feeling ripped off between the commons

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excitera
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby excitera » Mon May 13, 2013 8:05 pm

I agree boundaries as well.
Vee2013 for your knowledge I work full time and study as well, so I can afford to send my kid to private school, because my local school is taking over by freeloaders from outside the commons.
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KatherineHepburn
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby KatherineHepburn » Mon May 13, 2013 10:09 pm

Setting a school boundary seems like a good idea, but what happens if too many families move into the boundary area and the school cannot fit them in?
We are in the midst of a huge baby boom in Wandsworth. Would this not be a possibility? Or are there ways to combat that?
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Orangetree
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby Orangetree » Tue May 14, 2013 4:31 pm

Exciteryy..well you are implying that between the commons is a little superior if your theory is to be believed that a bus load of "freeloaders" are taken up rentals to get their little cherubs into the local schools between the commons.
And did you say you can afford private? If so, why don't you instead of bemoaning the fact on here?!
My issue is that unless you have hard facts that % of places are taken up the so called freeloaders from outside then it is merely gossip between snotty mums.
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Medway
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby Medway » Tue May 14, 2013 6:09 pm

On my street in Tooting Bec live a Honeywell family. They lived 'between the commons' in a flat and so I presume their first born child got into Honeywell legitimately. The have 3 MORE children, all of whom attend Honeywell - they are bussed in and are therefore no longer local by your definition. I wonder how much of this perceived lack of access to Honeywell and Belleville is in fact due to sibling policy not renting freeloaders. I don't want to start 'bitching' but I need to see some actual data before I will believe what many of the posters here are suggesting...I think you may be fighting the wrong battle.
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papinian
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby papinian » Tue May 14, 2013 7:01 pm

Information on sibling admission to Honeywell and Belleville for 2010, 2011 and 2012 (not 2013 yet) was the subject of a Freedom of Information request and the relevant information is here:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ ... dsworth_pr

Over the three years about 50% of pupils starting at Honeywell and Belleville had a sibling already at the relevant school - it varies a little but is in the range of 45-55% depending on school and year.

Information is also provided as to how far the pupils with siblings lived from the relevant school at the time of admission. It's not clear to me whether the distances involved are "shortest walking route" or "straight line" but as Wandsworth was using "shortest walking route" for the three years (changing to "straight line" in 2013) and as the shortest distance mentioned is 500m, I think that the distances are most likely "shortest walking route".

The number of pupils with siblings admitted who didn't live in the Battersea Westminster constituency are also given. You can find a map showing the borders of the Battersea Westminster constituency here:
http://www.hughsalmon4battersea.co.uk/map.php
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Itchyfeet
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby Itchyfeet » Tue May 14, 2013 7:35 pm

Papian, the numbers they supplied you with don't add up correctly. The total number of siblings is smaller than the amount per metre out. Maybe worth asking them to check the figures unless of course is is counting more than one sibling per family, which in that case is misleading.
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stayathomemuminsw11
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby stayathomemuminsw11 » Tue May 14, 2013 7:45 pm

Papian-Interesting reading, but as Itchyfeet says, the numbers don't add up.

On a first glance over those figures though-there does seem to be a HUGE number of siblings living over 500m away...

But I'd be v. interested to read the correct figures.

The fundamental problem is THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH SCHOOL PLACES!

Whatever you do-banning siblings living more than 300m away, introducing priority areas, a lottery system for all Wandsworth primaries... it will never be possible for every parent to be happy.....

My personal feeling is that perhaps one option to look at should be something like the sibling preference rule only applies IF the school is still your nearest school...

This might discourage people from renting for 6 months whilst holding on to a house much further away which they plan to move back to, as you'd have to rent again for each subsequent sibling... Might discourage the people who rent PURELY to get their child in with no intention of really staying there!

But is that fair on people who genuinely live near HW and BV when their first child gets in, and then have to move because they can't afford a bigger place (which they need as families grow)? Should the older one have to move school?

It's a REALLY tough one with no good solution currently.
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Audrey
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby Audrey » Tue May 14, 2013 8:00 pm

I know this is a very contentious subject, but I support sibling priority.
I also think there is a problem in these schools where people move away after their first child gets in, and then distant siblings take priority over local families, leading to ever-shrinking catchments and more families in "black holes" where they get no school offer at all (especially now that the admission criteria have also changed to straight line measurement).

