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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:27 pm 
According to the Telegraph siblings have to battle it out with the rest of them:

"Partially-selective schools will no longer be able to use the sibling rule giving priority in admissions to the brothers and sisters of existing pupils, under new rules being introduced by the Government.

The change will effect around 40 secondary schools which have been allowed to continue to select more than 10 per cent of their pupils by Labour and will not apply to specialist comprehensives choosing 10 per cent or fewer of their intake.

The new admissions code says the schools, such as Dame Alice Owen's in Potters Bar, Watford Grammer in Herts, and Graveney in Wandsworth, south-west London, "should" not use the sibling rule at all because places should be available to all who want to apply."

I was hoping my son this year would mean automatic entry next year for my daughter.

Looks like I will be around on this forum for another year! :cry:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:53 pm 
I think this is still up for debate and has not yet been passed by parliament although I suspect it may be successful. I notice you are a Herts parent so presume you are considering Dame Alice Owen. If so check out the school website as they have more info in their parents letters section.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:59 pm 
Thanks Guest.

We are actually going for Watford Grammar and they have (rumoured) already announced yesterday an end to sibling rule as of next year. They had introduced it a few years ago but their league table ranking slid due to dumbing down from siblings who got in through the back door. Which in effect meant that with fewer places on offer they creamed off the best applicants and mixed them with those who got in without examinations.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 5:19 pm 
I certainly feel for you and all the other families affected by the proposed changes.

Are Watford Grammar going ahead with the rule change regardless of what happens at govt. level?

If so it sounds like you have the unenviable task of going through the whole process again.

If they are waiting to see what happens nationally I would still suggest you look at Owens website. Owens appear to be against the proposed changes and have recommended current parents write to their MP's objecting (Info in the parents letters section). They also have a section entitled 'campain' in which they have a letter written by local MP's to Alan Johnson secretary of state for education and skills also objecting to said changes. It may give you ammunition if you need it.

Good luck whatever the outcome.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:03 am 
Hi

I checked the watford grammar for boys website and it does not mention anything about the consultation on sibling rule. Has Watford grammar decided to change the sibling criteria even before the government consultaion is over.

Parmiters and Dame Alice owens are asking parents to register their opposition to the change in sibling rule.

Any more news on this much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:39 am 
Anonymous wrote:
Thanks Guest.

We are actually going for Watford Grammar and they have (rumoured) already announced yesterday an end to sibling rule as of next year. They had introduced it a few years ago but their league table ranking slid due to dumbing down from siblings who got in through the back door. Which in effect meant that with fewer places on offer they creamed off the best applicants and mixed them with those who got in without examinations.


Not sure about the logic of this. I thought schools such as WBs were limited in the number of pupils they could select. Should they abolish the sibling rule they would just admit more on proximity. Are those who live closer any brighter than siblings?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:06 pm
Posts: 437
Hi Guest and Stig

There is currently a consultation process for a new Code of Practise on school admissions. The consultation will end on 1st December 06 and if passed through parliament will be effective from September 08. The point in question is point 2.13 which states that partially selective schools should not be permitted to have a sibling rule as the government considers this a form of selection in the event of oversubscription. There is therefore some conflict in the consultation document:

Paragraph 2.10 states:

“Giving priority to children who have siblings who will be at the school when they join may support parents of young children. Admission authorities should give consideration particularly to the needs of younger children at primary schools, where parents may have problems with transporting children placed at different schools.”

Paragraph 2.13 states:

“However, a number of schools are still permitted under section 100 of the 1998 Act to use pre-existing partial selection by ability. Giving priority to siblings of children at the school may result in a disproportionately high number of children who live close to the school being denied a place in favour of children who live further away and children from poorer families or certain social groups being given lower priority compared to others. The higher the proportion of children that are admitted by selection the more likely it is that this will be the case, and the greater the potential for unfairness. Accordingly the admission authorities of these schools should not give higher priority to the siblings of existing pupils.”

I imagine that the Watford Grammars aren't too bothered by this possible change, they don't particularly like the sibling rule. If you have ever attended an open day at theWGG then you will know that the headmistress makes a point of saying that the school is highly academic and not necessarily suited to younger siblings. Parmiter's by contrast have a more family orientated ethos and are therefore opposing this rule. Don't know about Dame Alice Owens - not my area.

My understanding from the DFES website is that "Should" and "should not" are not legally binding, but are very strong recomendations unlike "must" and "must not" which are legally binding as they relate to legislation which has been passed.


The Code refers to other statutory requirements (i.e. imposed by primary or secondary legislation) and itself imposes mandatory requirements, with which those bodies listed at paragraph 7 below must comply. A reference to the relevant statutory provision is provided in the text. Where mandatory requirements are imposed by this Code (or by statutory provisions) it is stated that relevant bodies ‘must’ comply with the particular requirement or provision. Where this Code prohibits practices or criteria it is stated that relevant body or bodies ‘must not’ use the practice or criteria.

3.The Code also includes guidelines which the relevant bodies should follow unless they can demonstrate, if challenged, that they are justified in not doing so. Where guidelines refer to good practice the Code will state that the relevant bodies ‘should’ follow the particular guidelines and where the guidelines refer to a practice or criteria normally regarded as poor practice, but where there may be exceptional circumstances when it may be justified the Code will state that the practice or criteria ‘should not’ be used.


Full consultation document is on http://www.dfes.gov.uk/consultations

HP


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:46 pm 
thanks for that HP. Its nice to be able to read the facts rather than rely on hearsay.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:37 pm 
Does anyone know if this will also apply to Mill Hill County in Barnet. It selects 24 out of 240 children on academic aptitude and a slightly smaller number on musical and dance apptitude. The rest are selected on catchment.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:06 pm
Posts: 437
Hi Guest re Mill Hill

Clause 2.12 below from the consultation document should answer your question:


2.12 It is acceptable for schools that select up to 10% of their intake by aptitude in permitted subjects under section 102 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 to give priority to children who have a sibling at the school whether that child was admitted by selection or not.

HP


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