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Aldermaston and Pangbourne schools to have admission numbers cut

Two West Berkshire schools are to have their admission numbers cut.

The council wants to reduce the admission numbers for Aldermaston Primary School by 13 places per year and Pangbourne Primary School by 10 places per year.

West Berkshire Council
West Berkshire Council

Both proposals are in response to lower numbers in recent years and projected numbers in future years.

It is also proposed to introduce a third tie breaker question.

This would further distinguish between individuals who meet the same admission criteria to add children of service personnel and crown servants.

The council says that this will be subject to the outcome of the public consultation due to have ended last week.

A council document says the district has been experiencing a declining birth rate for some years.

This, says the report, has begun to translate to lower allocations.

As a result of the lower numbers, choice has increased for families, and this, says the council, has affected places being sought.

Perceived popularity is also a key factor in determining which schools are affected most by the lower numbers, rather than purely local decline in catchment populations.

The current admission numbers for Aldermaston Primary is 28. It is reducing that to 15.

In Pangbourne, the admission numbers are 30, reducing to 20.

Introducing an additional tie breaker question, as the council plans, will mean that the needs of service families and crown servants who are returning from overseas can be better met through the admissions process.

Where a service family or crown servant family are moving to the area, it will improve our ability to allocate a school place quickly as they are more likely to be placed at the top of a school waiting list.

In West Berkshire, service families are housed in Curridge Primary School, Burghfield St Mary’s Primary School and The Willink secondary school’s catchment areas.

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