New Admissions Policy for BMS


Jeremy Turner
New Admissions Policy for BMS

Over the last few weeks the school has been formally consulting about a change to the admission policy for students joining the school from September 2019.

For many years the school has been part of the South West Herts Consortium; all students could only access a place at Bushey Meads if they sat the consortium test, to then be admitted to the school in four bands of ability.

However over the last 4 years student trends have indicated that only 50% of our intake are actually allocated to the school as a direct result of us being part of the testing arrangements in the local area. In addition, in line with the Bushey St James Trust’s vision and values (which centre on providing excellent educational provision – very much for the immediate local community) the school has recently made changes to allocate preferential places to students within the schools in the Bushey St James Trust.

This has now resulted in the majority of our school places being automatically allocated with Children Looked After, SEN Students with ECHPs, students from the primary schools within the Trust, children of staff, siblings, students admitted for medical reasons and also past siblings. With this in mind the Trust Board have made the significant decision to now move away from being part of the local consortium testing arrangements beyond 2017.18.

As a school we now stand on our own merit with excellent results and a great reputation. By coming out of the consortium testing arrangements we will now attract even more local children, many of whom will be from aspirant families who simply want their children to attend a very good local school.

We believe that some of the key positive impacts of this decision will be evidenced in the fact that:

  1. More local children will come to Bushey Meads School
  2. More children will be able to get involved in after-school extracurricular activities
  3. A deeper relationship will develop with closer more local feeder primary schools (rather than so many diverse schools over a wider area)
  4. Staff will spend less time travelling to conduct primary visits to so many schools
  5. Less ‘single’ students will come to BMS from distant isolated feeder primary schools
  6. As a school we will stand more independently and the Bushey St James Trust, rather than the consortium, will become the main focus
  7. It will save staff time (admissions work, arranging the tests, marking the papers, attending several weekends in September etc.)
  8. We will save in excess of £30 000 costs associated with the consortium testing arrangements year on year
  9. A greater focus on our current children will be given from all staff in the Pastoral Team
  10. There will be a greater alignment with the BSJT Values and Vision
    • ensure that the Trust enhances the local community
    • support families to encourage aspiration
    • create a seamless educational experience
    • provide students with the best possible start for their futures
    • nurture greater integration and community cohesion
  11. There is likely to be a greater ease of transition into the Sixth Form (students are less likely to make the choice to attend sixth form colleges in Harrow where they might currently live)
  12. We will attract more able students from the local area whose parents do not want them to sit the test and don’t want to spend money on tutoring etc.
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