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Re: Belleville expansion plans

by firsttimerSW11 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:10 am

After years of lacklustre leadership and teaching at Belleville Wix, Mr Grove and Ms Henry are transforming the school.  The new teachers being brought in from Belleville itself are fantastic. I wouldn't have considered it before their appointment, now I think it gives Belleville a run for its money in terms of academic results and extracurricular activities. The PTA is a bit disjointed given there are effectively 3 separate PTA streams but ultimately I disagree with the posts above slating the school. Anyone who thinks leadership with years of Outstanding experience under his belt is ill equipped to take over what was a failing school must have an ulterior motive for doing so.

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by NVHusband » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:00 pm

Three last posts are rather suspicious. Never posted on NVN before and all posting a consistent message....


Let me give you another thought.

Wix were underperforming. So, effectively bad management.

Belleville Primary is rated Outstanding and in the Top 200 primary schools in the UK (per Sunday Times). So, effectively good management.

Belleville takes over Wix.
Good management gets rid of bad management.

What's the issue?

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by LondonEnergy » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:06 pm

Sol, whether they were fired or they run away it does not matter, the result is that many good teachers have gone. The new leadership team only follows the vision of the Accademy without any compromise or empathy to the children's needs or the parents' voice. I would forgive this if they were in good faith and competent, but I believe they are neither. Time will prove me wrong, in the meantime I moved my child from the school as fast as I could, I noticed I am not the only parent that took this decision.

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by Sol » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:40 pm

My children are also at Wix. I share your concern. But I want to clarify the teachers were not fired. They resigned because they were not happy with the management changes.
Nice evening everyone

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by Concernedmotheroftwo » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:54 pm

I am a mother of two who have both attended the wix bilingual stream and am deeply concerned about its future in the hands of John Grove. Half of the teachers who shaped my children into the intelligent beings they are have recently been fired. The need to tick certain boxes is one I intend to avoid, but I’m afraid that Belville are making this quite difficult.

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by cynic » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:26 pm

FAO sibling admission at Belleville

If you are concerned about the way Belleville prioritises sibling admission (i.e. even to those who have moved away) then please read this:

These are the two entries from the latest version of the Admission Code 2010 that discuss sibling entry:

2.24 As with other oversubscription criteria in giving priority to siblings, admission authorities must ensure that their admission arrangements as a whole do not unfairly disadvantage other families.
<then in particular for>
Siblings at Primary schools
2.25 <> The admission authorities for primary schools should ensure in their oversubscription criteria that siblings (including twins, triplets or children from other multiple births) can attend the same primary school, as long as they comply with the Education (Infant Class Sizes) (England) Regulations 1998

The Office of the Schools Adjudicator must investigate any objections to admission arrangements that do not comply with the Admissions Code. The Code has two levels of guidance: must and should: "Must" is statutory, but "should" is only a guide.
All of this is public information freely available on the internet.

By way of a declaration as you can see frm my previous posts I have been involved in the objections to the Forthbridge Rd site expansion, but this is not really related.
I also do not know the number of this year's sibling admission to Belleville, or how many come from "far away" i.e. is this really a factor if say you didnt get a place this year.

Personally I think that obviously priority sibling admission is clearly a sensible thing but should be reserved for those who still live in the local community. The fact that at Belleville it applies even to siblings of families who have moved away from the area and such a very popular school is I think very unfair. That's just my personal view only and I post the above for information only.
If any parent felt they wanted to object to the way Belleville does sibling admission, I would happily offer some advice on how to make an objection as I have looked into it and it's not that arduous. While any objection may not be sucessful it may help to highlight the issue, which several posts have already mentioned that the council should look at.

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by mumble » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:22 am

Cynic am I not right in saying that you can not apply for a biingual place unless you apply for an English/monolingual? That certainly used to be the case.
Therefore a certain number of parents applying for a monolingual place presumably would have no intention of taking one up but are simply doing so to comply with the rules so they can apply for a bilingual.
I'm a bit lost with you dates and distances I'm afriad (it's late for me) it seems odd that Belleville is giving such a short distance and Wix such a large one.
Although it is possible that some more people 'moved' house over the Summer (and then back home!)

