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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:06 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Sutton
Let me explain my position. I moved into this borough some months ago and could not find a place for my son in Year 8. Why? Because of the large amount of [people] from outside the borough who have taken his place. Why should I send my son to a school outside the borough, when there perfectly good ones here? It does not make any sense at all.

If people living outside the borough do not like the schools that are available to them there, they should be lobbying their local council and LEA to do something, not just start 'cherry-picking' the best places from neighbouring boroughs. The notion of 'choice', as stated in the Greenwich ruling, only applies to the wealthy, who have the resources to ......... local people out of their own schools. Clearly, this is not right.

When [people] start doing that, we see a process of 'neighbourhood deprivation' setting in, as local schools begin to exclude local children. The schools then become a satellite for the children of .........., and begin to have less and less in common with the surrounding area. And remember - schools are supposed to be a public service, accessible to all, not just the well-off and well-informed.

Education is a public service, such as medical care and policing, the emergency services. All public services are 'regulated' on a catchments area basis, and so should Sutton's schools - local schools for local people!

I would suggest that schools close to the borough's borders be able to operate a system of 'parish boundary' of, for example, three miles' radius, and be allowed to include children living in those areas, as well as in the rest of the borough. But importing bright kids from LAmbeth, Wandsworth and Merton, to name but three, is not right, and neither is it in the spirit of education.

The high-performing schools do this just so that they can increase their place in the rankings - no other reason. They have no spirit of education living in their hearts, but prefer the smug satisfaction of knowing they can increase their status when the league tables are published. And this is the most sickening thing of all - to realise what self-seeking and egotistical tricks these schools are up to.

I shall be attending the meeting, and will be canvassing opinion for a proper Sutton Schools movements that will eventually overturn the absurd Greenwich rulings and place local schools at the service of the borough's children - not the compromised school governors or the .......... parents from outside the borough.

We shall need to lobby our councillors, our MPs, and start work on publicising the campaign via local newspapers and websites. It will be hard work, but ultimately worth it.

I look forward to meeting you all there on Wednesday.

Some comments have been moderated. We know from past experience just how heated things can become when arguments for or against 'local schools for local children' are raised. We do in fact welcome a vigorous debate of all the issues, but will not allow remarks about other parents that appear disrespectful, otherwise the discussion will just degenerate into a slanging match. Please observe forum rules about being courteous.
- Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:06 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Sutton
OK, I can understand the need to curtail the enthusiastic language!

You can find my blog about this matter here: link removed by moderator
All comments are welcome, but please mind your language!

Sutton Parent


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8204
Location: Buckinghamshire
suttonparent wrote:
OK, I can understand the need to curtail the enthusiastic language!

In which case, please do not post a link to a blog that uses exactly the same "enthusiastic language" that has been deleted by moderators on this forum.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 21
Some fair points made by SuttonParent. At the end of the day everyone is trying to do the best for their kids and if I lived in Sutton I would probably be fighting the same corner.

However I would make a couple of points:

1 – Borough boundaries are arbitrary lines on a map. Wilsons – for example – is on the edge of Sutton right next to Croydon borough. Should a child who lives 3.1 miles away in Croydon lose out to child that lives 7 miles away at the other end of Sutton?
The LA boundary is even less relevant now that the Pan London Admissions system is in use.

2 – A lot of children (and parents) have been working very hard and going through a lot of stress preparing for and taking the exams for the 2011 intake. IMO It would be extremely unfair, outrageous even, to move the goalposts at this late stage.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:31 pm
Posts: 188
Location: London
I do not have any preferential treatment on my very local Lambeth catholic school, I do not see why other boroughs should have it for their "local" school.

Sutton Parent is claiming a right that simply he/she does not have.

Raising the voice here or on Wednesday just shows the intrinsic weakness of the argument. It is less about principles and more about politics (of the selfish type).

It is simply preposterous and self serving to consider families not leaving in Sutton as being ****************************** people. All the people that I know from Lambeth like me with children at grammars in Sutton they are all normal income, non-SUV driving, honest, tax-paying people.

Edited by moderator


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:44 am
Posts: 20
As I pick my way past the large Mercs and 4WDs clogging the roads around one Sutton grammar in the mornings I do wonder about our local authorities "green" credentials with this one.

