confused - is May effectively suggesting an end to catchment areas?

(37 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Fri 09-Sep-16 12:10:16

The latest news article on BBC suggests that May is now proposing not just more grammars and faith schools but that ALL schools should become academically selective to overcome the postcode lottery.

Aside from the obvious issue of which schools will 'select' the less able and how can those children possibly not feel like failures...

Am I right in my interpretation that this would abolish catchment areas completely?

Bit confused what's going on. And need to know on a selfish level, as just about to buy a house we don't really want and can't really afford purely to get into good catchment...

mathsmum314 Fri 09-Sep-16 12:17:27

didn't know schools still had catchment areas?

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 09-Sep-16 12:46:25

Seriously?? Is it just a southern thing?

HPFA Fri 09-Sep-16 12:48:37

I'm beginning to think this whole Green paper was written by some Civil Servant as a joke and Theresa May has been stupid enough to fall for it.All schools becoming selective is clearly logically impossible and the procedure would allow for an easy wrecking manoeuvre as all schools in an area decide to apply to be selective on the same day.

MumTryingHerBest Fri 09-Sep-16 12:50:58

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 09-Sep-16 12:10:16 The latest news article on BBC suggests that May is now proposing not just more grammars and faith schools but that ALL schools should become academically selective to overcome the postcode lottery.

FFS, how dense are these people. If a school is oversubscribed distance is usually used as a tie breaker. In this instance people move closer to the school to be in with a better chance. As a consequence a catchment area is naturally formed.

haybott Fri 09-Sep-16 12:53:58

It would be possible for all schools to set an entrance exam, with the pass scores being very different between different schools. Then the top desirable comprehensives would become grammars while the less desirable comprehensives would in effect become secondary moderns (despite having an entry exam). Very hard to believe that this is what is intended, though.

If catchments are indeed abolished there are going to be a lot of angry parents who paid extra for houses within good catchments. Again hard to believe that the Government would really want to upset chunks of their voters like this.

MumTryingHerBest Fri 09-Sep-16 12:54:38

HPFA Fri 09-Sep-16 12:48:37 I'm beginning to think this whole Green paper was written by some Civil Servant as a joke and Theresa May has been stupid enough to fall for it.

I think they're all bored and are just thowing random ideas out there for their own entertainment. I can just see them all sitting there around a computer screen with popcorn in hand.

MumTryingHerBest Fri 09-Sep-16 12:57:15

haybott Fri 09-Sep-16 12:53:58 Again hard to believe that the Government would really want to upset chunks of their voters like this.

Very hard to believe that they would set themselve up to have to put their own DCs through a test or risk sending them to a sec. mod. Unless they can all afford private that is.

haybott Fri 09-Sep-16 13:03:22

Very hard to believe that they would set themselve up to have to put their own DCs through a test or risk sending them to a sec. mod. Unless they can all afford private that is.

But this policy is not going to be an issue for privileged people who know how to play the system, just as the current shortage of places in London is far less of an issue for those with economic and educational capital.

MPs would e.g. be able to pay for tutoring, move to an area with a lower score required for a pass, send their own children to private schools, push for an SEN diagnosis (if appropriate and needed). I would guess that in any case most Tory MPs can afford private schools or their children have already gone through the school system.

LoadingDishwasher Fri 09-Sep-16 16:10:12

There is a newly former fee paying school that has become a free school that has an entrance exam. BUT they have to take 50% within the council area and 50% outside - then they have to take children of a broad spectrum of abilities. 20% from top levee A in the exam to 20% in E. That seems quite fair and they do prioritise siblings as well

TaIkinPeace Fri 09-Sep-16 16:31:28

When schools are 5 miles apart its all rather irrelevant.

PikachuSayBoo Fri 09-Sep-16 16:34:26

Even some academic schools have catchment areas. Plenty of grammars don't use highest scores, they have a set pass mark and if they have 100 places and 200 kids pass then the nearest 100 kids get a place.

And if every school is academically selective what happens to the non academic kids?

PikachuSayBoo Fri 09-Sep-16 16:36:59

I'm oop North and all schools have catchment areas. They're not allowed to use county boundaries but are allowed to say nearest kids first.

One local companies has an entrance exam and 10% of kids get a place via the exam. The other 90% are on distance.

meditrina Fri 09-Sep-16 16:42:18

Most London schools do not have catchments (ie priority admissions areas) and you have to assess the actual admissions footprint (which varies year on year) to work out what sort of chance you have of getting an offer.

In areas which do have catchments, it may not be sufficient to live in the catchment, as the actual footprint can be smaller.

