Admissions 2020

In May 2020 the Board of Managers consulted members on a proposal to amend the Admissions Regulations to incorporate all existing List 2 addresses into List 1 and to add to List 1 an agreed list of dwellings being constructed on the Jordanhill Park campus adjacent to the school.

The Board provided feedback on 15 May and 12 June. The convenor wrote to all members on 14th August setting out the outcomes of discussions during the summer.

Following the results of consultation with members the proposal now is

  • To incorporate all existing List 2 addresses into List 1 and to add to List 1 an agreed list of dwellings being constructed on the Jordanhill Park campus adjacent to the school.
  • List 2 be included in List 1 along with 50% of Jordanhill Park (phase 1) on payment of a first instalment of £1M by CALA Homes within 5 days of a vote to accept the proposal.
  • The remaining 50% of properties in Jordanhill Park (phase 2) to be recognised on payment of a further £1M no later than 31 August 2021.
  • The sibling rule within the Admissions Regulations will not apply to the Jordanhill Park residencies until 5 years after the date of their inclusion within List 1. This will apply separately to each phase.

This proposal is being put to members for 3 key reasons

  1. First and foremost, it will ensure that all residences within our historic geographic area are offered the same priority for admission. The independent reviewer of Admissions has strongly recommended this. This will allow us to move forward together and will strengthen the school’s position in advancing the interests of young people and the community.
  2. Existing economic challenges have been exacerbated by COVID-19. The £2M will allow us to make some much-needed investment in our estate to the immediate benefit of current pupils and will also benefit future generations.
  3. These changes and this investment will significantly strengthen our capacity to advocate the expansion of the school in the future.

The short-term and long-term implications of the proposal are addressed in detail in the Question & Answer section below. The Board has also organised two Zoom meetings for members to ask questions. You can register for these here.

Dear Parent/Carer,

Review of Admissions Regulations: Ballot of Members

I am pleased to be writing to you following the return to school, on a full-time basis, of our children. I wrote to you on 10 June setting out how the Board would be taking forward consideration of the proposal to incorporate List 2 and the Jordanhill Park development within List 1.

Four key issues emerged during the consultation exercise and through dialogue with representatives of parents

  • Concerns about “queue jumping” the Admissions List due to sibling priority.
  • Feedback from parents with a background in property development and marketing that the proposed level of contribution from CALA Homes did not reflect the true market value of the benefit accruing to CALA Homes.
  • Expectations that the school might expand its roll immediately.
  • A desire to have a better understanding of the Board’s proposals for the extension and refurbishment of the Sports Building.

Following on from the meeting on 13 May, members of the Board of Managers met representatives of the Jordanhill Parents Action Group on 23 June and explored each of these and other issues. We were able to share the wider context and some of the pressures on the school to address the disparity that addresses close to the school are not recognised in List 1 while others more distant are recognised. This extends to being instructed not to call ourselves a “community school” because we are not including all of the community.

While it was explicit in the original Q&A document, we were able to further clarify that Scottish Government has made absolutely clear that there is no question of discussing any expansion of the school roll at this time. An expansion of Primary would require a new site for the construction of a teaching block. It would also require expansion of central facilities such as the Hall, Refectory and sports facilities which is impossible on the current site. While expansion of Secondary would require some refurbishment or replacement of existing facilities it would not require additional facilities. However, any roll expansion would require to be supported by increased annual payments from the Scottish Government to support higher revenue costs.

In the process of its impact assessment, the school had been unable to find one example of queue jumping from List 2 in the next 11 years. Nevertheless, it is theoretically possible from Jordanhill Park. A specific proposal to address such concerns emerged from the meeting. We talked through the proposals for the Sports Building and the detailed planning underpinning this and wider estates development. The school also shared that it had commissioned Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) to undertake a further detailed study of the value of properties inside and outside List 1 as a basis for determining whether the offer being made by CALA was reasonable.

