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The East Dulwich Forum
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messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Carbonara 03 February, 2012 14:43

I want a school that produces a great education. Education comes from the vision and management of the school and the teaching. The results may be affected by a higher proportion of economically and socially disadvantaged kids, but the education of offer should remain the same. Parents need to look more at the education rather than results. Otherwise they may find that what they are choosing as the most important factor is 'people like us'. Even with the distances being measured correctly, Charter will still have the majority of it's catchment in 'comfortable' areas, and the social housing now in catchment hardly generates some of the problems in estates in different areas of Southwark! In a well run comprehensive setting and streaming enables the high achieving children to do very well.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by heber jumble queen 03 February, 2012 15:49

Of course I want the best for my kids - but certainly not by any devious means - and if families living up Champion Hill way have been disadvantaged then I disagree that it's unfair and this is a victory for them.

My concern is that I was totally unaware of this when I put Charter as my first choice, as kids living down my street and further along go to Charter, so why wouldn't I think that we're well within the usual catchment area (obviously taking into account slight differences as number of applications fluctuate). I'm not trying to keep my kids out of any particular school - but I do have a son with ASD (autism) who isn't statemented and really wouldn't thrive in a boys school so my priority was the nearest co-ed that my son - and indeed his twin brother - could walk to.

Charter don't seem to take social / medical reasons into account despite having paediatric reports to support his application (the adjudication loosely references this) - now that I know that we may be out of the catchment for this year I may well have opted to go for the inexplicable Kingsdale 'random-lottery-cum-X-Factor audition' - but I didn't know, and I was advised historically people living where I do get into Charter (just off Lordship Lane, not in a leafy Dulwich mansion), and that the school's good at supporting ASD kids, so that's what I did.

I'm very pleased that fairness has been adjudicated for those families - but I filled out the form based on reasonable assumptions at the time, and if I was doing it now I'd have to rethink it.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by albert 03 February, 2012 16:09

Father Jack,

My daughter is at Charter and it would be a route home. However, being flashed at once was enough for her. The police might think it safe. I would dispute that.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by FatherJack 03 February, 2012 16:32

Albert...I understood exactly what you meant and even sensed there was good reason for it, hence the later part of my post..
...."journey to school often changes for whatever reason". Your daughter's experience gives you good reason to feel it isn't safe but many children use that route and surely you wouldn't be happy if the exclusion of that path had prevented your daughter a place at Charter, as it has for some.

No desire to argue, the bottom line is that Charter have behaved badly and now they are being held accountable, sadly families such as HeberJumbleQueen/Dorothy may be affected by it.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by murphy 03 February, 2012 16:56

"Safe walking route" is another example of where parents are not usually looking for fairness, they are looking for what benefits their children and themselves.

Talking on a national basis parents will argue in favour of walks through woods, paths, alleys etc if it means they can shorten their walking route and have a better chance of getting into a school. In other instances parents will argue against similar shortcuts and demand a longer walking route be chosen, because it takes them over a certain distance criteria, which means they receive a free bus pass and save some cash.

The battle for what is fair is often subjective rather than objective.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by fairadmissions 03 February, 2012 17:16

Southwark News has invited people to share their views on this issue.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:03:17:35:53 by fairadmissions.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by jay66 03 February, 2012 17:19

Albert - are you sure you are not confusing the Green Dale path with the Wanley Road path? The pedestrianised section of Wanley Road is barely long enough to fit a flasher in?

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Carbonara 03 February, 2012 17:32

Safe walking route should have some definition attached, such as 'a safe walking route is one which has a made-up pavement or is a bridleway or footpath with right of way, street lighting and /or is maintained by the local authority or other body with responsibility for maintenance'.

No one can legislate for flashers, muggers, dog dirt or other random nuisances that could occur anywhere.

Heber Jumble Queen, sorry to hear this has upset your thinking at this late stage, but presumably you also put KD on your list so will get that place if it is your highest preference available? Good luck, anyway.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Coach Beth 03 February, 2012 18:29

I think one thing everyone can agree on is the the whole admissions procedure is a nightmare for all concerned!

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by heber jumble queen 04 February, 2012 14:57

Absolutely Coach Beth - why getting into a state school - that we all effectively fund through our taxes - should become such a bun fight with wonky uneven rules is inexplicable... and don't even let me get started on the religious schools.

