Corby and Kettering schools set to drop admissions test because of Covid

The changes would affect the September 2021 admissions

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 1:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 1:30 pm
Corby Technical School.

Pupils applying to join four schools in Corby and Kettering next year may not have to take an admissions test after an academy trust announced plans to drop it because of Covid.

The Brooke Weston Trust is proposing to change their policy for September 2021 admissions to Brooke Weston Academy, Corby Business Academy, Corby Technical School and Kettering Science Academy.

They usually use a type of assessment called 'fair banding' to decide their admissions, which requires children applying to complete a non-verbal reasoning test. The assessment is typically carried out on one day in December and involves more than 1,400 primary school children and their families from Corby, Kettering and the surrounding areas.

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But this year, to protect the safety of staff, students and their families, the trust says they feel unable to hold such a large assessment and are proposing not to use fair banding.

This would mean that for September 2021, admissions policies for the four schools would run without the requirement for any child to undertake a test and, as a result, the potential intake for September 2021 in any of the listed schools would not be divided into score rankings. The local authority would co-ordinate the schools’ admissions process solely based on each school’s oversubscription criteria.

Dr Andrew Campbell, chief executive of the Brooke Weston Trust, said: “The fair banding assessment is designed to make sure our schools are truly mixed ability and ensures that children have a good chance of gaining a place at our schools regardless of their academic ability or their circumstances.

“While we are disappointed that we cannot run the assessments as we usually would this year, it is important a change is made to avoid creating an unnecessary risk to public safety.

"Despite all of the careful planning mitigations we would put in place, we have come to the conclusion that bringing so many children from different schools and households together would be irresponsible.

"We hope parents can understand our reasons for wanting to make this change and will support us in this decision.”

Parents and members of the community can share their comments on this proposed change by visiting this page before 5pm on October 19.