Dove on 15 October. The school’s staff and governors are in support of the proposal. By the closing date, 22 responses were received to the formal consultation: all in support or with no strong view. All of the 22 responses provided written comments. Feedback received during the consultation suggested that a majority supported the proposed change. In January 2016, the responses to the formal consultation were considered by the county council’s Cabinet where approval was given to the publication of the statutory proposals.
 

                                                   Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education

Part 2: Establishment of a new Church of England Voluntary Controlled school 

Contact details

The proposer is Colin Hopkins, Director of Education, Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education, St Mary’s House, The Close, Lichfield, WS13 7LD. 

Implementation

Consequent on the closure proposed in Part 1, Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education intends to establish on the 1 September 2016 a Voluntary Controlled First School (Dove First CE (VC) School) designated as having a Church of England religious character in the premises of the existing Dove First School situated at Dove Lane, Rocester, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5LA or, if handover of the premises is complete on or before 1st September 2016, in new facilities at Ashbourne Road, Rocester. The proposal would be implemented by the Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education with the assistance of Staffordshire County Council. There is no capital cost associated with the implementation of these related statutory proposals.

Reason for the new school

The objective of these related proposals is to facilitate the Governors’ wish to change the status of the school from Community to Voluntary Controlled with a Church of England (CE) religious character. The Governors believe that the educational experience of students would be further enhanced if Dove became a CE school. The County Council welcomes the benefit from the strong partnership with the Diocese that would be realised by becoming a Church of England primary school.

The new school will replace Dove First School. Legislation requires that the proposed change can be achieved only by closing the existing community school and opening a new CE voluntary controlled school.

Category

The school will be a Voluntary Controlled School designated with a Church of England religious character. The proposal is published under Section 10 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006. Consequently the consent of the Secretary of State has been sought and obtained.

Ethos and Religious character

Dove First School already operates with a Christian ethos, reflected in the School’s values, its strong sense of community, and its commitment to charitable works and helping others. The School has a strong commitment to giving pupils a clear moral compass and a sense of social responsibility in our multi-cultural society. The Governors believe that the educational experience of pupils would be further enhanced if the school adopted Church of England VC status.

The new school would have a Church of England (CE) religious character and would become part of the Diocese of Lichfield family of schools. As necessary, the proposer would ask the Secretary of State to designate the school as a school with such a religious character. The schools’ ethos statement published by the Diocese states: Recognizing its historic foundation, the school will preserve and develop its religious character in accordance with the principles of the Church at parish and diocesan level. The school aims to serve its community by providing education of the highest quality within the context of Christian belief and practice. It encourages an understanding of the meaning and significance of faith and promotes Christian values through the experience it offers all its pupils. Religious education will be provided at the school in accordance with the tenets of the Church of England in addition to the use of the Agreed Syllabus.

There was overwhelming support from the parents who engaged in the consultation.

Pupil numbers and admissions

Like Dove, the new school would be co-educational, with an age range of 5-9 and a net capacity of 100 places. Current pupils would continue to attend the proposed Voluntary Controlled Church of England school from 1 September 2016.

Admission arrangements  

The Local Authority would remain the admission authority for the new school and would continue to be responsible for determining the school’s admission arrangements and would comply with the School Admissions Code.

Upon opening, the current admission arrangements would continue, Dove’s existing oversubscription criteria would apply to the new school (see Appendix 2). The new school would retain the same Published Admission Number of 20. The admission arrangements do not give priority for places based on the new school’s Church of England religious character. Parents who applied for a place at Dove would be considered to have applied for a place at the new school, although parents have the right to change their stated preferences.

The county council has no plans to change the oversubscription criteria. If in the future, there were any proposal to change the admission arrangements this could only be agreed following consultation with parents, partners and stakeholders (including local schools, the Diocese and county council). The school would be totally committed to serving the local community.

