Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rule

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MrsAmanda
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby MrsAmanda » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:28 am

I now live in Kent and KCC have recently introduced a new sibling policy.

If you move house after your first child has been accepted into a school, the sibling policy shoo-in for your younger children only applies if the new house is within 2 miles of the school. If you move further away, sibling policy is discounted and your application is considered on distance only.

Perhaps something similar in Wandsworth would work - although I would imagine they'd consider a 2mile leverage to be quite generous.
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isababy
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby isababy » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:24 am

We have been desperate to move over the last 2 years, having lived in our flat for almost 5 years, but have been stuck in a very long process to buy the freehold & therefore extend the lease of our flat in order to be able to sell it. We finally managed this in July. We have just got through the ordeal of getting a reception place for our 1st child in the school round the corner and she loves it. Now, of course we can't AFFORD anything in the 800m around the school as the prices are ridiculous & have had to put an offer on something 1 mile away. I would have loved to have stayed in the proximity of the school, but as I would like a slightly bigger property for a growing family & dare I say a garden, I can't live within 800m of the school. I realise this is a very personal problem, but I would hope the council consider the families who are already in the school & perhaps apply this to future applicants only?
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Ballymanu
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Ballymanu » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:40 am

Essentially the current sibling policy is prioritising an individual's personal choice to move to a more affordable, more comfortable home miles away from the school their child currently attends, over local residents ability to send their children to their nearest school.

It's inconvenient to manage siblings attending different schools. It's also inconvenient to choose to move to a home a couple of miles away from your child's school but that's an individual choice. As a working parent I'd expect to manage either inconvenience myself. I wouldn't expect priority over parents who choose to live locally.

There are many flaws with the school admissions system and the siblings policy is just one of them. It's good to see Wandsworth beginning to recognise that.
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Honeybee
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Honeybee » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:11 pm

Ballymanu - one of the issues that I and others have been raising is the fact that as proposed the restriction of the sibling rule to 800m penalises families who haven't moved away from the home from which they applied.

Also, thinking about it - let's say for the sake of argument that most people have two children (massive generalisation, but bear with me). And, again, big generalisation, many people have two or three years between siblings.

What might just end up happening is instead of moving after baby number 1 gets into school, they hold off and move away after baby number 2 gets into school.

And there you have the same sort of problem, albeit delayed.

What needs to be done is improve the schools and make more school places available. Changing the sibling rule may seem like a fix but I am less and less convinced it will achieve anything.

The priority zone idea is a good one, MrsAmanda, maybe not 2 miles but one mile would work? After all most families will just move a few roads down?
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Ballymanu
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Ballymanu » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:34 pm

Honeybee - agree. I was thinking of those parents that move 'a couple of miles' rather than a kilometre. A 1500m priority zone would be a good start at least.

It doesn't help that most schools don't have fixed catchments (or priority zones) so parents are left trying to guess what the furthest distance might be in a couple of years.
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Scientist
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Scientist » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:36 pm

Here is my possibly controversial view, which will solve nothing in the short term but I believe is worthy of consideration:

We moved, legitimately, in order to get our children out of a private school into a "good" state school and it worked. We have stayed within the catchment area and have benefited from the sibling policy. One of the things we like most about the state school is the sense of community which a tight catchment area bestows. Although it doesn't affect us, we do sympathise with parents who can't get their children into good state schools even though they live locally, yet who witness parents coming from far away to drop their children off. It doesn't seem fair. Now for the controversial suggestion..........

It also doesn't seem fair to me that parents who pay a lot of tax and send their children to private schools subsidise more state school places than anyone else. Ditto healthcare etc. It would seem logical that high taxpayers who do not represent a burden on state services should receive some sort of rebate against the notional value of their children's unused places at state schools - or perhaps more appropriately, that the rebate could be paid directly to private schools so as to bring down the cost of private education - and therefore to encourage more people into the private sector. Because, until there are a greater number of excellent state schools, or private schools become more affordable & numerous, the majority will have to accept a standard of education which is, frankly, below par. The money is there somewhere, but it is neither fairly nor efficiently utilised.
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lanmum
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby lanmum » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:43 pm

It is a tricky issue and I agree, that the council should invest more time in checking out the information of people applying via the sibling policy. My daughter started a not very popular school 3 years ago, it has since gained popularity massively and the catchment area has substantially shrunk. In the meantime, we had another child and both of them sharing a bedroom was failing miserably. We had to move, but because of crazy Wandsworth prices had to move well out of the catchment area to be able to afford another bedroom and we are ONE house out of Wandsworth (which we didn't know when we moved as it has Wandsworth postcode). My son got into the same school via the sibling policy of which I am massively grateful - I couldn't do 2 drop offs at different schools and feel so grateful that I don't have to take my daughter out of her school that she is very settled in and I have my entire support network at, because we couldn't afford a house locally - we would've stayed if we could!
The upshot is that I would be very happy to be asked to demonstrate this to the council via pay details, rent detail etc and I would imagine people who genuinely have had to move, would do to.
Another thought is, if there is no sibling priority and my son got a place at our new nearest school, what would happen if they had no spaces in year 3 for my daughter?

