Admissions 2020

The Board of Managers is proposing 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 adjacent to the school.

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

The Board has reviewed in detail the short-term and long-term benefits and implications of the proposal. These are dealt with in detail in the Question & Answer section below.

The Board believes that this proposal will be in the best interests of the school, its future pupils and local residents. The convenor  has written to all members setting out why the Board is unanimous in supporting it. You can read his letter here.

While the final decision ultimately rests with the Board of Managers, they are keen to hear the views of members on the proposed agreement prior to taking a decision on 9 June.  You are invited to submit any questions or comments via this online response form by Friday 29 May 2020.

Update 15 May

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.

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 Board of Managers is recommending to members that the school amends 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 from the date of occupancy.

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

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. An independent review of the Admissions Regulations also recommends this.

Secondly, we have a unique opportunity for significant investment in the school which would benefit both the school and the wider community.

The school intends to accelerate 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.

We would intend to take forward these plans in 2021.

A contribution of £1.6 million towards the total sum has been agreed with CALA Homes, the developer of Jordanhill Park, where 406 new dwellings will be built over the next few years immediately adjacent to the school.

It is common practice in local authorities to require developers to contribute planning gain, through S75 or S69 planning agreements, towards local authority schools which are at or nearing capacity and therefore require investment to mitigate the impact of the pupils generated by development like Jordanhill Park. CALA Homes appreciates that the status of Jordanhill School is unique, and a dialogue therefore took place directly between the company and the school.

The Board considers that such an agreement with CALA Homes provides a unique opportunity for significant investment in the school which would benefit both the school and the wider community. The figure is considered to be commensurate with a development of this nature and scale.

The contribution will go into a restricted fund to support major projects such as the Sports Building. 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.

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 an applicant from a current List 2 dwelling joining List 1, this date will be the official date of implementation of the agreement.

For the residencies in  phase 1 of the development (253 properties) applications would be recognised as List 1 from a date yet to be confirmed between 1st August 2020 and 29th January 2021.

For phase 2, a further 153 residencies, it is anticipated that applications would be recognised as List 1 from August 2021.

As at present, in all cases a child must be resident in the property before the application is recognised as List 1.

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.

It is anticipated that the first 253 residencies will be recognised progressively on completion from a date commencing not earlier than August 2020 and not later than January 2021. The remaining 153 residencies will be recognised progressively on completion from August 2021.

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.

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 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.

On the basis of the census data, the Jordanhill Park homes could generate a further 12 children seeking admission to P1, and 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) and children currently on the waiting list with siblings in the school would not be disadvantaged. The current and continuing Admissions Regulations ensure this. The school will continue to manage any excess demand through the existing Regulations.

An expansion of the Primary intake would require major building work, which is not feasible on our listed building campus, plus the recruitment of seven extra teachers, which would require additional Recurrent Grant funds from the Scottish Government.

This would not address the current shortcomings in the facilities shared by Primary and Secondary, principally the sports facilities which are badly in need of investment.

Increasing the Secondary roll would also require the school to employ additional teachers.

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.

The Board firmly believes that this will lead to increasing levels of dissatisfaction and complaint as it will not in any way reduce the level of expectation regarding admission to the school.

Successive Boards have always aspired to be able to include local children from our community so that eventually there could be enough places available to accommodate them in Secondary. The proposed agreement offers the first opportunity in 20 years to realise this aspiration.

The school’s facilities in both P.E. and STEM are over 50 years old and in need of major investment. Doing nothing simply defers the necessary decision-making while the aging facilities will continue to deteriorate. At a time of economic austerity, it would require the public purse to fund in full any capital investment in infrastructure.

The decisions taken by the Board preceded the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is clear that this will only exacerbate the financial challenges in future years.

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.