To think that academies should be forced to give priority to statemented children/ children in care

(77 Posts)
ReallyTired Tue 09-Oct-12 11:35:23

The very over subscribed local catholic secondary school has recently become an academy and now gives priority to all catholic children. In the past children who were in care or had a statement naming the school were top of the admissions process. Now such children are below catholic children in priority. The school is also unusal in that it does not prioritise siblings.

They prioritise siblings of practicing catholic children who are in care first, then practicing catholic children, then children who have been baptised catholic, then children who attend catholic primary school and after that children who are in care. The reality is that the school is so over subcribed that children who are in care don't stand a chance.

I know a family with two foster children, neither of them catholic. The oldest child is already at the school and the foster parents want to send the youngest these as well. Both children have been to hell and back and need to have the security of being together. Their case is supported by social workers and medical professionals.

I feel its disgusting that a supposely "christian" school has an admissions policy that does not prioritise local authority care children. I feel that all state schools should have children who are in care at the top of their admissions list however they are funded.

McHappyPants2012 Tue 09-Oct-12 16:13:17

It was crazy that a friend live 5 minutes walking distant to a school that was a religious one, her dd was refused so has to travel 30 minutes a day.

DaringToHopePanda Tue 09-Oct-12 16:14:55

I used to sit on appeals for our dioscese. Personally I'd grant any appeal on behalf of a looked after child. But then I'm a rubbish Catholic who doesn't take conforming too seriously.

McHappyPants2012 Tue 09-Oct-12 16:15:59

Just an idea, but if parents want more than the standard education, why not send them to a private school instead of state

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 16:17:15

I am literally on the doorstep of a Catholic school. Even as the closest house to the school, as we are not Catholic, we wouldn't get in.

Good job it's shite grin

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 16:29:20

Actually McHappyPants, an increasing number of Looked After Children are being placed at private schools, particularly as boarders. It could be argued in some cases that this is a decision which makes economic as well as educational sense for a Looked After Child, when the cost of a residential placement is factored in.

This is still the exception rather than the rule, though.

mchappy that's exactly the trouble I had. I was not granted a place at either my local c of e or catholic school ( which is found corner from
My house) as both were full before my child's criteria was met. Ie- any other child, and as a result I have to travel out of town. The distance isn't that far but as I have to use public transport it takes a grand total of four hours a day ( including waiting time). When there r two schools (three but the third wasnt an option) that r just minutes from my four step.

Yet others come from three or four likes away through the church. When they have other non faith schools nearer to them.

Door step blush

threesocksmorgan Tue 09-Oct-12 16:57:01

can I just say something about the term "looked after child"
they are not always children in care.
my dd is deemed a LAC
confused
yeah, I look after her,,,,but she has respite

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 09-Oct-12 17:09:40

I think there is a problem with some of the original academies that they don't have to follow the admission code that LA run schools do. So a child with a statement of SEN could also be refused by an academy with its eye on the league tables. DC who are LAC or have SN already have enough on their plate without being denied a place in the most appropriate MS school.

hackmum Tue 09-Oct-12 17:13:20

I'm pretty sure that academies are bound by the schools admission code, in which case they should be giving priority to looked-after children. Maybe the foster family you name could report them to the DfE for breaking the code?

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 17:17:13

They are not in breach of the code.

They are prioritising in such a way due to being a faith school rather than an academy. See my examples of non-academy faith schools with similar policies above.

Children with statements cannot be refused a place if the school is named on their statement.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 09-Oct-12 17:44:17

They can by the original academies, tethersend. Sad but true.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 09-Oct-12 17:45:47

The new style academies still have to follow the code but the original, failing schools 'refreshed' by becoming academies were given a lot of autonomy.

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 17:53:03

I think that has changed, Ellen- from the Academies Act 2010:

(7)Academy arrangements in relation to a school within subsection (5)(a)(i) must include provision imposing obligations on the proprietor of the school that are equivalent to the SEN obligations.

I can't find an exemption clause anywhere, although I could be wrong... do you have a link to any legislation?

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 09-Oct-12 17:54:51

Sorry, tethers. I picked it up on here, there was a case going to court where an LA had named an academy in part 4 but the academy refused. Don't have the link. blush

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 17:59:30

No, that's interesting Ellen- I didn't know that.

Can't say I'm surprised to hear of an academy trying to flout the code, but wasn't sure that they were given an exemption...

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 09-Oct-12 18:00:48

I was hoping that the court would rule against the academy creating a precedent.

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 18:04:36

Do you know the outcome yet?

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 09-Oct-12 18:05:09

No, lost track of the thread. Sorry.

alistron1 Tue 09-Oct-12 19:02:25

How nice, a catholic school named after a womaniser.

ReallyTired Tue 09-Oct-12 21:37:06

"Do you know the outcome yet? "

They haven't applied yet, the closing date is 31/10/2012. Everyone is at the stage of visiting schools. We won't know the outcome for ages yet.

tethersend Tue 09-Oct-12 21:57:16

Sorry ReallyTired, that question was to Ellen.

The outcome is unfortunately likely to be that the younger child will not get a place, if the school is as oversubscribed as it has been in previous years.

I have PMed you smile

Farewelltoarms Tue 09-Oct-12 21:57:37

A drug taking womaniser who frankly behaved in a borderline abusive way towards women...
Oh and corrupt too

Farewelltoarms Tue 09-Oct-12 21:58:50

Kennedy I mean, agreeing with alistron

Farewelltoarms Tue 09-Oct-12 22:02:36

Still could have been worse, could have been named after that other well-known catholic jimmy savile.

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