The Wolds Learning Partnership (WLP), which includes Woldgate School and Sixth Form College, are undertaking a consultation on the proposed changes to their admission arrangements for the 2024-25 academic year.
In essence, Woldgate School and Sixth Form College is seeking to amend their previous admissions policy through a re-ordering of the admissions criteria, giving preferential treatment to feeder schools that are part of the WLP Multi-Academy Trust: (Melbourne Primary School, Pocklington Junior School and Stamford Bridge Primary School).
Sutton upon Derwent CE Primary school has always been a strong feeder school to Woldgate, and indeed, Woldgate School and Sixth Form College is the only secondary catchment area that Sutton upon Derwent falls under.
Woldgate School has approximately 208 places in a year group. Under the new admissions proposal, after preferential places have been taken by the 3 WLP feeder schools, only 59 places will be available for the 7 non-WLP feeder schools listed below:
- Barmby Moor CE Primary School
- Bishop Wilton CE VC Primary School
- Bugthorpe CE VC Primary School
- Fangfoss St. Martin’s CE Primary School
- Sutton upon Derwent CE VC Primary School
- Warter CE Primary School
- Wilberfoss CE VC Primary School
Given that priority within this group of 7 non-WLP feeder schools will come down to geographic proximity to Woldgate school, data suggests that Warter may account for ~20 places, Wilberfoss perhaps ~30, leaving ~9 places between Bishop Wilton, Barmby Moor, Bugthorpe, Fangfoss and Sutton upon Derwent. That approximation would suggest that there is a high likelihood that many of our parish’s children will be unsuccessful in securing a place, and long commutes will be necessary without assurance of siblings attending the same school.
Risks to the future of Sutton upon Derwent CE Primary School and Sutton upon Derwent Village
It is evident that the proposed change in admission policy could have a severe impact on our local primary school, and therefore on the sustainability and desirability of the village of Sutton upon Derwent. Indeed, one of the biggest draws to bring new families into the village is the presence of a good primary school, so it is our opinion that the health of our local primary school has a direct impact on the health of the village, and therefore on every resident/household, whether they have children in attendance at the school or not.
The Parish Council have found this proposal to be unfair, and against the Government's own School Admissions Code, which states that admission authorities must not take account of any previous schools attended, unless the school is a named feeder school. Furthermore, as all of the schools that are being deprioritised are Church of England primary schools, and those that are being given elevated priority are not, we argue that the governing body and trustees of WLP have insufficiently taken into account religious belief as a protected characteristic under the Equalities Act 2010. Our full response can be found below.
*** We ask any parishioner or parent concerned about this proposal to email the WLP Trust Office at firstname.lastname@example.org, also copying in OSA.TEAM@schoolsadjudicator.gov.uk. The deadline for receiving emails is 22nd January 2023. ***
The full proposed admissions policy for 2024/25 can be read here: https://wlp.education/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Draft-Woldgate-School-Admissions-Policy-24-25.pdf
In the press
Pocklington Bugle Article regarding the proposal: https://pocklingtonbugle.co.uk/news_post/concern-for-parents-in-pocklington-villages
Sutton upon Derwent Parish Council response
Our response to the consultation can be read, in full, here: The Wolds Learning Partnership Consultation (Admissions Arrangements) -- Parish Council Response