PARK SCHOOL ADMISSIONS APPEAL UPHELD
families have won their appeal against the
admissions policy of Hounslow Council. The
parents all have children at Grove Park School
but their younger siblings have been refused
entry due to priority being given to children
from the Council's Priority Admission Area.
appeal was made to an independent body set
up to decide admissions disputes. It judged
that the Council's policy was unreasonable
and unlawful. The policy of giving priority
based on catchment areas as opposed to sibling
relationships has been in place since 1992
and may now have to be changed. When there
was the prospect of Hogarth School closing
early this year many parents with children
at Belmont School were concerned that their
younger siblings would be unable to secure
four children seeking admission are four years
old and their year group already has the maximum
amount of 30 pupils. The Government have made
this a legal maximum for the first three years
of primary education. In 1998 a quarter of
all early years primary school pupils were
in classes over 30 but since September of this
year this has become the maximum.
authorities receive central government funding
for reducing class sizes below the maximum.
It is not clear whether this money would be
jeopardised if they increased the Grove Park
reception class above 30 children.
Council are awaiting receipt of the panel's
full judgement and then may seek a judicial
review. This will delay the entry of the children
into the school although the parents' solicitor
is arguing that legally the children should
be admitted to the school immediately.
Council spokesman disputed that their admission
process was unfair or illegal saying that it
had been agreed by the governors and parents
and was based on Government guidance.
Grove Park parent commented: "I have huge
sympathy for these families but the rules are
fairly clear and there is a shortage of good
school places for local people. If the school
run is such a problem then surely the solution
is for them to move the older child closer
to where they live."
the discussion forum some are advocating a
return to the principal of sibling priority
in school admissions.
on this issue