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The East Dulwich Forum
The Bishop, The EDT, The Magnolia. The Black Cherry or another?
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messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by intexasatthe moment 06 February, 2012 22:30

I can't seem to find out definitely whether they have or not .

I expect Renata or someone will be back at some point to confirm or deny .

If the Admissions Forum has gone I guess it's just an admission that now all the boroughs secondary schools are run by sponsors ,governing bodies etc that Southwark are stepping even further back and just leaving it to the individual schools and parents to get on with the business of education .

Sadly ,given their involvement with admission matters at the Charter perhaps I shouldn't be bothered .

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by heber jumble queen 07 February, 2012 16:52

James - I don't think either Dorothy, or myself, were suggesting that you shouldn't have posted this thread.

However your jolly 'hoorah, what good news for everyone' tone didn't take into account that the reshifting of equity did mean that this will affect some people detrimentally - whether it was Champion Hill residents thinking that they should have put Charter down as they'd assumed they wouldn't get in - or those of us finding ourselves now just too east of LL now to get in after assuming we had a good chance.

As a councillor representing all local residents perhaps you could have shown a little more appreciation that this would be unsettling news to some of us - especially as we now have no option to revisit applications.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Renata Hamvas 07 February, 2012 17:18

Compulsory local admissions forums were scrapped last year by Michael Gove as part of the government's simplification of the admission's code.

In terms of those of you like heber jumble queen above, we won't know the effect of the adjudicator's ruling on last place offered distances until after the 1st March (less than 4 weeks to go). The people who may be affected are those who when they look at last year's figures are on the edge of the last place offered distance, which has been shrinking year on year. I am happy to try and help anyone, regardless of ward once the allocations come out on 1st March. Also to say that there is always movement on waiting lists and also after 1st March your child's name can be added to other schools you didn't apply to (a bit problematic with schools that set their own banding exams though).

Renata

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by intexasatthe moment 07 February, 2012 18:17

Renata - it's no longer compulsary for LA to have an Admissions Forum .

But that doesn't answer the question as to whether Southwark will retain theirs .

I would have thought that given that one secondary school in Southwark has been shown to be manipulating their admissions policy that this would make people think that there is a great need for Southwark to retain their Admissions Forum .

Though I don't quite know where to go with the thought that having an Admissions Forum clearly had no impact at all on the Charter's misspractice .

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Sallyc 07 February, 2012 19:44

Please be aware that after places come out in March approximately 50 of those given Charter will actually not take the place as they will be going privately. Really, nobody should panic. The `catchment' area actually hasn't shrunk at all in fact I don't think if you take these places offered often between April and June into account.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Carbonara 07 February, 2012 19:57

er, Sally, every parent looking at secondary admissions knows that there is movement once all the acceptances and declined places get shuffled around, and many people will have made decisions based on whether the children in their road go to the school, knowing that they got places after March 1st. Of course the overall, ultimate catchment will have shrunk a bit - for all the children (rightfully, in my opinion) to gain a place on the correctly implemented route measurement there will be a child on the margins of the catchment who will not.

Everyone knows that nothing has ever been guaranteed, but it is indisputable that this has added an adverse factor to the basis on which some people thought they had a reasonable chance. Secondary admissions is an incredibly tense time for parents, this is bound to cause upset and dissappointment (if not despair!)to some, even as it brings hope and a well earned sense of relief to others.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by James Barber 07 February, 2012 21:06

Double checking with Southwarks admissions manager - "I can confirm that Southwark's Admissions Forum is still fully active despite there no longer being a requirement for local authorities to have one."

My original source was wrong and I'm sorry for misleading anyone.

--------------------
Regards james.barber@southwark.gov.uk
07900 227366
Liberal Democrat Councillor for East Dulwich Ward
[www.jamesbarber.org.uk]
[twitter.com]

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by intexasatthe moment 07 February, 2012 21:20

Thanks for clearing that up James .

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Curmudgeon 08 February, 2012 13:09

Renata Hamvas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> In terms of those of you like heber jumble queen
> above, we won't know the effect of the
> adjudicator's ruling on last place offered
> distances until after the 1st March (less than 4
> weeks to go). The people who may be affected are
> those who when they look at last year's figures
> are on the edge of the last place offered
> distance, which has been shrinking year on year. >
Hi Renata

I truly would like to understand this - if people who were 2.1km away are now 1.4km away (I read somewhere on this thread that this footpath shaves 700m off the previously calculated 'safest walking' distance) then surely those who are further than 1.4km away - say 1.5 to 1.7km and who were well within any boundaries of first allocation from any year over the past decade or so will be detrimentally affected. Charter stated this year that the furthest distance offered was 2000metres last year. What is this 'edge' of which you speak?