I would give sibling priority only to siblings of families still resident at the same address as they did when their first child was admitted (or another address closer to the school). I would also establish a "siblings catchment" to about say, 1/2 mile (or whatever distance based on previous records) and give priority first in that radius. Then, non-sibling applicants to be admitted on distance living in that radius, then out-of-catchment siblings (so, basically those who moved further away will no longer be prioritised over the local children).
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KatherineHepburn
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby KatherineHepburn » Tue May 14, 2013 8:15 pm

BTC is a crazy area though. We were looking to move to a bigger place, still in catchment about a year ago and were viewing houses around 700-800k. Pricey.
However, looking on Zoopla and in the estate agents windows now and these same properties, or those similar are anything between 1-1.5 million. CRAZY money.
I don't know another area in London like it.
So we're pretty stuck where we are and we cannot be the only family to be dealing with this.
So, another spanner in the local school system works. Sooner or later the only people able to afford to buy here will be those that can afford to go private anyway.... I wonder if the catchment areas will then start to get bigger again :roll:
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CBW7779
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby CBW7779 » Tue May 14, 2013 8:31 pm

Hi all,
I'm going to go back to the issue about whether to stretch finances to try to afford private school, and I think I'd be very very careful about this for all the reasons set out by other posters (hidden and additional costs etc) but also mainly because of the strain and stress i think this would put on a family, and is the "advantage" of private school really worth so many years of difficulty? How would this be for you/your partner when it comes to any difficulties at work or in the larger family? How would this then play out if the child doesn't like the school or doesn't do very well there? Might they be more open to being bullied? (possibly a minor issue but I saw a lot of bullying when I was a child based on status including finances). There seem to be so many things to think about when choosing a school, more than just results but for me things like the culture of the school, the quality of the head really matter. I'm not sure that public vs private always means what one might think, ie some private schools sound like a waste of money eg one btc school I know of
where literacy levels were really poor and left unaddressed for a family we know. The head was
also incredibly snooty when i visited and this put me right off! I also visited
Thomas's and was hugely impressed (and jealous that my schooling wasn't so
good!!) but I don't think it would be for every child... It might, on balance, be
better to go with a state school, have a financial cushion for life's unexpected
events, have a family holiday and pay for extra tuition/after school activities
as necessary or as your children develop their particular interests? With
so many people moving in and out btc, how often do places open up? Can anyone comment from experience? I also know some people who as children
were taken out of private school because of financial issues, and this was incredibly difficult. We have found that we are outside the catchment for bv
and hw so I don't know what we will do if still here when the time comes! I'm in denial I think! Btw, when I went to view hw a parent openly asked the head about how long they would have to rent within the catchment to qualify and
what "proof" is needed!! I think the answer was that the council would be
"checking"...! I didn't realise until recently this was such a real issue!! Good luck!
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Audrey
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby Audrey » Tue May 14, 2013 8:32 pm

@ KatherineHepburn:

Yes, I know what you mean. Even the "wrecks", houses in dire need of modernisation, these days command prices around £1m. One house opposite us had a guide price of £1m, apparently it went to sealed bids and sold for more than that. Mind you, it was in the catchment area for Honeywell (about 50m with the new distance measurement system). I'd be curious to know if the new owner intends to move there or it will be just a rental investment, to be rented it out annually to families hoping to get into Honeywell.
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supergirl
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby supergirl » Tue May 14, 2013 8:51 pm

Every single year the same debate...

The council cannot do anything for HW and BV: these schools are in charge of their admission criterias.

Stop the dictature of HW and BV.

Children can walk up to a mile (i did it, my children currently do it).

Look at other schools. They are plenty of good schools in wandsworth. Life is not just about BTC.

On top of my head: All Farthing, Swaffield, St Faith, High View. I ve also read somewhere here that Aldenbrook is good too. I know they are plenty of others.

Open your investigation boundaries you might find some gems, who knows?
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KatherineHepburn
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby KatherineHepburn » Tue May 14, 2013 8:57 pm

@Audrey
I'm currently on Zoopla doing a search 'within catchment' and silently weeping into my wine glass.
3 bed flat on Wroughton Road £895,000 ...
3 bed house on Leathwaite £1,400,000
Of course there's a steal on Mallinson, 4 bed, £1,195,000.....
Weep...weep... :cry:
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Gtshjmummy
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby Gtshjmummy » Tue May 14, 2013 9:31 pm

Those figures are interesting. I am probably being thick but I don't understand on what basis they do not add up. Either way they show a significant amount of sibling places go to kids outside the catchment. Guess numbers even higher as the distances have been less than 500m for those years plus you need to add on the renters to that. Given my home is 480m from HW on the old distance calculation it would certainly mean we would be losing out to families who live further away. Is there anything we can do about this? I am all for looking at the other options but I am not crazy about walking 2000m to Highview when I have Honeywell and Belleville 5 mins away.
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AbbevilleMummy
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Re: feeling ripped off between the commons

Postby AbbevilleMummy » Tue May 14, 2013 9:44 pm

It is not just a BTC issue.

I own a house in another part of the country that I let out. We bought it way before we were married and so was not conscious of school catchments etc but as luck would have it, it happens to be within guaranted catchment of the muh sought after outstanding local state primary.

The problem is that we can't sell the bloody thing as prices have gone up sooooo much around the school that people are just not willing to pay a premium to buy within catchment when they can just rent to get in and then buy half a mile down the road later on.

On the up side, it always lets within a day or so of going on the market!

So my point is that this is an issue for parents up and down the country and there really isn't a solution given that we are in a baby boom and the economic downturn has meant that people are putting off paying for school fees until their children are a little older. So the demand for great school places has dramatically increased but without the increase in school place.
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