Changes to schools admission policy are a bureaucrat's dream

Conservatives in Greenwich today called changes to the schools admission policy a “bureaucrat’s dream” as it takes the real choice of where an 11 year old child is going to school, away from the parents.

The changes mean that now parents will receive a form and pick six secondary schools that can be anywhere in London.  The schools will be placed in order of preference. Each school still has its own admission policy and some of those schools will require you to put them first if you want to get in for example like Thomas Moore in Greenwich.

The council will then apply the schools admissions policies and it will select where your child is going to go.  If you’re child cannot get into your preferred choices, Greenwich council will decide which school your child will attend even if it is not on the list. Previously parents could apply to as many schools in different boroughs as they wanted. Basically the decision of where your child goes to school is now made by councils not schools.

Eltham councillor and teacher Spencer Drury says “This is a bureaucrat’s dream. They’re taking away parental choice and sending you where it’s convenient for them to send you. No one knows yet what impact this is going to have on parents in Eltham but I feel there is no doubt that this restricts parents’ choice and increases bureaucrat’s power. It may make it tougher for Eltham parents to get their children in schools out of the borough.

“Labour claim this is taking away the guess work for parents but now there will be more guessing involved when parents try and work out where the council is going to send their child.

“Labour's changes may make sure there are fewer students without places in the summer but they’re doing it by taking away parental choice.  I believe this could be solved by making sure councils get their deadlines right. The Conservatives would put schools in charge of admission procedure and give parents’ choice.”

Helen Nunn, 32, who lives in Eltham and has a 10 year old daughter says “We are now actively trying to move away from the borough to a somewhere with better schools. We didn’t want our daughter to be allocated a school in Greenwich that we didn’t want.”