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AIBU to think the school shouldn't be offering places to children in other boroughs first?

(124 Posts)
frutilla Fri 15-May-15 10:55:08

Many local kids, living in the parish have been refused places. But the school is offering places to kids in neighbouring boroughs and have told me they can offer places as far afield as they wish ahead of local kids.
They have refused to even tell me my DS's position on the waiting list though the council said they should tell me. Instead, they say it's a very fluid list and irrelevant.
Council admissions dept said I can fill out a complaint form but only against next year's criteria.

Pootles2010 Fri 15-May-15 10:57:35

Is that looked after children or children with special needs? If it is, I think thats pretty standard - and fair enough, too.

VacantExpression Fri 15-May-15 10:58:25

Well I guess it would depend on their published admissions policy- round where I am priority would be given to statemented children (or EHCP now), LAC, Siblings, then locality so if all the children in neighbouring boroughs that have a place on that basis then yes they are ok to do that not that it feels any fairer

VacantExpression Fri 15-May-15 10:59:32

^ I mean the siblings thing, people that move away once they've got their eldest in the "right" school meaning you can move next to the school and won't get a space!

frutilla Fri 15-May-15 11:05:09

They said it's churchgoers. Any churchgoers can get in before local kids living in their parish. The school is only 18% non English whereas all the other schools are 60-80% non English. It's pretty much an Aryan school.

Lottiedoubtie Fri 15-May-15 11:08:22

It's a church school then? So primary for the education of Christian children? So part funded by the church and adhering to it's own admissions policy?

<storm in a teacup>

averythinline Fri 15-May-15 11:10:36

I think thats how it works with church schools....I have one at the end of my road and ds couldn't go as we not churchy....lucily we had other non church options at primary- more limited at secondary though so will have to move..

it is a form of selection not so blatantly racial around here but not far off...

Mintyy Fri 15-May-15 11:11:00

Well, yes, it's an issue with faith schools and one of the reasons why so many of us object to them!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Fri 15-May-15 11:11:28


meditrina Fri 15-May-15 11:11:44

There has been a specific ruling (the Greenwich ruling) which means that borough/county boundaries cannot be used for admissions purposes (unless it happens to be one edge of a defined catchment, where those historic boundaries are the sensible place to put the line).

If the school has no defined catchment for priority admissions, then it would be illegal to consider which county the address is in. When schools are close to a boundary, the nearest children might be from the other council area. And yes, it's legal for faith schools to prioritise children of the faith.

Although there are outlier schools either way round, CofE schools have typical levels of ethnic diversity; RC ones tend to be slightly more diverse than the typical level.

nocoolnamesleft Fri 15-May-15 11:16:44

Aryan = Indo-Iranian. Think it comes from Sanskrit? Sounds unlikely for a church school.... unless you were trying to Godwin your own thread?!

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Fri 15-May-15 11:19:58

Comparing them to Nazis a bit ott isn't it?

RiskManagement Fri 15-May-15 11:24:39

Ah, but it sound like it's precisely because of this "selection" policy that you want this school for your child.

SoupDragon Fri 15-May-15 11:24:46

If it is a church school, they are fully within their legal rights to prioritise church going families and discriminate on the basis of religion.

I think it should be banned.

ShadowFire Fri 15-May-15 11:25:18

That's fairly standard for a church school.

The ones near me prioritise children of the "right" faith, then children of other recognised faiths, then children of no faith are last in line.

Not great if you live near the school and are not in their top faith category, but it's legal for the schools to select pupils on the basis of faith.

Icimoi Fri 15-May-15 11:29:49

For what it's worth, you do have a right of appeal which you should have been told about. However, if they have adhered to their published criteria and followed the admission process properly your appeal probably doesn't have much of a chance. It is lawful to use faith-based criteria: I believe that attempts have been made to challenge these on the basis that they tend almost inevitably to result in race discrimination, but those challenges have got nowhere.

echt Fri 15-May-15 11:35:07

You've got to love the way woo schools, paid out of the general taxpayers' pocket, get to discriminate against the general non-woo taxpayer on the grounds that the non-woo taxpayer doesn't have an imaginary friend.

