Map of English secondary schools by religious and socio-economic selection

(39 Posts)
ErrolTheDragon Tue 03-Dec-13 11:58:35

This of English secondary schools by religious and socio-economic selection map from the Fair Admissions Campaign may be of interest.

At a glance, the 'heat map' explains why people living in certain parts of the country may have particularly strong views on this issue!

senua Tue 03-Dec-13 12:20:36

Can you do that link again pls.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 03-Dec-13 12:22:11


Try again

Shootingatpigeons Tue 03-Dec-13 12:24:34

Your link wasn't working.

It is certainly a big issue here in London where pressure on places has seen most of the Catholic Schools and a lot of C of E ones becoming exclusively for those who meet the faith selection criteria and, indeed the faith selection criteria becoming more exclusive in themselves. For some schools if you didn't / don't have the opportunity / resources to baptise early, attend church every Sunday and devote time to church work including the cleaning then you have already lost out, hence the social exclusivity.

Whilst I have no problem with people choosing a religious education for religious or cultural reasons that is only so far as parents have the luxury of choice. In a borough where a significant proportion of parents do not get into their six closest schools and into none of their preferences, and some even end up with no place for their children (and that is before the pupil bulge hits) it has got to the point where many parents feel, understandably, pressured into going through the motions because that is the only way to get a place. Faith Schools that were undersubscribed ten years ago are now oversubscribed and the pews of their churches over flowing. I don't think it is a symptom of a return to religious belief hmm Indeed not a few priests and devout members of the congregations are sceptical of the value added by these strategic members of their congregations.

senua Tue 03-Dec-13 12:53:03

That map is slightly misleading. Our school is marked as CofE. It has links with the local church (goes there for Carol service and the like) and has various Christian groups (entirely voluntary and can be avoided) but religiosity is not in the admissions criteria.

But I know it's a problem in London. Another reason not to live there IMO.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 03-Dec-13 12:57:46

Not all 'christian' schools have any religious admissions criteria - in particular CofE Voluntary Controlled schools obey normal LEA rules so don't, also I know of a grammar which is identified as 'Christian' but which (obv) selects on academic criteria not religious (a school can't select on both).

Shootingatpigeons Tue 03-Dec-13 13:27:48

Errol It is the Fair admissions Campaign, it is not anti faith schools, just pro inclusivity. It is the selecting on faith that underlies the social exclusivity. As someone put it on a thread on here you could select on parents ability to juggle and you would get a degree of social exclusivity because the parents who juggle would have been motivated to learn to juggle and would have had the time and resources to do so (and it would in all likeliness lead to greater exam success too since the juggling parents would also be more likely to have actively supported their DCs to succeed).

Interestingly the C of E London Diocese have come out and said they believe London schools should be inclusive (and of course Justin Welby actually endorsed that before some typical C of E ambivalence kicked in to moderate what he had said) but local Parishes stubbornly cling to privilege for their congregations hmm The Catholic Church meanwhile has hardened its line, and refuses to get involved in the Free School programme because they would have to concede 50% inclusivity.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 03-Dec-13 13:48:53

Shooting - yes, I know - it's what the name says, 'Fair Admissions'. Its supporters are diverse and include religious organisations. smile

ouryve Tue 03-Dec-13 13:55:35

Some of the data is misleading. For example, a lot of the schools in our area have labels such as "In the 30% least inclusive on the basis of English as an additional language. " That would be because the ethnic make up of our area is amongst the most "white British" in the country, so there's not a lot of including to be done, there.

ouryve Tue 03-Dec-13 13:59:19

Just to clarify that I mean that, if there's only half a dozen children in the catchment with ESL and only 2 of them go to the school because all 4 of the others are from one family and have chosen a different school, then it's not going to appear very inclusive in that respect.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 03-Dec-13 14:13:31

That's just the nature of statistics with low sample size. If you think there's a better way to treat the data I'm sure they'd welcome input. (they do ask for corrections if you see errors)

3rdnparty Tue 03-Dec-13 14:43:31

Its tricky our local says worst 50% FSM but actually matches its local area ammount - opposed to the local desirable C of E which is amongst the worst 1/2% knew it was not very representative but that's appalling...v Christian not angry

3rdnparty Tue 03-Dec-13 14:44:10

sorry meant "desirable"

ErrolTheDragon Wed 04-Dec-13 20:53:10

>our local says worst 50% FSM but actually matches its local area ammount

isn't 'worst 50%' very nearly the same as 'best 50%' - so what you'd expect if it's matching the local average?

camilamoran Wed 04-Dec-13 21:50:03

A couple of our local Catholic schools are described here as 'Percentage selected by religious means 100%'. In fact they are not, as they are undersubscribed and will offer places to anybody.