Relevant experience of proposer

The Lichfield Diocese covers most of the County of Staffordshire, the northern part of the County of Shropshire and a substantial part of the former Metropolitan County of the West Midlands. The Diocese covers all or part of 7 Local Authorities and has 204 Church Schools and Academies in its remit. The Diocese has over 100 schools in Staffordshire. Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education is an approved academy sponsor, and has recently established a new partnership with the Diocese of Birmingham and Wolverhampton University, known as The Church of England Central Education Trust (CECET).

Effects on standards and contributions to school improvement

As a Church of England school, the new school would be able to access support from The Church of England Central Education Trust (CECET) and benefit from the various activities within CECET and the Diocese of Lichfield. This new Trust offers a framework for school improvement and the professional development of staff. The new school would benefit also from partnerships with the Diocese’s primary schools and academies. The Governors believe that this “added value” would further strengthen the quality of provision for all pupils.

Special Education Needs

Dove has a published Special Education Needs policy. The new school would remain an inclusive school and welcome all pupils. Children with an Education, Health and Care Plan, or existing Statement of Special Educational Needs, would receive targeted support in accordance with their plan or statement. Other children who experience difficulty with some aspects of learning would also be given extra support. There is no provision “that is recognised by the local authority as reserved for children with special education needs”. As a Church of England school, the new school would be able to access support from The Church of England Central Education Trust (CECET) and benefit from the various activities within CECET and the Diocese of Lichfield. The Governors believe that this “added value” would further strengthen the quality of provision for all students including those with special educational needs.

Curriculum

The new school would meet the general requirements in relation to the curriculum contained in the section 78 of the Education Act 2002. The school would provide a broad and balanced curriculum, designed to give pupils the breadth of knowledge that they require to be successful in their everyday lives.

Location and costs

The school would be in the premises  of the existing Dove First School situated at Dove Lane, Rocester, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5LA or, if handover of the premises is complete on or before 1st September 2016, in new facilities at Ashbourne Road, Rocester and serve the area of Rocester and neighbouring communities. The freehold of the school site would transfer on trust to the Diocesan Board of Education. There is no capital cost associated with the implementation of these related statutory proposals.

Voluntary controlled schools

The Lichfield Diocesan Board of Education will hold the site once transferred upon trust for the purposes of a Church of England School in the diocese of Lichfield.

Travel

The county council’s normal home-to-school transport policy will continue to apply http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/schooltransport

Statutory notice                                                                                                                                      Appendix 1

                                                                   STAFFORDSHIRE   COUNTY COUNCIL and

                                                            LICHFIELD   DIOCESAN BOARD OF EDUCATION

                                                                    RELATED   STATUTORY PROPOSALS:
                                                                               DOVE FIRST SCHOOL

Part 1: Discontinuance   of Dove First School

Notice is given in   accordance with Section 15(1) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 that   Staffordshire County Council intends to discontinue Dove First School, Dove   Lane, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, ST14 5LA from 31st   August 2016. Dove is a co-educational, community   school, with an age range of 5-9 and a net capacity of 100 places and 89 pupils on roll (October 2015).

The objective of these   related proposals is to facilitate the Governors’ wish to change the status   of the school from Community to Voluntary Controlled with a Church of England   (CE) religious character. The Governors believe that the educational   experience of students would be further enhanced if Dove First School became   a CE school. The county council shares the school’s desire for a strong partnership   with the Diocese through becoming a Church of England First school.

Current   pupils would not be affected and would continue to attend the proposed Voluntary Controlled   Church of England school from 1st September 2016. Parents who   applied for a place at Dove would be considered to have applied for a place   at the new school, although parents have the right to change their stated   preferences. Dove’s existing oversubscription criteria would apply to the new   school. The county council's Transport to School policy will continue apply.

