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Did your child get a place at the school of their choice?

09:55 UK time, Monday, 1 March 2010

Over half a million school children across England are finding out which secondary school they will be joining in September. How did your child do?

Last year 83% of families were offered one of their top three choices. And 96% were offered one of their choices.

But in big cities such as London and Birmingham, fewer families will be offered a place at their first choice of school.

Last year one in five pupils failed to win a place at their first choice school.

Have you found out which secondary school your child has allocated? What will you do if your child fails to win a place at their chosen school? Do you feel the process is fair?

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    This means that all comments are checked before being moderated.

  • Comment number 2.

    What on earth is all this business about "choice" of schools? When I was a kid, you just went to your nearest one, and everyone was happy.

    And it meant you could walk there as well, and didn't need to be driven there in a gas guzzling 4x4.

    Why can't we just go back to that system?

  • Comment number 3.

    I know a very sad couple who moved house so they could get their child in a school that does not have children of decent working people in. I do hope they fail.

  • Comment number 4.

    We got the news yesterday due to some glitch in the Kent system. Apart from this worrying system problem the process wasn't too hard and my son got into the school he wanted (the local one). We avoided the high school / grammar school decision as he didn't take the Kent test (I wish we didn't have all that palaver, but that's another debate).

  • Comment number 5.

    It is time we end this lottery of School choices by trying to ensure that each & every school is fit & proper to deliver an education!

  • Comment number 6.

    Apparently it's ''choice'' that routinely drives parents half insane waiting for ''The Letter''
    ...Is a text not cheaper, or e-mail ??

    I would apply for my child to be taught on the Moon but this ''choice'' hasn't yet been accomadated by the schools In My Area.

    When will the relevant authourities get around to this....

  • Comment number 7.

    Aren't all schools supposed to be the same under this 'education, education, education' government with everyone walking away with 10 A* GCSEs after 5 years? If so, why are we so worried about getting into a 'chosen school' or even given a choice?

    Either the government is lying or we're dupes. I suspect the former.

  • Comment number 8.

    #2 - completely agree, although in my day a lot also depended on where your parents could afford to send you to and whether one passed the entrance exams.

  • Comment number 9.

    "2. At 11:21am on 01 Mar 2010, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:

    What on earth is all this business about "choice" of schools? When I was a kid, you just went to your nearest one, and everyone was happy."

    Did you go to school before or after 1960s Labour Governments ruined comprehensive schools the first time round? The "nearest" one wouldn't have been that far out of step with the grammar, education-wise, just because of the teachers having automatic respect, backed up by the parents.

    Whatever changes are made by the next Government, if they are working, they should be left to get on with it. It's the meddling that ruins schools.

  • Comment number 10.

    Yes we got our choice... Mind you that is because we are paying for a private school as there is no way on this planet I am subjecting my son to the PC ruined, molly coddled, homogeneous pile of garbage that is our state system!

  • Comment number 11.

    Hello everyone, Siobhan here. Thanks for your comment, frankiecrisp. Anyone else taken drastic measures to help their child get their school of choice? Or do you think your son or daughter may have lost out because others have?

  • Comment number 12.

    frankiecrisp,
    If the couple you are referring to wish not to have anything to do with decent working people & their children then they might well find out that their child has gone to a School where the parents are the riff-raff of the Middle & Upper classes! i.e estate agents, journalists, politicians, etc. I shoudn't be envious about that!

  • Comment number 13.

    As my children are both too young to go to school, it's not a worry I will have until next year.

    The schools here in Hastings are, for the most part, full of chavs who have underclass parents. The only two schools that are any good are well contested for. So, I will be contesting with the rest of them, but failing that I will just have to be one of those "awkward" parents who continually bothers the school because the level of education there is simply not good enough.

  • Comment number 14.

    My son lives with his mother and i pay for his schooling so as usual il be the last to know!

  • Comment number 15.

    #9:

    I went to school in the 70s (and a little bit of the 80s), so I guess that would be after they ruined comprehensive schools. Although I can't say I'd noticed the comprehensive school I went to was ruined. It had a few teachers who were useless, which is probably inevitable, but they were certainly a small minority.

