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Public Consultation – Benfield School Admissions

Outcome of consultation

During the period 8 November-20 December 2023 we consulted on a change to the admissions arrangements at Benfield School from 2025-26.

It was proposed to amend the oversubscription criteria for Benfield School to include at criterion 2:

“Children attending one of the following schools: Byker Primary School, Central Walker Church of England Primary School, Tyneview Primary School, Walkergate Community School, West Walker Primary School.  Priority within this category will be given to children who have a sibling who will be on roll at the school on the date that the child will be admitted in September 2025.”

One consultation response was received, which opposed the proposal and suggested that sibling link should have priority in all cases.

At a meeting on 20 December 2023, NEAT Academy Trust’s Board of Directors carefully considered the proposal and the consultation response received.  On balance the Directors concluded that:

  • prioritising applicants from the primary schools within the trust in Newcastle upon Tyne, alongside existing feeder schools, is a legitimate aim linked to the trust’s strategy of providing a ‘cradle to career’ education experience within the trust; and
  • the proposed criterion 2 included recognising the importance of sibling links.

Therefore, the Board decided to proceed with changing the oversubscription criteria from 2025-26.  The criteria are set out in the school’s agreed Admissions Policy 2025-26.

The policy change will only have an impact if Benfield School is oversubscribed above its Published Admission Number of 207.  The Board agreed to monitor applications on an ongoing basis to assess the impact of the change in policy.

There is a right for people to raise objections to the admissions policy agreed by 28 February each year with the Schools Adjudicator. See the Schools Adjudicator website (Office of the Schools Adjudicator) for more information on how to do this. Objections to the admissions arrangements for 2025/26 must be made by 15th May 2024.