BTW I didn't intend to 'share my story' because I fancied an Oprah moment, really I just wanted to illustrate how these kinds of policies and decisions actually affect real people and their options. I didn't appreciate the way that James presented this - as a simple victory that may not actually have any impact on real people, because that isn't the case.

Thanks Carbonara - KD on list, but my sporty son would have gone for the sports scholarship nonsense if we decided to put it as our first choice - but he wants to go to the same school as his twin, so decided not to - again a decision that may have been different.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Renata Hamvas 04 February, 2012 17:30

The local authority's view is that the school admissions policy of the Charter School, including use of a safe walking distance oversubscription criterion, is in keeping with the School Admissions Code of Practice. Southwark Council does not provide a safe walking distance measurement service to The Charter School nor does it advise on which routes to include/exclude as ‘safe routes’ for school admission purposes. Our view is that this aspect of the policy is a matter for the academy to determine as it is its own admission authority.

To clarify a few things:
Charter is not changing it's admission policy for 2012 entry. This would require consultation and wouldn't be implemented in the same year. The problem has been how Charter has been implementing its safe walking distance admissions criteria. I was one of a handful of Councillors (also included Cabinet member Veronica Ward, this was in a letter in last week's Southwark News)who supported the parents when they went to adjudication. The police backed the complainants claim on safe walking route to school. The governing body has accepted the adjudicator's recommendations and taken steps to implement them. The disregard of the walking route to the north of the school added up to 0.7km to some applicants distance measurement. The flawed calculation of safest walking distance to school disadvantaged applicants living on two large estates and the surrounding streets in South Camberwell, particularly recently. Charter's last place offered distance has been shrinking in recent years due to a larger number of applicants, so places cannot be guaranteed as there is no fixed catchment area as such. Only after the results have been published will it become clear what the impact of the adjudicator's ruling is.

Charter is an Academy, which means it is outside council control and sets its own admission policy (it became an Academy in 2010 when the current council administration gained control). All secondary schools in Southwark do so as they are either Academies or Faith schools. This is why there is such a huge variation in admission criteria amongst Southwark secondaries. Primary academies and Faith schools also set their own admissions criteria. Free schools are a type of academy.

A post above mentions Harris Boys School, they recently had an Outstanding Ofsted Inspection.

Renata

--------------------
Cllr Renata Hamvas
Labour Councillor For Peckham Rye Ward
Renata.Hamvas@southwark.gov.uk
02075255223

Ward Surgeries
1st Friday, 6.30-7.30pm Rye Hill Park TRA Hall, Peckham Rye SE15
2nd Saturday,10-11am East Dulwich Community Centre, Darrell Rd SE22
4th Thursday (3rd in December), 6.30-7.30pm Nunhead Library, Gordon Rd SE15

Peckhamryelabour.blogspot.com

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by intexasatthe moment 04 February, 2012 18:57

It seems shocking that a school can choose to administer it's admission policy in the way that Charter did ,and for it to go on doing so for 10 years despite people winning appeals which challenged this point .

I'm even more shocked by the way in which Southwark seems to have seen Charter's manipulation of it's admission policy as being beyond their remit ( concern even )and by Renatas's comment
" Our view is that this aspect of the policy is a matter for the academy to determine as it is its own admission authority."

So so long as the policy appears to be fair on paper the school can choose to make it unfair in practice ?

I see that Southwark has an Admissions Forum - on Southwark's site it says the following about the forum

The forum has a key role in ensuring the admissions system is fair, that it promotes social equity and does not disadvantage children. It also ensures that the admissions system is straightforward and easy for parents and carers to understand. Forums also monitor the local authority to ensure that we are complying with the schools admissions code.

Clearly it hasn't managed to achieve the above and I wonder if it even still exists ,the last posted minutes were for a meeting in Feb 2011 .

So it would seem that it will be up to parents to monitor and take action if they have concerns about admission policies and they way they are administered .
Those involved in the Charter campaign may find their advice and experience in demand .



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:04:19:35:57 by intexasatthe moment.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Carbonara 04 February, 2012 18:59

What happened to the post which explained that the copy of the adjudicator's judgement had to be taken down as it should not be shown to third parties?