Do you mean that those who live on roads where children have been going to Charter on first allocation for years and yet are further than 1.4km away are now 'boundary placements'? This is not what families have believed for over a decade.

Or am I totally and utterly missing something?

Once again I would like to stress that it is the retrospective removal of choice for all families involved that is under discussion and not the fairness of the adjudication.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by squirrelmc 08 February, 2012 15:21

Curmudgeon you have misunderstood. I will try to explain it the best I can.

Let's say that last year the pupil who lived furthest away from the school and was offered a place on first allocation was living 2.1km away (let's call him Derek). Last year then, people who are on the "edge" are those living 2km and 2.2km away from the school i.e. people living this distance from the school could easily have been offered a place or not offered a place... it just depended on the number of children who were slightly closer to the school than them that applied.

People "living on the edge" will never know if they are bound to get a place or not, because it depends entirely on statistics for that years applications i.e. the number of year 6 pupils living between them and the school who applied for a place at the school. So if on the 30th October (the day before the secondary school application forms have to be in) a family of four year 6 children moved in next door to Derek and all applied for a place at the school, Derek would not have got his place because these children are nearer (and yes, it really is down to house-by-house on "the egde").

So just because children on your road go to Charter, does not mean that your child will get a place IF YOU ARE ON THE EDGE OF THE ALLOWABLE DISTANCE.

To make things even more unstable and changeable from year to year, the "edge" shifts and no-one can predict where it will be. Again, it depends entirely on statistics... how many year 6 children nearer to the school than you applied. No-one can ever know this in advance, not even the school and only 180 will get a place.

The adjudication has found that the school was not measuring the home to school distances correctly for an area of children. The school was adding uo to 700m onto their distances which meant they were "beyond the edge" even though they lived much closer to the school than people offered places (derek).

You are confusing this 700m with the "edge". This 700m is not shaved off the edge and therefore shrinking it. It is shaved off an individual's distance measurement, and only those individuals who were in the affected area. So if Derek last year got in and he lived 2.1km away, then this year the edge may stay at 2.1 km even with the adjudication... it just depends on how many people nearer to the school applied.

It's a statistical lottery that no-one living on the "edge" of past years' maximum distance can predict. If 170 year 6 children move in opposite the school and apply for a place then yes the edge will shrink dramatically. However, allowing children on the affected estates the right to be fairly measured will in reality have very little effect for most people. It may mean that a couple of children on the "edge" don't get offered a place, but then that was always the case.

And, by the way, the amount of year 6 children living on these estates and surrounding roads is pretty small.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by championofthehill 08 February, 2012 15:57

Well said. Squirrelmc.
Also, to add, last year the school's maximum distance was considerably less than 2000m. It is on their website that 2000m is the furthest they have ever given places.

Last year my child sat on the waiting list and I jotted down some of the distances the school told me: in May the furthest distance was 1664m and by the end of June it went up to 1738m.

If you live just the wrong side of Wanley Road your walking distance from the school is roughly 1100m and your driving distance (which the school was using last year) was roughly 1800m. A year or two ago children from the Champion Hill area were all given places, even with the inflated distance.

As Squirrelmc says, there is absolutely no guarantee of a place however close you are,. Places are first allocated to siblings, children in care and children with special needs, before the surplus is given out, to the nearest first, and the number between you and the school is very variable. Having lots of children from your street going there is not, and never has been, a sign that your child will get a place.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:08:15:59:40 by championofthehill.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by andanotherthing 08 February, 2012 16:38

I've been following this thread with interest.

I live within a snowball's distance of the school (actually a bit further than a snowball but within a couple of hundred metres).

I was among the many people who signed a letter in support of the campaign, even though if I had kids it would be extraordinarily unlikely that they wouldn't get in based either on 'safe walking route', 'driving distance' or 'straight line'.

I signed the letter in support of the campaign because it seemed to me that the way that the stated admissions policy was being applied made for a school that isn't really a 'community' school. And that saddened me, because I had previously been really impressed that the nearest secondary school to my home, in such a mixed community, housing-wise I mean, came out as OFSTED 'outstanding'. I liked the idea that the school was somehow part of the glue for that community; making it an 'outstanding community'!

Anyway, it turns out that not only was I idealistic, but also plain wrong - because it wasn't consistently a school for the whole community; it was often a sort of doughnut-shaped community because of the effect of the Wanley Road exclusion.

And another thing.... I'm having trouble understanding the rationale for the argument of parents who say that their choice has been retrospectively removed, or that their understanding that they had a reasonable or good chance of their kids getting into Charter has been (unfairly?) shown to be wrong - thwarted I suppose.

