School Organisation and Admissions Board

The local authority has a statutory duty to ensure that there are sufficient places in their area for every child of school age whose parents want their child to attend school.

The School Organisation and Admissions Board (SOAB) is a discretionary board that provides support to the council in its statutory obligation to provide sufficient school places for all children within its geographical areas.

Responsibilities of the board

The board is made up of local authority officers and headteachers and provides advice and support to the local authority in the planning of school places and monitoring of the admissions process.

Since 2011, new providers of school places have been able to set up state-funded free schools, which like the growing number of schools that have converted to become academies, are also independent from local authority control.

This gives them the ability to increase or decrease the number of school places they offer. This means, whilst the local authority is responsible for ensuring there are enough school places available for local children it does not have the power over the creation of places.

Waltham Forest Pupil Place Plan 2021-2036 is the borough’s planning framework and provides key partners with trends and data to inform future decision-making.

Responsibilities of SOAB representatives:

The board has four headteacher representatives, one from a trust school, one primary school and two academy secondary schools.


  • are expected to represent the views of their sector 
  • must provide feedback to questions and disseminate information to their sector.

The head reps are now as follows: 

  • Nigel Armsby - Highams Park Principal 
  • Juan Hernandez - Principal Norlington School 
  • Colin Jeffrey - Chase Lane Primary School Head Teacher 
  • Jackie-Bowers-Broadbent - Buxton School Executive Head Teacher 
  • Primary – vacancy
  • Secondary – vacancy

How often does the forum meet?

SOAB meets at least once a term with the schedule of meetings based around key school dates, such as school census’ dates, admission booklet creation and national place offer days.

Terms of reference

School application process

In March 2022 we hosted the well attended schools conference. Please click here to see the slides for the pupil place planning strategy. 

Last update: Tuesday 15th of August 2023 09:39:28 AM