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school admission straight line policy

(8 Posts)
jbl2312 Tue 11-Oct-11 22:57:35

hi im not sure if anyone can help me regarding the straight line policy, is it supposed to be the shortest walking distance?

if it is we have a 100 foot wide river in front of us and the straight line goes across this river which obviously we cannot not walk across unless we go 2 miles out of our way to cross it making the distance traveled 4 miles to the school, they are saying this is our closest school yet there are 3 schools on our side of the river which are 2 miles away....totally confused here

ASuitableGirl Tue 11-Oct-11 23:00:27

I think that straight line would mean as the crow flies, so going over the river rather than round it. Hopefully someone with more knowledge can say whether or not that is right.

prh47bridge Tue 11-Oct-11 23:40:49

Straight line means exactly what it says. They will measure from your house to the school in a straight line ignoring obstacles such as the river. It is unusual for the difference between straight line distance and shortest walking route to be as much as it seems to be in your case but it can certainly be the case that your nearest school measured by straight line distance is not the nearest school to walk to.

Many LAs use straight line distance in school admissions as it is less prone to error than shortest walking route. Those using shortest walking route are likely to get appeals from parents claiming there is a shorter route than the one used by the LA.

If it is really 4 miles to this school by the shortest walking route and the LA end up allocating you a place there your child will be entitled to free transport.

CustardCake Wed 12-Oct-11 08:21:58

Yes straight line policy is the distance measured if you found your house and the school on a map and used a ruler to join them up.
For some people, like you this can lead to anomalies like being expected to cross a river, busy dual carriageway or military airbase!!

As prh says, the reason it is used is that there are so many disputes about shortest walking distance - people arguing that walking over the allotments or down an unlit alley is a perfectly valid "safe route" and being angry that the shortcut they use isn't recognised by the council and then the council tell them they are too far away to get a place at the school.
Crow flies distances can be calculated down to several decimal places so, in an area with a couple of popular schools and lots of applicants, it is easier to decide which applicant has a more valid claim and gets the place.

JWIM Wed 12-Oct-11 08:30:21

What does it say in the Admissions Policy? This will be the method of measurement - even if it does not reflect the actual route you may have to take. For example in rural areas it will cross lots of private land whilst you will have to travel by public roads/paths making the actual journey longer.

jbl2312 Wed 12-Oct-11 14:16:11

thanks everyone didnt want to make a huge fuss with the admissions authority if thats the way they do it yes JWIM we are in a rural area and the line goes across the river through a wood and over several farms, so i guess we have no choice but to accept this smile

CustardCake Wed 12-Oct-11 15:29:41

The rule works against us too but for the opposite reason. As the crow flies, we probably don't live close enough to get a place at the school we like and that is a really easy journey from our house by transport or cycling it is only 3 roads away BUT one of those roads is a mile long residential road so as the crow flies we are well over a mile in total.

Whereas the people who do live closer to the school to get a place "as the crow flies" are the other side of a thundering huge dual carriageway (with national speed limit on some stretches). Yes, if they leapt the dual carriageway they would be closer than us, but as it is they will need to drive miles to physically get to the school gates yet of course, they get preference for places before we do.

I know the same anomalies apply to lots of people living near fields or railway tracks or airbases or areas of private land or rivers or motoways etc so I do understand that it is fair. But fair isn't always the same as sensible!

jbl2312 Wed 12-Oct-11 15:55:56

i totally agree with the same as sensible bit, as we have 3 school on our side of the river which are a mile closer to drive to but longer on the "as the crow flies" system, oh well at least we are not the only ones, was starting to feel like we were being neglected due to living in a rural area

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