Ilkley Grammar School promises not to alter admissions policy

Over-subscribed Ilkley Grammar School has “no intention” of changing its current admissions policy, local politicians have been assured this week.

Addingham parish councillors recently met with headteacher, Gillian James, and chairman of school governors, Lindsey Warmby, amid concerns about securing school places for children from the village.

Youngsters from both Addingham and Burley-in-Wharfedale have been turned away from the school in recent years in early rounds of the Bradford District secondary schools admissions process.

Mrs James agreed to take in extra pupils last year, but she warned at the time the school may not be able to continue taking in all children living in the traditional catchment area.

The school’s academy status, granted in 2011, gives it powers over its own admissions policy, but also greater control regarding how it may develop its Cowpasture Road site.

But a statement issued this week by Addingham Parish Council, with the agreement of Ilkley Grammar School, said the school wanted to continue serving the Wharfe Valley.

It said: “Whilst there have been some issues in recent years securing enough places at the school for Addingham children, IGS maintains its desire to be the comprehensive school for the Wharfe Valley, which includes Addingham, and has no intention to change its current admissions policy.

“Addingham sits within the school’s priority one catchment areas, and despite increased demand, has never in its history had to turn away children from the village.”

The council and the school pledged to work in partnership in the coming years and share data on future pupil numbers.

Bradford Council’s deadline for applications for secondary schools places next September closed last Wednesday.

The council’s assistant director of education and school improvement, Paul Makin, said it was too early to give a figure for the number of applications received for any one school, as it takes time to process applications and collate data.

Allocation letters will be sent to parents in March, and any appeals will be heard in May and June.

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