Published 28 September 2021

West Dunbartonshire Council has updated its admission and placing request policy to offer a fairer and clearer process for families.

Members of Educational Services Committee agreed today (Wednesday, 22 September) to change the policy after receiving feedback from a range of stakeholders including parents and carers following a consultation.

The update includes a review of the current criteria used to allocate places where there are more requests for a place within a school than  spaces available. Existing criteria in relation to single parents, and siblings have been expanded and other criteria have been revised to ensure the criteria requirement is clear. 

In addition, families who apply for a place at a denominational school and whose children have been Baptised in the Roman Catholic Church will be offered a place ahead of a child who is not Baptised in the Catholic Church.  

If placing requests cannot be accommodated  using the placing request criteria, a ballot will take place and parents and carers will be invited to be present during the ballot.

Councillor Karen Conaghan, Convener of Educational Services, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation and for giving us their feedback which has helped us update this important policy. We can see from the feedback that the majority of people supported every criteria and the addition of parents being present in person for any future ballots.  We are committed to supporting families wherever we can and this updated policy will ensure it’s a fair process for everyone.”

Councillor Ian Dickson, Vice Convener of Educational Services, said: “These changes will take effect for the August 2022 intake and will make the process of enrolling children within the chosen school straight forward. We will make every effort to accommodate all placing requests, and where we cannot support a request, we have clear guidance in place to support families through the process.”