Decision to be made on new admissions

Councillors will today (Thursday) be asked to agree changes to make the admissions policy in Aberdeenshire for pre-school places more efficient.

Currently, Aberdeenshire Council allocates places for all three and four-year-olds in both school-based provision and on behalf of private, voluntary and independent partner providers.

Members of the council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Committee will be asked to approve changes which will support anticipated future national developments within early-years services.

If approved, partner providers and local authority facilities will manage their own pre-school admissions from the 2012/13 session.

Director of Education, Learning and Leisure, Maria Walker, said: “If committee agrees the recommendations, it will allow service staff to focus on strategic improvement within early-years services and for the individual placement of children to be organised at a local level.

“This move supports the council’s commitment to encourage local area decision making.”

As part of the proposals, there would be an annual assessment of parental needs, to provide the council with detailed information about the early education and childcare requirements of families at a local level.

This will allow the service to respond more fully to the changing needs of children and families.

The proposed changes to the admissions policy are consistent with the council’s developing Early Years Strategy, which will be the subject of future reports back to committee.