Covid-19 - parent info

Public Consultation on Proposed Changes to Orchard Academy Admissions Arrangements for 2022/2023

We are consulting on some proposed changes to our admissions criteria and would welcome your feedback.


Orchard Academy in Milton Keynes (part of East Midlands Academy Trust) is consulting on proposed changes to the admissions policy to take effect for school admissions for September 2022. The proposed changes will affect new applications for Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 in Orchard Academy (from September 2022 onwards).

Proposed Changes to the Admissions Policy

The proposed changes under Orchard oversubscription criteria are:

  • Point 2 should read - A child with a sibling at the school, or at Shepherdswell Academy, who is expected to be on roll at the school or Shepherdswell Academy at the time of admission.
  • Point 4 should be removed as it is not relevant to the school.
  • Point 5 should be removed as it is reflected on new point 2.

You can find the current document with the proposed changes here or by asking for a copy of the information at the school office.


In line with the School Admissions Code, admission authorities are required to consult on their admission policy whenever they would like to make a change.

In accordance with the Admissions Code, a consultation period must run for a minimum of six weeks and take place between 1 October and 31 January. The process allows parents, other schools, local authorities and other interested stakeholders to raise comments or concerns about the proposed arrangements. This document is particularly for the attention of parents, other admissions authorities, the local authority and other local dioceses. This consultation will run between Monday 26th October and Monday 7th December 2020. Information on how you can respond can be found below.

The Process of the Consultation

The consultation is being communicated by EMAT as follows:

  • Notification to Milton Keynes Council.
  • Notification to Orchard & Shepherdswell Local Advisory Board.
  • Notification to all parents, carers and guardians of students at the Academy by letter and through the Academy website.
  • Headteachers and Principals of all schools in the authority and local area.
  • Notification to local Councillors and Parish Council. 

You are welcome to pass this consultation on to anyone you feel may be interested. All comments and suggestions are invited, and you can respond by email to EMAT's Head of Governance using  by no later than the consultation deadline of Monday 7th December 2020.

On conclusion of the consultation on Monday 7th December 2020, all responses will be collated from and presented to the Trust Board for full consideration. The outcome of the consultation will be notified to all parents by the end of February 2020 with a full report posted on the Academy website. Consultation outcome, and a final revised policy, will also be presented to Milton Keynes Council Admissions by 28th February 2021 ahead of application process for applications for 2022/23 entry.


Why is the school consulting on changes?

Firstly, we are obliged to do so as it is approaching seven years since our last consultation. Schools are legally required to consult every seven years, even if there are no changes to Admissions Policies.

Secondly, we are hoping to streamline the procedure for allocating places to reflect a simpler application model. Orchard & Shepherdswell both belong to EMAT and Shepherdswell is a natural feeder for Orchard. We feel that siblings should, wherever possible, have priority to attend the same school or one in the same family.

Will all current and future parents be aware of any proposed changes?

All current parents will be written to as part of the consultation process and all parents in local primary schools that are affected will be notified of the consultation also. Any parent is able to contribute in writing to EMAT's Head of Governance using  by no later than the consultation deadline of Monday 7th December 2020.

How will I know the outcome of the consultation?

The consultation will be completed and all contributions referred to the EMAT trust board for consideration. Outcomes of the consultation will be published on the Academy Website and will be listed under the policies section.

My child is in primary school currently. Will my child still be able to get a place at Orchard Academy?

As with all schools, this will depend on where you and your child sit on the categories laid out in the proposed admissions criteria. We can assure parents that applying for Orchard as your first choice ahead of the initial application closing date in October, gives you the very best chance of securing a place. Similarly, our advice is to accept the place as soon as you can. Those applications that are late run the risk of not securing a place. Should the proposed changes go ahead, those families with siblings already at Orchard/Shepherdswell, who live close to school, will be better placed to secure a place.


Page Downloads Date  
Letter to Parents Consultation on Proposed Changes to School Admissions Criteria for 2022 23rd Oct 2020 Download
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