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 Post subject: Headline in Rugby Times
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:14 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Rugby
"Parents fight over Rugby Schools Catchment row goes to Number 10"
Short front page article puts an account of the situation and announces that 'angry parents from Daventry who are against the proposals to stop their children attending Rugby Grammar Schools have sent a petition to the Prime Minister'.

Quite why they expect their case to be supported by the head of a government ideologically against the Grammar School ethos is beyond me!

In my view the ruling by the Office of The Schools Adjudicator was clearly biased in favour of the Pro Comprehensive School regime and inconsistant with the Greenwich Judgement.

Jason Brooks and Northampton County Council clearly set out to make a stir with his objections. The entire episode is clearly just another round in the politics of Labour and its intent to establish hegemony over the maintained sector with a one size fits all approach.

I would prefer to see all such schools end their catchment area policy. Such change would drive up standards (in order to limit entry to available places) and there would be a gradual reduction in the inflated value of properties in the current catchment areas - many of which seem to be 'for let' - Thus ending one very tangible ground for criticism of the 'unfairness' of the present system.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:56 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:59 am
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Location: Cloud 9
And how far would you expect children to travel for this education? The system cannot work as it is. Either we need more grammar schools, to make them accessible to all (regardless of location), or to commit to a comprehensive education and strive to improve all schools.

I think your questioning of motives is unhelpful and unfair.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:05 am
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Without catchment areas, what criteria should oversubscribed schools use?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:22 am 
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Location: Birmingham
For grammar schools that's simple - score in the exam and only use straight line distance from school as a tie breaker for the last candidates to get in.

That's how it works for B/Ham KE and LEA grammars - you can travel to Sutton Coldfield from Worcester and warwickshire if you want - just so long as you pass the exam! Some do - maybe 30 miles I guess!

Catchment schools should only be used for comprehensive and community schools.


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 Post subject: headline in rugby times
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:33 pm
Posts: 866
Intelligence?!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:05 am
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I thought he meant ALL schools not just grammar schools :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 5:41 pm
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I'm sorry but I have to say that i am pleased that the ruling has been made because I am cross that my children may be denied a place at a Grammar school that is well within our catchment area, because currently people outside are taking the places!

My son is at lawrence Sheriff, but that was through appeal as his score was not quite high enough. He is now in the top end of his year group. Proof that he rightly was given a place. Over the years I have seen the number of pupils passing the exam at our local school dwindle as obviously children out of area are taking the places. It's not just me who thinks this, the majority of parents are pleased with the ruling.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:03 pm
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Location: warwickshire
The situation in Rugby was getting to the point that it was becoming easier for a child to gain a scholarship to Rugby school than to get in to the grammar because for the foundationship scholarship available to day pupis the area in which potential students must live is very small. For those who live outside the area these scholarships aren't available.

Rugby fought hard to keep its grammar schools while other areas moved to the comprehensive system.

Many people move within the Rugby boundary puely because there aren't any particularly bad secondaries in Rugby compared to others in Nuneaton and Coventry, and Avon Valley is always over subscribed. Rugby schoold should be for Rugby kids. How would others feel if their child couldn't go to a local school because it was full of children from outside the town?

I do however have sympathy for those just outside the border in neighbouring villages like Barby but at the end of the day the border has to be drawn somewhere :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
Hi Mojo

Quote:
Over the years I have seen the number of pupils passing the exam at our local school dwindle as obviously children out of area are taking the places. It's not just me who thinks this, the majority of parents are pleased with the ruling.


But why is this occuring?

A statistician might argue that the root cause might be any one of:-

(a) that your local school primary school wasn't performing which disadvantaged the pupils including your son or

(b) that the 11+ test at that time was flawed and so didn't correctly identify true potential in pupils.

(c) or that the rumours circulating around Warwickshire at the time were correct and that there were elements of cheating occuring going on.(if this was 2 or more years ago)

The problem you have with an argument based predominately on catchment schools is that it plays into the hands of the "lets scrap grammar brigades" and doesn't tackle the root cause. The whole philosophy of the grammar system is based on academic selection and I think that still has to be the main criteria not local catchments.

If you look at the 6th form sector throughout the country there are no restrictions at all on who can attend a particular 6th form college and that works very well. I happen to know that large number of students from Warwick and Leamington attend Solihull 6th form college because of the easy access by rail - I think that generates competition and is excellent. Students do not want to attend poorly performing local colleges.

The same principle should apply to secondary and grammar schools - open access for all and in the case of grammars with selection based purely on academic ability.

No doubt we aren't going to agree on this but I'm not sure that the majority of parents do agree with you on this? I would be interested to see a survey on this. Has this been done by the LEA?

Regards

Ken


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Rugby
Thanks KenR,

Game set and match to you!

Regards,

Sassie'sDad


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