The school met with CALA Homes on 14 July. CALA recognised the anxiety caused by the potential for queue jumping and agreed that the sibling rule would not apply to the Jordanhill Park residencies for 5 years after inclusion in List 1. The issue of their financial contribution is to say the least challenging. On a confidential basis, CALA Homes agreed to share with the Director from LSH detailed information on costs and pricing for the development and then made a revised and final offer of £2M. LSH submitted a report to the Board. The conclusions of this are

  • Having had the opportunity to hear CALA put forward their perspective and consider their analysis of their increased premium offer, I am of the opinion that £2m is reasonable.
  • A final, very pertinent point is that CALA are the only potential source of this premium payment. There is no opportunity to seek a better offer from another developer.
  • I therefore do not see any merit in pursuing CALA for an increased offer and the decision is therefore whether to allow the inclusion of Jordanhill Park in the catchment for a premium of £2m or to accept no premium whatsoever.

The Board considered the details of the above at its meeting on 5 August. In reaching its conclusions, the Board was conscious of the acute economic challenges which will be faced post-COVID and the prospect that a future Board may be required within the next few years to include all properties within the school historic area in List 1 with, as LSH comment, no premium accruing to the school.

The Board agreed unanimously to proceed to ballot the members on the revised Agreement. Members will be invited to vote on a proposal to amend the Admissions Regulations as follows

  • To incorporate all existing List 2 addresses into List 1 and to add to List 1 an agreed list of dwellings being constructed on the Jordanhill Park campus adjacent to the school.
  • List 2 be included in List 1 along with 50% of Jordanhill Park (phase 1) on payment of a first instalment of £1M by CALA Homes within 5 days of a vote to accept the proposal.
  • The remaining 50% of properties in Jordanhill Park (phase 2) to be recognised on payment of a further £1M no later than 31 August 2021.
  • The sibling rule within the Admissions Regulations will not apply to the Jordanhill Park residencies until 5 years after the date of their inclusion within List 1. This will apply separately to each phase.

We met again with representatives of the Jordanhill Parents Action Group on 11 August to talk through the above and the ballot process.

Electronic ballot papers will be issued to all members on Monday 17 August. The ballot will conclude on Thursday 27 August. The outcome will be determined by a simple majority of members. The proposal will lapse in the event that there is no majority in favour.

To provide you with an opportunity to ask questions, we are organising two online question and answer events on Zoom on Thursday 20 at 7.30pm and Tuesday 25 at 2.30pm.  The school is issuing details which can be found here. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 restrictions preclude a meeting in the school as we cannot compromise its remaining open by having an event of any scale on the premises.

The Q&A section of our web site has been updated and a copy of the latest report from the Independent Reviewer of Admissions and a report for members prepared by Lambert Smith Hampton have been posted alongside this.

The Board also wishes to clarify that if the proposal is accepted, then it will consult further with the members in 2020-21 on the best way to utilise the £2M.

On the basis of the facts and considerations as outlined in this letter I therefore commend the proposal to you.

Kindest regards
Ken Alexander
Convenor of the Board of Managers

Dear Parent/Carer

At its meeting on Tuesday 9 June the Board of Managers considered further the proposal to amend the Admissions Regulations. In particular, the Board gave very full consideration to all of the issues raised by respondents to the consultation.

The Board noted that while many respondents do not wish to see the school absorb List 2 and Jordanhill Park into List 1, the nature of their associated comments suggests that was not an absolute rejection of the principle. Rather, that they wished to see one or more of the following

  • A higher level of development contribution from CALA Homes
  • An immediate expansion of the school roll
  • Additional teaching space for Primary and/or Secondary rather than the sports facility
  • A community resource rather than something of benefit to the school

The COVID-19 restrictions have precluded any meaningful face-to-face dialogue during the consultation period. Consequently, the Board has not been able to develop a clear understanding of what it is that members would wish to achieve. Under the national Strategic Framework, Scotland moved to Phase 1 on 27 May and will move to Phase 2 from 10 July and to Phase 3 by August. This gradual relaxation will allow the school to organise some further engagement with members.

The Board will meet again as necessary in July and August to receive updates. Meanwhile, the Board has determined that no agreement will be reached with CALA Homes and no associated changes will be made to the Admissions Regulations without first putting this to a ballot of the members. The Board does not see that this could meaningfully be done until into next session.

Your sincerely,
Ken Alexander
Convenor of the Board of Managers

The school met with representatives of parents on 13 May. This statement was issued to all members following that meeting. Further updates will be provided as discussions progress.

