Admissions adjudicator rejects Hinchley Wood School complaints

Hinchley Wood School: Making changes

Hinchley Wood School: Making changes

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

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.

Comments (1)

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10:50am Wed 25 Jun 14

louisemcdonagh says...

This judgement was a good judgement. It is too simplistic nowadays, with increasing amounts of new housing developments being slotted into sites next to existing schools which historically have served existing communities, to argue that the nearest must take priority. We all know that, if this is allowed to happen, existing communities would end up being displaced and fragmented, and quality of life for those communities would be further undermined. What is required is that the county and local councils work together to ensure that unsustainable new developments are not permitted, but that all the accompanying infrastructure is set in place to support these new developments, without compromising the existing community's quality of life in terms of services, space or congestion.
This judgement was a good judgement. It is too simplistic nowadays, with increasing amounts of new housing developments being slotted into sites next to existing schools which historically have served existing communities, to argue that the nearest must take priority. We all know that, if this is allowed to happen, existing communities would end up being displaced and fragmented, and quality of life for those communities would be further undermined. What is required is that the county and local councils work together to ensure that unsustainable new developments are not permitted, but that all the accompanying infrastructure is set in place to support these new developments, without compromising the existing community's quality of life in terms of services, space or congestion. louisemcdonagh
  • Score: 6

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