Ashington Education Pathway Survey

Closed 30 Apr 2024

Opened 7 Mar 2024


The Council allocates a catchment area (also known as a transport eligibility area) to almost every school in the county.  This has enabled the council to try to ensure there would be a sufficient number of pupils who could attend a given school and to ensure that there is a fair system in place when allocating home to school transport.

The Council also sets the planned admission number (or PAN) for all schools for which it is the ‘admissions authority’, which includes community and voluntary controlled schools in Northumberland.  The PAN sets the number of pupils that the school will accept in its Admissions Year, which for secondary schools is into Year 7.

However, all other admissions authorities such as academy trusts and voluntary aided schools are able to set their own PAN and to set their own oversubscription criteria, such as catchment area, sibling already on roll etc.  The oversubscription criteria are only relevant where there have been more students who apply for places in the admissions year than there are places and are used to allocate the places that are available.

In the case of the North-East Learning Trust (NELT) which includes Ashington Academy and Bedlington Academy in its trust, they decided to remove the ‘catchment area’ and ‘feeder’ criterion from their oversubscription criteria and instead use the distance between school and home to allocate places to students where the number of applications exceeds the PAN – i.e. the closer a student lives to the school, the greater chance they have of being offered a place. 

In the case of the communities that had traditionally fed into Ashington Academy, this has places students living in the villages of Ellington and Pegswood at a disadvantage under the new home to school distance criteria in relation to gaining a place at the academy. 

Northumberland County Council is seeking the views of parents, carers and guardians in respect of their preferred preference in relation to the educational pathway for their child(ren).

We are hoping that today’s session and the information we receive via the parental survey will form a pre-consultation that we can then formally consult upon when the appropriate window opens.


In order to make changes to our admission arrangements, the Council is required to consult between1st October 2024 and 31st January 2025. Any changes would take effect from September 2026.

Therefore, we would appreciate it if you could complete the following short survey.  The survey will close at 11.59pm on Tuesday 30th April 2024This survey will assist the Council in identifying what is the preferred secondary route parents living in Ellington and Pegswood would like for their children.  This will enable the Council to establish an alternative educational pathway for students living in these communities, if that is necessary.


  • Anyone from any background


  • infrastructure