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 Admissions Code
to select the 'type' of students that they wish to attract.
Further to previous posts on LSN, this local authority is currently 'consulting' on plans to close a successful, community primary, Sulivan School, to make way for a Church of England secondary free school for boys despite Sulivan being over subscribed in the lower years, the predicted primary place shortage and the fact that local community secondary schools rated good or outstanding have a surplus of places. One look at the advertising leaflet for the Fulham Boys School shows yet another of this type of school going against the Code of Practice by stating that parents should make sure they put FBS as their first choice school
to have the best chance of getting a place.
This 'First Choice First' practice is no longer allowed under the code* and I have yet to receive a response from the founders as to why they have included this in their documentation. Why do we have to go through the same old charade with free schools such as this claiming to want to be "truly inclusive" when it is quite clear that the opposite is true? Hammersmith and Fulham council are hell bent on pushing the FBS opening through by closing a primary school that happens to be in the way on a prime site in leafy Fulham - I wonder if anyone from the council will challenge them on their failure to abide by the Code? Somehow I doubt it.
*The Schools Admission Code says that admission authorities MUST NOT "give extra priority to children whose parents rank preferred schools in a particular order, including ‘first preference first’ arrangements;"