Harpenden Academy pupils could get preferential admittance to Sir John Lawes School

Sir John Lawes School is seeking to change its admissions policy to make Harpenden Academy a feeder

Sir John Lawes School is seeking to change its admissions policy to make Harpenden Academy a feeder school. Picture: Danny Loo. - Credit: Archant

A Harpenden secondary school is consulting on a change to its admissions policy so it prefers a certain primary school.

Sir John Lawes School (SJL) wishes to change its admissions criteria to take into account whether a pupil goes to Harpenden Academy; both schools belong to the Scholars’ Education Trust.

In a letter, SJL head Claire Robins wrote: “Sir John Lawes School and Harpenden Academy share the same vision and values.

“The two schools are within half a mile of each other and have therefore established strong links, with students benefiting from cross phase teaching and support, as well as shared specialist accommodation and student involvement in, for example, joint Trust Student Voice conferences and music concerts.

“As a result, Scholars’ Education Trust feel it is beneficial to the students within these two schools to have the reassurance of continuity and stability of education and opportunity, should they wish it.”

The criteria is currently worded to favour children who live in a priority area for whom SJL is their nearest Hertfordshire maintained secondary school.

If the proposal passes, the criteria would remove references to the priority area and the rule about being a child’s nearest maintained school.

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Scholars’ Education Trust director Martin Sidders said: “The Scholars’ Education Trust is currently consulting over naming the academy as a feeder school for Sir John Lawes School.

“The two schools are already formally part of the same organisation, sharing the same central services provision and staff, having identical policies and being overseen by the same Trust Board. They also share some facilities and teaching staff.

“We believe naming Harpenden Academy as a feeder for SJL recognises this extremely close working relationship and will bring increased benefits to both the schools and the wider Scholars’ Education Trust.

“We are happy to hear opinions from the local community both for and against the proposal via email on admin@scholarseducationtrust.co.uk.

“At the end of the consultation the Trust Board will use this information to inform their final decision.”

SJL are consulting on the changes and anyone who wishes to comment must do so by 5pm on January 6 by writing for the attention of The Admissions Officer and it can be done by post (to the school address)

The trust’s board will determine Sir John Lawes’ final Admission Arrangements by February 28, 2019.