Siblings lose guarantee of school place at London authority

The Times is reporting that one London authority is scrapping the rules granting sibling priority for places if families that have moved out of the area…

The move is described as a consequence of the growing competition for places and is said to be likely to set a precedent for other local authorities.

The report says that in most areas local authority run schools give priority to siblings of existing pupils, but Wandsworth in southwest London has decided to scrap sibling priority from September 2016. Thereafter, families who move more than 800 metres from the school will, in normal circumstances, lose their automatic entitlement to a place for younger brothers and sisters.

As we covered on this site at the time, Leeds council had intended to do the same but dropped its plans after a backlash from families with children already at school.

A spokesman for Wandsworth Council is quoted:

“A lot of people are getting school places then moving miles away, in some cases cashing in on house prices while retaining the school place. Siblings then get priority over children living closer to the school. The consultation was drawn up because parents were getting upset about this.”

 

See also: Mother ‘devastated’ after her daughter failed to get a place at the same primary school her three brothers attend

 

At the time of the Leeds decision we ran a poll and readers came out nearly two to one in favour of the sibling getting the place. 

What do you think of this decision now from Wandsworth Council?

Do you expect it to be the start of the end for the sibling rule?

Please share in the comments or via Twitter… 

 

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Categories: Local authorities, Parenting and Secondary.

Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Serioisly, how many people buy a house in one school’s catchment then move once a place is secured? I don’t believe them

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove There have to be rules regarding this but common sense is overlooked and if choice wasn’t given this wouldn’t be an issue

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Seriously, how many people buy a house in one school’s catchment then move once a place is secured? I don’t believe them

  4. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Seriously, how many people buy a house in one school’s catchment then move once a place is secured? I don’t believe them

  5. MarkQui12591531

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove If chance conversations with people I barely know are any guide, then quite a few I’m afraid

  6. TW

    Other than for academy schools gerrymandering their catchment areas to get a high ability intake, local schools are provided for local people.

    If people move away from the locality they should not expect to continue using the area’s facilities.

  7. wasateacher

    The Wandsworth Council justification is wrong.  What has been happening
    is, not that people have been selling their houses, but that they have
    been renting flats in the catchment areas of popular schools and then
    giving up the tenancy when they have secured a place.  Taking away the
    sibling rule will stop genuine local people from benefitting.  There
    should be a solution which gives priority only when the sibling is still
    within the catchment area.

  8. wasateacher

    The Wandsworth Council justification is wrong.  What has been happening
    is, not that people have been selling their houses, but that they have
    been renting flats in the catchment areas of popular schools and then
    giving up the tenancy when they have secured a place.  Taking away the
    sibling rule will stop genuine local people from benefitting.  There
    should be a solution which gives priority only when the sibling is still
    within the catchment area.

  9. wasateacher

    @andylutwyche SchoolsImprove In Wandsworth around some of the popular primary schools, parents are renting accommodation (not living in it) to get the address in a catchment area, then giving up the tenancy when they have a place.  This is happening in Nappy Valley.

Let us know what you think...