Q: How wide are the five ability bands, how are they generated and if they are not equally broad, why is this the case?
A: This is how the five bands are generated: The five bands are constructed following a non-verbal reasoning test. A simple example would be if there were 500 applications, they would be ranked 1 to 500 according to the test result. They would then be split into five bands, for example, 1 to 100, 101 to 200, 201 to 300 and so forth. The Pupil Admission Number (PAN) is 180 which is divided by five to give 36 places in each band. The rules about siblings, looked after children etc are dealt with first and the finer details of these are explained in the proposed rules which can be accessed from the Academy's website.
Q: Has any research been done on how this might potentially impact on local families who attend local primary schools?
A: The School/Academy that applicants attend has no impact on who is offered a place at Madeley Academy in the existing rules. After the siblings, looked after children etc have been given first priority, it is then a case of who lives closest to the Academy which is the same position as now. In summary, it should make no difference to local families.
Q: My son is nine and he wants to join his sister at the Academy when he is eleven. Will he be able to?
A: Definitely yes if your daughter is still at the Academy when he applies. This is the sibling rule.
Q: Does banding mean that you will select only bright applicants?
A: Definitely not. The reason we would like to introduce banding is to protect applicants from the full range of ability and make sure that those who live closest to the Academy have the greatest chance of gaining a place.
Q: I live opposite the School, why am I and my neighbours not in the catchment area?
A: That is one of the reasons why we are trying to remove the catchment areas to give opportunities for families opposite the Academy.
Q: Is Fair Banding legal?
A: Yes, it is part of the Admissions Code.
Q: My child is subject to a EHC Plan, will Fair Banding work against their application?
A: No, priority is given the children on a EHC Plan.