There is an implication that a school with a high FSM percentage is somehow not as good as a faith school with a lower FSM percentage.

Is that a point that should be examined? Do we just accept that?

I am not sure I do. Our local comp does well with high FSM and the local Catholic does no better with a lower FSM.

However, I do think that if a taxpayer is funding a school then anything other than academic or gender selection is dodgy. At least neither of those have anti-multicultural tendencies (although I can see how that might be debated).

Perhaps the solution is for all schools admission policies to be approved by the population of the local catchment area, rather than set by a small group of governors.

soul2000 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:30:22

According to this map Ribston Hall High school, a Girls Grammar grammar School in Gloucester has 0% FSM. On the Dept of Education Performance table website, it says 2.8%FSM which is slightly above average for Grammar schools. I wonder therefore how accurate this site is.

straggle Mon 09-Dec-13 00:02:36

I think it's a really interesting map. But I had noticed that some selective schools get a positive tick for attracting a high number of EAL speakers while comprehensive schools get a thumbs down for taking all the white working class children from the council estate. Agree that it seems a bit unfair to suggest grammar schools are doing their bit for diversity without a box for how 'comprehensive' they are in terms of the balance of ability groups. Or how they cater for SEN.

There was a recent report on complex secondary school admissions.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 09-Dec-13 09:07:52

Its just data - making inferences is more subjective, you know what the truth of particular schools is. Its the overall trends which I find more interesting - the graph on one of the tabs for instance.

One thing which isn't as clear as it could be is the ''Percentage selected by religious means 100%" which Camila noticed. If you look at the little 'i' button next to it that explains that this is the percentage which can be selected by religious criteria if the school is oversubscribed. (the legend on the 'heatmap' has this clearer eg 'Oversubscription criteria allow 26.94% of pupils in this local authority to be selected on religious grounds.'). I would guess that the data as to how many pupils actually were selected by religion in undersubscribed schools isn't readily available. Which is a pity, as it would be more meaningful to see the inclusivity criteria compared with the actual degree of selection, rather than the possible degree of selection.

weekendalmostover Mon 09-Dec-13 09:33:28

Errol, living in London, the idea of any good school being anything other than oversubscribed is a pipe dream. Here the only schools that are under-subscribed are the ones that Ofsted has highlighted as requiring improvement. They are under-subscribed for that reason only, and many people would be offended by the idea that if the schools aren't good enough to fill up with churchgoers, non churchgoers can have the spare places. That's not equality.

Perhaps it's different elsewhere, where people are less mobile, and schools are under-subscribed because of declining population. However, I suspect that if the schools were considered good, it would draw people in, helping to sustain the population.

straggle Mon 09-Dec-13 17:05:48

It would also be enlightening if they could include the criteria for religious admissions. For example, an RC school may prioritise Catholics and be considered 100% selective yet its basic category is 'baptised Catholics'. A CofE school may have 50% open places but the other 50% depend on a vicar's reference and strict attendance at church.

And just because a school is '100% inclusive' doesn't mean it isn't religious in denomination, like Oasis academies. It matters to me who sponsors the school, not just the religious selection. There are organisations clamouring to run academies and free schools highlight how 'inclusive' their schools will be, even though they are backed by private equity and/or linked to Tory party advisers or donors, and I am just as concerned about that.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 09-Dec-13 17:22:03

>It would also be enlightening if they could include the criteria for religious admissions.

You can find detailed information for particular schools if you want from the LEA or school website - this does say whether a school requires baptism and/or practice, more detail than that would probably be hard to present concisely (some of them are ridiculously complicated)

>And just because a school is '100% inclusive' doesn't mean it isn't religious in denomination, like Oasis academies

to be sure - but this map is from the Fair Admissions Campaign, so that's what its focussed on.

straggle Mon 09-Dec-13 17:38:15

Yes, admissions are ridiculously complicated - that's why it would be helpful to have them all in one place. And to have information on sponsors too. I guess that is the DfE's responsibility - it should have foreseen that with so many schools being their own admissions authority - yet not even publishing their criteria or consulting widely as they are required to - parents would be left in the dark about admissions. But that is something the Fair Admissions Campaign could campaign for too.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 10-Dec-13 09:04:53

Suggest it to them. smile Having easily comprehensible admissions policies certainly is a factor in inclusivity - it must be harder for parents with lower literacy levels or without good English to navigate the current system.

tbh haven't ever had much problem finding details of admissions policies of any specific school - LEAs produce an actual book each year, and every school website I've seen has their policy on it somewhere. I've not had to deal with Free schools though.

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