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 Post subject: Poole case
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 1123
Location: Bexley
Hi Guys,

I'm going to meet the adjudicator tomorrow re a Kent school's oversubscription criteria.

I have been directed to a case in Poole where the Greenwich Judgement did not stand.

I do not know your area at all, apologies, but would appreciate it if anyone could explain why the Greenwich Judgement did not work here.

Thanx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7064
Tracy

One or two members elsewhere on the forum have made the mistake of saying that, in effect, Greenwich is no more! This is not correct. In fact, the latest Admissions Code specifically makes reference to Greenwich:
Quote:
they [admission authorities] must ensure that they:
..... b) do not disadvantage families resident in other local authorities who apply for schools in their area (which would be contrary to the rule established by the Greenwich Judgment)

What the Adjudicator actually said is that, where there appears to be a conflict between Greenwich and the latest Admissions Code, then the Code is to be preferred:
Quote:
In so far as previously decided cases are pertinent they are embraced by the Code; and in any respect that there might appear to be a conflict the Code is to be preferred as a more recent expression of the will of the legislature.

Someone local may be able to go further into the Poole case for you (I'm not really familiar with all the finer details), but if you want to study it for yourself, you'll find the adjudication here:
http://www.schoolsadjudicator.gov.uk/de ... &order=lea
Scroll down to 'Poole' and click on the 'view' icon next to 'Poole Grammar School, Parkstone Grammar School'.

Hope this is of some small help.

Good luck for your meeting.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
Posts: 1123
Location: Bexley
Thanks Etienne.

I have looked at the ruling but to be honest it is quite difficult to understand if you don't know the area referred to.

In Kent, the bottom line is a list of approx 30 'local feeder' primaries up to 6.8 miles away (the child has only to attend one, not live in the area) take precedence over closer primaries approx 1.5 miles away BUT conveniently placed over the county boundary in a less well-off area so the grammar school ignores them.

Any help very gratefully received.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:26 am
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Location: Watford, Herts
Etienne wrote:
What the Adjudicator actually said is that, where there appears to be a conflict between Greenwich and the latest Admissions Code, then the Code is to be preferred:

He went a bit further than that on this occasion:
Quote:
a geographical catchment [...] is allowed by the Code and is dealt with at paragraphs 2.40 to 2.45. It is significant that these paragraphs make no mention of the "Greenwich Judgement"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:06 pm
Posts: 119
The original story in Poole was that a couple of years ago the catchment areas changed from where you live ie in the borough, to which school your child attended. The school had to be within the borough, and initially this included indies as well as state. Last year, it became law that an indie could not be a named feeder school to a grammar school (this is where we were told that Greenwich no longer applied) and so only the named state schools could be deemed in catchment. Indie parents complained to adjudicator and the catchment reverted back to where you live - so some of both camps have lost out
I think this is what happened - mostly info from playground!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
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Location: Bexley
Thanks for the info, I guess that whatever criteria is used there will be winners and losers, however, home distance to the school makes the most sense.

Could you tell me more? If your school had to then revert to using home distance to school, does that cross boundary lines?

In our case the boundary line is just over a mile to the west so if a home distance ruling was established, wouldn't the ruling have to be a radius all around the school regardless of the boundary? In our case, out-of-borough residents, even with the same postcode as the grammar school, are clearly treated as second class citizens.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:04 pm 
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Posts: 7064
Hi, Tracy

WP has spelled out what I referred to as a 'conflict' (i.e. geographical area as opposed to the Greenwich Judgement).

According to the Rotherham Judgement (which went on to 'clarify' Greenwich), preference can lawfully be given to children in a catchment area within a LA, provided this does not extend to children in the LA’s administrative area as a whole.

In the Poole adjudication, the Adjudicator put great emphasis on paragraphs 2.40 -2.45 of the Code.
2.40 in particular says:
Quote:
The 1997 Rotherham Judgment confirmed that there is nothing unlawful in the principle of admission authorities operating catchment areas as part of their oversubscription criteria and thereby giving priority to local children whose parents have expressed a preference for the school ..... In drawing up catchment areas, admission authorities should ensure that they reflect the diversity of the community served by the school, and must not exclude particular housing estates or addresses in a way that might disadvantage particular social groups ....

You would want to focus on the second part of the paragraph, but how to reconcile geographical area with the Rotherham Judgement? A point to discuss at your meeting! :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
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Location: Bexley
Now the Rotherham Judgement - I'll be touring the UK at this rate!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:06 pm
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Hi
No boundary lines are crossed - it is all within Poole borough. Everyone else is out of catchment and are admitted according to score, noy distance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:33 pm 
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Posts: 769
Greenwich doesn't say you can't use county boundaries when setting catchments, but it does say you can't use them unreasonably. So if you have a school built up against a county boundary (pretty much the case in the Greenwich judgement itself) you can't use the county boundary, but if the school is geographically central to the county you probably can.

Two things stand out about the Poole adjudication. First, neither the indies involved on the one hand, nor the council on the other, objected to the use of the borough boundary. Secondly the borough boundary isn't really unreasonable in the "Greenwich" sense. Ergo use of the borough boundary in Poole has been deemed acceptable. It might not be the case elsewhere, though. WP's earlier comment about Mr Parker's interpretation of the Admissions Code is also worth noting, and whether another adjudicator (much less a high court judge) would follow him in non-Poole circumstances is by no means certain.

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