Rethink rules giving siblings priority places, schools are told by watchdog amid resentment among parents

The Mail is reporting that the admissions watchdog has claimed schools should be wary of prioritising places for siblings because it discriminates against children inside catchment areas…

…In a report, the Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) said: ‘Objections have been made concerning priority for siblings, particularly if all younger siblings have very high priority for a place at a popular and oversubscribed school such that it becomes difficult for a firstborn to gain a place unless living almost next door to the school.’

The report went on to say: ‘The advantages for one family of keeping siblings at the same popular school lead to disadvantages for other families who may then end up with children in different schools.’

The system of prioritising siblings is operated by many state primaries to ease the burden on parents with more than one child.

If schools take note of the report, it could mean parents with several children being forced to drop them off at different schools each day.

Although the OSA stopped short of ordering schools to scrap the policy, it said they should consider the impact of any admissions changes and consult with parents…

More at: Rethink rules giving siblings priority places, schools are told by watchdog amid resentment among parents


While logical from a perspective of fairness, how viable would it be in practice to end priority places for siblings? Would it really be sensible to have, say, a parent of three having to visit three different schools? Let us know what you think…


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  1. JuliecarJulie

    SchoolsImprove Eh? The disgruntled parents have kids at different schools so let’s make EVERYONE have kids at different schools? Logic?

  2. MichelleMcAloo3

    SchoolsImprove sibling priority isnt a nicety though – for most parents it’s necessity – can’t be in 2 places at once!

  3. trutheducation

    SchoolsImprove Lots of areas now have a “siblings within catchment” priority with siblings outside placed after catchment 1st born.

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