Schools really should be local and should have a catchment of no more than one (short) bus ride away. This is all about league tables.
If all schools had catchment areas then some would drop in the tables but others would go up, probably to the benefit of other pupils at those schools - and there would be far fewer cars on the roads in the mornings. win-win :)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:30 pm
Posts: 6
A slight problem with catchments is at the edge, my daughter failed to get in to a grammar by a few places, we only applied to one - our closest. We were a few hundred metres outside the catchment area. Her friends in the same class who scored a much lower mark but lived slightly closer got in. To add to the unsatisfactory system the catchment was centred midway between two schools so pupils from further away (infact where we lived before we had children) got in. Whilst to some extent I favour a catchment system they should be fair, centred on the school and graduated, mabe a system of many bands so that those living withing say 1 mile need to score a 2 miles score b 3 miles c 4 miles d etc. This would at least minimise the inequalities at the edge of the area. However there is no ideal system, the ease of journey to any particular school is not for example in all instamces the same as the distance from the school.

PS I think to change for the current year as Wilsons and Wallington tests have already been taken would be very wrong.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:31 pm
Posts: 188
Location: London
oh no! I have been moderated!
shame of shames, will need to change my login now, people my think I was swearing
I wasn't, I promise...
I wasn't that bad, was I?
Giulio wrote:
I do not have any preferential treatment on my very local Lambeth catholic school, I do not see why other boroughs should have it for their "local" school.

Sutton Parent is claiming a right that simply he/she does not have.

Raising the voice here or on Wednesday just shows the intrinsic weakness of the argument. It is less about principles and more about politics (of the selfish type).

It is simply preposterous and self serving to consider families not leaving in Sutton as being ****************************** people. All the people that I know from Lambeth like me with children at grammars in Sutton they are all normal income, non-SUV driving, honest, tax-paying people.

Edited by moderator


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7061
No, Giulio, you weren't swearing. :)

We appreciate that you were simply disagreeing with an earlier poster, but as the intemperate language has already been edited out, we'd rather not have it repeated .......

Moderators are keeping a close eye on this thread!

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:06 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Sutton
So far I have not seen a credible argument offered by the out-of-towners, beyond the vague assertion that "I have the right to send my children to wherever I like" and similar inarticulate and bald assertions.

The truth is that you don't. If anybody has a right here, it's the residents of Sutton, and those rights are being tossed aside by the ********************. But let me make a few things clear (without resorting to emotional language) first.

1. The Greenwich ruling might well have been fine in its day, but its day has well and truly passed, its sell-by date has been reached - the parrot is no more! My understanding is that the Greenwich ruling was taken when there were excess places available in neighbouring boroughs, a situation that no longer exists. Looking at a lot of the academic research on the topic of catchment areas has led me to realise how outdated the ruling is, and I hope to be able to put some of these findings to the panel at tomorrow's meeting.

2. If you don't like the schools in your area, you have three options - and none of them include [disadvantaging] my kids. Firstly, you can lobby your local schools, your borough and LEA to do something about the appaling schools in your area. This is your responsibility as a citizen, not to move in on another's patch and scare them off. Secondly, you can move. If you don't like Merton or Lambeth, find a better place to live. Why should anyone be allowed to live in one area and send their kids to another one? It does nothing for the local community, and just contributes to increasing neighbourhood deprivation. Thirdly, you can go private. There are dozens of good independent schools available in this part of Greater London, and the 15k a year it will cost can be offset by not buying a new car every other year or ditching the fortnights in Bali and the skiing holidays. Put your money **********, in other words (and in the most polite of intonations, of course).

At present I have to pay for one of my sons to attend a private school, because Sutton tell me they have no places for him. That's not correct - there are plenty of places, but ************ have got in first. Why should I be out of pocket, when I actually live here?

3. Public services are typically used by the community in which they are located - that's a simple fact. Think police, NHS, etc. How would you feel if you went to register at your local doctors' surgery and found your self turned away? "I'm very sorry, Sir, but we only offer our services to healthy people. But we don't discriminate - we take healthy people from everywhere! So run along to the surgery five miles up the road, where they'll be happy to look after you..." It doesn't really add up, does it?

In short, I can not see why anybody from Lambeth or Merton, wherever, should be allowed to effectively swap their child's failing school for my local good one. Why do we have to endure this sort of humiliation?

I strongly suspect that Sutton borough colludes in this deceit, as it allows them to proudly claim that they have some of the best schools in London. They're missing the point, though, when a lot of those students are not from the borough. It's time we held this 'rotten borough' to account and claimed back our schools for ourselves.


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