I have been contacted by a number of parents in relation to the consultation being carried out by Sharnbrook Academy Federation into admission arrangements for Lincroft Academy.
As an MP, I have no formal role in setting the admissions criteria for local schools. It is important that all parents affected respond to the Consultation and ensure your concerns are considered as part of the process.
I have been in touch with Iain Denning, the CEO of Sharnbrook Federation, to ask for further details about the consultation, and to address the concerns raised by parents. He has provided the response below which I hope you will find of use.
Please do ensure that you respond to the consultation, as this will ensure your views are taken into account when the final decisions are made.
"Thank you very much for your email regarding the consultation on admissions for Lincroft Academy from September 2020. We launched the consultation because we wanted to hear people’s views and I am grateful to you and others who have responded, some in support and others raising concerns. I hope that this email is helpful in allaying those.
Sharnbrook Academy Federation (SAF) is an academy trust that is committed to supporting all children and young people in Bedfordshire, which is where all our five schools are based. We are very much a “local” trust which is very keen to work with all schools in the county, including Bromham Primary School, regardless of whether they are part of our Trust or not.
I would also like to reassure you that it will not be the case that all Year 7 places at Lincroft Academy will be filled by children from SAF primary schools. Great Ouse and Oakley are proposed as feeders because of the characteristics that they share with the two SAF secondaries, such as linked curriculum planning and resources, including staff, equipment and facilities. These aid children’s transition into secondary school because the pupils are familiar with staff and teaching practice. Great Ouse Primary Academy, a new school opened in September 2017 and proposed to be a named feeder primary for both Lincroft Academy and Sharnbrook Academy from 2020, will not have pupils old enough to move to secondary school until September 2022. Its Year 6 will only ever have a maximum of 60 pupils who will of course also have the choice to apply to a different school if that is their wish. Oakley Academy is the other SAF primary named as a potential feeder for Lincroft Academy and has a published admissions number (or PAN) of 40. We have also increased the PAN at Lincroft Academy to 210 places for Year 7 as part of our commitment of ensuring there are sufficient secondary places within our schools to meet local demand. Sharnbrook Academy has a PAN of 270 and Harrold Primary is the other named feeder school, alongside Great Ouse, with a PAN of 30 and we anticipate that a number of children from the two primaries will apply to this secondary.
This means that overall there will be 480 Year 7 places at our two secondary academies (as well as further places at other secondaries in the area not part of SAF), and as detailed above we have created an extra 80 secondary places across both Sharnbrook Academy and Lincroft Academy, with their PANs now set at 270 and 210 respectively, to absolutely ensure that there is capacity at our two secondary schools.
The next over-subscription criteria for both the secondary academies after the named feeder primaries are the catchment primaries, including, for instance, Bromham Primary School. Indeed, we can confirm that SAF have never declined a place at either Lincroft Academy or Sharnbrook Academy within the admissions round for a child from a catchment school.
I hope that this information is helpful in explaining our reasoning, and in reassuring you. I do hope that you will continue to consider Lincroft Academy as the secondary school of choice for your child, and would like to thank you for your support for it and the high-quality education that the school delivers for its students. We are very proud of the work that staff do every day to ensure this for the wonderful children and young people we are privileged to serve."