Concerns among parents at village schools over future admissions for Southam College

Parents of prospective Southam College pupils in nearby villages fear their children could miss out on getting into the school due to plans for it to become part of a multi academy trust.

Pupils get their GCSE results at Southam College
Pupils get their GCSE results at Southam College

As part of the trust, Southam would have specific ‘feeder’ primary schools therefore meaning pupils from Northamptonshire could get admission priority over those who live closer.

The College has said that, at present, there is enough capacity to cover nearby primary schools but parents whose children would be of a lower priority are concerned this may not always be the case.

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Kate Clark, whose daughter is in Year 1 at Long Itchington Primary School, is also worried that, with new housing being built around Southam the number of applicants will rise greatly in forthcoming years.

She said: “My child is in the priority area for attending Southam College - criteria 3 on the list of entry requirements. I have found out that Southam College has changed this criteria and due to becoming part of a multi academy trust my child is now criteria 4 and that children living much further a field will have a greater chance of getting in.

“I’m extremely disappointed by this and do not understand why our secondary school would not support its local village schools and make these children a priority for admission. I believe it’s very possible that my child will no be able to get into the college and have great concerns as to where she would go. How far would she have to travel? Would the council put on buses? Would it be a good school? Will any of her friends get in? Both her sisters have attended Southam College and I want a greater guarantee that this will continue.”

The Stowe Valley Multi Academy Trust’s proposed designated primary feeder schools are Bishops Itchington, Southam, Stockton and also Byfield Primary School in Daventry.

The current published admission number (PAN) of Southam College for Year 7 is 270 and in September 2016 167 pupils living in the Southam area and attending nearby primary schools were admitted.

A statement on the college website says: “With a PAN of 270 all pupils residing in the priority area should be offered places in the future, subject to applications being made on time. It is not likely that these numbers will alter drastically for the foreseeable future.”

The parent consultation into admission arrangements for Southam College in 2018 and 2019 ends on Tuesday January 31.

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