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by cynic » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:20 pm


Sorry I slightly misread your earlier question: Many people living on the Northside would indeed easily get into Wix English Language Class.
It was in the 2010 brochure that the distance that offers were made for English language places in 2009 was up to 1406m. This compares to 383m for Belleville in 2009. (Offer distance to the Wix bilingual class was just 416m I think). I learnt yesterday that (like Belleville) not all offers were taken up so the Wix english class still actually had empty places for 2009 admission for further away. Also I learned that the offers distance for 2010 for the Wix English class will probably be around 1175m.

So if you live on Forthbridge Rd you should definitely be able to get into Wix English language class (tho I hear the bilingual is nearly full of siblings this year).

But I would make 2 points:
1) Many people who live north of Belleville but who just failed to get into Belleville in 2009 (say those living close to Battersea Rise and thus being pointed towards High View as their next closest school), would have actually been easily able to get into Wix. I find that pretty interesting, but I don't know how many, if any did decide on Wix.

2) Going down the route of saying to someone living on Forthbridge Rd, just yards from the intended Belleville "annexe" that their children are NOT allowed to go to, but "that's ok because you can go to Wix" would I imagine STILL not feel very fair to them.
I know this is not what you are suggesting, but just to illustrate

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by cynic » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:52 pm

Dear mumble,

You are correct admission changes must be consulted on, this is specified in the Admissions Code. (It's a bigger than normal 8week consultation process that must happen between 1Nov2010 and 1Mar2011 to affect 2012 Admissions policy)

383m is "the distance that offer of places were made up to" for Belleville for 2009 applications. The 2009 brochure included 30 temporary places so 120 total admission at Belleville. The 383m number is given in the Primary School 2010 brochure. Those offers were made in April09 and the brochure was put together about this time of year so apparently many "offers made" are not taken-up (even to a popular school like Belleville) but that's what the distance being referred to is.
(I am currently obtaining the offers distances for 2010)

The demand data we presented (at our deputation to the Education Committee) for Wix was for their English language stream ONLY. It saw 134 applications for 30 places in 2010 vs 514 applications for 120 places at Belleville.
First choice application numbers were 65 for 30 places at Wix vs 187 for 120 places at Belleville.
(Wix bilingual places are much more oversubscribed)

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by cynic » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:33 pm

Dear Secondtimer,

Just to be clarify the Forthbridge Rd site has previously been a special school so it's not really anything to do with local demand for primary places.

To explain: Paddock school is a special school offering places to SEN pupils with severe and complex learning difficulties or and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The primary pupils from Paddock school have been temporarily housed at the Vines site on Forthbridge Rd, for the last 2 (maybe 3) years while their main school site in SW15 underwent refurbishment. Before that there existed the Vines school at the site on Forthbridge Rd which was closed (I think in 2007). The Vines was also a special school. I understand that Wandsworth has been consolidating it's SEN provision over the last few years and these changes have all part of this process.

I would definitely agree it's very sensible to look at keeping a site that's naturally becoming available (a avery rare occurence) in school-use, though the council previously had plans to sell the entire site since at least 2005

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by secondtimer » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:34 am

hello ladies

I'm new to this thread so apologies if this question has already been asked...

I had thought that the reason the original Paddock school was closed was due to lack of demand in the local area which prompted the council to (sensibly) look at reusing the site rather than developing a new one at considerable cost. Has this situation changed?

I'm in agreement that its unfair that local residents are unable to attend a local school, but if there is already suffient places available within the proximity then surely priority needs to go to those who have no school place available, cant afford to move closer/private options and are being offered (in one case I know of) home schooling as an alternative!!

The shortage of primary school places is a Wandsworth wide problem and the suggestion of limiting the sibling priority to children living within a sensible distance of the school certainly seems sensible and would cut down on unethical practices of short term renting.

As local mums we need to present a united front - infighting between those living BTC and further afield is only going to prove a distraction and deviate energy from solving the real problem at hand.

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by mumble » Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:38 pm

I'm a bit rusty on how to change admissions policies I'm afraid. I know thay have to consult, which they do by publishing a notice in Brightside (maybe elsewhere too) and that parents can object, in fact anyone interested can object I think.

