I am writing to inform you of our plans to change the oversubscription admissions arrangements for entry to Year 9 from 2025/26.
AUEA proposes to change its current oversubscription methodology from distance based on nodal points to banding.
Consultation on Admission Arrangements for 2025/2026 academic year
In accordance with the School Admissions Code (1 September 2021), all admission authorities must adhere to the following timescales:
• When changes are proposed to admission arrangements, admission authorities must publicly consult on those arrangements (including any supplementary information form) for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October 2023 and 31 January 2024. If no changes are made to admission arrangements, admission authorities must ensure as a minimum that they consult at least every 7 years.
• All admission authorities must determine (i.e., formally agree) admission arrangements every year, even if they have not changed from previous years and a consultation has not been required. Admission authorities must determine their admission arrangements by 28 February each year.
• Admission authorities must send a copy of their determined admission arrangements to the local authority as soon as possible before 15 March each year and publish a copy of their determined admissions arrangements on their school website.
Reasons for proposed change
It has long been campaigned by parents and applicants that AUEA's oversubscription criteria discriminates against students applying to AUEA from across the wider Birmingham and West Midlands area. As the lead West Midlands UTC, there is an expectation and desire that students should aspire to attend AUEA, yet the current oversubscription process is based on the historic BCC admissions critera of the relative distance of 6 nodal point train stations (Hall Green Station, Moor Street Station, Perry Barr, Stechford Station, University Station and Wylde Green Station)
to an applicant's home. Additional students take a CATs test on entry to determine their classes.
Therefore the 2025/26 proposed admissions arrangements seeks to amend this oversubscription process to include this CATs entry test to allow the Academy to band across the ability range of applicants for admission to the Academy instead of where you live in relation to those 6 nodal points.
This would mean:
- All applicants will take a test with a verbal, non-verbal and quantitative aspect. This is not a pass/fail test. Based on their mean CAT scores in the test all applicants will then be placed in one of five ability bands (Figure 1).
- The highest ability students will be placed in band 1 and the lowest ability in band 5.
- 50% Male and 50% Female Students will then be selected from each band based on the This will ensure that a fully comprehensive intake from the most able to the least able are offered places.
Figure 1: proposed entry assessment bands.
Where the number of applications for admission is greater than the published admission number, applications will be considered against the criteria set out below.
- After the admission of pupils with statements of Special Educational Needs where the Aston University Engineering Academy Birmingham is named on the statement and application received via Birmingham SENAR service.
- Looked After Children in the care of a local authority; These applicants will be included in the band in which they fall.
- The remaining places in each band will be allocated by random allocation.
- Invitations to sit the Fair Banding test will only be sent to those applicants that have applied directly to AUEA by 31st October 2024.
- Applicants who sit the Fair Banding test prior to 31st January deadline will be considered for admission first.
- Any late applicants may be offered an additional banding test. However if this is not possible, or for those that choose not to sit the Fair Banding test will be classed as ‘non-banded’ and will be ranked in order of priority (after all the banded applicants) with the level of priority then determined with reference to the ‘non-banded oversubscription criteria set out below
- Distance between home address and the nodal point nearest to that address for 50% female students and 50% Male students.