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Re: Petition - school admission system

by Flogri » Fri May 24, 2013 9:49 pm

Couldn't we imagine a system where even state schools would have a school fee but which would vary depending on the parents' income and could be free for incomes below a certain ceiling. Wealthy people would think twice before buying an expensive house close to an outstanding state school. They may choose directly the private system, there would be less pressure on property prices around those schools and the catchment area would enlarge.

This system exists in France for state nurseries and applies also for school lunches where the amount of money you pay for the canteen depend on your income.

I do not say it is ideal. This is a quick thought for brainstorming. I like very much also the proposal on GPA.

Re: Petition - school admission system

by poppiesmum » Thu May 23, 2013 11:18 am

Yes, just to clarify, i have a son starting in reception in September so we are 'legitimate' but living outside catchment, shock horror!!!

Re: Petition - school admission system

by townieatheart » Wed May 22, 2013 8:47 pm

mgb, if Eva has younger children then they will get reception places because of the sibling priority despite the fact they live further away than 'new' applicants. So this does effect reception.

Personally I think it is only right that siblings should get priority where the oldest child's place at the school was earned legitimately.

3 years ago when BV took a fourth form, who knew specifically they were headed for the then unknown Meteor site, the waiting list moved really quickly. Many parents didn't want to take a chance on Meteor st so chose other schools for their children. As a result the catchment area for the 2010 intake was wider than its been for a long time. Would you now deny those children's siblings a place as they live on Elspeth Rd for example?

So many posters on here have such a blinkered view on how the admission process actually goes. It isn't just about reception places, it's about the balance of the school as a whole.

Re: Petition - school admission system

by mgb » Wed May 22, 2013 4:06 pm

Eva, I think the comments on this thread relate more to Reception places than year 4.

Re: Petition - school admission system

by poppiesmum » Wed May 22, 2013 3:57 pm

I would like to make the point that i live outside the catchment area but my son started at Honeywell in year 4 along with around 7 other children as a number of pupils leave at this time for prep school. I certainly do not appreciate the backhanded comments about how i should feel 'ashamed' about my address on the school class contact lists! The fact that i am out of catchment does not mean in anyway that i have 'tricked ' the system. Some of the posters on this thread could be accused of being out and out snobs, and personally i am pleased that you are not bringing this bad attitude to my school gates. If your so desperate for the school your child goes to to be 'exclusive' without any possible mix of 'outsiders' not living 'between the commons' may i suggest you go private. Personally, i think it is vital for a school to achieve a certain amount of balance and both the sibling policy and the late admissions procedure allows for at least a little of this.

Re: Petition - school admission system

by cynic » Mon May 20, 2013 9:57 pm

(I posted a similar post to this on a different thread where someone had claimed Wandsworth did not think a GPA would be possible)

1) You may recall the kerfuffle over the Forthbridge Rd/Meteor St site for Belleville which led to a second consultation in 2010. The council proposal in this was a complicated Geographical Priority Area (GPA) set-up.
Now the actual details of the proposed GPAs were over-complicated & flawed (what a surprise), hence why within all 3 "groupings" many people involved ended up voting against it. (This allowed Wandsworth to claim they had "tried to solve the problem", but people didn't want that solution...sigh)...blah blah
However my point is:
It is very clear that a GPA type set-up would be in fact permitted under the Admissions Code, as Wandsworth would not have suggested it previously otherwise! (I am very familiar with the Code also)

The straightforward thing to do is to set a GPA around a school that is a significantly larger in size that the recent admission distance (As an example only say it's ~1500m, vs a current admission distance of say a few hundred meters)
Then only if you live within that GPA do your siblings get priority, that's quite simple. Non-sibling applicants within the GPA also get priority, order worked out on distance as per before. (In fact though as the GPA is much larger than typical admissions there's never really an issue about giving non-siblings priority within the GPA as the distances are always less than GPA).
This system could reduce BOTH "out of area" sibling admission (which is a at least a big factor as short-term renters*) AND to some extent short-term renters.
If you like, one could describe the GPA as the expected local community area of the school - as it would be quite large, it would enable families to move properties within it so they would not be as restricted as the Council reply claims