DazzleU Fri 15-May-15 11:40:39

That's fairly standard for a church school

It depends on if the admission policy is controlled by the school or by the local authority.

If it's the local authority they will be following the published admissions criteria for entire area.

I know our LEA admission criteria changed one year - children in catchment suddenly went before children with siblings at school outside of catchment. I don't think it cause any issue that year but they were looking ahead I think. Before that it was possible even common for families to move for secondary but still get younger DC into local primary.

If the school controls it's own admissions - common with church school - (though not always my DC is a C of E but admission is controlled by the LEA) they can follow their own code which may well be prioritising child of their faith. In which case this is a well know issue with faith schools.

In either case you need to find the relevant admissions policy and check it has been adhered to in your case.

Otherwise wait and see as they can be a lot of movement in waiting lists . They have to offer you somewhere but if you turn that place down they have met their legal obligation I believe.

I think you can appeal in any case but if it's under year 3 it's unlikely to work out as they have the class size limit of 30 to consider.

tiggytape Fri 15-May-15 11:42:09

You'd have to read the school's admissions criteria - in most areas distance doesn't always count for very much when it comes to allocating places

In many schools siblings from miles away can get in before local children
In faith schools church goers from miles away get in before local children
In virtually all schools children with statements or who were adopted from care get in before other children
In some schools children of staff get in before local children.

All of these groupings are totally allowed and acceptable. In fact of all the things mentioned, the only one that is banned is reserving places just for children who live "in the borough." Living in the borough is not a permitted admissions criteria.

Willow33 Fri 15-May-15 11:48:16

If it is a Christian school, then it teaches the Christian faith above other faiths as being true. If you are a Christian and go to church then you would want these truths to be consolidated in your child's education. So why would you want your child to go to a faith school - of whichever faith, Christian, Muslim, Jewish - unless you adhered to that particular faith?
We are going to send dd to local Christian school because we are Christians. There is a higher Ofsted ranked secular school locally but it is not Christian so I am not interested.

TeenAndTween Fri 15-May-15 11:49:09

Sadly though, as I think tiggy knows, faith schools are permitted to put children of the faith above non-faith children who are LA / Adopted. Which doesn't seem very 'Christian' to me.

TeenAndTween Fri 15-May-15 11:52:17

Willow in lots of areas, the only school in the village, and possibly the next door one too will be CofE. Many people with a broadly Christian heritage may be quite happy to have a local faith school over travelling longer distances for a non-faith one (which they then maybe can't get into anyway due to distance criteria).

Many many many people use the 'pray or pay' to get into a good school, and then stop church going as soon as they are in.

DazzleU Fri 15-May-15 11:54:33

Any churchgoers can get in before local kids living in their parish.

This is information that would/should have been available prior to submitting an application. There should have been a list of the criteria used for admissions and the order of priorty.

Every year people get upset at our school as they get into the nursery but not the school - despite the school pointing that this is irrelevant as the LEA does admissions and follows their published criteria. It's on load of letters and paperwork yet every year someone acts surprised and upset.

There are also people who insist fact their DC are baptised mean their DC got in - well no despite being a religious school it's not relevant as the admission criteria is based on the LEA creates which don't mention religion at all.

The admissions criteria is easily available - indeed is given out with the application process in our area - people either don't read, don't understand or assume it doesn't apply.

It is daft that the admission is so very different in other parts of UK or in mine dependent on who has control of admissions - but it is how it currently works.

Willow33 Fri 15-May-15 11:57:00

Again, if you have a faith then you would want your child to be in an environment that reflects that faith. If you don't, send your child to one which does not.
I taught in a faith school - not Christian - it was an excellent school but I would not want my child to go there as it wasn't Christian. The parents at this school Sent their children there even if they had a bit of 'faith'.

DazzleU Fri 15-May-15 11:57:52

Willow in lots of areas, the only school in the village, and possibly the next door one too will be CofE.

True of village I grew up in and next few along as well.

We aren't Christians - yet our DC go to the C of E school - it's best one in local area and our catchment school.

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