I had a bit of a google, and there's nothing on the internet that I could find to hint at the fact that the school wasn't applying its stated policy - aside from one post by James Barber in October last year.

So any expectation that your kids might get in *because* you sort of had a 0.7km jump-start over kids relying on a Wanley Road route to school would be based on chatting to other parents, scouring back-issues of local newspapers and so on.

In other words, it would be an expectation based on rather untransparent sources of information. Sources of information that wouldn't be available to everyone equally, but only to people who had some sort of inside track within the community. Or did anyone ever get the school itself to confirm, publicly or not, but formally and *in advance*, that it wouldn't be allowing Wanley Road for the year in question? I might be wrong, but I don't think the school's been prepared to do that and has remained silent, simply relying on appeals to deal with any complaints that arise subsequently.

De facto what is being defended, it seems to me (at least without further information which I can't find on this thread), is that some parents had a legitimate expectation that the school would continue to apply a fair policy unfairly. i.e.: "It's not fair that the school can't continue to behave unfairly. We had an expectation that they would continue to be unfair; we had an expectation that there would continue to be a difference between what the school says and what they do and that they would fail to incorporate the results of successive successful appeals into their administration of their policy"...

I'm not sure it's very fair to claim a legitimate expectation based on the unfair application of a perfectly permissible and fair policy...

Surely the only really legitimate expectation for parental choice is that the school, a public body (notwitstanding its Academy status), will apply its own publicly stated policy?

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Curmudgeon 08 February, 2012 16:41

Interestingly I actually understood ALL that before - but thank you for taking the time

Now if you have a 180 children living within 1800 metres say of a school and all of a sudden people who previously were counted to have lived 2000 metres away are now deemed to live 1400metres away you can see, I am sure, how the goalposts have changed remarkably for those living above 1401 metres away - far larger numbers of children push those people out of the boundaries

It is interesting that you comment about a family of 4 moving in the 'day before the application form is due in' this is entirely the problem that some families now face - a whole bank of housing have suddenly moved in to the house in front of you - only it's too late to change your preferences because nobody has invented a time machine .. yet!

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Curmudgeon 08 February, 2012 16:52

andanotherthing Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> And another thing.... I'm having trouble
> understanding the rationale for the argument of
> parents who say that their choice has been
> retrospectively removed, or that their
> understanding that they had a reasonable or good
> chance of their kids getting into Charter has been
> (unfairly?) shown to be wrong - thwarted I
> suppose.
>

1) The Directgov website Schoolfinder puts the postcode of say Dog Kennel Hill Primary at a far greater distance than the postcode of, say Heber School until it's re-design over the last week.

2) The online mapping sites like Bing, where you can plot walking distance also put the postcode of Dog Kennel Hill at a far greater distance than that of say Heber School

No information was provided by the council / in the booklets that there was an appeal being mounted

Historically being offered in the first round is as good an indicator as any that you are within the catchment of a specific school

How do you think parents glean the information when the school says both it has no catchment and that the greatest distance was 2000 metres

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by andanotherthing 08 February, 2012 17:04

Curmudgeon you say: "Historically being offered in the first round is as good an indicator as any that you are within the catchment of a specific school

How do you think parents glean the information when the school says both it has no catchment and that the greatest distance was 2000 metres"

Don't parents look at what the school's policy actually says - i.e. that they calculate by 'safe walking distance'? And then you ask yourself where you live, given safe walking distances, in relation to the past greatest distance? And surely being historically offered in the first round isn't any sort of indication of being in within the catchment when the school says it has no catchment and applies 'safe walking distance'.

I suppose that if you're really unclear you'd ask the school what map it used before you relied on Bing (and then I guess you'd be pretty confused if they told you they used a map that was based on driving routes not walking routes; you'd be pretty uncertain about what your legitimate expectation or choice really amounted to in light of the school's publicly stated policy). I'd not personally rely on DirectGov schoolfinder unless I could be sure that its map was also based on 'safe walking distance' rather than 'straight line', which is what lots of maps (and estate agents!!) use - but perhaps I'm odd in that respect.

Sorry - I don't have kids and I haven't been through the psychological torment of secondary school admissions. I'm just a near-neighbour of the school. I've no idea where Heber School is or why its postcode would be relevant. Not being picky - just can't respond without another google effort!

