Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rule

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Wandsworth Council
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Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rule

Postby Wandsworth Council » Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:48 pm

The council is set to consult parents in Wandsworth on proposed changes to school admission rules that aim to make it easier for children to attend their nearest local neighbourhood community school.

Education chiefs are expected to announce a public consultation into plans that would change the current arrangements that give preference to siblings.

The change is being considered in a bid to make the schools admissions process fairer and to give greater priority to children who live closest to schools.

Education spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: “There has been a growing clamour from parents asking us to look at this rule because of mounting evidence that local school places are being offered to children living some distance away simply because they have an older sibling already enrolled there.

“There are signs that some parents are enrolling a child in a popular Wandsworth primary school and then moving out of the area, safe in the knowledge that their younger children are virtually guaranteed a place at the same school solely because of the sibling rule.

“What this does is deny that place to a child who lives much closer to the school, sometimes only a stone’s throw away.

“We don’t think this is fair which is why we are proposing a solution that will strike the right balance and better meet the needs of parents who live close to our schools.”

Under the existing admission arrangements priority for a school place is given to a younger sibling regardless of where they live.

Visit http://goo.gl/3VCtSN for more information
jg75
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby jg75 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:54 pm

That's interesting. What it doesn't seem to capture, though, is parents who get their child into the school completely legitimately but then fall out of the catchment in later years. If they stay in the same home and don't try to 'play the system' by renting within catchment or moving out of the catchment once the eldest child has got into the school, it does seem unfair that they should be penalised. Looking at the article it seems like it needs to be thought through more. There are implications of compelling siblings to go to different schools, particularly on working parents, to whom it could make life a logistical nightmare.
supergirl
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby supergirl » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:31 pm

This situation has no end. There will always be some who are not happy whatever their (legitimate) reason.

At least the council is finally doing what parents have asked for years - on this forum at least.

I hope the council will go for priority areas like at Beatrix Potter...

I wonder how it could apply to BV and HW :?:
mgb
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby mgb » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:39 pm

From the Council website:

The council is proposing that sibling priority should only apply in future to children who live within 800 metres of the school. Siblings residing further away would no longer have priority over children living closer.

Data from the 2014 round of admissions show that of 712 children who were offered a place at a community school on the basis of sibling priority, 174 lived more than 800 metres away from the school
Mummymummymummy
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Mummymummymummy » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:44 pm

Fiddling around with which child 'wins' a local school place and who has to go to a school either miles away from their home or separated from their siblings completely misses the point.

More schools are urgently needed in the areas where families live. Not where it's cheapest to add portacabins in playgrounds. Families have every right to expect their children to be educated within their local community and the council is responsible for meeting the needs of the communities they represent. Communities with an increase in the number of children need an increase in the number of school places. Please stop playing politics with childrens' education. Stop pitting family against family in the battle for places. Provide the places that are needed where they are needed.
KatherineHepburn
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby KatherineHepburn » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:25 pm

Couldn't agree more Mummymummymummy!
hellokittyerw
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby hellokittyerw » Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:42 pm

Definitely a good idea IMO.
Every morning i see children in Belleville uniform walking from Clapham Junction station (approx 1,300 m away from the school according to googlemaps) and i think it is unfair on the familes living closer ...
mummyof1
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby mummyof1 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:27 pm

Although Wandsworth is consulting borough wide- an academy or what was a grant mantained school before academies came about control their own admissions policy even if the council administer their admissions. This applies to Belleville, Honeywell and maybe others in the borough.
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby hellokittyerw » Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:51 pm

Very interesting mummyof1, i didnt realise that.
So BV/HW may opt out? I can't see the interest on their side in opting-out though...
Thatsnotmymonkey
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Thatsnotmymonkey » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:05 pm

Due to a shrinking catchment at my Year 1 son's primary school, this ruling would mean that my 2 year old son would not get in to the primary school I was originally allocated by Wandsworth Council. We live 915m from the school. We have never "played" the system to try and get into a more successful school and have lived in the same flat for the last 8 years. We happily took the place allocated by Wandsworth even though it was not our first choice school. Will the council take into account the rapidly shrinking catchments of schools who are becoming increasingly popular? Would it also take into account families where the council have allocated places, even though they were not their first preference? This is going to really penalise us as two full time parents in the public sector.
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:19 pm

It will be interesting to see where the consultation comes out as generally existing parents are unlikely to support the changes, yet future parents will obviously be in favour. I would have thought there are more existing parents than future ones, maybe I'm wrong.

Maybe there will be some existing parents that live within 800 meters who would support it as I imagine it would have a positive impact on the value of their home.

In terms of HW and BV, their admission policies are determined by the governors in consultation with existing parents. My understanding is that historically they have been against changing the sibling policies. So we'll have to see.

In terms of children walking from near Clapham Junction to BV, maybe they moved there years after they got a place? If so, there is nothing in the proposals that would force them to leave the school. And I'm not saying that there should be, but you will always have children who have moved further away from a school as time moves on.
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby jg75 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:26 pm

Whilst I agree that everyone has different views and this is an emotive subject, I do think it penalises working parents and agree with notmymonkey here. You can't account for every situation and therefore some people are going to be put out disproportionately. And sadly the people who play the system will play whatever system is put in place.
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:28 pm

Not trying to be contrary, but how does it penalise working parents any more than non-working parents?
Thatsnotmymonkey
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Thatsnotmymonkey » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:32 pm

May be that should read it "it will make it even more awkward for me being a working parent". It does penalise all parents working or otherwise ;)
Wheresmyschool?
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Wheresmyschool? » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:33 pm

Great news!

Catchment areas will MASSIVELY increase.

At the moment we all know of families who "get one in" and then move out.

This will stop that happening.

It will ALSO help increase the quality of other schools?

Why?

Because, to be un-PC, it's the aspirational parents who help "lift" a school. At the moment those active parents can "doorstop" at a great state school but now if they want to move they're children will have to move.

This is only good news.

For everyone.