Can I ask WHY this letter should be kept confidential? It is from a process paid for with public money, about a school funded with public money, and about a school to which all citizens should have fair an equal access to apply within transparent criteria. So what if the school wish to challenge some of the findings - if their challenge is upheld they can presumably make that public? The judgement is not about an appeal on behalf of a specific individual, it affects many people, why should it remain secret or private?

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by intexasatthe moment 04 February, 2012 19:15

The link to the report is still on page 2 of this thread .
It's
[docs.google.com]
for easy access .



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:04:19:15:59 by intexasatthe moment.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Carbonara 04 February, 2012 19:22

Thank you smiling smiley

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Curmudgeon 05 February, 2012 15:11

Renata Hamvas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> To clarify a few things:
> Charter is not changing it's admission policy for
> 2012 entry. This would require consultation and
> wouldn't be implemented in the same year. The
> problem has been how Charter has been implementing
> its safe walking distance admissions criteria.

I've said it before and I'm loathe to repeat myself but it is DE FACTO changing it's admissions - because people, like Heber Jumble Queen, carefully examined all available information when making their choices in October - using the directgov schoolsfinder website, using historical information on who goes to which school up and down their street

those who are in the area beneficially affected by this adjudication may or may not have been aware of the appeal - so some may have factored this in to their choices and some may not - UNFAIR to retrospectively remove this choice

those who live in the areas detrimentally affected by this adjutication were not aware of this appeal / issue before and again it is retrospective alteration

safest walking distance is now to include a footpath which some people feel is not safe (see Albert's comments) - how were these people to know that the police have deemed a tree covered pathway as safe

All I can assume from reading the adjudication is that it is fair based on the support from ordnance survey and police but to implement it retrospectively affects people directly - when other schools have faced the same adjudication as I previously mentioned the decision was made to make the change in time for the following admissions cycle allowing all stakeholders access to the same information



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:05:15:15:39 by Curmudgeon.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by BB100 05 February, 2012 17:21

murphy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> The biggest beneficiary of the changes to the
> Charter school admissions policy, apart from the
> kids who can now get in, will be Harris Boys East
> Dulwich. Their criteria for entry is closest
> straight line distance. The largest catchment area
> for the school are the relatively wealthy parts of
> East Dulwich, who have to an extent avoided the
> school so far. If most people in East Dulwich
> decide to apply to Harris (as Kingsdale entry
> becomes more of a lottery, and those on the east
> side of Lordship Lane lose out in the changes to
> the Charter admissions process) then Harris will
> see their results rise.
>
> The end result could be in a few years that Harris
> becomes an exceptional school.

Great theory but Harris Boys ED is already on track as an exceptional school without any help from the chattering classes. They have nearly 40% on FSM, high SEN and 20% ESL but they are aiming for 100% 5 GCSE maths & english. See their Ofsted report for the inspector's comments on their predicted results.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Curmudgeon 05 February, 2012 18:02

I hope so but as it only currently goes up to year 8 (or is it 9) there's a long way to go

by the way the "chattering classes" are allowed to be concerned about the State Education system and where their children will be educated, by whom, and with whom.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:05:18:07:38 by Curmudgeon.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by skyblue 05 February, 2012 18:41

DuPlicate post



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:05:19:01:36 by skyblue.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by skyblue 05 February, 2012 18:42

Don't wory b100 the Real chatters go private and couldn't care less about this thread. There are people in east dulwich who really are normal.-despite all the hype. Im sitting here wishing Harris was co-ed and feeling cross about our country's rubbish admission process. When I was a kid we all went to the nearest comp on mass- no 'choice'. The only thing worse than no choice is the illusion of it.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by championofthehill 05 February, 2012 19:11

I would agree with all the above posts that the secondary admissions process is a nightmare. Having been through a stressy nightmare ourselves - not allocated a school we were happy with - despite being very confident we were in the catchment for Charter as many children from our area go there, with a significant number walking right past our house (Curmudgeon). Only a minority of my daughter's friends were lucky enough (initially) to get school they wanted, and the atmosphere in the playground was grim, even the lucky ones suffering from survivors' guilt.

