New Secondary Schools for Richmond 4(1001 Posts)
Welcome. This is the fourth (or perhaps fifth) in a series of threads about Richmond Secondary Schools.
The discussion was originally triggered by Richmond council's publication of its Education White Paper in February 2011. It started with two parallel threads here and here.
In November 2011 the most active of the original two threads reached 1000 messages (the maximum allowed) so we continued the conversation here.
That thread filled up in May 2012, and was continued here.
It's now November 2012, and once again we're at the start of a new thread ....
I don't see any difference between what Cllr Morris has done and MPs fiddling their expenses by 'flipping' the residences on which they claim. If she is intending to sell the Hampton home or permanently rent it out perhaps that's different. But there would have been an appeal process and an opportunity for her to show evidence of all of ths. The timing is suspect too. And how long does will it take for building works considering she has declared Hampton her main home for at least five years?
I think it's reasonable that there is a cut-off date for anticipated moves. But it's quite late - 10 February this year, after the application deadline.
Completed moves before 15 February 2014:
A completed application from your original address must have been submitted by the closing date (15 January 2014). Satisfactory documents supporting your move (as detailed above) must be received before 10 February 2014 to enable your new address to be taken into account for Pan-London Offer Day.
It still sounds to me as if the problem is that she hasn't produced satisfactory evidence that she really lives in Sheen as opposed to Hampton not that she missed any deadline or moved during the process - if she really moved 9 or 10 months ago that was before 15 Jan 2013. Presumably she has moved in with family and that's why she or her husband are not Council tax payers? It doesn't say whether she went through the appeals process. Timing obviously suspect in this case. But if no one who moves in with family or another owner of a house and thus isn't a council tax payer is ever allowed to apply for a school place for their child at that address due to deemed lack of evidence that would be a matter that could be legally challenged I would have thought. I wonder if LB Richmond ever do home inspections like the DHSS used to do when I was a student to check you weren't cohabiting. It reminds me of when my friend wanted to get married in a particular church in Bethnal Green because her parents had been but she lived in the next parish. When the vicar came to do his home visit at a flat she had borrowed in the right parish she had forgotten to check which cupboards the coffee and mugs were in!
Maybe she's looking forward to secondary schools. She's left Hampton and all those snobby selective independent schools behind. She wants to give back to the community using her political and social influence by convincing all her children's classmates to go local and support Richmond Park Academy.
In that case, if she wins a judicial review where other community groups have failed in theirs, something truly good would come out of this.
muminlondon2, I think there are just as many "snobby selective independent schools" within spitting distance of East Sheen as Hampton. And, indeed, why would it be more altruistic for Cllr Morris to support RPA over Hampton Academy?
I'm also not convinced that a local politician would be more socially influential in a parent's school choice-making than their more apolitical friends. I think you are clutching a straws there, frankly.
The judicial review will examine the and correctness of the council’s action and the reasonableness of its decision in the light of the evidence available to it at that time. It will not examine Cllr Morris’s motives or evidence that has been produced after the cut-off date.
muminlondon knowing the Parents who have spent £m to get a house that would get them a place at Sheen Mount (and would get them a mansion in Hanworth), effectively a snobby state school with some of the lowest FSM in the borough, I think she is on a sticky wicket there? What about the social value of introducing middle class values to the disadvantaged children at Buckingham?
I am watching with interest, when my peer group of parents on the wrong side of the tracks in Sheen /Mortlake found ourselves in the first year our road moved out of the Sheen Mount catchment, and not in that of any other schools, we were encouraged by the Officers in the education department to seek a list of the addresses of pupils who had got in on sibling preference, they had actually prepared a map for us to make it easy, and suggested we alert Councillors, MPs etc. There were addresses in Putney, across the Thames and even two in Chelsea (apparently those pupils turned up in a chauffeur driven people carrier). The problem of parents moving into temporary accommodation to get places is one I suspect the Education Department has sought a solution to for a long time.
It is useless to speculate on Councillor Morris's motives, but she has put herself in a group, who have moved temporarily to be near a very popular school, who the Council have targeted to make sure admissions are scrupulously fair, and lets just hope that the Council have in place scrupulously fair processes. It is hard to feel sorry for her when I know so many parents who have had no school place allocated or one that was in a school miles away. She was actually in a position to have influenced some small change in that.
All really good points, especially your last post heathclif. I was being facetious, but it seems a risky and expensive process for her to enter into as an individual, so in truth I don't understand her motives. I'd also question her judgement as a politician, as it's not a fair or community-minded principle for her to defend.
Today’s RTT (pp 40-2) has Top quality means high demand - a letter from Cllr Hodgins on primary school places, Send a child to private (sic) - a letter from Frederick Hankin re Cllr Morris, telling her to go private - and ’We jumped ship and went private’ after school place problems’ - by ‘Life-long Richmond Resident’ - setting out one family’s experience of chasing after places.
The RTT has Thomson House School opens in Sheen Lane, Mortlake:
. .^A free school in Mortlake was opened by MP Zac Goldsmith last week. Thomson House School in Sheen Lane is a new two form entry, primary free school. (He) said: “Richmond’s primary schools are among the best in the country, but there is a real shortage of places and I am therefore thrilled to have supported Thomson House from the start.” . . The school will grow each year until it reaches its full capacity of 364 students.^
The RTT has ‘Not pursuing secular agenda’ (p. 25): a letter from ‘Local Parent’ asserting RISC’s commitment to inclusive schooling; and one from David Klein, pointing out that, contrary to what Cllr Hodgson has said, Catholic families enjoy access to a much wider range of schools than the non-Catholic majority and expressing the hope that St Richard Reynolds’ will give preference to the siblings of the non-Catholic children that have gained a place there this year because the school was spurned by local Catholics who have been campaigning for it.
I was really pleased to read those two letters in the RTT over the weekend as they said exactly what I was feeling! My next door neighbours who are Catholic have a choice of two secondary schools as also in the Teddington catchment area (but they still seem convinced that their son has to go private!) whereas my friend up the road in Hampton Hill is really desperate about where her son will be able to go.
The remarks on the other thread about RPA are very heartening. Sounds as if there is a lot more contact with/feedback to parents than we get at Teddington and the Year 7 playground/garden is exactly what most Year 7s report that they are missing!
No letters about Cllr Morris, although there was an article about housing benefit cheats which is in similar territory.
There has been a particular case Camden at a one-form entry school where 10 parents whose children attended the nursery didn't get a reception place - because the catchment has shrunk to 0.1 mile. They found at least five cases of families renting temporarily despite owning a home further away. See Mumsnet thread 'School Place thieves'. Camden is changing the wording of their admissions criteria to be as in Hackney and read 'we can’t accept a temporary address if you still possess a property that was previously used as a home address'. That sounds pretty clear to me.
There is also news on Christ's acting headteacher being appointed permanently and the consultation until October 25th on Nelson Primary School becoming an academy, joining the Waldegrave Trust.
I'm conscious this thread will finish in 10 more posts. Unless there are to be more threads in this series, it would be nice to leave those last posts for news about Turing House's site or Teddington's headteacher.
"Unless there are to be more threads in this series..."
Well, I think the title needs to evolve a bit, but otherwise I don't see why there shouldn't be. In fact, I've created the next one right here ...
" it would be nice to leave those last posts for ..."
I can think of a few more topics that might come up between now and May. After that, who knows, there might be another White Paper published, and off we go again!
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