I suspect whoever posted might need to check their distances Belleville's catchement was much larger than 300+m by the Summer last year, I think when the extra class went in it got a lot larger unless some more of my friends 'moved' house ;) (although of course will be back to small again this year)

Interesting that they are lumping Alderbrook in with the consultation, of course the only completely fair way is to have a lottery for places amongst the 4 schools taking out siblings of course ;) ;)

I like the idea of removing sibling priority for those who move along way away although should it apply to all schools? Would you then penalise Wandsworth residents who move to eg Kingston if Kingston doesn't do the same? (ie doesn't create so many places) How many times a year should we have to proove our address to Wandsworth in order to keep a school place? Is Balham really so far that you should loose your school place if you move there? if you do you surely wont get one in Balham there is a greater lack of places there than BTC over the next few years according to the council, which is remarkably quiet about the need to create school places there :?

How much of the demand for Wix is actually only demand for a bilingual place? There of course was the real lost opportunity.
It would be interesting to see how places are being allocated in the Henry Cavendish expansion towards Streatham does anyone know? last time I looked the council website said nothing (Lambeth)
I havn't looked at Fiona Miller's blog Is she an MP? or married to someone?

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by cynic » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:27 pm

In the same way you are being pointed to High View instead of Belleville, residents near here are pointed to Shaftesbury Park instead of Wix. Neither represents "choice".

Just fyi: at the Education Committee meeting on 1st July the council officers stated that there are currently 10 empty reception 2010 places at High View and 5 empty reception 2010 places at Shaftesbury Park.
It it my understanding that both schools have 25% vacancies overall (so mostly higher up the school). This is the level at which central govt gets concerned and, though I hate the term, the phrase "failing school" is used.

Demand for Wix has exploded in the last year, so it's not yet clear if Forthbridge Rd residents would get access in this year. Let me try to find out and get back to you.

It is possible for a school to have two geographical priority areas e.g. Beatrix Potter school has this.

Also within the Borough there is also a faith school St Michaels which has a priority area around it. Two-thirds of the places are faith based (after siblings in the area) and one-third of the places are kept open for those local to the site by distance (after siblings in the area)

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by cynic » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:06 pm


I was just about to bring up that up as I have heard many people talking about "the sibling rule". I was typing this:
Siblings of current pupils have priority into the same school and this is obviously a very sensible and practical thing for parents.
At Belleville currently this sibling priority is still valid even if you move well away from the local area - once you have got one child in, you could move 30miles away if you wanted to and still get all future siblings in!
Now some other schools in Wandsworth have a slightly different set-up:
Siblings of current pupils still have priority but only if they still live local to the school. If they move away they lose that priority and take their place in the list behind other children placed on distance
I am a non-parent, so maybe I don't know what I am talking about, but the second set-up seems fairer to me?

Re: Belleville expansion plans

by hazel15malwood » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:47 pm

Re the admissions consultation:
I think one of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed during this consultation is the automatic offer of places to siblings who live way beyond the 'catchment area' of the schools in question.
If families who live in Balham, Tooting and as far afield as Croydon (in one case I've heard of) weren't entitled to sibling places in schools BTC then it might go some way to relieving the pressure on places. It might also go some way to removing the incentive for families to use 'temporary' addresses to secure places and then moving back to their 'permanent' abode.
One proposal is that priority catchment areas could be applied around the schools concerned, the idea being that as long as you live within that area, siblings get priority, but outside of it they have to apply for places and be assessed on distance criteria in exactly the same way as everybody else.
I don't know how any of this could affect the Forthbridge Road admission criteria and allow access to local families. Has the council given any indication?
Let me also make the point that while my daughter has been offered a place at the Forthbridge site, given the choice, I would much rather she is schooled at one of our truly local schools (ie Belleville main site or Honeywell), but as existing parents of Belleville vetoed the on-site expansion plans and we live a massive 511 metres away from our nearest school, it's our only option of a school place.
I absolutely empathise with the parents around Forthbridge who feel the whole issue is unfair - it undoubtedly is. But parents like me BTC need school places as much as anyone near Forthbridge and we have no other option - real choice would be a great thing but in reality we have none.
Just out of interest, does anyone know whether Forthbridge Road families get into Wix?