School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

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custardy
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby custardy » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:28 pm

I have just received an email bulletin from my local councillors, which includes details of the outcome of this consultation. The bulletin states

"The Council’s Executive and Education and Children’s Services committees have decided not to support the proposals to establish priority areas to determine admissions to Belleville school. Though the recent consultation showed a majority in favour of such proposals there were strongly held, differing views including opposition from the school’s governors.

This decision means that the current admissions arrangements for Belleville, including the satellite site at Forthbridge Road, which are based on siblings and distance from the main site, without any priority areas, will continue unchanged not just for admissions in September 2011 but also for September 2012.

The earliest that any further consultation about revised proposals could be done, to meet the statutory timetable, is for pupils entering the school in September 2013. Any such consultation would clearly need to consider the situation for people living between Broomwood Road and Thurleigh Road as an integral part of any future proposals. This was one of the key issues highlighted in the recent consultation."
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cynic
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby cynic » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:24 am

MGmidget,

(i) you write of me "'scenario 2' figures that you prefer"
I find this to be incorrect -
You also write of me "Scenario 1 predictions that you don't like "
I find this remark to be quite unfair
I do not "prefer" any scenario.
I would simply prefer the council to be consistent in their methodology.

The council have relied on their birth rate model to make real decisions that effect the lives of all local residents & children. I think we would all support the principle that local government should make an objective, scientific & transparent analysis of data (or how else would such decisions get made!).
I have studied the council's presentation of place provision data for the last 18months and their model has, at least, been consistently applied, until now.
Only in their last paper on Belleville consultation results have they changed the assumptions of their model i.e. introduced two scenarios, in particular Scenario1 - a scenario which tweaks the future demand picture in favour of Northcote.
Do you not find the introduction of this "adjustment" troubling in any way?
This does not seem objective to me, does it to you?

(ii)
This model is based on current birth rate projections and takes no real account of people moving to be near good schools.
Therefore if we were to look at things next year (that's after a year of 120 admission to Belleville based on distance from there), then oddly enough demand for such a good school may well have increased!
As the Forthbridge site opens for business in Sep2011, then isn't data for that year's admissions the one we should look at, if we were trying to be fair?
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cynic
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby cynic » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:33 am

Custardy

thanks for posting that bulletin.
It is an interesting that your local councillors have chosen to refer to the situation for people living between Broomwood Road and Thurleigh Road area.

Here is the exact wording of the amendment that was passed by the Committee on Wed12th Jan
"Delete paragraph 3(a) and replace with:
(a) ask the Children’s Services Department to investigate other admission solutions that avoid a situation where families adjacent to the Vines have no access to the school, and that better address the concerns of local parents, governors and residents, and report them for consideration at a future meeting of the Education and Children’s Services OSC. "

As you can see there is no mention made of the Broomwood Rd/Thurleigh area in the amendment.
I only point this out for information as I do agree there is a serious issue for residents in the south of Broomwood area that the council needs to resolve
I would say so far this issue has clearly been mixed up with the FBR access issue in a way that hasn't helped resolve it
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custardy
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby custardy » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:47 am

Cynic, I would say that the wording " that better address the concerns of local parents, governors and residents" covers the council's desire to investigate provision for Broomwood/ Thurleigh residents.

I agree with you about the FBR issue and how this is all getting very muddied - not helped by the piecemeal approach to consultation by WBC.

There is the issue of FBR residents accessing their local school. There is the issue of people who live within 500m of Belleville main site not being able to get in unless the school expands in some way. And there is the issue of Broomwood/Thurleigh residents seemingly having no local school at all. This is why the council needs to assess the current provision of primary school places available, their locations and proximity to areas densely populated with children aged 0 upwards. Honeywell should be included in this. Putting everything onto Belleville is ludicrous, it can only expand so far. There comes a point when a new school is needed.

I suspect that the real pressure on places is at EYFS and KS1. Belleville usually has places free from Yr3 upwards. (I don't know the position at Honeywell). It would be interesting to see if eg small infant schools feeding into bigger junior schools could be an option. So you could provide a small infant school for the Broomwood/ Thurleigh children, with a view to feeding into Honeywell Juniors. You could use Forthbridge in the same way, with a view to feeding into Wix (given the constantly improving nature of that school). It would have been worth considering putting an infant school provision into the new Academy site with a view to feeding into Belleville.

Just as an aside, having free places from Yr3 is in fact one of the reasons that Belleville has remained diverse, because children from outside the immediate BTC area get in in Yr 3, thus allowing siblings to access the school from YR. This is an important issue when we consider education across the borough at all levels, for example seeing the tie-in with the debate on the new academy and how its admissions policy will work.

Finally I can't resist saying it again: if it had not been for the selfish and short-sighted view of the current Belleville parents shouting down the original proposed on-site expansion, Belleville could have taken in extra local children without creating the ill feeling for those living near the Vines site. And the Vines site could have been freed for a small school serving those in the northside area so that they too could have access to a local school. (subject to a bottomless pot of cash of course!)
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schoolgatesmum
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby schoolgatesmum » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:22 pm

Custardy. Can I just say that not all Belleville parents were against the expansion - I am a Belleville parent and I did not oppose it. At the time, there was a group of very vocal Belleville parents who very quickly mobilised themselves to be against the expansion. It was quite nasty at the time - I was asked to sign a petition and when I said I wasn't going to I felt very intimidated. So it was quite difficult to be outspoken in being for the expansion (I don't know if you have children at school but playground politics is scary!). It's very easy to be against something - you just shout a lot and intimidate people. It's very difficult to campaign to do something positive. I think we're seeing this in the Bolingbroke campaign. The people involved have put so much work into the campaign (I believe it has been going for almost 2 years) and have achieved so much and now there are a few angry people who are criticising everything about it. But that's a different story and a different thread!
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custardy
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby custardy » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:29 pm

schoolgatesmum - I will happily amend what I said above to "the actions of some selfish parents with children currently at Belleville" !

You are right, it is very hard to push through positive change and action. It is all too easy to shout and stamp and be negative - but without coming up with a workable solution!
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MGMidget
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby MGMidget » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:40 pm

Custardy, good points (as amended!).

Cynic, sorry if you don't like my interpretation of your preferences regarding scenario 1 and 2 pupil forecasts - I was trying to be clear as you did mention you wanted a debate around figures you could agree on.
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cynic
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby cynic » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:22 am

Custardy

I think I would agree with many of your points and in particular, that any solution to the real issue for residents south of Broomwood must surely involve Honeywell School (the closest school by far)

You make a good point that (nearly?) all primary schools have vacancies higher up - even the very popular Belleville: I think at the public meeting before Xmas the head confirmed they had vacancies starting in Year4

Of course the birth rate has been rising & continues to do so
From paper 10-846, 8Nov10

Year of Birth, Births in that year, Year entering Reception, Reception October rolls
2002 4080 2006 2275
2003 4359 2007 2361
2004 4345 2008 2375
2005 4554 2009 2433
2006 5002 2010 2535
2007 4936 2011
2008 5246 2012
2009 5335 2013

Also the feeder school admissions policy of the new secondary school (now the site has been purchased) may well impact dramatically on those higher year vacancies too
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cynic
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby cynic » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:49 am

MGMidget,

I am sorry to bang on about this but again you write of "<my> preferences". I stated before I do not "prefer" any scenario

Let me re-state what has happened here:
The council use a standard approach to forecast their reception place projections. They apply the same method every time, to many different situations and to many different Borough schools for as far back as I can see (at least 18months)
Indeed they have applied the very same method to all questions on Belleville expansion since it was first considered back in 2009.
This method (last used in Nov10) gives a projection that the Northcote ward will actually have a small surplus of reception places, about half a class (as will the Shaftesbury Ward).
This projection was presented to committee in print on 16Nov10

Also in Nov 10 a consultation is held where a group of northside residents try and make the case for some local admission to the FBR site, say 15 of the 30 places, to be phased-in over time.

In Jan11 we get results of the consultation, with wait a minute - a new method is suddenly being applied to the place projections.
Note, there's no new data at all (it's the same birth rates)- just a new method. The new method is exactly the same as the old method with one "adjustment".
The "new" method with this "adjustment" then claims to show that Northcote has actually slightly less of a surplus (not quite half a class any more) and that the Shaftesbury Ward surplus of places has increased.

Does this look objective to you?
Looks like a fudge to me
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monaco
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby monaco » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:45 am

@ Custary

thanks for posting the email from your councillor. How does one get on that mailing list ? I am a resident of South of Broomwood and am quite interested in the debate going forward.

I like your suggestions about infant schools, seems a good point.

@Cynic
well, if the council had really been good in their data approach, they would have seen the obvious gap created by their proposals for the South of Broomwood area. If the council was also following a strict approach to managing this issue, they would have passed the proposals as the consultation had a majority of answers in favour of it.

This consultation has raised for them a couple of issues that they hadn't considered properly before, hence them rejecting the proposals. I would hope that they would learn from the process and indeed correct their approach and consider all ways of looking at data and all various neighborhoods.
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custardy
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby custardy » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:39 am

Monaco - if you email heretohelp@wandsworthconservatives.com and asked to be included on the mailing list for Northcote ward, you should get it. You may not actually be in Northcote though, so provide your address so you can get any other mailings from councillors representing your area.
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mumble
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby mumble » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:24 am

Since Alderbrook is expanding surely those around Thurleigh could come from a priority area and get places there? It looks closer on the map than Belleville and certainly closer than Forthbridge.

(Surely most of Broomwood will get places at Honeywell isn't the issue South of Thurleigh?)

Honeywell is a foundation school (I think that's the term) so can't be included unless they willingly come to the table and in all honestly why would they?
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MGMidget
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby MGMidget » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:34 pm

I am south of Broomwood but not south of Thurleigh and would not have got into Honeywell this reception year if we had applied. Our son would have got into Belleville though. We wouldn't have got into Alderbrook by a long way which is much further away from us than Belleville.
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mumble
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby mumble » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:13 pm

so I went back to the map and I'm guessing that you are at the Wandsworth common end? the North end can get places in Alderbrook I don't know how far you are from Honeywell but a number may well choose Belleville if they are in the priority area and that mey well free up some spaces if not then surely your concern is with a school space? in which case giving you a priority area into the expanded Alderbrook would solve that

'choice' is an illusion when it comes to school spaces IMVHO I was expected to walk past my school of choice to go to one that I actively didn't want surely you would be closer to Alderbrook than Forthbridge road?
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MGMidget
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Re: School Admissions Consultation - Belleville

Postby MGMidget » Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:41 pm

Some neighbouring children of various ages are in Belleville (and have been since reception). We haven't been in the catchment area for Alderbrook. As I understand it from the Alderbrook meeting there are certain areas on the other side of Alderbrook where demand is growing considerably and that demand is what they were trying to satisfy with the Alderbrook expansion. Therefore, I would have thought they need that to be a priority area if they are creating priority areas (although there were no plans to do this).
We're going over old ground here but we're too far from Honeywell to get in most years unless we're lucky - that's our nearest school (about 500m away)- whereas Belleville is the school neighbouring children tend to have been offered first. Hence Belleville is very much the neighbourhood school for residents near us. Some older children are in Honeywell but the catchment area seems to have shrunk in recent years.
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