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Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by TLS » Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:37 am

That's what I thought kiwimummy, thanks for clarifying. I agree, the PR is a bit disingenuous.

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by kiwimummy » Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:10 am

I've posted this about 100 times, but basically, it will only apply to BV and HW if they choose to follow the Wandsworth model. As I understand it these schools have greater control of their own admissions policy.

It frankly drives me bonkers that these schools were used as the justification for changing the policy by the council in the consultation and press about this. The council's own documents state that most of the pressure for the change came from BTC parents unhappy about being excluded from these schools - and they changed the policy for the whole borough as a result.

Rant over - they've changed it now anyway.

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by TLS » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:37 pm

Am I wrong to think that this new policy won't apply to free schools / academies, such as Belleville and Honeywell? Or have those schools said that they will definitely choose to follow the Wandsworth line?

Or is this policy essentially irrelevant BTC?

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by InterestedDad » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:05 pm


For info, see results from the initial consultation (which had a higher number of respondents (approx. 900) than the later statutory consultation (only 100 or so from memory)).

Opinion was split roughly 50:50 on whether to make the 800m change. Most areas within Wandsworth were opposed, this was balanced by BTC which had a large number of respondents and was highly supportive.

Since then, Wandsworth evolved the proposal (by allowing siblings from beyond 800m where the address had not changed, and introducing the change gradually to exempt siblings of existing pupils). These changes could have been expected to reduce opposition to the proposal. Conversely, the new larger catchment for Belleville, if it persists, makes action in this area less important for the core group of the change's supporters.
Paper No. 14-586 - Proposed Changes to Community Primary School Admissio....pdf
(268.37 KiB) Downloaded 78 times

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by Honeybee » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:44 pm

Absolutely, InterestedDad. The problem is with renters. If I wanted to cheat the system, and had the means and energy, I would just rent until my youngest got in and then move miles out.

BlingSling, my situation is not as you describe. I have one child in primary school, which we were lucky to get into but from which we live over 800m away. The catchment seems to be shrinking every year and I very much doubt we would get the younger sibling in if the school adopted the new sibling policy. The new policy penalises families who have stayed put and haven't played the system but don't happen to be lucky enough to have a choice of schools within 800m of where they live. (Of which I know quite a few by the way.)

Anyway, we'll see how it all pans out. Wandsworth Council have recently taken action to penalise short term renters who rent properties for the purpose of getting into a school and the more generous catchments this year suggest this may have worked. I don't think the sibling policy will change much in terms of catchments and will only cause hassle and disruption for families.

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by InterestedDad » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:33 pm

Thanks BlingSling. I agree with your post.

The problem with this rule change is that it will be very easy for renters to work around, so it doesn't deal with the problem. Unfortunately however, it will impact on honest families who genuinely need to move very badly.

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by BlingSling » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:56 pm

How disingenuous that article is.

Apart form people in known 'black holes' for school places, the problem for most parents is wildly overstated in her article. The frenzy is in is wanting to be in the same 'in' school as everyone else, and the shenanigans in renting. There ARE places, but perhaps the catchment isn't quite right....the children aren't quite right.

In a school near me in Lambeth there was a terrible issue with rentals and siblings - the same flats would come up year after year for rent, and as each family moved in for just one year, ensuring places for perhaps 3 kids, they would move on and another family would get their bills directed their for the following year, ensuring another few sibling places. With a few flats like that on the market next to the school, you son get years when not even all the siblings can get a place. Perhaps the writer of the Telegraph piece might not even have got her initial place with that sort of thing going on at the end of her road.

The problem is just as bad at secondary - I know of no less than 3 families who rented to get into Graveney - claiming at least 8 places between them. Pity the poor Furzedown residents -where is their sense of community when everyone is moving in and out the whole time?

The people I feel sorry for are families who do not selfishly scam the system, and desperately need to move house because they have a growing family, but because of rising house prices (because of the families who have bought their way into a favoured catchment) cannot stay I the area and have to move out possibly losing a school place. If that is you, Honeybee - sympathies.

Parents have caused all this, we need to calm down. Not everyone can go to the same school. There are many excellent schools in the area. There are enough places to go round - just not enough in the favoured middle class chosen few.

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by rooting4tooting » Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:37 pm

sense from WBC? will wonders never cease?
I am surprised about a lack of a quorum though. 57% 27% sounds like a vote for the status quo to me.

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by Honeybee » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:12 pm

I saw this article in the Telegraph and wholeheartedly agree with every word... ... stake.html

I have made my views known in the consultation but I will say it again - I really don't think this new rule is going to change much in terms of catchment sized but may well cause a great deal of grief to families having to ferry multiple children to different schools.

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by Wandsworth Council » Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:13 pm

Below is the council's public statement which was issued earlier today following publication of the story in this morning's Times newspaper. The decision approving the change was actually made in February following the statutory consultation with local parents, which showed that 57.4 per cent were in favour of the change and 27.7 per cent were against.

"This is all about fairness and making the system as fair as possible for parents who want their children to attend their local neighbourhood school.

"What we are saying to parents is that if you continue to live near your school of choice, your younger children will retain their sibling priority. But if people choose to move away from the area then children from these families will no longer have preference over children who live much closer to the school. It cannot be fair that a child who lives miles away gets priority over one who lives only yards away.

"What we don’t want to do however is disadvantage parents who have acted in good faith, so this change will not come into effect until September 2016 and will not apply retrospectively, so the younger brothers or sisters of children already at a school will not be affected.

"The key to this is making sure there are enough places for local children and that our schools offer a high quality of education. Between 2011 and 2016 an extra 1,000 primary places will have been provided in the borough, and currently 96 per cent of our primaries are officially rated as good or outstanding, one of the highest proportions in the country. It is precisely because our schools are so good that they are in such high demand from parents."

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by kiwimummy » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:47 pm

in the draft wording consulted on, there were transitional provisions stating that as long as you hadn't moved since the last child was admitted before 2016, then you would be OK.

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by juliantenniscoach » Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:22 pm

So what do you do when the first child was admitted when you were within the original catchment area that was say 805m from the school. You haven't moved but the catchment area has. How does that work?

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by InterestedDad » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:02 am

I wouldn't get too excited about this. Looking at the numbers I think it could only mean a maximum of an extra 25 metres or so in catchment area for the most popular local schools.

In reality, it may mean no increase in distance at all. I think shrinking catchment areas have been mostly driven by increasing private renting (pages 12/13): ... 013-14.pdf

"In London, the proportion of households in the private rented sector
increased from 14% to 30% between 2003-04 and 2013-14".

The 800m rule does little to influence the behaviour of long term renters who are able to easily work within the new rule. The trend of increased renting continues and without fundamental change to the housing market I think this issue will persist.

Re: New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by BTCdad » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:38 am

Very sensible I think

New sibling policy from next year confirmed!

by mamaclapham » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:17 am

So it's happening, Wandsworth council is changing their policy. If a sibling moves 800mt away from the school they are no longer entitled to a place. ... years.html