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DM schools admissions sad facing

(41 Posts)
AgaPanthers Fri 28-Mar-14 21:37:10

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2591696/Moving-house-near-good-school-doesnt-work-Family-devastated-told-11-year-old-girl-join-friends-new-secondary-BEDROOM-WINDOW.html

Apparently they moved to go to this school and are mystified as to how their primary school classmates got in.

The admissions document makes it pretty clear:

haberdashersaskes.fluencycms.co.uk/Mainfolder/Crayford-additional-information-booklet-2014.pdf

Basically they have fair banding with a distance policy. Depending on your band the cut off distance could be between half a mile and over a mile.

The school from the photo looks to be more than half a mile away, so that's that really

Not sure how this is news.

I suppose a lottery would be fairer, and eliminate the entitlement complex that you deserve to get in based on your postcode.

ThreeBeeOneGee Fri 28-Mar-14 21:45:37

The distance cut-off at DS1/DS2's school was 225m this year. That didn't even make the local paper, let alone the Daily Fail.

SolomanDaisy Fri 28-Mar-14 21:56:13

Weird article. They didn't move house, she's lived there all her life. And the admissions document suggests that the higher the band you're placed in, the further away you can live and still get a place. So her friends got in because they did better in the entrance test.

Blu Sat 29-Mar-14 10:07:08

The ignorance of DM readers over schools admissions, as demonstrated in the usual range of idiotic comments, is astounding. Most appeals succeed, sue if the school have used race as a factor, she must have been refused due to poor behaviour or attendance, should have put her name on the waiting list years ago......

Not to mention that this sad-faced family's plight is the obvious reason to vote UKIP.

Levantine Sat 29-Mar-14 10:11:09

It reads like a Brass Eye piece - honestly. They obviously didn't live close enough and that's al there is to it

CecilyP Sat 29-Mar-14 11:46:48

Blu, you have missed out 'she should have studied harder to make the grade'! Even though this not a selective school, and a glance at the link in the OP shows that children in the lowest band were admitted from furthest away and children in bands 2 and 3 had to live nearest. Getting into the school would have been a bit of a longshot anyway as it has its own primary from which pupils move up, as well as another feeder primary, then there are siblings of existing pupils and 10% musical aptitude places. So, in all, there will be less than 10 other places for each of the 9 ability bands, so children in the the more populous bands would have to live very near indeed.

I would question the need to have as many as 9 bands when there are so few places on offer.

tiggytape Sat 29-Mar-14 11:53:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CecilyP Sat 29-Mar-14 12:23:11

I do have some sympathy with the family in question (not all the bleeding heart stuff though) as I would assume that had she been in a different band, she would have got a place at the school.

Meglet Sat 29-Mar-14 12:31:44

We've had similar stories in the local paper. Sadface parents who applied to outstanding schools that they aren't anywhere near catchment for and their little darling doesn't get a place in any of them. Obviously their DC is so bright they must go to the 'best' school, but the parents aren't capable of reading the schools admissions criteria hmm.

tiggytape Sat 29-Mar-14 15:27:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ScaryMcLary Sat 29-Mar-14 21:39:25

I think the point is more about how screwed up our education system is if she will have to take 2 buses to a school miles away, when she can see a school from her window. I mean really that is so crazy.

Yes, yes I know the admission system and banding and catchments and all that make it a non-story, as she shouldn't have been surprised. But really we lived in a screwed up education system.

I am no expert, but I have lived in 5 other countries and none have this issue - pretty much everyone just goes to the local school. Why is that? Is it because we started grading our schools?

Bluestocking Sat 29-Mar-14 21:43:20

The Gunning family are to be commended on their sadface work. There are several really outstanding sadface photos illustrating that non-story.

tiggytape Sat 29-Mar-14 22:57:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CecilyP Sun 30-Mar-14 12:07:56

Doesn't everyone get a school place in the end though, tiggytape? It seems like a game of musical chairs where the first children sit down on the nearest chair, while the last ones end up running round all the chairs to get the last one left. And it wouldn't be so bad if the unlucky ones were being bused, but it seems they have to make their own transport arrangements.

I really don't think it is population density that makes the difference, so much as different schools having different admissions criteria and then having so many faith schools with their own rules added to the mix. There seems to be nothing co-ordinated about the system to make things easy for families.

