What is the history of the outer circle and inner area and 50% rule for Rugby?
Why is there such a rule for Rugby and not Stratford?
A brief history:
Warwickshire County council (WCC) introduced the 10mile radius 'Priority Circle' in 1991 in response to the "Greenwich Judgement (GJ) of 1989." The GJ required Admission Authorities to treat applicants equally regardless of local authority boundaries. ie Catchment areas could not be defined by county boundaries. In July 2008 Northampton Admissions Forum (NAF) objected to the Government's Scools Adjudicator about the admissions policy of their neighbours in Warwickshire. NAF claimed that the Rugby Grammar Schools were attracting the most able students from Northants to the detriment of the results of Northants comprehensive schools. Parts of Northants, notably Daventry, lie within the 10-mile catchment for Rugby Grammar schools. I believe the leader of NAF was a prominent head of a Daventry comprehensive. A cynic might argue that he was diverting attention from significant shortcomings (recognized by Ofsted) of the performance of Northants comprehensives. Northants do not have any Grammar schools and are ideologically opposed to them in favour of comprehensive education. Anyway, the NAF objection was upheld and the Adjudicator instructed WCC to change their admission arrangements "to significantly reduce the impact on Northants schools" and was to commence for Set 2010 intake.
WCC were caught "asleep at the wheel" and sent out revised admissions arrangements for consultation which would grant access to only those living within the Eastern Priority Circle (Inner Circle). These arrangements delighted Eastern area dwellers but excluded thousands of families caught between the 2 circles. There was uproar from those excluded and a campaign was launched in reply to the consultation. Primary grievances concerned the speed of change, the unfairness and the distressing fact that many siblings would be denied the chance to even apply for the 11-plus and try and join their older siblings already attending Rugby grammars. The compromise proposal of the inner and outer circle was finally agreed in 2008 to be operational from 2010.
However, the issue was not finalized because in 2009 an opportunistic group of 16 Eastern Area dwelling parents objected to the revised proposals on the grounds that they were unfair. They saw increased opportunity for their children in the original WCC admissions consultation granting access only to Eastern Area and campaigned against the compromise proposal. Another Adjudicator was appointed in 2009 to look at this issue and she rejected their complaint in Oct 2009. However, she gave increased hope to those living just over the border but close to Rugby by stating in her Determination that:"I do not consider it appropriate for me to make any change for 2010, but I would hope that the three admission authorities will keep this under review and consider whether the proportions should be adjusted in any way in future to give greater priority to Rugby and Eastern Warwickshire residents and those not in Warwickshire, but nearest to Rugby."
Determination of Schools Adjudicator: Dr Elizabeth Passmore. Oct 2009.
All the relevant documents have been collated by WP and stored as a 'sticky' at the top of the Warks Forum.