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Admissions adjudicator rejects Hinchley Wood School complaints
Parents hoping to send their children to Hinchley Wood School said are fighting "a lost cause" after the schools adjudicator did not uphold any objections to the schools new admissions criteria.
The Claygate Lane school announced changes to admissions criteria from September 2015 earlier this year, after a 10-week consultation, with the changes including a new catchment area and four feeder schools.
Children who attend Claygate Primary, Hinchley Wood Primary, Long Ditton St Mary’s or Thames Ditton Junior schools and live within the catchment area will have priority, meaning those within the catchment area but do not attend a feeder school will stand a lesser chance of gaining a place.
Following the school's decision to alter its admissions criteria, a number of parents objected to the office of the schools adjudicator, saying it was unfair .
Parents argued priority should be based on distance from home to school and that children should not have a place at their nearest secondary school compromised because of the primary school they attended.
In her report, schools adjudicator Shan Scott said: "On the basis of all the information available to me and taking account of all the arguments made to me by the objectors, the school and others, I consider that in the circumstances of this school, the introduction of priority for children who have attended certain feeder primary schools and who live in the school’s catchment area is reasonable and fair."
A parent, who asked not to be named, said the decision was "madness" and parents of children at St Paul’s Catholic Primary School were making plans to move their children to one of the feeder schools.
The parent said: "This just makes the situation worse, and there will come a point where even those in feeder schools won’t be guaranteed a place, defeating the object of the consultation in the first place.
"There is one fair and just way to assign secondary school places when there aren’t enough to go round, and that is to give preferential places to children that live nearest."
Ben Barlett, headteacher of Hinchley Wood School, declined to comment on the judgement.
The full report from the schools adjudicator and admission policy for September 2015 can be viewed at hinchleywoodschool.co.uk.
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