It's a complicated issue....
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hellokittyerw
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby hellokittyerw » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:07 pm

Scientist - i find you suggestion very sensible actually. I don't think it's very likely for something like this to be implemented though....

But it would solve the "state till eight" issue that many mums complain about, by giving parents a financial incentive to put their kids in private schools from the very start.

And it would be quite fair not to pay for something you won't be using.
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Seriously?
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Seriously? » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:37 pm

Obviously a hot topic.

My personal view is that you can't qualify individual circumstances in any particularly fair way, so distance is really the only tangible metric of any use. Yes, it is very annoying for those parents who have to do a school run to more than one school, but are they more deserving than the local resident who cant even get first child into the closest school and is forced to do a long commute to get their child to school further away? Either way, for every sibling who still gains entry after any move outside the catchment, there will be shrinking of the catchment for non-siblings. Someone always has to miss out when a school is over subscribed.

I don't think siblings should gain any advantage over non-siblings full stop. If the parents chose to move, then they can take that risk. Perhaps the radical concept of kids sharing a room might dawn on them, rather than expecting the extra square footage of house in a less desirable area coming at no cost to their children's education. At the end of the day, the outstanding schools are so because they have a critical mass of middle class children from educated households. You move to an area which is a bit more patchwork, then the critical mass is diluted and the school less desirable. If you dont want to have your middle class children diluted down, then send them to a private school or stay put and dig out your basement.

There are an awful lot of self entitled moaners out there completely unable to appreciate that the world does not entirely revolve around themselves.
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Esille
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Esille » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:41 pm

@Scientist
Not really controversial, as a similar model is used in Scandinavian countries and it seems to work there
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schoolgatesmum
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby schoolgatesmum » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:24 pm

@Scientist. I have been avoiding posting on this thread but I am absolutely astounded at your suggestions of tax rebates for people who use private education. Most private schools have charitable status and are therefore already funded by the state. Also there are many ways which rich people reduce their tax burden through various schemes (e.g. fees in advance schemes) as shown in this article:
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bill ... -fees.html
The state funds teachers to be trained but they can go straight into private education. Ditto for doctors and nurses.
People who pay a lot of tax do so for a reason - because they earn a lot of money! There is no way that we could afford to send our children to private school and I would say that we are a pretty well off family. So to be able to fund a child through private education, you have to be pretty wealthy in the first place.
@Esille - I'm not sure that Sweden does do this. I'm pretty sure that almost all schools in Sweden are state-funded.
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supergirl
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby supergirl » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:34 pm

@scientist: although your suggestion is sensible i just cant agree with it. I am very lucky to live in a country that has a tax system and i am very lucky that i pay taxes. For me it means (i) i live in a country that can collect the taxes fairly, use them for roads, healthcare, rubbish collection, efucation, etc. And (ii) by being taxed it means i m not claiming anything to survive.

I think want to pay throughmy taxes to the nhs and for all services. If the richest get rebates on some things then the country wont have enough money for those who needs it the most and we will all be generally worst off.

A situation like is incompatible with my values and tge world i want to live in.
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AbbevilleMummy
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:11 pm

@scientist. I also like your idea and I don't see it as tax rebates for the rich either as some of the other posters do.

I like the idea of an 'opt-in' tax system for certain public services eg health and education. I like the idea that you could opt-in and pay tax and then have the benefit of the NHS or state-schooling etc. But if you opted-out, then you would have a slightly lower tax bill but couldn't access the NHS or send your child to a state school.

I think that would perhaps encourage more people to pay for private medical care and private education which in turn reduces the burden on these public services and thus improves them due to the reduced burden.
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livegreen
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby livegreen » Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:47 pm

@scientist and those who think that it's ok to opt out of tax for things you don't use. Why do you think no civilised country does this and no sensible political party suggests it ? It is clearly a bonkers way to fund anything and only needs a moments brain power to realise the uninteded consequence of any such policy.

On sibling policy I am not aware of anywhere that implements a policy which excludes the entry of siblings at primary school level - it is simply unworkable for most parents/ carers. Once children are at secondary and able to take themselves to school sibling policy no longer needed.
That said I agree that children should attend their local school and if people move house more than 2 miles from their primary school they should switch to their new local schools. Unfortunately I cannot think of a way that this could be "policed" in a cost effective way.
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Astolat
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Re: Parents to be consulted over plans to change sibling rul

Postby Astolat » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:37 pm

The council suggestion makes sense to me.

If you choose to move outside the catchment then you should do so knowing that it impacts your school choice.

If that means two separate school runs or moving elder children then it's part of the decision
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