Obviously actually defining a GPA will be complicated, especially if there are several schools close together but it can be done.
GPAs have been successfully defined in Wandsworth* and in other areas of the country*
It doesn't have to be a distance but can be defined by streets, railway lines etc (very similar to an old-fashioned catchment area)

2) Sibling admission is a key part of this whole thing but people REALLY don't like to even talk about this.
Of course everyone supports the idea of siblings getting priority admission BUT IMHO you have to be able to draw a distinction between those who have moved but still live within the local community and those who have completely moved away, let's call them "out of area" siblings*
I would ask is there any real difference between:
a) a family who rent for 6-12months in the local area to gain access to a school but then return to their far-away original home
b) a family who get one sibling-in and then move far-away (for whatever reason) but are still sending that child and other siblings to the original school
You could say that neither family has particularly committed to the local community, (not on a timescale compared to the 7-years-plus of schooling they are expecting to receive)

If a family move properly away then IMHO their kids should move school -
a) it's not that disruptive for primary school children to move schools,
b) let's face it they don't actually live that close to their friends any more,
c) the long school run must be quite a pain.
Some may not like the idea because they worked so hard to get their first child into a school and they don't want to "do it all over again", but IMHO this is arguably fairer than other people being denied even a chance of a place at their genuinely local schools.

3) In the interest of sharing info:
Other posts have been pointed out that BV governors have previously defended the sibling policy against any GPA idea. This is true, BV has (had?) a large number of vacancies in later years, which BV are understandbly keen to fill to ensure full funding. BV Governors stated:
(i) these children are often from "further afield" and significantly
improve the diversity of the school AND
(ii) If any change to the sibling rule was made this would deter such
families from taking these in-year vacancies for fear of not getting any younger siblings into the same school
The numbers are (were, at least) quite large: e.g I believe it was stated that in Sep2010 BV filled 30 "in-year" vacancies (many of these I understand are in Y5 and Y6 - yes, the private school drain)
I am not aware that any evidence of say the "diversity improvement" was presented (e.g would that even correlate to free school meal uptake?) or of the current numbers for 2013

4) Given both BV and HW are now both in-effect in charge of their own admission policy this means any changes would need to be led by the largest consituency group - i.e. the current parents of those schools.
I'm sure most parents like the idea that their children's classmates/friends would all live in the same local neighbourhood, but despite this it's pretty hard to see any current parent voting/campaigning for any GPA type proposal which they may see as a "restriction"

Re: Petition - school admission system

by Flogri » Sat May 18, 2013 2:09 pm

Just a short note regarding Belleville.
Some people might have got a place in the annex on Meteor street while they were living at one of the farthest points of the catchment area in the other direction, i.e closer to Wandsworth common. They may have moved to be closer to the school site and be able to bring their children more easily and without taking their car. Those are then recorded as living at more than 1km away from Belleville although they are in fact at a few meters from the school their children go to!

Re: Petition - school admission system

by excitera » Sat May 18, 2013 10:19 am

supergirl - no sure what you are unclear about. I want to get a place in Belleville for my kid, like any other parents. Being 320m away - it is truly my local school. Last year I would have been offered a place in B, but this year my neighbours have been offered a place in falconbrook school, or steward road. In fact Falcolbrook was offered to my neighbours.
for me it is not an option I'd rather send to some good private LOCAL school, than to some dubious reputation state miles away...

Re: Petition - school admission system

by excitera » Sat May 18, 2013 10:07 am

JDmummy - the main problem here that neither council neither people participating in these conversation think that there is anything wrong with taking your kid to school 1 hour away.
And it is fully legitimate to rent , get your first child in, move out and abuse the system by siblings route.

