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Academy school consults over admission arrangements after spike in demand

PUBLISHED: 15:45 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:09 06 February 2018

Caister Academy.  Picture: James Bass

Caister Academy. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2015

Although most high school students will probably head to their nearest secondary school, a seaside academy is reminding parents they don’t have to.

Caister Academy.  Picture: James Bass Caister Academy. Picture: James Bass

Caister Academy has just completed a consultation over its admissions policy following a flurry of enquiries from parents who said they wanted to apply but believed they couldn’t because of where they lived.

Philip Cantwell, director of education at the Creative Education Trust, said the increasingly popular school was becoming more sought-after in the villages and north Yarmouth areas where traditionally students have gone to other, nearer, schools.

Although geography played a part and there were certain categories of children that had to be given places first the school’s policy was being re-shaped he said to make people aware they could apply to Caister if they wanted to.

The school of just over 600 pupils will see its biggest Year 7 intake for some years in September with 150 children joining, while 107 Year 11s will be leaving.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “Defined catchment areas still exist for the majority of schools but many are changing their priority to offer places based on distance, or are consulting to give priority to an extended area beyond the defined catchment.

“There is no requirement for a school to have a defined catchment area or to give priority to catchment children.”

“Parents should refer to the schools individual over-subscription criteria to understand how places are allocated if the school is over-subscribed.”

Transport is only provided to the nearest or nearest catchment school subject to the distance between the home address and the school.

Caister High School was rated as inadequate by Ofsted in 2014.

It has been part of the Creative Education Trust since March 2015.

Since then the school says it has improved “quite dramatically.”

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