Over and out.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by murphy 08 February, 2012 17:10

It is not just Wanley Road and Champion Hill that will benefit. Kids on Grove Hill Road and the Dog Kennel Hill Estate are big winners as well. The corner of Grove Hill Road and Camberwell Grove for example benefits by 500m, now only 1.6km rather than 2.1km away.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Curmudgeon 08 February, 2012 17:15

"I suppose that if you're really unclear you'd ask the school what map it used before you relied on Bing "

Parents / Families have no access to the maps used by the admission authorities - it would be so much easier if they did and there was a map you could look at with the distances offered in March, April, May, June in different colours over the last few years

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by skyblue 08 February, 2012 17:53

We need a new co edsecondary school. It, in my view, should be on the hospital site, be
run by Harris, as no one else will and they seem rather successful and willing, it should have access to Alleyn's sports fields so Alleyn's can fufil its charitable aims and serve its community. This would bring a big sense of relief to us all. All our kids deserve a good education and it makes me cross that we are all so much at the whim of a rubbish system. Our community's kids, where ever they live, deserve better.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:08:17:58:20 by skyblue.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Dorothy 08 February, 2012 17:57

"De facto what is being defended, it seems to me (at least without further information which I can't find on this thread), is that some parents had a legitimate expectation that the school would continue to apply a fair policy unfairly. i.e.: "It's not fair that the school can't continue to behave unfairly. We had an expectation that they would continue to be unfair; we had an expectation that there would continue to be a difference between what the school says and what they do and that they would fail to incorporate the results of successive successful appeals into their administration of their policy"..."

No, my complaint about all this begins and ends with the lack of any sort of published or even spoken information before applications were submitted in October last year, that the "catchment" (for want of a better word) was likely to change in this way. As someone who lives right on the fringes of the area where children do/don't get a place, we took a punt on applying - but this is surely all you can do in the circumstances? Lets say I thought we might have a 1 in 10 chance of getting in. I am keen on the school as we have mixed sex children, apart from anything else. Anyway, had I known that we would have absolutely no chance of getting a place because all these other children who were previously denied access, then I would not even have bothered going to visit the school (twice), let alone making a formal application. It is deeply irritating, nothing more. And JB's "Great News Everyone!" op was stupidly insensitive. Of course it is going to be bad news for a considerable number of well-intentioned but ill-informed SE22 residents, how could it not be?

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by heber jumble queen 08 February, 2012 22:18

andanotherthing - as you say you don't have kids, you haven't had to go to the meetings or fill out the forms, so why I'm confused is why are you on a thread in a 'family room' following this at all.

You may have followed this thread, but no, you haven't understood it. Please don't feel the need to google anything else. Your suggestion that some of us are in some way deliberating defending something (or even colluding) that was unjust is plain wrong and pretty offensive.

I live and work in Southwark and hoped my kids would get into our closest non-faith mixed school, and now through reading something on an internet forum I've learned that the chances of that happening are lower than I'd hoped. What is so hard to understand about that? As many of us have said we're pleased if an unjustice has been put right, but it's not something we were previously aware of.

Personally I am not an advocate of choice in schooling - unless you want to go private in my opinion all kids should be offered a place at the nearest mixed non-faith state school - look at the mess choice has got us into.

..and thank you to the people who have offered reassurance about getting a place eventually. I'm actually a very easygoing and optimistic person about these matters. Unfortunately my son with Aspergers - who is obsessed with routine and certainty will find that kind of limbo pretty hard to handle.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by skyblue 08 February, 2012 22:25

Hjq and dorothy I wish you the very best of luck. - great posts



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:08:23:03:15 by skyblue.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by tiddles 08 February, 2012 22:45

I am surprised at the number of people who thought they were pretty much home and dry until this change of ruling - every year the admissions change due to numbers of children and siblings (there are some unbelievable cases in the dkh area of kids 2 mins away from their nearest primary school not getting in). It is absolute hell and my sympathies to you all, however the wanley road ruling has made a school accesible to children who live very close but were previously ruled out from their nearest secondary school (altho this route is used by most charter/jags/alleyns kids). There are alot of parents who want a non religious co=ed school that is the problem. I didn't want either of mine to go to a single sex and so quite understand why there is the scramble for charter and kingsdale. I like the idea of the old hosp site being used for new secondary school altho of course that area is already served by charter = could they specify the particular areas that each school would serve?? ie all those people at the top of LL or the bellenden "black hole of secondary education". That way, your children would be moving up to secondary school with all their peers and neighbours - what a lovely idea and one of the reasons that at least half a dozen families (that I know of) from East Dulwich moved to Lewes for.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:08:22:48:04 by tiddles.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by tiddles 08 February, 2012 22:54

also just want to add that the problem is compounded by the complete inconsistency in admissions - one school does the scholarships and lottery, another does siblings and distance, then of course there is the religious aspect. It is stunningly unfair and actually the more one looks at it, it is astonishing that any education authority (southwark plus all the other boroughs) can preside over such nonsense. The push for more academies doing their own thing gives me the shivers (thank goodness lord harris isn't a creationist) but these schools encouraged to do their own thing with no overall governing body is just plain wrong. Unless, of course, you are lucky enough to be able to buy your way out of this mess.....(and I don't blame you if you do just jealous most of us can't)

finished now.....

