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Can a Primary school change it's feeder school?

(18 Posts)
MotleyCroup Thu 03-Apr-14 12:24:20

We've recently changed ds school, checked on the LA website before the move and ds current school is a feeder school for our preferred high school. We are in the catchment area for the high school.

There were a few reasons for the move, one of which was that we wanted ds to go to a much bigger primary than the one he was currently attending.

Had a brief chat after school this morning with another parent and she was saying that the area of the current primary is due a new housing development of possibly 250 houses! She was suggesting that by the time our children leave their current primary the criteria for the feeder schools may change due to an increase in numbers in the current area.

This is all hearsay and just small talk but it did get me thinking that this could happen, that his current primary (which is outside my catchment area) could possibly change their feeder school in the future. Mind you where too? The majority bar two (I think) of the pupils from this primary were allocated places at our preferred high school. Tbh I'm not one to even think about anything like this until someone else puts the idea into my head and then I overthink, bah!

I'd just hate ds to be one of the only children from his current primary going to the high school, as we'll be higher on the list of criteria due to being in the catchment area, other children at his present primary school may well not get into the same school.

I'm waffling now. In between cleaning so thought I'd have a well deserved break and ask you the question.

If this were to happen I presume there would be consultation with the parents first? or do the LA just say tough hoo hah that's what's happening.

Mumsnet, it's over to you!

Blackcathaireverywhere Thu 03-Apr-14 12:30:50

A slightly different scenario, but where I live they recently scrapped the whole idea of feeder schools. Apparently there was consultation, but no one I know was aware of it and the changes had been made before anyone found out.

So, yes, I think it is possible that they could change anything!

meditrina Thu 03-Apr-14 12:33:54

Yes, it can happen.

There must however be a consultation period in the year before the changes are intended to roll out (I can't remember exact timings off hand, sorry, but has to be all done properly well before the April when everything for the admissions round beginning that autumn has to be finalised and published)

MotleyCroup Thu 03-Apr-14 12:36:11

Blimey, Blackcathaireverywhere!

So it would make it a 'free for all' situation, in a way?

It's kind of nice knowing that the primary your child currently attends feeds into your chosen high school.

Hope this doesn't go nationwide confused

Seeline Thu 03-Apr-14 12:36:46

I think technically it is the secondary school who decides if a primary school will be a feeder to it. And yes they can change their feeder schools, or drop them altogether, but as meditrina says, it has to be after a consultation carried out for any changes to the admission criteria of a secondary school.

meditrina Thu 03-Apr-14 12:36:56

Btw it isn't up to the primary school to decide where it feeds to; it is up to the secondary to decide its admission arrangements, which may or may not include feeders at all and (if it has them) which schools they are.

MotleyCroup Thu 03-Apr-14 12:37:24

Thanks Meditrina.

I'd only hope that if this were to happen that most parents would opt for the current feeder school.

meditrina Thu 03-Apr-14 12:37:38


MotleyCroup Thu 03-Apr-14 12:40:11

Thanks Seeline.

Ahh makes more sense now, yes didn't realise it was up to the secondary school! Don't know what I thought really, just assumed the LA decided which primary schools went where.

Damn, wish things were set in stone!

prh47bridge Thu 03-Apr-14 12:41:43

The primary school does not decide. The admission authority for the secondary school (which is either the LA or the school itself) decides which schools it will name as feeder schools.

If the admission authority for the secondary school wants to change its feeder schools they will need to change their admission criteria. There will be a consultation but they don't generally make a huge amount of noise about this so you have to keep your eyes open. Even if there are a lot of objections in the consultation the admission authority can still go ahead with the change. About the only grounds on which you could challenge this would be if the change was discriminatory, e.g. it excluded a school in a deprived area but included surrounding schools in more upmarket areas.

Blackcathaireverywhere Thu 03-Apr-14 12:43:04

MotleyCroup, not it hasn't changed to a 'free for all' exactly grin. The new system is purely based on distance you live from the secondary school.

Sadly though as it went through so quickly, a couple of this year's year six children didn't get into the school they wanted.

Seeline Thu 03-Apr-14 12:44:38

Round here only one local comp has feeder schools, none of the others do. Strangely the feeder schools for the comp are further away from the secondary than our primary, which is not a feeder school. So some of our children that actually live nearer the secondary school do not get a place because children at the feeder schools, who live further away fill them up confused There are always rumours that the set up will change. Recently the school decided to introduce a sibling policy, and even though we are not a feeder school we were notified of the consultation. I would advise keeping an eye on the web site of the secondary school, as any consultations would be advertised on there.

redskyatnight Thu 03-Apr-14 12:46:04

It happened near us (actually because there was a new school built as well as new housing so there was some reorganising of who was in what catchment). But it was publicised fairly well in advance ... and there was an interim period where sibling priority was maintained (i.e where people had got their older child into catchment secondary and then the catchment area changed they still allowed sibling priority for the younger for a short while).

Frikadellen Thu 03-Apr-14 12:54:35

I live in one county with boaders to two others very close. Of the 12 secondary schools I visited over tbe last year only one of them uses feeder schools. 3 used named parishes only one e of those a church school . To me feeder schools are more unusual. Just to give a bit of a different picture.

MotleyCroup Thu 03-Apr-14 13:02:51

Thanks for your replies grin

This has certainly opened my eyes. I've never really given this much thought tbh (bad me) I just presumed it all worked the same way and things would carry on the way they were until the end of time. On reflection though if they keep on building new housing estates, there needs to be room at the inn, so to speak.

This has now given me something else to bloody worry about! hmm

MotleyCroup Thu 03-Apr-14 13:08:22

Seeline, that's a crazy system! So your LA would prefer you to travel further? That's so wrong!

Seeline Thu 03-Apr-14 13:27:57

It is crazy - but then the whole education system is pretty mad sad
OF course, the other thing to think about (and I only say this because it seems that your DS will not be starting secondary for a few years yet) but the school you prefer at the moment could have changed considerably by the time you really need to think about these things grin

tiggytape Thu 03-Apr-14 16:07:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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