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Help! Any experts on changes to admission criteria?

(12 Posts)
PriorityCatchmentHell Mon 11-Jan-16 23:19:58

Wondering if any of the many experts on here can help me.

We live in an area with a good secondary with a priority catchment. The next priority catchment to the east is for a super-popular highly over subscribed school. Not even all the children in the catchment get in.

It's just come to light that 'our' school is proposing to redraw its area so that it will overlap with Great School on the east, but cut off a big chunk of its existing catchment on the north. Our school will get the affluent kids Great School can't take, and will ease Great School's annual head ache around admissions.

The change will put a whole load of children in two priority catchments, and our family outside catchment and with no chance of getting in to a school which is only just over half a mile away and by far our closest school (not a single non catchment child was admitted last year). Instead, we get two failing academies across town.

Does anyone know what grounds are available to challenge redrawing the boundaries in this way?

prh47bridge Mon 11-Jan-16 23:30:08

Your third paragraph is perfectly valid grounds for challenging this. If you can show that they are cutting out a relatively deprived area so that they can include an affluent area that would be even better.

lougle Mon 11-Jan-16 23:32:57

I think they need to do a public consultation within certain timeframes, but they can draw the boundary where they want to. You can appeal for a place there, though.

mummytime Tue 12-Jan-16 07:27:51

There is a consultation period, you need (and try to mobilise as many of your neighbours as possible) to object. The fact that your area will have no "priority catchment" and any socio-economic bias will be good grounds.

PriorityCatchmentHell Tue 12-Jan-16 08:28:02

Thanks everyone.

Sadly we have very little time as the consultation closes at the end of the month (they snuck it out very effectively just before Christmas).

prh47 - Yes, it is basically including a very affluent area and removing a middle class one and the fringes of basically the only council estate in the area.

Is there are standard procedure on boundary lines - some people are literally under the new line and it doesn't seem clear whether they are inside or outside.

titchy Tue 12-Jan-16 09:14:46

You can take a further appeal to the school's adjudicator. They can instruct the school to change back if it's gone through.

admission Tue 12-Jan-16 21:33:29

You can object now to the school whilst still the consultation period or you can object if it goes through to the school's adjudicator as Titchy says.
If they are deliberately swapping one more deprived area for another more affluent area then that would seem to be a very good case to be taking to the School's adjudicator. As we will be talking about 2017 entry you have sufficient time to get this challenged.

PriorityCatchmentHell Tue 12-Jan-16 21:51:35

My kids are actually a few years away - eldest is only year 2. I just know that if this change goes through, we'll never get back in. There is now quite a group writing letters to the school and copying the MP.

Yes, it's pretty clearly rigging the intake if you know the area. They've even drawn a bulge on their new map to keep an aspirational area where logic would suggest it got kicked out. It isn't that all the areas kicked out are deprived, more that the ones they want are really high end and they've managed to kick out the only deprived edges in the process. So overall a big jump up the socio economic ladder.

I'm also fascinated to have found the most annual report of the adjudicator. Put it this way, they are pretty much his text book example of what isn't consultation.

Bolognese Tue 12-Jan-16 22:43:37

Similar thing was done to a school near me. Turned out it was in conjunction with the council and other schools. There was an impending population bulge in one part of the city and they needed to shuffle/change oversubscribed catchment areas so children would be forced into the schools with spare capacity to ease the problem.

PriorityCatchmentHell Tue 12-Jan-16 22:48:09

I don't think that this has been done in conjunction with other schools, because one catchment now massively overlaps the other.

It may be population bulge/new proposed housing related though. Always is, isn't it.

teacherwith2kids Tue 12-Jan-16 22:59:57

It may 'be population bulge' related ... but there are ways and ways of solving the problem that are not quite as 'obviously convenient' for the school, perhaps?

PriorityCatchmentHell Tue 12-Jan-16 23:02:52

Quite.

And a bulge isn't the reason they have given.

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