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by intexasatthe moment 09 February, 2012 11:17

Just read piece in the Southwark News .
Head teacher David Sheppard said
"If the governors had wanted to establish a school with an element of selection ,it would have been very easy to do so - it can be done through banding ,specialisms or scholarships ..."
Mmm like Kingsdale ? ( disclaimer here ....given Kingsdale's geographical location I think balanced selection was the way to achieve a good school. But I also think that all Southwark schools should have the same balanced intake and the same admission policies . )

His comments about why the Charter ignored the Wanley Rd route are less than convincing .
"Our admissions policy was inherited from when admissions were managed by Southwark council .The map that the LA used did not include this footpath as a safe walking route ."

What and despite the succesful appeals challenging this approach and parents voiced concerns , no one thought to revisit this map ? Not even when Southwark moved from safe walking distance to as the crow flies for distance criteria for primary schools a couple of years ago - as discussed in the LA Admission Forum on which David Sheppard has a place ?

What really gets to me is the attitude evident in David Sheppard's remark
" what you can't do is change the policy to meet the needs of individual parents and families "

The school blatantly continued to adminster it's admission policy in an unfair way and now tries to shift the blame on to Southwark and also to argue that it's a group of selfishly self interested individuals ?
How dare those parents have the temerity to want their needs met ( and who else will see that their needs are met? The Charter ?, Southwark Council ? ) ,how arrogant of them to rely on the school to play fair .

Never mind they'll soon be put in their place ,trying to inflence the school's ( the school that they paid for out of their taxes ) admissions policy ! The outrage ,what's it got to do with them - leave it to the school !



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:09:12:00:39 by intexasatthe moment.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by intexasatthe moment 09 February, 2012 11:35

And shame on Southwark for doing nothing about the way this school put their admissions policy into practice .

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by pearl1 04 March, 2012 16:41

When I applied for secondary school place (10 years ago) I was corrrected by the admissions person at Southwark. I was told parents don't have 'choice' they have 'preference' - small detail but it is one that is overlooked by most people.
It's about time for change. We didn't get into charter despite the fact that it is only a 15 min walk from our house - instead we got sent to Harris Girls (then Waverly). In retrospect it worked out really well BUT it is a 40 minute walk.
The same thing happened before that with primary - we never got a place at Dog Kennel Hill (we live on the St Francis Develeopment)but we did get a place at Heber - again a fine school but a 30 minute walk for a five year old? that was tough for a while!
The reason I felt cheated by not getting a Charter place at the time, was because the council (or whoever) had recently put up wooden plaques all over Greendale and the surrounding area, stating it was a safe walking route. Charter ignored that. When we appealed we were told by the appeals board to try and improve the school we had been offered by joing the PTA and haveing jumble sales! Not exactly the point we were appealing on...

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Curmudgeon 04 March, 2012 17:28

Whilst I'm delighted for those families to the North who have no doubt secured places at Charter I have to say that I am not aware of any child in my area receiving an offer from Charter - despite the fact that every preceeding year has seen Charter offered to these roads as first allocation

- this has had a huge impact on a number of families and I am still unclear why the information provided before we made choices, back in October, did not include the slightest hint of an appeal / issue with 'safest walking distance'

I do wonder how those to the South (true leafy Dulwich) fared - but I know that we to the East in East Dulwich have been detrimentally affected by this.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by championofthehill 04 March, 2012 20:16

Well Curmudgeon, you may be surprised to hear that several children of the Champion Hill Estate have not got places at Charter this year, though I have heard of one from Cleve Hall Estate who has. This tells me that the Wanley Road ruling has been effected, but that the catchment for this year is even smaller than it was last year. In a couple of weeks, when the waiting list information is released, this distance will be made public. I have heard rumours that there were lots of sibling places this year. I would imagine (and hope) that the children from the Champion Hill Estate will be very high up the waiting list. And if you are so close to the school I would expect that the children round you would be too.

The reason why this was not mentioned by anyone at the school in October was because the head was dealing with this dispute by refusing to acknowledge that there was a problem or to speak to any members of the Campaign.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Mrs TP 04 March, 2012 21:29

I heard a playground rumour in our primary school that the only child to be offered a place at Charter from our primary school actually lives in Croydon! That is some walk through!

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