Why is their a sibling category at secondary school allocation?

(94 Posts)
Hulababy Tue 04-Mar-14 16:48:19

I am curious, nothing more.

But I am not sure why a sibling category would be relevant at secondary level, as once a child is 11y they are more than capable of making their own way to and from school without parental involvement.

Not all LEAs/schools do have the sibling category, but why do seem feel it is necessary?

Anyone know the answer?

Hulababy Tue 04-Mar-14 16:48:57

Argh - there not their - changed my title part way through and forgot to correct that bit. Sorry!

GinSoakedMisery Tue 04-Mar-14 16:50:38

Child with SN who can't go to school unaccompanied?

Certainly my child (with SN) is starting middle school in Septemebr and no way could he go by himself, unlike his brother at the same age.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogroves Tue 04-Mar-14 16:54:23

1. Uniform can be handed down to the younger sibling.
2. Family can build strong links with the school over a long period.

Not the strongest reasons for a sibling category, but I can see where it comes from.

Sibling priority is tough on families with only children or who apply for a different school for a younger child, e.g. because the older one goes to a single-sex school (our position).

Mintyy Tue 04-Mar-14 17:01:54

I don't think it should exist, especially when you consider how many single sex schools there are at secondary. I am forever moaning about it because I live in an area with an awful lot of dodgy deals going on to get first children into the most popular over-subscribed schools.

Floggingmolly Tue 04-Mar-14 17:04:35

You still only have to accompany one child, Gin? So it still doesn't actually matter.

Hulababy Tue 04-Mar-14 17:24:13

Gin - but that would only affect that one child wouldn't it? So parents would accompany them to their school and the other children go alone. Unless a family with more than one child with SN I suppose.

It doesn't affect me as DD is alrady at secondary and we were not affected by such policies. Just read about it on other threads in the past.

I do think that on the whole it shouldn't exist at secondary age I think. Not heard a good arguement for it so far really.

GinSoakedMisery Tue 04-Mar-14 17:38:58

Well yes, but still would make more sense to have both in same school.

That's the only (albeit weak) reason I can think of.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 04-Mar-14 17:44:58

I am not convinced by the arguments for sibling priority at secondary school either, but I doubt it will ever change.

TalkinPeace Tue 04-Mar-14 17:52:40

when schools are miles apart without decent public transport it makes total sense
why should the LEA send two buses to one house?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 04-Mar-14 17:54:37

Yes, I suppose my views are shaped by the fact I live in a very urban environment where all schools are accessible by public transport.

tiggytape Tue 04-Mar-14 17:54:39

Some areas now have criteria along the lines of:
children in catchment with siblings
children in catchment
children out of catchment with siblings
children out of catchment

It aims to prevent a main problem that some areas have i.e. people legitimately choosing to live in catchment just long enough to get Child 1 a place and then moving 3 miles away to a bigger cheaper house whilst automatically sending Child 2, Child 3 and Child 4 to the same school. This leaves people nearer the school but with no siblings virtually no chance of a place and in some areas creates the most ridiculously small catchment areas for non siblings ever.

I see the arguments for a sibling link but feel it should be lost of you move or move miles out of area.

aprilanne Tue 04-Mar-14 17:55:13

usually in scotland you just go to the secondary nearest young .we don,t tend to pick .all children from same family go to the same school

mumsneedwine Tue 04-Mar-14 17:57:18

Community and strong links between families and school. Same holidays. No conflicting parent evenings and events. Hand down uniform. Just a few things.

tiggytape Tue 04-Mar-14 17:58:04

I think OP was refering to the English system whereby lots of people cannot get into their nearest school at all because it is full up with siblings who live further away!
There isn't the space at most schools here to take all who live nearby PLUS all siblings too. Most schools therefore end rejecting some people who fall into either category and most choose to reject the people for whom it is their closest school than the siblings who might have another closer school because their family moved house after the oldest one got a place.

mumsneedwine Tue 04-Mar-14 17:58:14

Oh and totally agree that only siblings in catchment should get priority.

clam Tue 04-Mar-14 17:58:22

What if you don't like the nearest secondary aprilanne? Is there any possibility of electing a different school if you prefer?

bamboobutton Tue 04-Mar-14 18:00:30

where i am there is about 7 miles between high schools and no rural public transport.

if im in town A and one of my dc has to get to town B seven miles away how is s/he to do it under their own steam? let an 11yo cycle 7 miles on narrow country b roads?

BackforGood Tue 04-Mar-14 18:02:03

I agree with you Hula - evn though I have 3dc, so theoretically would benefit from the rule. It seems daft. The very good reason for it at Primary is that and adult would find it very difficult to get dc to more than one school on time, but, as you say, in Secondary, they get themselves there.
If it's that rural that they are sending a bus, then I'm guessing the same school would be the one allocated anyway - you wouldn't have the same range of choice that people in more built up places theoretically have.

mummytime Tue 04-Mar-14 18:04:05

There are no state single sex schools in my area, so I don't think that is a major argument (there were none except Catholic ones where I grew up either).

I don't think it is a very strong criteria, but I am thankful for it, or I would have gone through 3 rounds of worry and possibly appeal/waiting lists for each of my children.

They did try locally to discount siblings who had moved further from school after the first one had got a place, but that was ruled to be unfair because people might have to move especially if they lived in the rented sector.

aprilanne Tue 04-Mar-14 18:11:34

clam the only possibility we have here in falkirk is non denominational .or catholic school .if you don,t like your local school tough luck .maybe its just the scottish way . and they have put a bar now on going to faith school if you are not baptised .

Mintyy Tue 04-Mar-14 18:15:43

I live in London and the four state schools that are available for me to choose from (for my 2 children) are single sex. So the need for sibling priority absolutely does not wash with me ... its a complete nonsense afaic, and causes so many inequities and oddities in the system.

For instance, I know a really talented young person who got a place at an uber prestigious state school for 6th Form, even though the family live way outside the normal catchment. And now her younger sibling will go there too. They will be at school together for 1 year exactly. I am sure the families who live on the fringes of the catchment for that particular school would be infuriated to hear about this.

I have many other stories like this just within my own relatively modest social circle.

tiggytape Tue 04-Mar-14 18:21:11

Mintyy - that happens here too. A student can get a 6th form place based on GCSE grades or aptitude. Distance doesn't come into it. This then paves the way for their much younger sibling to get a Year 7 place even though they have never lived anywhere near the school, won't be passing down school uniform, won't travel together and will only be in the same school for 1 year.

Mintyy Tue 04-Mar-14 18:26:20

Absurd, isn't it?

Mintyy Tue 04-Mar-14 18:28:38

Oh, I know two families in this situation. One of the schools is Graveney and the other is Haberdasher's Askes. And the siblings are opposite sex in both cases ... so the uniform argument is also irrelevant.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now