As promised, the school has published clarification on the key questions being asked via the online response form. This information supplements that in the Q&A below. You can read this here.

Each ordinary member (parents/carer) will receive an e-mail with a unique link to the ballot.

The ballot will open at 12.00 noon on Monday 17 August and close at 23.00 on Thursday 27 August 2020.

While any such ballot is advisory, the Board of Managers has indicated that they will be bound by the outcome. A simple majority of those voting will determine the outcome.

Associate members (staff) are not entitled to vote.

The Board has organised two Zoom meetings to provide members with an opportunity to ask questions. You can register here.

Currently, Jordanhill School has three lists of applicants for admission:

  • List 1 – children whose permanent residence is a designated address
  • List 2 – children whose permanent residence is a supplementary address
  • List 3 – children who live elsewhere

Our Admissions Regulations give priority to applicants residing in List 1 addresses. Thereafter, priority is given to residents in List 2 addresses ahead of all other applicants.

The proposal is to amend the Admissions Regulations to incorporate all existing List 2 addresses into List 1 and to add to List 1 an agreed list of dwellings which have been or will be constructed on the Jordanhill Park campus immediately adjacent to the school. These properties would be recognised on a phased basis.

The result will be that all residences within our historic geographic area will be offered the same priority for admission.

At present there are 3,042 List 1 addresses and 201 List 2 addresses. 406 dwellings are planned for construction on Jordanhill Park over the next four years or so. By the end of this period, the List 2 and Jordanhill Park addresses will make up 16.6% of the new, all-encompassing List 1.

Successive Boards have always aspired to treat all residences within our historic geographic area equitably, thereby to include all local children in List 1. First and foremost, we wish to address this disparity.

Following his review, the independent reviewer of the Admissions Regulations has strongly recommended this.

The disparity that addresses close to the school are not recognised in List 1 while others more distant are is a source of ongoing pressure. This extends to being instructed not to call ourselves a “community school” because we are not including all of the community.  Others have suggested that the school consider removing existing List 1 addresses which are geographically more distant. This would preclude the need for expansion and the associated costs. The Board has resisted all such suggestions. Moving forward together as a united community will significantly strengthen our capacity to advocate the expansion of the school in the future.

The Board believes that the school will inevitably have to absorb these addresses into List 1. If a decision is deferred, then no financial benefit will accrue.

The school commissioned Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) to undertake a detailed study of the value of properties inside and outside List 1 as a basis for determining whether the offer being made by CALA Homes was reasonable. On a confidential basis, CALA Homes agreed to share with the Director from LSH detailed information on costs and pricing for the development. LSH then submitted a report to the Board. The conclusions of this are

  • “Having had the opportunity to hear Cala put forward their perspective and consider their analysis of their increased premium offer, I am of the opinion that £2m is reasonable.
  • A final, very pertinent point is that Cala are the only potential source of this premium payment. There is no opportunity to seek a better offer from another developer.
  • I therefore do not see any merit in pursuing Cala for an increased offer and the decision is therefore whether to allow the inclusion of Jordanhill Park in the catchment for a premium of £2m or to accept no premium whatsoever.”

While LSH cannot share commercially sensitive information, they have prepared a report for members which has been published on the web site.

The school has previously sought advice from specialists both before and after discussions on the original proposal. Throughout the advice has been that this is a bespoke arrangement which sits outwith normal planning arrangements.

The contribution will go into a restricted fund to support major projects. It will not be used to fund any of the core educational functions of the school, i.e. those covered by the Annual Recurrent Grant provided to the school by the Scottish Government.

If the proposal is agreed the school will undertake further consultation with members on how best to invest the £2M.

One option is to implement previously published plans for a new Sports Building. The school’s P.E. facilities are over 50 years old and require significant investment. The school lets its sports pitches to many community groups, but due to the current inadequate facilities, it is unable to provide access to several users. For instance, the current design and layout of the gym, fitness suite and changing facilities do not lend themselves to community use. All of these shortcomings are addressed in the new design.

The simple answer is no for those on List 1. Going forward the key factor is the official date of receipt of the application as defined in the Admissions Regulations.

