Determination - relevant area for Lancashire schools 2023/24 2024/25 and 2025/26

Determination - relevant area for Lancashire schools –  consultation on admission arrangements

Admissions Consultation for Academic Year 2023/24; 2024/25 & 2025/26

To: Governing Bodies of Own Admission Authority Schools

The relevant area for consultation on admission arrangements


Regulations require each Local Authority (LA) to define a 'relevant area' in which admission authorities must consult annually on their proposed admission arrangements.  The relevant area is determined after a consultation with local admission authorities and is reviewed periodically.

In recent years the relevant area for consultation with other admission authorities has been defined as the administrative district in which the school is located.  In addition, any admission authority which was within three miles of a secondary school and two miles of a primary school was also included.  This included schools near an administrative border, whether or not they were in another administrative district of Lancashire or within another local authority area.

Since 2004/05, the national consultation requirements on admission authorities have changed in one respect.  Individual admission authorities – ie governors of own admission authority schools – are now required to consult not only other individual admission authorities and the LA but also the governors of individual community and controlled schools within the relevant area.  This has increased considerably the number of copies of proposed and determined admission arrangements to be circulated.


The LA is proposing that for the school years -  2023/24; 2024/25 and 2025/26 the current relevant area is retained.

The relevant area would therefore be:

  • the administrative district in which the school is situated;
  • include any schools or neighbouring LA which are outside the administrative district but within three miles for a secondary school and two miles for a primary school.

The reasons for proposing a retention of current relevant areas are as follows:

Schools within a district are easily identifiable by their school number.  The LA undertakes the distribution of consultation documents for individual admission authorities via the Schools' Portal to all schools within a district.  This limits costs to schools, both in postage and staff time.  The increased requirement for consultation with community and controlled schools only requires own admission authority schools to increase the numbers of copies provided to the LA.

Individual schools then have to arrange to circulate copies to a few extra district schools only when they are within either two or three miles as appropriate.

In previous consultations, a few schools have suggested more individualised consultation areas for particular schools or geographical areas.  Some favoured the original three mile radius of each school.  This would limit the number of copies to be circulated and would help focus the consultation on those most directly affected.  It would also, however, require a complex statement of an individual area for each school.  This would be more complex and time-consuming to administer; as each school would have to have its individual list of consultees.  For secondary schools, whose admission area often extends to more than three miles, this could mean the fewer 'feeder' schools would be consulted.

For these reasons, the LA proposes that the current system of using the administrative district plus any additional schools within a two mile (primary) or three mile (secondary) radius is retained as the relevant area for consultation.


If your Governing Body wishes to comment on the proposal, please email

Please include 'Relevant Area' in the subject line. 

If you accept the proposal, you do not need to make any return.

Comments should be returned by Monday 28 December 2020.

Thank you for your assistance with this matter.