Hertfordshire County Council seeks parents views on school admissions rule

Parents are being asked their views on plans to overhaul schools admissions criteria in Hertfordshire starting from next year.

Hertfordshire County Council has said it intends to scrap rule six of its admission code which grants children priority to a school if it is "it is the nearest maintained school or academy that is co-educational, non-educational, non-faith and non-partially selective".

The authority wants to replace it with a rule that gives children priority to a school solely based on distance to their home.

The council argues that with the increasing numbers of free schools, academies, studio schools and university technical colleges in the county it is difficult for the authority to accurately identify what alternative schools are available for children.

It says this could lead to confusion and mistakes being made in the admissions process, which is why it is keen to simplify admission rules.

The council also wants to remove the word "Hertfordshire" from rule six to prevent pupils with schools outside the county closer to them having an unfair advantage.

Chris Hayward, Cabinet Member for Education, said: "We would welcome the views of parents on these proposals, which aim to ensure we continue to have clear and fair admission arrangements.

"Parents who wish to comment on the admission arrangements for schools which set their own rules can do so through the governing bodies of those schools."

A public consultation on the proposals is open until 28 February 2014.

For full details, and to respond to the consultation, go to www.hertsdirect.org/admissions2015

Comments (3)

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7:55pm Sun 5 Jan 14

Cuetip says...

Far too many parents feel really aggrieved that so many local children are denied places at local schools and far too many are being 'bussed' over unacceptable distances increasing traffic congestion on roads.
Far too many parents feel really aggrieved that so many local children are denied places at local schools and far too many are being 'bussed' over unacceptable distances increasing traffic congestion on roads. Cuetip
  • Score: 5

11:31pm Sun 5 Jan 14

chocco says...

Why is it rule 6 anyway ????? Closets distance should be rule 1 , followed by special needs Then IF there are places left offer to those outside the area. To many kids being sent of all over on a bus when they are within walking distance of a school already. Pathetic.
Why is it rule 6 anyway ????? Closets distance should be rule 1 , followed by special needs Then IF there are places left offer to those outside the area. To many kids being sent of all over on a bus when they are within walking distance of a school already. Pathetic. chocco
  • Score: 3

1:17pm Mon 6 Jan 14

mummy_1 says...

If it was simple that we sent our children to the nearest school, cost, the stress, fraud, elitism and snobbery, which come with this current process, would reduce and schools by a natural process would reflect the community in which it stands.

Parents need to consider, their child, journey times, winter nights, after school activities, building friendships, relationships and their child’s welfare when selecting schools for their kids. Too many are sending their kids on lonely bus and train journeys beginning at 7.00am (in the dark) and ending at 5:30pm (in the dark) and have no idea who their child’s friends are, where they live or how they are fitting in with kids who have shared postcodes, life-styles and holiday villas for years.

Feeling a part and belonging is far more important than the % pass mark on a piece of paper of a complete stranger. All round contentment will make your child grow not only academically but also as a person. The school can teach your kids so much but there is so much more to being aged 16 than a bag full of GCSEs.

As a local employer I may not get the kids from the 3 top schools knocking on my door for a job aged 16 for junior positions as they are under pressure to go on to get more qualifications as that is what their school expects. It would be interesting to see if schools kept records of % of kids who begin A level studies but abandon them before the process is complete.

They do eventually knock aged 20 or 21 with the same bagful of GCSEs they had aged 16 but with a CV full of gap years and failed or abandoned courses, also minus the common sense, life-skills, work ethic and hunger to work to improve. By this time our 16 year old from the ‘less desirable’ schools who knocked 3 or 4 years before is still in place, gaining experience (maybe doing courses in the evenings) and gaining valuable skills, which you cannot learn outside a work place.
If it was simple that we sent our children to the nearest school, cost, the stress, fraud, elitism and snobbery, which come with this current process, would reduce and schools by a natural process would reflect the community in which it stands. Parents need to consider, their child, journey times, winter nights, after school activities, building friendships, relationships and their child’s welfare when selecting schools for their kids. Too many are sending their kids on lonely bus and train journeys beginning at 7.00am (in the dark) and ending at 5:30pm (in the dark) and have no idea who their child’s friends are, where they live or how they are fitting in with kids who have shared postcodes, life-styles and holiday villas for years. Feeling a part and belonging is far more important than the % pass mark on a piece of paper of a complete stranger. All round contentment will make your child grow not only academically but also as a person. The school can teach your kids so much but there is so much more to being aged 16 than a bag full of GCSEs. As a local employer I may not get the kids from the 3 top schools knocking on my door for a job aged 16 for junior positions as they are under pressure to go on to get more qualifications as that is what their school expects. It would be interesting to see if schools kept records of % of kids who begin A level studies but abandon them before the process is complete. They do eventually knock aged 20 or 21 with the same bagful of GCSEs they had aged 16 but with a CV full of gap years and failed or abandoned courses, also minus the common sense, life-skills, work ethic and hunger to work to improve. By this time our 16 year old from the ‘less desirable’ schools who knocked 3 or 4 years before is still in place, gaining experience (maybe doing courses in the evenings) and gaining valuable skills, which you cannot learn outside a work place. mummy_1
  • Score: 4

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