I don't know where Scary has lived, but in here Scotland we have fixed catchments so while not everyone will get their nearest school, they will get one at a reasonable distance. There is an option to apply for another school, but out of catchment children will only be admitted once all catchment children have a place.

prh47bridge Sun 30-Mar-14 12:17:20

Yes everyone does get a school place in the end. The unlucky ones are entitled to free transport if the allocated school is more than 3 miles from home by the shortest walking route (2 miles if they are under 8) unless they failed to list their local school as one of their preferences. Unfortunately some parents appear to be unaware of their entitlement to free transport or unwilling to take it up. It does not help that some LAs try to deny parents their rights.

The system is co-ordinated in the sense that in the normal admissions round you apply via your LA and they will come up with an offer. It is true, however, that the mix of admission criteria can make the system difficult to navigate.

As Tiggy says the big problem is that there is a shortage of places in many areas. Even where there is no shortage the schools are often in the wrong place leaving children with significant journeys to get to and from school.

tiggytape Sun 30-Mar-14 12:47:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Sun 30-Mar-14 12:58:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

eddiemairswife Sun 30-Mar-14 15:20:18

The problem really arose when the then government introduced 'parental choice' in the late 1980s. The idea being that popular schools would be able to grow to meet demand, and less popular ones would either pull their socks up or shrivel and die. Up until then you went to your local school, and if you moved out of the catchment your younger children would go to the new catchment school. In my LA, although we have quite a lot of new arrivals from various countries, there are still enough secondary places for every child, but vast oversubscription for a handful of the available schools.

CecilyP Sun 30-Mar-14 15:45:48

Parental choice always existed in London LCC/ILEA - certainly did when I was a child, long before the 1980s, but there wasn't the same level of information on which to base the choice, and, I think, many people did not make much of a choice beyond the most obvious local option, certainly at primary level. At secondary level, you had to submit a form with a first and second choice.

I think the choice agenda worked OK then where there were plenty of schools, falling rolls and people not being especially choosy. Less popular schools have indeed shrivelled up and died, (far fewer secondary schools now than there used to be) but more popular ones have not been able to expand to meet demand (and some very large schools even to have smaller PANs than they used to) which has left something of a logistical problem for organising children's admission into the remaining schools.

tiggytape Sun 30-Mar-14 17:31:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

doodledotmum Sun 30-Mar-14 23:01:20

Surely what ever way you loo at this the issues are 1. Shortage of places 2. Parents not visiting schools, so they rely on ofsted reports even if 5 years old 3. The illusion that you have a choice 4. Too may people applying for same schools and so few places. Article is junk but still raises awareness of the issue even if inaccurate

DeWe Mon 31-Mar-14 10:10:26

A friend of mine was telling me back in the 80s when he applied to secondary it was done on catchments, and they guarenteed they would get into the catchment school.
Only thing was at his secondary the catchment was set up so the children living adjacent to the school at the back (but there was a gate there confused) weren't in that school's catchment. They were bused out to a school 3+ miles away.

I don't think lottery is better. Yes, you might think so if you get a school you otherwise wouldn't. But it's going to end up with far more people living next to the school and not getting in isn't it?

tallulah Mon 31-Mar-14 11:11:08

Looking at that school's admission criteria it would be very hard to get a place anyway. I really don't think sibling priority should exist at secondary level, and TBH not so much at primary either.

If admissions are decided by distance then all applicants should be ranked by distance, and siblings only come into it as a tie-breaker.

DD didn't get into our local school because 50% of the places were taken by siblings. The year after she started school they put on a bulge class, so children from the far end of our road (ie further away from school than us) walk past our house to get to the school we were too far away from. In 2 years time when that bulge year of 60 have siblings but only 30 places, chances are they won't all get in. And first/only children living next door to the school won't get in.

tallulah Mon 31-Mar-14 11:14:21

Our local paper was full of stories of children who had got no secondary school place. That would be because they picked 3 over-subscribed schools, none of which they are in catchment for.

Of course you want your child to go to the best school, but the admission booklet is very clear on how it works and give the furthest distance admitted the year before. If that is 1 mile and you are 4 miles away, well it isn't rocket science.

I would be too embarrassed to go to the paper under those circumstances.

tiggytape Mon 31-Mar-14 11:20:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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