For last many years, parents from local areas have been demanding changes to the admission arrangements of our local grammar schools - Tiffin School and Tiffin Girls School (Tiffins).
Tiffins had ability/distance based criteria, which was changed to Open Selection from 1993 and ever since is cause of major grievance of the local parents.
Greenwich judgement (1987) was cited as the reason for change. However, Tiffins policy of ability/distance was tested in and had been approved by the High Court in its Judicial Review decision (1992). Despite this fact, regretfully, the LA and Tiffins changed its admission policy to open selection.
The result currently is that the number of children from the local area in the school has dwindled rapidly.
Recently Tiffin Girls realized the need for catchment. Only the catchment they adopted is a very large, haphazard and anomalous, including areas even Southall and upto A40 to the North.
We are working on new proposals which are based on ability and then distance from the School to main residence.
Our Objectives and focus has been as follows. 1. To meet the aspiration of the local community. 2. To maintain the high standards of Tiffin Schools. 3. To alleviate secondary school place shortage in Kingston. 4. To reduce the number of children travelling from far distance to Kingston. 5. To reduce the cost and administrative burden of the School, as the number of candidates is now exceeding 2000.
Our proposals meet these objectives and provide an opportunity to the Tiffin Schools to play an active and constructive part in the local community.
These proposals would be compliant with Greenwich/Rotherham judgments and the Judicial Review decision. It would contribute towards meeting their admission requirement under their Funding Agreements and Academies Act, which require schools to admit children 'wholly or mainly from the area in which these are situated'. The local children will only benefit if they are in the top 450 candidates.
To get an idea, last year over 1600 candidates appeared for the tests at each of the Tiffin Schools. This year, the number registered at TS exceeded 2000 and test was conducted over 2 days. TGS had similar numbers as the previous year.
We understand that the Tiffins are now considering its admission policy for 2015-16. Any draft for consultation would need to be issued by end of December 2013.
We request all local parents to write to both the Tiffin Schools Governors (and copy these to your local councillors and MPs) to bring in ability/distance criteria from the next year.
The School Governors' contacts are on their website as follows.
Tiffin School firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiffin Girls School email@example.com
Please put 'School Admission Arrangements' in the subject line.