  • Comment number 16.

    Siobhan - as everyone else here appears to be slightly off-piste, i will give an example of an investment banker I once knew who paid 20% over the asking price for a house in a London catchment area so that he could get both his children into the same school. I do believe this sort of behaviour leads to people losing out. (Mind you the house increased its value by 35% over the following years so he did well on a few counts.)

  • Comment number 17.

    "3. At 11:30am on 01 Mar 2010, frankiecrisp wrote:

    I know a very sad couple who moved house so they could get their child in a school that does not have children of decent working people in. I do hope they fail."

    DO the parents of these kids work? These days 'working class' normally means the exact opposite. "Working class" professions like HGV drivers, plumbers and electricians earn more than graduates while those called 'working class' are actually career benefit claimants who haven't done a days (declared) work in their life.

  • Comment number 18.

    mrmandeville,
    As I said earlier, let us end this lottery of School choices: we simply need to ensure that every School which is fit & proper to be called a School can deliver an Education! Parents like you need to get involved to make sure that happens! We cannot leave it like you suggest & hope that everything will be alright on the night! If the authorities get it wrong, believe me, they will, because they do not have right-minded people to deal with.

  • Comment number 19.

    No, My daughter has been offered a school which OFSTED has recently put into special measures for "failing to give it's pupils an acceptable standard of education and the persons responsible for leading, managing or governing the school are not demonstrating the capacity to secure the necessary improvement".
    Nice one Leeds City Council, can't wait to receive my next council tax bill.

  • Comment number 20.

    A few years back we moved into East London, where I was born. I tried to get our two kids into school but none had vacancies - even the one next door would not even put us on their waiting list! We tried the Local Education Authority and was told that the only places available were ten miles away, at a school for special needs pupils, and were then told how these were not suitable for our kids and we would be taking precious places if we accepted them? We appealed for places at any local school, and they held it on a day I had already said we could not attend. Then we were warned we would be prosecuted if we didn't get the kids into school within 10 days! We had no choice in anything - we moved again! What a system, what a shambles, what a government!

  • Comment number 21.

    What people do not realise is that most parents do not care which school their children go to as long as it is near home.

    Where parents do care, and want to get their child into a good school they find that there are far more applicants than there are places.

    This is not 'choice'. The choice between a good school and a bad one is no choice at all. This is NEVER mentioned by politicians.

    Why is it that some schools in bad areas get good results and some in affluent areas do not. This is rare but does happen.

    Can we get a root and branch sort out once and for all. A teacher told me 30 years ago that what teachers really want is professional status and respect. If we did this and got rid of the bad teachers maybe the concept of 'choice' will become academic.

    (My daughter had a 3rd year head of english who's handwriting was illegible, my wife wrote on our daughters school report that he should consider becoming a doctor. I mentioned this at an interview and he just shrugged).

  • Comment number 22.

    #2. At 11:21am on 01 Mar 2010, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:
    "What on earth is all this business about "choice" of schools? When I was a kid, you just went to your nearest one, and everyone was happy.

    And it meant you could walk there as well, and didn't need to be driven there in a gas guzzling 4x4.

    Why can't we just go back to that system?"

    Well that would be ideal, unless your local school happened to be a dump as mine was.

    There's good reason why parents "shop around" for schools nowadays.

  • Comment number 23.

    Bright kids will do well wherever they go, but sadly for the rest, the lottery that is the state school system will fail them in some way.

    How can any teacher hope to empower their students to learn when they have 30+ children to contend with.

    I feel sorry for the kids. Our state system of education is appalling and I for one am very glad that I can send my children to a private school.

  • Comment number 24.

    Surely making all schools selective is better than the current system? Currently, children go to school depending on where their parents can afford to buy a house. With selection, at least the child's efforts determine where they go instead of their parents salaries. When I was in school, we had to take the 12+ and went to Grammar School or comprehensive. We were all clear that we had to work hard to get to the grammar schools so we did. Everyone knew where they stood. The current education system seems be based more on the housing market than the child's effort and ability.

