Tynwald asked to approve changes to school catchment areas
Some school catchment areas will be redefined if Tynwald approves an Order that is before it this month.
Geographic catchment areas allow the Department of Education and Children to plan staffing and resources at its 37 schools.
The Catchment Areas Order would change the boundaries where large or dwindling pupil numbers justify it.
Under the Order:
- Part of the catchment area for Peel Clothworkers’ Primary and Michael Primary would be ‘joint’, giving parents who live in this area the choice of which school their child attends.
- Pupils living in an area in the south of Peel Clothworkers’ catchment area would instead be able to attend either St John’s Primary or Foxdale Primary.
- Boundaries have been redrawn between Henry Bloom Noble Primary and Scoill yn Jubilee and between Onchan Primary and Ashley Hill Primary.
Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children, said: ‘As the population shifts, and as schools are developed, we review catchment areas to ensure we are making the best use of facilities.
‘For example, it has been well-publicised that few pupils were signed up to start at Ashley Hill Primary this autumn, while nearby Onchan expects a large intake.
‘The redrawing of the boundaries there will mean a more even distribution of pupils, reducing pressure on Onchan and ultimately benefiting all pupils.
‘The development of the new Henry Bloom Noble Primary, which has spare capacity, enables us to reduce pressure on neighbouring Scoill yn Jubilee,’ the Minister continued.
‘Changes to catchments in the west of the Island will hopefully prevent numbers getting too high at Peel Clothworkers while giving parents greater choice.’
If approved, the Order will come into effect on the 1st September 2017 but, with the vast majority of new starters already signed up to schools by then, would largely affect admissions from September 2018 onwards.