Pupil Admission Numbers (PAN) Consultation
At Cotham Gardens we pride ourselves on our welcoming, inclusive, happy and high achieving ethos. We believe that all of our pupils deserve the best possible start in life through a world class education, and we will always strive to provide this.
In recent years there has been a very sharp fall in the number of reception age pupils throughout Bristol, and furthermore numbers are projected to continue to fall for the foreseeable future. A very large majority of school funding is based on the number of pupils on roll, and schools must ensure that we are able to operate sustainably whilst continuing to deliver the high-quality curriculum and teaching that all of our pupils deserve. For the last two academic years we have run three reception classes at significantly less than capacity, placing large substantial pressure on the school. In addition, local Authority pupil number projections confirm their expectation that reception age pupil numbers will continue to fall for the foreseeable future.
Due to the financial challenge of continuing to operate at under-capacity we have reluctantly concluded that we are unable to sustain our current Pupil Admission Numbers (PAN) of 90 pupils. We have therefore decided to consult our stakeholders, including parents, staff and the Co-op forum, on reducing our PAN of 90 pupils or 3 classes to a PAN of 60 pupils or 2 classes. This would, over a number of years beginning in September 2023, transition Cotham Gardens back to a 2-form entry school as we were prior to the large, but temporary, increase in reception age pupils seen around 2015 but which has now worked its ways through the school.
For the avoidance of doubt, we have no plans to close our Elmgrove site. We are also aware of a number of other local schools who are consulting on reducing their PAN in response to the very large city-wide fall in reception age pupil numbers.
Under the School Admissions Code 2021 (section 1.48) admissions authorities must publish a copy of our full, proposed admissions arrangements on our website. We are only seeking views of stakeholders only on our proposal to reduce our PAN from 90 to 60 pupils. We are not seeking views on the remainder of this document.
The consultation will run from Friday 17th December 2021 to Friday 28th January 2022, and is intended to meet both the Schools Admission Code and significant change consultation requirements under the Regional Schools Commissioners significant change process.
Responses to our consultation can be submitted using the following online form:
Views, comments or questions can also be emailed to the following address:
The school had intended to run an in-person public meeting at the academy for stakeholders to express opinions and/or ask questions to school governors and management regarding the consultation. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic we have decided not to run this event in person, and therefore we intend to hold a virtual meeting via Zoom. The Zoom meeting will be held on Tuesday 25th January 2022 at 6.00pm to 7.00pm. Stakeholders are welcome to join the meeting using the following link:
We intend to publish the outcome of this consultation on 23rd March 2022.
As is required under the School Admissions Code, our draft admissions arrangements for the 2023/24 school years are available below: