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Old Jul 19th, 2013, 07:23 AM   1
Piggywinkle
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Are the government ending school catchment areas?


We have just found out that we will be moving house in September, one of the main reasons was that we would like LO to be in the catchment area for the school we'd like her to attend. I know it's not guaranteed, but the school of our choice has consistently been rated as outstanding by Ofsted for some years, and we wanted to give her the best chance of getting in.

My friend recently moved house and is in the catchment area for a school rated as inadequate. She said she wasn't particularly worried as the government is scrapping school catchment areas in 2014, but I can't find any info about this on the internet.

Has anyone else heard anything about this? I'm not hugely worried as the other 2 nearest schools near our new house are good and outstanding, but I particularly like the catchment area school.



 
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Old Jul 19th, 2013, 10:55 AM   2
aimee-lou
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I thought they'd actually gotten rid of them years ago.....I found a telegraph article back in 2007 about it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-scrapped.html

School allocation is all centralised now, and based on things like siblings, SENs and usually distance from the school is way down the list of priorities.

Most of the time though children go to their local schools, although I have heard of cases of the random allocation meaning long journeys for parents. There is an appeals process though so you can get them to reconsider.



 
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Old Jul 19th, 2013, 11:19 AM   3
hattiehippo
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Schools technically don't have catchment areas anymore, rather priority admission areas. But your child isn't guaranteed a place just because you live in the area - siblings, looked after children, and children with Statements of SEN all have higher priority on the admissions.

I don't see how no areas for schools would work - there's got to be some criteria for admissions.



 
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Old Jul 19th, 2013, 11:34 AM   4
smokey
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I think certain ones still do have it for instance catholic schools as the one we are applying to for LO has a very small catchment area of just a small postal area.
Its third on the list of their critera, second is a sibling of someone already there and I don't really understand the first criteria but its something to do with being adopted or charge of the state.
(on top of all that they all have to be baptised, attend a local catholic church on a regular basis and have a leter of support from a priest or bishop)
Its a tuff place.



 
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Old Jul 19th, 2013, 11:35 AM   5
Jchihuahua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hattiehippo View Post
Schools technically don't have catchment areas anymore, rather priority admission areas. But your child isn't guaranteed a place just because you live in the area - siblings, looked after children, and children with Statements of SEN all have higher priority on the admissions.

I don't see how no areas for schools would work - there's got to be some criteria for admissions.
I was about to reply with exactly this ^ .



 
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Old Jul 19th, 2013, 11:47 AM   6
Dragonfly
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They do it here still. They did it in Williams pre school and primary school. Though glancing at that article there they arnt as bad as that here its mainly if you are in the area they choose you first.



 
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Old Jul 19th, 2013, 12:30 PM   7
Piggywinkle
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I live in Staffordshire and catchment areas are still in operation here. I do understand that certain children will have priority. We were moving house anyway, and whilst I understand a place at our preferred school isn't guaranteed, we did want to give LO the best possible chance we could to attend the school.

Last year's admissions policy stated (quite long so I'll spoiler it):

Spoiler

Allocation of School Places

What are Staffordshire County Council’s admission criteria ?

If the total number of preferences for admission to a school exceeds the school’s Published Admission Number, the following order of priority is used to allocate the available places. (N.B., after applying the oversubscription criteria, where an applicant can be offered a place at more than one preferred school then they will be offered a place at the school ranked highest on their application.)

1) Children in Care and children who ceased to be in care because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order or special guardianship order)

2) Children living within the catchment area of the preferred school

3) Children who have an elder sibling in attendance at the preferred school (or in the case of an infants school, the affiliated Junior school) and who will still be attending the school at the proposed admission date; (For admission purposes, a brother or sister is a child who lives at the same address and either: have one or both natural parents in common; are related by a parents marriage; are adopted or fostered by a common parent or are unrelated children who live at the same address, whose parents live as partners.)

4) Children who satisfy both of the following tests:

Test 1: The child is distinguished from the great majority of other applicants either on their own medical grounds or by other exceptional circumstances. Medical grounds must be supported by a medical report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application). This report must clearly justify, for health reasons only, why it is better for the child's health to attend the preferred school rather than any other school. Exceptional circumstances must relate to the choice of school and the individual child i.e. the circumstances of the child, not the economic or social circumstances of the parent/carer. They should be supported by a professional report (obtained by the applicant and provided at the point of application), e.g. from a social worker. The report must clearly justify why it is better for the child to attend the preferred school rather than any other school.

Test 2: The child would suffer hardship if they were unable to attend the preferred school. Hardship means severe suffering of any kind, not merely difficulty or inconvenience, which is likely to be experienced as a result of the child attending a different school. Applicants must provide detailed information about both the type and severity of any likely hardship at the time of application.

5) Children whose parents regularly attend a Church of England church, or a church in communion with the Church of England, or of a church which is affiliated to the Council of Churches for Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the Evangelical Alliance. Evidence of such attendance will be required in the form of a letter from a minister of the church concerned (see additional notes below).

6) Other children arranged in order of priority according to how near their home addresses are to the main gate of the school, determined by a straight-line measurement as calculated by the Local Authority's Geographical Information System


But my initial question being, has anyone actually heard that the government are abolishing catchment areas across the country?



 
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Old Jul 19th, 2013, 15:37 PM   8
smokey
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Anyone know how comes adopted and kids in care get main priority?



 
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Old Jul 20th, 2013, 02:46 AM   9
_Vicky_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokey View Post
Anyone know how comes adopted and kids in care get main priority?
LAC come with emotional baggage for whatever reason they come into care, some with behavioural, emotional....problems the list goes on. Schools are not allowed to descrinate against lac children but were finding loop holes. These children are sometimes portrayed as problem children. Hence the exemption for looked after children even when classes are at their maximum capacity, schools can not refuse them. The school does receive significant funding for additional staff, if that's what they choose to spend it on. this stops the "don't want their type in our school" mentality.
LAC - looked after children (children in the care system)



 
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Old Jul 20th, 2013, 04:29 AM   10
suzib76
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There are a couple of kids who are in a foster home which is over 30 miles away from the school they attend - its just under an hours drive

They get a taxi to and from school EVERY day - the fare is £60 EACH WAY it used to be £80 each way until the younger girl started high school and they no longer needed an escort in the taxi. This situation has been ongoing for 4 years

The kids also have siblings placed out of the school area by 20 miles in the opposite direction, which means they get a taxi every day as well. All in all there are about 5 kids,who live no where near the council area let alone the catchment area within that but because they in under local authority care the decision was to keep the in the schools they attended, but they are it allowed to live in the same city as the parents!



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