Agenda item


“ In August 2019 I received an email stating that the school catchment review would commence in September of last year. 

Can an update be given on the work and consultations  that has been completed to date please.”



“ In August 2019 I received an email stating that the school catchment review would commence in September of last year. 

Can an update be given on the work and consultations that has been completed to date please.


Response by Councillor Glynog Davies, Executive Board Member for Education and Children:-


We are all aware that every school has a catchment and I’m sure you, like myself, have asked the question how did this school catchment area come into being. Well, originally, they were formed in order to ensure that there were enough pupils to support every school, to maintain every school, to make sure that there were children who were living close by that were there to attend that school. Every school has a designated catchment area which it serves and here in Carmarthenshire we use catchment areas as part of our schools admissions system and also to implement our schools transport policy. A full review was undertaken of our catchment areas in 2012 and it’s now timely, and I do believe it’s appropriate that we update them. In order to do this work an officer has been appointed, work has begun and this officer is going to lead on this work, but it is a very large piece of work, a very complicated piece of work.


In order to review the situation in full this county as we know is a widespread one, a large county geographically and we have lots of schools and we need to look very carefully at the linguistic context. We have religious schools. All of our schools are very different so, we need to look at it very carefully and all the arrangements in place. We need to look at the dynamic nature of the education footprint across the county. As I mentioned, and I’m very pleased to say this, that I did want to see this work taking place, this work has begun, consultations have been held with the school transport department in order to understand the current arrangements and the potential changes that there may be. Also taking place, there is an ongoing geographic analysis of pupil data for all primary and secondary schools. This will help to understand the patterns of school attendance in relation to the current catchment boundaries.


School catchment areas are heavily contingent on the review of our MEP. Now you’ve often heard me speak of the Modernising Education Programme. It’s an important programme for us here in Carmarthenshire, and we’ve gained a great deal from that programme, and that review is currently happening. The MEP review may influence changes to the education map in our county. This needs to be completed before consultation starts with our schools. We must have, we need, the results of that review. Also, there will be a very thorough consultation on any changes which will be proposed to those catchment areas, plenty of opportunity to give opinions and this will be part of the school admission process and this happens yearly and it happens in January, so it’s not going to happen next until January 2021, which is next January, and then will be implemented the following September. I propose that the consultation with schools will not take place until we’ve completed the MEP review. It’s important that the proposals that come up from that are considered. It’s important that the content is discussed with us and that will be a general review of school catchments. Thank you.


There was no supplementary question.