Campaigns: For Fair Admissions

Posts about For Fair Admissions

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Janet Downs: “It might be best if you looked elsewhere”: the Children’s Commissioner describes the ways schools can deter pupils they don’t want.

“It might be best if you looked elsewhere”. That’s what one school told a parent of a child with special needs (SEN), said the Children’s Commissioner*. The Children’s Commissioner heard evidence of how schools deter SEN children and said parents of SEN pupils had been put off from applying for a school place because of “negative messages”. It wasn’t ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Roger Titcombe: "Yes Sarah, a number of us are advocating giving LAs or preferably LEAs just such powers and responsibilities...."

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Janet Downs: I washed the vicar’s surplice for years, but my son still didn’t get a school place. It’s so unfair.

My husband and I spent years planning ahead. Even before our nuptials we decided to marry in a parish church somewhere. We chose one in the catchment area of a Voluntary Aided CofE primary school (it had to be VA, they control their own admissions – unlike Voluntary Controlled schools which have to accept anyone) and bought a ... read more and comment →

18 comments

Latest comment by agov: "More to the point is why you mentioned her. You say she has no connection to the school (unless you have missed out something that I was supposed to guess). According to you she is achieving little because ......"

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Janet Downs: The Mail on Sunday accuses the Goves of giving a lesson showing how parents can cheat the school system

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens turns on the Goves for selecting the Grey Coat Hospital School for his daughter. He should have chosen Burlington Danes Academy on the grounds that Gove has praised it enough in the past and it’s only a “few minutes’ walk from the Education Secretary’s modest home”, Hitchens writes. The first is a ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Thanks, Peter, for pointing out the error. I'll put it right and issue a correction. You're right something's going on at Greycoat (probably those tortuous admission criteria you rightly criticised and which have been censured by the Schools Adjudicator) ......"

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Fiona Millar: The “tutor proof” test makes schools more, not less, socially selective

Last weekend the Observer published an article about a new "tutor-proof" test that has been introduced by some selective schools, allegedly to try and increase the diversity of their intakes. Clearly the extremely low percentages of pupils eligible for Free School Meals gaining access to the grammars is becoming a bit of an embarrassment.  Even the Chief Inspector of Schools ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by N Skipper: "The 5 Warwickshire grammar schools have been using these CEM tests since 2008 (for entry in 2009). The number of year 7 children eligible and claiming FSM in these schools is below. Column #1: Census date Column #2: Number of year 7 ......"

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Joanne Nathan: Camden turn a blind eye to school fraud

I and other parents have been involved in a dispute with Camden's admissions team since the beginning of this year because of the maladministration of the reception class admissions round for the 2013 intake. The whole experience has been disappointing and at times baffling. Our children were attending the Eleanor Palmer nursery when we discovered that several parents were attempting to ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Eleanore M Armstrong-Perlman: "My son suffered chronic peer verbal and physical abuse at his comprehensive school. The meeting with myself, an educationalist and other unannounced staff members was not recorded. My supporting teacher/ advocate made proposals to ensure the safety of my child ......"

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Anton Daley: Another Hammersmith and Fulham free school that seems not to understand the Admissions Code of Practice.

Interesting to see the article in the Telegraph (21 September 2013) highlighting the "top 50 most socially exclusive state schools" and no surprise to see that Hammersmith and Fulham Schools feature several times in the list. The article refers to "schools selecting wealthy parents through the back door" and highlights the issue of certain schools finding ways to get around the School ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Roy Grainger: "By far the simplest admissions criteria in LBHF is West London Free - 45% by closest to the school and 45% in a ballot based on a catchment area. 10% music aptitude (plus some founders places). No banding. The musical ......"

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Janet Downs: The London Oratory has sinned against the Schools Admission Code – again

“Blessed are the pew polishers for they shall get a place at the London Oratory” Local Schools Network, 31 December 2012 In December 2012 the Schools Adjudicator ruled against the London Oratory School because it had, among other things, prioritised the children of parents who had done church housekeeping. The Oratory responded by removing the housekeeping criterion but retained other activities such as ... read more and comment →

41 comments

Latest comment by Janet Downs: "Roger - you're correct that some CofE schools are very discrimatory. These are the ones who place children in rank order something like this: CofE baptised, other Christian baptised, other faiths, children of parents with no faith. But ......"

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Fiona Millar: Me and Sam – an unlikely alliance, or maybe not?

Two weeks ago I woke up to a headline I thought I would never read. "Why Fiona Millar is right" by Sam Freedman. For those of our readers who don't know Sam, he is a former policy adviser to Michael Gove, in and out of government. Before that he was at the right of centre think tank Policy Exchange . He ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Tony Smith: "Appendix 2 refers. http://thelearningcurve.pearson.com/..."

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Fiona Millar: Stephen Twigg’s speech .More detail needed but the direction is promising.

Stephen Twigg, the Shadow Education Secretary, made an important speech yesterday. Twigg has been on the receiving end of some criticism over the last year, not least from me, for failing to make a clear and robust argument against what the Coalition government is doing. But I have read the speech carefully and think it shows that he has been listening ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Tor Steenberg: "'All children should, in an advanced democracy, be entitled to a decent education. It is clear that, for the most disadvantaged, that entitlement is not being met.' You misrepresent me, scurrilously, when you refer to the poor rather than the most ......"

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sarah: An end to religious discrimination in schools?

There has been coverage in the press this week about a new campaign to end religious discrimination in schools admissions in order to make it fairer and promote religious, social and cultural integration. Details can be found here. I think it's a really good piece of work and I hope it is successful. Their report makes many good points in favour of ... read more and comment →

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Latest comment by Rosie Fergusson: "Let us hope the campaign is successful..however I am pessimistic.. After all what will the quasi-catholics of our government do if they can no longer leap-frog over their local 40 % FSM school straight into the London Oratory ( ......"

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