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 Post subject: THE SIBLING RULE
PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:22 pm 
I WOULD BE INTERESTED TO HEAR CONTRIBUTORS VIEWS REGARDING THE FACT THAT FROM EARLY NEXT YEAR THE SIBLING RULE RELATING TO ENTRY CRITERIOR INTO LINCOLNSHIRE GRAMMAR SCHOOLS WILL BECOME INVALID AND MEAN THAT YOUNGER SIBLINGS OF THOSE STUDENTS ALREADY IN A GRAMMAR SCHOOL WILL NO LONGER BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTITLED TO A PLACE HAVING BEEN SUCCESSFUL AT THE 11 PLUS EXAMINATION.
THE ORDER OF PRIORITY WILL CHANGE TO A SHORTER LIST NAMING STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS OR IN THE CARE OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITY COMING FIRST FOLLOWED BY DISTANCE FROM THE HOME ADDRESS TO THE SCHOOL GATE- THE DTA FOR LINCOLNSHIRE SCHOOLS IS ALSO NOW LOOKING AS IF IT MAY BE ABOLISHED, LEAVING THE CRITERIA FOR ENTRY HAVING PASSED THE 11 PLUS MUCH SIMPLER . BUT IS IT ANY FAIRER?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:11 pm 
Hi John

What do you mean by DTA? Is this definate that the criteria re: siblings is changing? Why??? Are they really trying to send parents mad?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:27 pm 
I would suggest you look in the Herts forum under 'siblings no longer guaranteed a place at selective school'. This issue has already been discussed and links are given to a government website where you can read the proposals. Unfortunately you are too late to give feedback to the govt as consultation ended Dec 1st. It looks like this may actually be passed through parliament although this is national policy not just related to Lincs. Basically this will stuff up alot of parents future plans for their children and I really don't see why this interference is neccessary from central govt especially as it seems to have been done in quite a cloak and dagger manner.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
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Location: Lincolnshire
It does seem very likely that most of the proposals in the consultation document will go through, including the ban on Grammar schools using a sibling criterion in the event of oversubscription. The thinking is that having such an oversubscription criterion is unfair as it may allow those living further away from the school to gain places over more local children. It seems to me that where there is admission simply by achieving the pass mark for the 11 plus (ie. where no account is taken of actual score) that the sibling criterion is no more unfair than it is in any non-selective school.

There are 6 Community or Controlled Grammars in Lincolnshire who follow the County Council's admission policy. The other 9 are Foundation or aided schools and each of these is its own admissions authority and the admissions policies vary quite a bit; it is important to read the individual school's admissions policy.

The Education and Inspections Act says that free transport should be available to poor families to any of 3 schools between 2 and 6 miles away. Therefore the Designated Transport Areas, if the name remains the same, may change for some places. In practice, however, this new rule on transport is not going to make a great deal of difference to a lot of Lincolnshire.


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 Post subject: the sibling rule
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:56 am 
The abolition of the sibling rule will ensure that school catchments are kept within more easily definable boundaries( lea speak, not mine) - it will also mean that those people who move into a school catchment to gain a foothold via their first child , but then move away to a more desirable location (e.g. idyllic remote village) will have to stay put to ensure continuity of school for their younger offspring.I know of many parents who have done this, especially those who have desired to have their children educated in a grammar school.
In answer to the post re: dta- the dta is the acronym for the designated transport area-i.e.that area within which criteria for transport to and from school is determined.Where I live, the abolition of the dta will disqualify many children currently living in some of the idyllic villages mentioned above by virtue of distance from school in favour of those from nearer , but perceived less desirable places that currently fall outside the dta - a difficult situation for those parents.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
Hello John,

Your comments about the sibling oversubscription criterion for Grammar schools probably goes to illustrate exactly what the Government is trying to tackle ie. the ability of better-off people to use the system in a way which is impossible for the less well off. I have to say that I can see their point. Having a sibling criterion does disadvantage those living nearer the school.

I guess I would have to come down on the side of the Government in this, and I speak as someone who will lose out under the new system, having an older child at Grammar whose younger sisters would probably (if they passed 11 plus) have gone to the same school but who now have very little chance of following on as we live quite a long distance away and the school is oversubscribed. What I cannot see is why this situation is any more unfair than having a sibling oversubscription criterion at any other tye of school (the Grammar school in question is a Community School and the child must simply have passed, no account is taken of score).

I am confused by your comments on Designated Transport Areas. As I understand it the law still stands that free transport must be provided to the nearest school if this is over 3 miles away. The new Act adds that free transport must be made available to low income families to any of 3 schools between 2 and 6 miles away. Who is going to lose out under the new system? What difference will it make if Designated Transport Areas, as they stand at present, are abolished? Can you give some examples? Where I live it would make no difference whatsoever to us but might increase our choice if we were a low income family ( do not know how this will be defined but am assuming similar criteria as for Free School Meals). Is it definite that DTAs are going to be abolished rather than just changed? Who says? I must say that the DTA's are a bit of a mystery anyway and seem to be based as much on historical precedent as on any logical system.

Look forward to your comments.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
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Location: Lincolnshire
Quote:
Where I live, the abolition of the dta will disqualify many children currently living in some of the idyllic villages mentioned above by virtue of distance from school in favour of those from nearer , but perceived less desirable places that currently fall outside the dta - a difficult situation for those parents.


Hello John,

I am still puzzling over this bit of your post. Do you mean that any abolition of DTAs would affect the school's admission policy in such a way as to change who might and might not get in? Not all the schools use DTA as an oversubscription criterion though many do. I have pored over what I know of the DTAs and would be interested to know in which area further away places are included in the DTA for a Grammar school whereas nearer places aren't because I could not find any examples. Would also like to know which schools have been unable to accept children from beyond their DTA - the schools with which I am familiar have rarely filled their places from within DTA in recent years.

I do know that one of the comprehensive schools successfully resisted an attempt by the council to get them to change their admissions policy to include the DTA as an oversubscription criterion - they argued that such a criterion disadvantaged children from across the border in Notts.

Where did you get your info about the DTAs being abolished?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
Sorry about the font size - can't work out how to change it :!:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
The new Code of Practice on Admissions has just been published and it appears that most of the Grammar schools will still be allowed to use a sibling oversubscription criterion; only those which select applicants in score order will not be allowed to do so.

The council have apparently been meeting today to discuss the school transport system in Lincolnshire, so we should know shortly what the future of the designated transport areas as they now stand will be.


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