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London secondary school told to change admissions rules

(15 Posts)
DocBunches Thu 23-Oct-08 10:21:23

story here

I'm surprised this article from the BBC news website has not been mentioned here.

In short, a popular secondary school in London is being forced to change their admissions rules because currently the school only admits children within a certain distance if this school is their nearest school. The council argues that this favours more affluent families to the east of the school and discriminates against the more disadvantaged areas to the north. The council says this goes against the new admissions code.

Does anyone live near these schools - what do you think? Personally, I'm shocked that this covert selection stuff is still going on!

littleducks Thu 23-Oct-08 10:27:01

I heard another mother talking about this the other day, it doesnt really affect me yet as a mum to a two year old but i would have thought that it ws time to set out a clear admissions policy nationwide surely?

clam Thu 23-Oct-08 10:42:57

But this is the rule across the whole of my county. Is it only unfair if "disadvantaged" areas are affected? And what about the rest of the borough? Other schools must be affected by this ruling.

DocBunches Thu 23-Oct-08 12:01:31

Clam, I'm surprised that this is the rule for the whole of your county. In the borough where I live, the admissions criteria for all schools is based on a strictly 'distance-only' policy. I thought this had to be the case everywhere - perhaps I've misunderstood.

onager Thu 23-Oct-08 12:16:33

Okay, according to the 'good' schools argument no one would ever have a choice of schools since everyone must live closer to one school than another. So that can't be right can it.

clam Thu 23-Oct-08 12:40:38

The criteria are ranked:
1) Looked-after children
2) SEN/medical,
3) siblings,
4) by distance for those for whom it is their nearest school,
5) distance for the rest.
Any half-decent school gets filled up partway through rule 4.

DocBunches Thu 23-Oct-08 13:09:40

Point taken. However, this particular school appears to be the only 'normal' comprehensive school in that borough who operate the 'closest to school, but only if child NOT nearer another school' rule. Sorry, but I don't think it's fair.

jeanjeannie Thu 23-Oct-08 13:28:22

It's the same where I am in Bucks. Unless you're going to a faith school then it's the nearest school to you and that's that!

Two years ago we were in catchment for 3 schools - then they moved the boundaries to favour the 'better areas' to go to the best two performing schools. We now have only the choice of the bad school - that has a police patrol to keep the parents in check sad

Have no idea what this 'choice' thing is all about, certainly doesn't apply here! Might as well put down a school on the moon as your preference....as you're only going to get the sole one in your catchment area.

NannyNanny Fri 24-Oct-08 01:25:07

I went to this school

LittleBellaLugosi Fri 24-Oct-08 18:34:43

It doesn't surprise me at all that high-performing schools practice covert selection.

clam Fri 24-Oct-08 18:38:07

How is it covert selection when all the schools in my LEA have the same rule?

onager Fri 24-Oct-08 18:58:22

Clam maybe I am misunderstanding, but your LEA has openly said there will be no choice at all by parents - ever!

I don't think parents do get a choice in practice, but I wonder how the LEA can get away with saying it out loud

LittleBellaLugosi Fri 24-Oct-08 19:47:22

Don't know about your LEA Clam, but it is certainly covert selection if only certain schools have it.

I didn't think they were allowed to do distance anymore. "Selection by postcode" and all that.

Is it Brighton that does a lottery?

clam Thu 30-Oct-08 11:49:03

Well, they haven't said it out loud exactly. They have 'ticked the box' for choice by saying that, technically, you can choose any school in the county, AS LONG AS it has spaces! Great idea. But, oh yeah, the good schools don't have spaces, so tough luck.

wheresthehamster Thu 30-Oct-08 12:27:58

Our area operates on feeder schools. It's so much fairer. All primary schools are feeder schools to all the secondary schools. Places are allocated (after the normal top 2 or 3 criteria) as 30% to list A feeder schools, 30% to list B feeder schools and 30% to schools not named in A or B. So basically if you live within 10 miles you have a 1 in 3 chance of getting in. Buying expensive properties near a school doesn't guarantee a place.

I feel sorry for people trying for a place based on neaest to the school.

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