The message I would like to send out is that almost everyone eventually got something they were happy with. Be it as a result of an appeal, waiting list movement, going private or even taking a chance at something they thought wasn't great, but which turned out to be fine.

Hang on in there. And try not to pass the stress on to your children.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Dorothy 05 February, 2012 22:03

I remember being on a thread about secondary admissions with you last year Skyblue. Sad to see that choice (hollow laugh) in SE22 is still such a headache for so many parents.

Quite obviously Charter can do nothing but allocate places according to their own stated criteria and that is just tough luck on the considerable number of SE22 parents on the wrong side of LL who had no idea this was even an issue. Doesn't make JB's insensitive op any easier to swallow.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by BB100 05 February, 2012 22:09

Curmudgeon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I hope so but as it only currently goes up to year
> 8 (or is it 9) there's a long way to go
>
> by the way the "chattering classes" are allowed to
> be concerned about the State Education system and
> where their children will be educated, by whom,
> and with whom.

Well in two years time remember you heard it here first. I do resent the suggestion that we need wealthy families for schools to be exceptional.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by skyblue 06 February, 2012 09:17

Dorothy, Totally agree the truth is, as we have been going on about for over a year, is that there is no co-ed for kids east of Lordship Lane. That is a fact. I would like our local councillors at the very least to confirm this or tell us what the options are.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by EDmummy 06 February, 2012 10:06

As far as I remember, Harris boys should have some kids sitting GCSEs this year. As someone that always knew we wouldn't get into Charter in the first round I'd never set my heart on it but do truly sympathise withou parents who assumed they would get in because of past decisions. The retrospectivity of this will be challenged probably with a 'custom and practice' defence but my assumption would be this would have to be done on a case by case basis. What would be fairer is if Charter and/or Southwark decided to honour the current applications based on the assumptions made by parents for 2012 intake. Legally this is a mess and there are no winners.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Ole 06 February, 2012 11:27

My son is years and years away from going to secondary school, but as we live in Champion Hill (Denmark Hill but just behind the estate) this thread caught my eye and I have been reading it out of curiosity. As we live so close to Charter I always assumed that local kids go to Charter so I was surprised to find out that mainly they are not and I am wondering what other secondary school are they allocated to instead? Apart from Sacred Heart, which I consider is quite a trek from here and much further away than Charter (and is a Catholic school I think?), I can't think of any other secondary schools in the 'area' that would not need a bus trip?

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by Carbonara 06 February, 2012 11:30

But the precedent has been set by appeals in the past.

If Charter were to honour the applications from those furthest away in favour of those now legally within catchment, can you see the parents who mounted and sustained what must have been a long and difficult campaign conceding that parents who second guessed the distance on years gone by should take precedence over their children?

Legally nothing has changed except that Charter are being told to implement their stated policy.

However, I would be very stressed and upset to find that what I thought was a reasonable chance of admission had been based on previous mis-application of the policy. It is Charter's past demeanor that has brought this about. It may be that most parents now cast into the depths of despair will actually get the place they want - fingers crossed for all.

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by James Barber 06 February, 2012 15:15

Hi Dorothy,
I'm sorry if you feel I should not have posted this important decision and started this thread.
I don't think the decision will make a big difference generally but clearly for some families it will make all the difference. I think it's best they know of this correction now than in letters about school offers much later.

The Charter School is close to the Lambeth border so parochially for East Dulwich I expect the decision to dissipate its impact across its large admissions footprint and only be felt at the margins that could never have been certain of admission.

NB. I'm told the council is closing down the Southwark Admissions Forum.

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

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by intexasatthe moment 06 February, 2012 17:39

Renata - is Southwark ditching it's ( apparently useless as far as meeting it's stated aims to ensure that the admissions system is fair, that it promotes social equity and does not disadvantage children. Additionally to ensure that the admissions system is straightforward and easy for parents and carers to understand. ) Admission Forum ?

messageRe: Charter School admissions change
Posted by FatherJack 06 February, 2012 22:13

Intexasatthe moment......perhaps they have been forced to admit that in Southwark it's not fair, straightforward or easy for parents/carers to understand.....and as for "does not disadvantage children" ...pah!

Edited to say however I would love to know why they've given up......



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2012:02:06:22:15:08 by FatherJack.

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