So I don't think this move is necessarily going to abolish catchments - especially as some grammars have them (they're not all super-selective)

HPFA Fri 09-Sep-16 16:43:26

I'm a little puzzled by the way TM seems to have set up this plan to allow anyone to set up a grammar anywhere. It means a fantastic comp could be threatened by a tiny group of parents desperate for their children not to mix with the hoi -polloi. It's going to make it much easier for anti-campaigners if they can point out that every school is under threat from this.

TaIkinPeace Fri 09-Sep-16 16:44:24

All schools in this county have catchments and the admission criteria are catchment based.
www3.hants.gov.uk/schooldetails?dfes=4129#catchment

Peregrina Fri 09-Sep-16 17:56:19

I'm sorely tempted to ask if Theresa May has found a stash of old envelopes, given them out, and said 'Write down a few ideas about education' on the back.

Increasingly this seems to be the way her government is operating.

BoyMeetsWorld Fri 09-Sep-16 18:17:58

I'm utterly flummoxed by the whole thing.

I can't see how they can ever stop distance being a factor (whether you label it a 'catchment' or not) and in that case, obviously the schools in the 'naice' areas mean parents who can afford to buy there...or can't in our case but decide to move into a shambolic tip to enable it...get in.

Unless May has some plan that you could be living virtually opposite a school, but if 30 kids with better grades apply, you won't get in. Not only does that make me terrified re what to do right now about our move...

In the long run, it could end up with people travelling miles to schools (and with their kids split up at different schools) because of ability not locality criteria.

I hate to say it...and I realise I'm probably about to be flamed....But this is where the uproar about "Theresa May should not be any more penalised than Andrea Leadsome because she's not a mother" comes into play. Oh really? Would someone who had kids themselves even be entertaining these kind of stupid suggestions?

HPFA Fri 09-Sep-16 19:19:50

This policy is riddled with illogicalities - its a total mess.

Believeitornot Fri 09-Sep-16 19:21:47

Teresa May is an idiot. That's my only conclusion.

Anyone who thought they were getting different when she rocked in was mistaken.

She is a Tory, she was in David Cameron's cabinet. All the same! Although he wasn't this stupid.

Maybe she means academic streaming within schools <straws being clutched>

haybott Fri 09-Sep-16 20:20:39

All schools in this county have catchments and the admission criteria are catchment based.

Indeed, and Hampshire is an interesting example of how this idea is really not going to work.

Which existing comprehensives would become grammars? If it is the high achieving ones, such as King's in Winchester, Thornden etc, then those living in catchment are going to be utterly furious when their kids don't get in. (House prices in catchment have been based on the schools for years.)

On the other hand, if a middle achieving school or a low achieving school tries to become a grammar, what would be the basis for this? Why would parents choose this school when it didn't have a particularly good reputation as a comprehensive?

I can imagine there might be demand for a grammar in Southampton from some parents (there are no very high achieving comps in the city) but I can't see which school could be converted to provide a grammar.

Things would work similarly in many counties which are currently entirely comprehensive - those who are in catchment good schools would surely not want to take the risk that their kids wouldn't get into the grammar.

TaIkinPeace Fri 09-Sep-16 21:07:37

Southampton there are no very high achieving comps in the city
which is interesting because Southampton has been penalised by the porous boundary with Hampshire
AND
Southampton is a national leader on PRUs
which are bringing the floor level up in leaps and bounds

but its so true - in a Rural area, distance is a MASSIVE factor in school choice

OddBoots Fri 09-Sep-16 21:24:32

It's hard to think through the implications but in theory if you have a school that becomes attractive and has enough hoops to keep disadvantaged children out then the funding for that school is going to be very low relative to a school that ends up with more children attracting pupil premium.

I guess this is one way of preventing the already advantaged children from benefiting from money designated for the disadvantaged but I can't see the sharp elbowed parents liking the inevitable larger class sizes and reduced resources.

MumTryingHerBest Fri 09-Sep-16 21:36:00

haybott Fri 09-Sep-16 12:53:58 It would be possible for all schools to set an entrance exam, with the pass scores being very different between different schools. Then the top desirable comprehensives would become grammars while the less desirable comprehensives would in effect become secondary moderns (despite having an entry exam). Very hard to believe that this is what is intended, though.

Intended? This already exists in SW Herts.

Thunderblunder Fri 09-Sep-16 21:47:56

What worries me is TM saying that any school can become a grammar. We have one secondary school in our town. If that becomes a grammar then it is between 10-15 miles in all directions to get to the next nearest 3 schools if a child doesn't get into the local grammar. If the nearest 3 other schools become grammars then where the hell are the children in our town who don't make the grade for the grammar schools going to go. Even if it is just our town that becomes a grammar then there will be children from other towns 10 miles and over coming to our town while our children are going the other way.
Absolute nightmare!

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