Part 2   Establishment of a new Church of England Voluntary Controlled school

Notice is given in   accordance with Section 10(2) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 that   consequent on the closure proposed in Part 1 of this Notice the Lichfield   Diocesan Board of Education intends to establish on the 1st of September   2016 a new Voluntary Controlled First School (Dove CE (VC) First School)   designated as having a Church of England religious character in the premises   of the existing Dove First School situated at Dove Lane, Uttoxeter,   Staffordshire, ST14 5LA or, if handover of the new premises is   complete on or before 1st September 2016, in facilities at   Ashbourne Road, Rocester. The age-range will remain at 5-9 and the net   capacity at 100 places. Current pupils at Dove First School will all be   offered places at the new school and parents who have applied for places at Dove   First School in the current admissions round will be considered to have   applied to the new school subject to their right to change their stated   preference. The Board of Education has no plans to change the   oversubscription criteria for the school.

All applicable   statutory requirements regarding consultation in relation to these proposals   have been complied with. Part 1 is related to Part 2 of this notice. These   Notices are an extract from the complete proposals, copies of which can be   obtained by visiting the county council’s website www.staffordshire.gov.uk/uttoxeterschoolplaces,   writing to the address below, telephoning 01785 854256 or by emailing school.organisation@staffordshire.gov.uk.

Within   four weeks from the date of publication of this proposal, that is by 2nd June   2016, any person may object to or make comments on the proposal by sending   them to Helen Riley, Staffordshire County Council, c/o School Organisation   Team, Staffordshire Place 1,Tipping Street, Stafford,   ST16 2DH.

Signed:   (in respect of Part 1) Helen Riley, Deputy Chief Executive and Director for   Families & Communities, Staffordshire County Council; 

(in   respect of Part 2) Colin Hopkins, Director of Education for the Diocese of   Lichfield.

Explanatory   Notes

The proposals are   related to each other as legislation requires that the proposed change can be   achieved only by closing the existing community school and opening a new CE   voluntary controlled school.

Establishment of a new Church of England Voluntary Controlled school                                 Appendix 2

Oversubscription Criteria  

The new school would retain the Published Admission Number of 20 and the same oversubscription criteria that apply to Dove. The oversubscription criteria below are an extract from the determined admission arrangements for the academic year 2016/17:

Oversubscription Criteria

If the total number of preferences for admission to a school exceeds the   school’s Published Admission Number (PAN), the following order of priority is   used to allocate the available places. (N.B., after applying the   oversubscription criteria, where an applicant can be offered a place at more   than one preferred school then they will be offered a place at the school   ranked highest on their application.)

  1. Children in Care and children who ceased to be in care because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order).

  2. Children who satisfy both of the following tests:
     
    Test 1: the child is distinguished from the great majority of other applicants either on their own medical grounds or by other exceptional circumstances.
     
    Medical grounds must be supported by a medical report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application). This report must clearly justify, for health reasons only, why it is better for the child’s health to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.
     
    Exceptional circumstances must relate to the choice of school and the individual child, i.e. the circumstances of the child, not the economic or social circumstances of the parent/carer. They should be supported by a professional report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application), e.g. social worker. This report must clearly justify why it is better for the   child to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.
     
    Test 2: the child would suffer hardship if they were unable to attend the   preferred school.
     
    Hardship means severe suffering of any kind, not merely difficulty or inconvenience, which is likely to be experienced as a result of the child attending a different school. Applicants must provide detailed information about both the type and severity of any likely hardship at the time of application.
     
  3. Children who have an elder sibling in attendance at the preferred school and   who will still be attending the school at the proposed admission date.
     
    (For admission purposes, a brother or sister is a child who lives at the same address and either: have one or both natural parents in common; are related by a parents marriage; are adopted or fostered by a common parent or are unrelated children who live at the same address, whose parents live as partners.)
     
  4. Children living within the catchment area of the preferred school.
     
  5. Other children arranged in order of priority according to how near their home   addresses are to the main gate of the school, determined by a straight-line   measurement as calculated by the Local Authority’s Geographical Information System.

Where it is not possible to accommodate all children applying for places within a particular category then the Local Authority will allocate the available   places in accordance with the remaining criteria. If for instance, all the   catchment area children cannot be accommodated at a school, children who are resident within the catchment area will be arranged in order of priority   according to the remaining criteria.

 

 

 

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