For List 2 and the residencies in phase 1 of the development (203 properties) applications would be recognised as List 1 from the end of August 2020. For phase 2, a further 203 residencies, it is anticipated that applications would be recognised as List 1 from the end of August 2021. In all cases a child must be resident in the property before the application is recognised as List 1.

While in theory the sibling priority rule might have an effect, over the next 11 years for all children on List 2 the school can find no example where a child on List 1 would lose a place. Nevertheless, it has been agreed that the sibling priority rule will not apply to each phase of residencies in Jordanhill Park until 5 years after the agreement comes into effect for that phase.

The 2018 census data indicates that annually some 88-98 children will be seeking admission to P1 from List 1 and 2. By S1 the total number of school age children is between 90 and 107. With 66 having been admitted to P1, this leaves between 24 and 41 seeking admission for the available 33 places. This is very much in accordance with the school’s experience in recent years.

  • In 1 year in 5 we go beyond Lists 1 and 2 and offer places in Secondary to children from out with the area.
  • In 3 years in 5 we accommodate all pupils in List 1 (often going into List 2)
  • Only in 1 year in 5 does the number on List 1 ultimately exceed the number of places available in Secondary.

On the basis of the census data, the Jordanhill Park homes could generate a further 12 children seeking admission to P1 rising to a total of 13 by S1.

An independent study commissioned by the school, of likely pupil numbers seeking admission, suggests a figure between 10 and 20 pupils per annum.

These projections might be moderated down by the fact that Jordanhill Park comprises 66% flats while only 36% of the existing List 1 and 2 addresses are flats.

The Board acknowledges that increasing the number of households in List 1 without a corresponding increase in the school roll will create further demands on the school. This is a matter which has been raised with Scottish Government. The Board accepts that any increase in the school roll in primary or secondary would require the employment of additional teachers and thereby an increase in recurrent grant from Scottish Government. A rationale for such an increase in grant cannot be made unless and until such demands emerge. Such demand will appear over a protracted period of time (up to 10 years). The school will continue to manage any excess demand through the existing Regulations.

An expansion of the Primary would require major building work, which is not feasible on our listed building campus, plus the recruitment of seven extra teachers. The existing Hall, Refectory and Sports facilities cannot sustain such an expansion. A new site would be required.

While expansion of Secondary would require some refurbishment or replacement of existing facilities it would not require additional facilities. However, any roll expansion would require to be supported by increased annual payments from the Scottish Government to support higher revenue costs.

The properties included in List 2 over the past 20 years have not given rise to any appreciable increase in the number of children seeking entry. The question of meeting increased demand can be considered only as and when it arises.

Scottish Government has made clear that it will not consider any such expansion at this time.

In 1995/6 the Board of Managers decided to change the criteria for the “inside” list from a geographic area to the residential properties extant at that time. In 2001 the Board of Managers formalised further the decisions taken in 1995/96 and decided to freeze the list of addresses recognised as having priority for admission in order to moderate the level of unmet demand for admission to the school. This was done for two key reasons:

  • The school estate was not fit for purpose. Primary classes shared rooms, 10 secondary classrooms were huts with no damp course and pupil facilities, including sport, were inadequate.
  • In the late 1990s and early 2000s a number of housebuilding projects were brought forward for the area. In particular, the University of Strathclyde which had absorbed Jordanhill College of Education sold off part of its estate for housing.

The Board’s view was that major investment was needed in the school’s estate before it could consider the inclusion of further dwellings in the list of addresses recognised as having priority for admission. Thus Lists 1 and 2 were created: List 1 were all those dwellings in the geographic area up to 2001 and List 2 new dwellings created in the area from 2001 onwards.

In 2006 the University of Strathclyde shared plans to sell off the remainder of its estate for housing with the sale due to be complete in 2008. Due to the economic downturn this did not happen until 2018.

With the support of Scottish Government, the school’s facilities have improved enormously in the intervening period with the construction of the south campus building, refectory extension, creation of an all-weather pitch and adjacent multi-user games area, acquisition of the Games Hall and creation of new science facilities.

As at present, there will be no automatic right of inclusion in List 1. The Board will consider the status of any new dwellings as and when it becomes aware of their existence.