Re: Petition - school admission system

by JDMummy » Sat May 18, 2013 9:46 am

Too much endless of debate, as you all seeing every year. Who are actually doing anything effective to enable our kids to go to our local school less than five minutes walk away???? Why should our kids have to travel further away because other families 'doing their best to send their children to our local school, by car, by bus, even by train? I see a mum walking long way from Balham side sending his son to BV school every morning. Are those parents not ashamed when their addresses on the school contact list showing they are not local? What are we supporting here? CHEAT TO GET WHAT YOU WANT? Sorry for using strong words here. Feel so fed up of reading these useless arguments. Why we have our permanent home five minutes walk away from a good school should be 'punished' by the cheaters! We also have our dear darlings who deserve the best qualification. We live here!

Re: Petition - school admission system

by nvmof3 » Sat May 18, 2013 8:22 am

There is too much supposition and hearsay on this thread. If you are so interested in the stories behind those families at HW and BV that live far away, why don't you just ask them? They arrive by car at c9am and park all around the schools. Also if you want stats on the numbers of people in yr 1 and 2 who live far from school why don't you ask parents with kids at HW and BV in those years to anonymously post stats from their classes on here. They all have address lists for their children's classmates and some of them are probably sympathetic having seen local friends fail to get their kids in while aware of kids in their kids' classes who have done the short term rental thing. Personally my view is focus on improving the existing schools in the borough and buy bicycles to get there if they are too far to walk. If this happens then over time people won't feel the need to move/rent to get their kids into a good school. In the meantime, are parents who are prepared to go to the length of moving out of their home into short term accommodation for a year to get their kids into an excellent school bad people? Maybe it is immoral but onthe other hand i can't help thinking that it shows a commendable dedication to doing the best thing for their child.

Re: Petition - school admission system

by supergirl » Fri May 17, 2013 11:34 pm

@ exitera: you said on this thread that you "never relied in sending your children in state schools and will send them private".

So why did you post that on another thread:

"Re: Our primary school is 50 Min away!
» Wed May 15, 2013 1:04 pm

Steward Road school? no forget it... I'd rather sell my house in between the commons, downgrade and pay for private.


Posts: 103
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 2:04 pm"

I dont understand what you are saying then and what you are trying to achieve, unless you are just causing a stir?

Please explain. Regards.

Re: Petition - school admission system

by DaisyLady » Fri May 17, 2013 1:15 pm

AbbevilleMummy wrote:@Daisy Lady, where are you getting your stats from? It seems to me that most people are reading the numbers incorrectly! 15% of BV places (18 of 120) live more than 1000m via shortest walking route from BV. And 1000m really is not that far via shortest walking route! For example, Manchuria Road, Broxash Road, Roseneath Rd, all BTC and all would still surely be considered 'local' families, would be over 1000m from BV via shortest walking route.

I would say anything up to a mile is within walking distance and there are only a handful of places offered to kids that far out and that could be for a variety of reasons.

The schools and the council are not going to put a huge amount of time, money and resource into overhalling the entire admissions process just to create a handful of places and their schools will still be over-subscribed.

Rather than trying to creat a rather pointless petition that even if successful, would benefit only a few people, why not throw all your energy at trying to set up a new free school in the area that would benefit hundreds of children.
I got my stats from the freedom of information request, apologies if i got percentages wrong, maths never was my strong point!

Re: Petition - school admission system

by Itchyfeet » Thu May 16, 2013 8:25 pm

Jeez....just stop the French coming in and renting over the summer taking 50% of places..joking! Seriously there is no reasonable place to draw a line. More schools is the ONLY ANSWER

Re: Petition - school admission system

by tgjiiimummy » Thu May 16, 2013 8:17 pm

This will always be an issue which elicits conflicting views but I still believe HW should consult on the issue of sibling priority and a priority area. Apparently, they were asked to by the Council when Belleville consulted and they refused. I understand from Jane Ellison that she has also raised this in Governor meetings but with no success. I think people deserve transparency on this. It would also give all of us with strong views on the matter a public forum to discuss this.