Extra class will tackle ‘yo-yo’ pupil numbers

MHLC-02-07-13 Kenilworth school Jul 30' Hayden Abbott, head teacher, Kenilworth School .
MHLC-02-07-13 Kenilworth school Jul 30' Hayden Abbott, head teacher, Kenilworth School .

Kenilworth School will create an extra class for 30 pupils in an unprecedented move to cope with an overly successful recruitment drive.

Last year school governors made a bold step in extending the school’s catchment area in a bid to tackle an unusual blip in pupil numbers.

But with over 400 applications for 270 places, the school had to turn over 100 hopefuls away and will now create an extra class to deal with the ‘yo-yo effect’ on admissions.

Due to a blip in the town’s birth rate 11 years ago, the coming year group was threatened to be significantly short on standard admissions.

As a result the normally oversubscribed school opened out its catchment area for the very first time.

Head teacher Hayden Abbot explained that after huge interest and complete problem reversal, the new class move was the only way to deal with the “unusual dilemma”.

“For the first time ever we spread our net to other areas, including south Coventry, to allow children from further afield a chance to study here,” he said.

“And initially, we had to turn away more than 100 as we had nearly 400 applications for 270 places.

“But the new class means that anyone who didn’t get a place when we made our offers a few weeks ago can appeal against the decision and stands a good chance of getting their first choice after all.”

Over 120 were refused places, but now the first 30 to appeal will be given seats in the class - taking the usual 270 pupils per year group to 300.

Because of education policy and the space available at the site, the new class will exist only for the coming year’s intake – and will travel up the school with that group.

It will not apply to future years’ admissions.

Kenilworth School is currently looking to relocate and merge with Castle Sixth Form to accommodate up to a total of 2,100 pupils expected to need places when hundreds of new houses are built in the town under Warwick District Council’s local plan.