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Does priority for pupils in local primary schools includes private primary schools?

(18 Posts)
yumcha888 Sun 23-Mar-14 17:06:12

Hi all,

We moved to Holland Park so our son could attend the Italian school there. I'm having a preemptive look at secondary schools to figure out if we'll have to move again and saw that Holland Park School gives a slight preference to pupils who attended a local primary school, it says:

"To applicants who attend a primary school in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea on the closing date for applications for places in the admissions year."

Would that include the private Italian school or is it just state primary preference?

If not we're buggered! Everything else around here is Catholic!

LIZS Sun 23-Mar-14 17:08:54

Normally it would be a state school but worth asking admissions team.

Pagwatch Sun 23-Mar-14 17:09:17


PanelChair Sun 23-Mar-14 18:31:50

Hmm. As it doesn't expressly specify that it must be a state or maintained primary school (although that may well have been the intention) I think you could argue the toss. Does the school or the LEA publish any further information that might clarify what exactly they mean?

yumcha888 Sun 23-Mar-14 22:38:45

no, no further information and no replies to email. I guess I'll ask at the open day. Am wondering if we'll be forced to take DS out of Italian school and put him into another primary for his last year but that just sounds terrible, doesn't it? Should have researched before putting him in in the first place, can't understand why there is only one non religious secondary around here.... oh god, I hope we don't have to move sad((

prh47bridge Sun 23-Mar-14 23:45:51

Interesting one. The Admissions Code says that a school cannot name an independent fee-paying school as a feeder. In this case they haven't named any schools at all, just said priority goes to children attending primary schools in the borough. The school needs to clarify this.

reddidi Sun 23-Mar-14 23:53:48

The Code does not seem to allow this anyway:

"1.9 It is for admission authorities to formulate their admission arrangements, but they must not:
b) take into account any previous schools attended, unless it is a named feeder school;"

prh47bridge Mon 24-Mar-14 00:25:40

Thinking about this, I'm guessing their argument is that they are effectively naming all the primary schools in the borough as feeder schools. If that is the case it cannot include independent schools. Having said that, it is quite possible this school is in breach of the Admissions Code so the OP really needs to get clarification from the school.

Clavinova Mon 24-Mar-14 10:27:34

I would send a recorded delivery letter to the school and the LEA asking for clarification.

HPparent Mon 24-Mar-14 10:41:00

It does include private schools - my child attended one in the borough and children from there were admitted on that basis.

The governors have recently been considering ending the link with the borough (RBKC) and going for proximity only- no decision has been published yet. Furious local opposition as it would effectively exclude children from the poor areas of North Kensington and the Borough paid £80m + for the new school.

OP can also choose Kensington Aldridge which opens in September. There are also schools in LBHF her child can apply to.

HPparent Mon 24-Mar-14 11:14:03

OP if you email David Chappell at the school he can clarify- he is head of admissions.

CecilyP Mon 24-Mar-14 12:17:31

I'm not absolutely sure, but think they probably do mean all primary schools in K&C. It is roundabout way of giving priority to those living in K&C without going against the Greenwich Ruling. Because if they went solely on distance, many people living in H&F would be nearer than many people in K&C. But I would double check with the school or, if no joy with them, then the local authority.

Also, as HPparent said, you are not restricted to K&C; there are more non-catholic options in H&F.

PanelChair Mon 24-Mar-14 18:33:02

So it seems that the wording is deliberate and independent schools are treated the same as LEA/maintained schools. As prh47bridge says, that would seem to put the school in breach of the Admissions Code.

Needmoresleep Mon 24-Mar-14 18:58:55

I assume K&C have a problem in that as well as the Italian School, they have a Spanish School and perhaps two French primaries. The French schools at least, though I assume it might be true of the others, are subsidised by the French government, and follow the French curriculum, and fees are lower than comparable English private schools.

I wonder if EU law would allow a British secondary to prioritise admissions from an English state primary over children attending, say, an adjacent French school, run by and subsidised by the French state, even ifgf the latter charges fees.

It is not unusual for French kids to swap between the Lycee or its feeder schools and local English language private schools. I assume there same may happen between the Lycee and English state schools. Parents often want their kids to spend part of their education in each system.

K&C is a very odd shaped borough and very short of secondary school places.

HPparent Mon 24-Mar-14 19:49:16

It may all be a moot point as the school are trying to change their admissions criteria to admit on proximity rather than the RBKC link. This is purportedly because of the opening of Kensington Aldridge at Latimer Road in the North of the Borough in September. The more cynical might say they no longer welcome the scum from North Kensington wink.

It comes up regularly at appeal but hasn't been successfully challenged though someone did threaten judicial review once. The reason for the rule as stated above is that a lot of RBKC kids cannot get places as HP is at the moment the only fully non religious school.

TallulahMcFey Mon 24-Mar-14 21:21:26

If you are to take him out of school to attend the local primary, there are usually rules of when this has to take place - so that people don't do it just for the secondary place. It is often that the child needs to have started the new school by the Christmas of year 5.

RuddyDuck Tue 25-Mar-14 05:11:18

This happened in my dc school a few years ago. The school was becoming more and more oversubscribed, albeit by people who were out of catchment. One of the admission criteria was that priority would be given to children who live in catchment and who attended a catchment primary. However, the school had always admitted up to the category below, which was "lives in catchment".

Then one year they had to apply the primary school criteria. There was then a mass exodus of pupils from private schools starting in Year 5 at the catchment primaries. My ds had 4 pupils suddenly arrive in his class from private schools, and most of the other catchment primaries had the same thing happen.

In our area, the rules were very clear that the child had to attend a feeder primary, so independent school didn't count. Although come to think of it, there are no independents located in the catchment area as they are all in the nearby town ( we are rural). All the pupils who attended a catchment primary and who lived in catchment got in.

I'm sure your LA must be able to advise you on this.

yumcha888 Sun 30-Mar-14 22:15:37

Thanks everyone and especially HPparent, super helpful answers. I actually didn't know I could send him to RBHF schools or about the new Kensington Aldridge school. There's hope on the horizon then!

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