Chichester High Schools - Proposed Admissions Policy
The schools are currently consulting on the proposals to merge and would welcome responses from the community. The consultation is taking place between 5th November 2014 and 16th January 2015.
If the schools merge, the Admissions Policy will be revised. As the Admissions Authority for the schools, we are consulting on the revised Admissions Policy which would take effect for the intake from September 2016. This follows the statutory guidance in the Schools Admissions Code, February 2012.
The proposed Admissions Policy can be viewed here.
Please forward any comments on the policy or if you would like a copy of the Admissions Policy contact:
Mrs Belinda Clack
Project and Change Manager, TKAT
email@example.com or 07710 916 951
c/o Miltoncross Academy
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are you thinking of changing the schools?
The fall in demographics in the Chichester area have resulted in a fall in demand for places at both the High Schools. This has led the Governors of both schools, the Headteachers and the Academy sponsor to work together in developing plans that will secure the future of the schools and ensure they continue to provide excellent teaching in a vibrant learning environment but can provide a rich and varied curriculum for all students. The Governors are proposing that the most appropriate way of delivering this is by merging both the schools and making it co-educational.
Why can’t the schools stay as they are?
The schools could remain as they are, however a predicted fall in pupil numbers means a decrease in budgets for the schools which could mean a reduction in the choice in curriculum subjects. The Governors are being pro-active in considering the different options open to the schools. They are committed to ensuring that the schools can continue to provide an exciting and balanced curriculum for all students to achieve good outcomes.
What options have been considered?
The Governors have looked at three options:
- Do nothing
This option was ruled out as the two schools and the joint sixth form are not sustainable as they are and will not be able to provide students with an exciting and creative curriculum so limiting their opportunities.
- Single Executive Head and joint SLT with sharing of some back office functions.
It was acknowledged that this option could be achieved relatively quickly with no requirement for formal consultation. However, it was not chosen as it fails to address all the issues facing the schools.
- Single co-educational school from 2016/17
The two schools merge into a single, co-educational 11-18 school with the first co-educational Year 7 intake in September 2016. This option was chosen as it will result in a sustainable school providing an exciting and balanced curriculum allowing students to achieve good outcomes.
When is this all going to happen?
This process is at a very early stage. Full consultation on the detailed proposals is taking place with staff, parents, students, the community and others from 5th November 2014 until 16th January 2015. A decision on the proposals is likely to be taken by the Secretary of State in the spring 2015. Any changes are anticipated to be introduced on a phased basis, starting with the Year 7 intake from September 2016.
Who will make the decision and when will it be made?
Any changes will need to be approved by the Secretary of State. It is anticipated that this will be taken in the spring of 2015.
Will my child still receive teaching in single gender groups?
Any changes to the schools to implement the merger will be introduced on a phased basis, starting with the Year 7 intake from September 2016. In the meantime the schools will continue to operate with single gender education. Therefore if your child is due to start secondary school next year, September 2015, they will continue to be educated under the existing school structure.
Will this affect the sixth form students?
The proposed merger does not directly affect the existing sixth form, as it is already a joint arrangement between schools and is already co-educational.
Will this affect teaching and performance for the existing pupils?
Preparations for the proposed merger and the transition to a new school (if it goes ahead) will not affect the current pupils. Additional resource has been provided by the Academy Trust (The Kemnal Academies Trust, TKAT) to support the governors, headteachers and senior staff through this process. Other resources will be provided during the process as required to ensure that senior leaders are not taken away from focusing on the performance of existing pupils. Indeed the head teacher at the Girls School has been appointed as an acting Executive Headteacher until the summer of 2015, to work across both schools and in particular supporting the Boys’ school.
Where will savings in money come from?
These will come from the organisation and grouping of pupils e.g. combining the numbers of pupils across the schools will allow more minority subjects to go ahead and will allow more focused educational sets of pupils that are more difficult to support in smaller schools.
It will also come from creating efficiencies in the ‘back office’ support to the schools.
Could you achieve this without merging?
To a certain extent yes, as some of pupils already come together to receive teaching in some subjects, but this could be expanded considerably. The full benefits of this can only be achieved through merging the schools completely.
Will the existing subject options change or disappear?
No, the current options available to both schools will continue to be offered. It is anticipated that the new proposals will lead to more subject choices being on offer. We will be active in making these decisions on choices for GCSE, consulting with parents and making sure that we can meet the majority of needs. There will be an ongoing dialogue with pupils and parents and depending on the needs of the pupils at the time it may be appropriate to mix the boys and girls to be able to meet their needs. We have given our commitment that there will continue to be single sex education for existing students, but the option to merge groups will be considered when deciding to offer minority subject choices, building on the collaboration between the schools that is already taking place.
Why make the school co-educational?
We recognise that we are removing an option of parents in the Chichester area to choose a single sex school for their children; however a co-educational school is necessary to ensure the schools remain viable and sustainable into the future. This may put the resulting school into competition with the other co-educational schools in the area. However there is a wealth of experience amongst the staff of teaching all boys or all girls at the schools which will not be lost going forward into the combined school. Whilst there has been some evidence to show that boys/girls perform better in some subjects when taught separately, current research shows that this is not as clear cut as widely thought and that quality of teaching is the most relevant factor to pupils experience and achievement.
The resulting school has not yet been defined; if consultation tells us that single sex education is an important factor for the majority of people, then we will take this on board when structuring the school.
How will the process be managed?
We believe that it is important to manage any change properly, particularly in this situation where we need to ensure that the education of the existing pupils is paramount. TKAT have appointed a project manager to assist with this process, and the schools will be supported by educational, human resource and finance specialists. The senior leadership staff at both schools will not be taken away from teaching, or their focus on managing the schools, to attend numerous meetings. The various stages in the process will be carefully planned and executed, supported by a rigorous analysis of any potential risks, so that any preventative action can be taken to ensure a seamless transition.
During any period of change staff can become unsettled and may wish to seek employment elsewhere. We do not wish to lose any good teachers or support staff. Good leadership will be provided in the schools to minimalise this happening and to keep staff informed at all stages in the process.
What size will the new school be?
The current boys school has 674 pupils on roll and the girls school has 769, which gives a total of 1443 pupils. The proposed school would be of average size, 1300-1500 pupils so there would not be any significant difference in the number of pupils on campus.