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No school catchment areas anymore??

(13 Posts)
MrsSnape Mon 01-Sep-08 15:38:10

I have been told by two different people (one being a parent governer) that local authorities are doing away with catchment areas and you can now (or very soon will be able to) choose any school in the city for your kids.

I'm trying to move into the current catchment area of our chosen school and probably will continue to do so incase this isn't true but if it is, how on earth is it going to work out?

In Hull for instance there are probably 3 decent secondary schools in the entire city, now surely if it becomes a free for all, every parent in the city is going to be choosing these 3 schools and the bad schools (i.e. the majority) are going to be terribly under-subscribed (more so than they already are!).

Can anyone shed any light on this?

ForeverOptimistic Mon 01-Sep-08 15:42:36

We don't have official catchment areas. The criteria for admitting pupils tends to be siblings given priority followed by pupils living closest to the school. So in effect you have unoffical catchment areas that change every year depending on demand for places.

Hulababy Mon 01-Sep-08 15:46:27

We still have catchment areas in Sheffield. However you can apply to other schools outside your catchment. But the schools will still have entrance criteria, and distance from school is usually high up the list.

RustyBear Mon 01-Sep-08 15:46:50

I think that some LEAs are getting rid of catchment areas but will just go on actual distance from the school - not sure how it will work though.

chunkychips Mon 01-Sep-08 15:47:17

same here, you can go on the list for any of the schools round here (north london), but you've no chance of actually getting into them unless you live closeby.

ecoworrier Mon 01-Sep-08 16:04:06

I don't think catchment areas matter in many places, it all depends on what admissions criteria the school uses.

Here for example, everyone in the town is in the catchment area for 2 schools. However, whether they actually get in to the chosen school depends on where a particular child comes in the list of criteria - e.g. children in care are first, then siblings, then children from designated villages, then children in the town, then those not living in the town but who attend schools in the town etc etc etc

In cases of oversubscription in any criteria, the distance rule comes into play.

So while for the last 10 years every single child living in the town has got their first place choice, this year it didn't work out and some children were disappointed because when the distance rule was applied they were just too far from the school.

intolerant Tue 02-Sep-08 14:33:04

ecowarrior, out of interest, what authority is that, if you don't mind divulging? Am interested in the 'designated villages' bit.

S1ur Tue 02-Sep-08 14:38:24

article in torygraph

Hadn't heard of it before, but sending children across the city to school seems like a bad alternative to funding and focusing on giving all children a decent local school.

QueenofHerts Tue 02-Sep-08 14:43:40

I'd take the Torygraph article with a pinch of middle-class scaremongering salt.

No catchment areas here (Herts) - criteria is distance for most schools

However, single sex schools (the old grammars, and high performers) are now allocated by PARTIAL lottery. These serve - and always have served - an area beyond the town in which they are situated. This means that if it is your nearest school, you will (probably) get in. Remaining places in other urban areas/villages allocated by lottery, rather than the old way of which end of the village closer to town.

Does not create excess transport - children were going to come from these villages/suburbs anyway.

CarGirl Tue 02-Sep-08 14:47:52

here criteria is pretty much siblings then distance to school. You need to ask the schools you are interested in what their criteria will be for intake.

fizzbuzz Tue 02-Sep-08 19:42:05

I'm a teacher, and we haven't heard anything about this.

This would mean people driving all over he place every morning and evening, surely adding to the traffic problem hmm

UnquietDad Tue 02-Sep-08 23:05:46

Sending children across cities to school to "mix" areas seems like social engineering to me. May be all well and good in theory, but whoever suggested it has obviously never had to do the school run in a big city.

unhappy Fri 03-Oct-08 13:36:13

in certain schools in SE London they are now saying no catchment but as many oversubscribed will use distance as part of their admin criteria surely it does not make alot of difference whether there is officially a catchment or not !! As you can probably tell been trailing the local hell holes and feeling really anxious about all of it !!! Good luck everyone

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