Primary schools-alot of Southwark primaries are under Southwark's control, therefore Southwark can control their admissions policies. Primary academies/free schools and voluntary aided schools set their own admissions policies.
Secondary Schools-NONE are under Southwark's control. They are all academies/free schools or Faith Schools. This is why we have a hotch potch of policies which varies from one school to another. We have some that prioritise faith, others that partially select for a particular ability and then use a lottery system, others use banding with distance, some use distance with or without a nodal point and others use a mixture of lottery and banding. Some have catchment areas.Yes, it is hugely confusing for parents and means that they have to go on each school's website and check their admissions policy. It also can change from one year to the next year too! Schools run by the same federation may have different admissions policies! To emphasise again, Southwark can comment on consultations on admissions policies, can raise concerns with the ombudsman but don't determine the admissions policies for any of the Borough's secondary schools.
The most recent document I can find in terms of long term pupil number planning is available on the Southwark website is from late 2017. It will come up if you search for Southwark Secondary School place planning, it covers the next few years.
Southwark does administer year 7 admissions to the secondaries in Southwark as part of the Londonwide admissions process. They will work with the Secondary Schools to help them secure funding for bulge classes where this is required due to an increase in applications. There is a higher number of 6-13 year olds in the south of the Borough than older and younger children, so the older ones from the peak birth rate years are already in secondary.
Even though the two Charter schools have an overlapping last place distance offer zone, it does impact on places at other schools outside the zone. Harris Girls' School is changing it's admissions policy. It currently offers 1/3 of it's places on distance and 2/3 on a lottery system. Its proposed new system from 2020 will offer all places after siblings etc on banding plus distance. Previously this school was favoured by parents living in Peckham and Camberwell more than East Dulwich and Nunhead, but this has been changing over the last couple of years. The new proposed admissions policy will give advantage to local girls living in Nunhead or East Dulwich over applicants from further away. Haberdashers' Askes is having a small expansion from 2020 (around 20). This will coincide with the Free School pupils entering secondary. As the primary and secondary school have a shared entry location point, the children who got in to the primary would have got the secondary anyway so these are extra places which may bring a few more east Nunhead residents into the last place distance area.
Monkey, you mention Sydenham Girls hasn't increased its offer radius. Southwark deals with families who move in to the area very quickly within its admission system. Sydenham Girls is in Lewisham and I have no information on this school. I would suspect that there was a significant number of late applicants, who lived close to the school rather than no movement in the waiting list. We are already in the increased birthrate years and every on time applicant was offered a secondary school place in Southwark this year. We have a good admissions department, I am sure they will look at the number of applicants this Autumn and work with the Secondary schools to provide spaces for the 2020 cohort.
Cllr Renata Hamvas
Labour Councillor For Peckham Rye Ward
4th Thursday of each month (3rd in December), 6.30-7.30pm Nunhead Library, Gordon Rd SE15