  • Comment number 25.

    mrmandeville,
    I said earlier that we should end this Lottery of School choices: all Schools ought to be able to deliver an Education. Parents ought to get actively involved. Today we only need to do nothing for the Nutters to get in & run their own agenda: it is a sorry state of affairs but we must not be defeatist.

  • Comment number 26.

    It's 3 years since I was waiting for the local council website to function long enough for me to find out my daughter's school allocation (she did get the one she wanted) - but both my husband and I are interested enough in education to do something about it: my husband is now a parent-governor at her school, while I am now a community governor (formerly a parent one) at the primary school she attended.

    Don't like the local school - get involved and start changing it!

  • Comment number 27.

    Did our children get a place at the school of our choice? No and thank goodness for that, too. They're all in school my wife and I would never had considered and they're all doing well, thank you.

  • Comment number 28.

    After 20+ years in a school office, I can tell you why some parents do not get their child into their chosen school - they do not listern to the advice given to them by the teachers or LA. If I had a £1 for every parent who applied to a faith school when they have never stepped foot in that religion's church, I could retire now. If they would only check the criteria and work within them, they would not have unrealistic expectations. Parents often do not give a 2nd or 3rd choice school, so they are given a place at school which is undersubcribed.(and unwanted).

    PS there are some great comps around - don't rubbish them. My son went to one and is now studying law at Cambridge!

  • Comment number 29.

    Personally I would put an end to grammar schools, private schools, faith schools and all other variants except perhaps some specialisms. I would render every school the same and every child to go to the same system. Choice between performing arts and technology perhaps but not between purchased priviledge or the current 'choice'. Won't happen though as despite a decade of majority this government is run by the priviledged pretending to be socialists and their notions of equality only a sop to their own guilt.

  • Comment number 30.

    When I was young you didn't get too choose what school you went too your parents chose for you and that was that. If you didn't like it tough luck. Kids these days have got it easy what with their xbox's, internets, alcopops, booze fuelled feral behaviour and hooded tops which enable them to conceal their identity and so evade the law and don't tell me not all children are like that and some do the Duke of Edinburgh Award at weekends because they don't they are all outside vandalising Ford Mondeo's and the silent majority knows it. And now we let them choose what school they can go to it's disgraceful.It's all down to the nulabour pc brigade though who think it would go against a childs human rights to be sent to a school not of their choosing. Todays youth should think of themselves as lucky they don't have to work down the mines for 16 hours a day.

    Luckily though there are some simple solutions that the pc brigade would never consider:
    1. Bring back the cane
    2. Scrap asbos and introduce proper prison snetances
    3. Introduce carefoos
    4. All children to got to the closest school to there home

    Simples

  • Comment number 31.

    "DO the parents of these kids work? These days 'working class' normally means the exact opposite. "Working class" professions like HGV drivers, plumbers and electricians earn more than graduates while those called 'working class' are actually career benefit claimants who haven't done a days (declared) work in their life "

    To answer your question these people are middle class graduates who think children of HGV drivers, plumbers, electricians, factory workers and other hard working working class people are not good enough to be in the same school as their children.

  • Comment number 32.

    #29 Portman wrote "Personally I would put an end to grammar schools, private schools, faith schools and all other variants except perhaps some specialisms"

    Well, putting aside your socialist sentiments, I'm afraid this will never happen. The problem with schooling is it panders to the lowest common denominator and does not provide an education suited for the needs for all. It is not the fault of either a conservative or labour government. It is the product of a system that provides for those who can pay. No one criticises the University System for only allowing those who can afford it to enter it? Or for that matter anything else.

  • Comment number 33.

    At 2:53pm on 01 Mar 2010, CaptainJameson wrote:
    Surely making all schools selective is better than the current system? Currently, children go to school depending on where their parents can afford to buy a house. With selection, at least the child's efforts determine where they go instead of their parents salaries. When I was in school, we had to take the 12+ and went to Grammar School or comprehensive. We were all clear that we had to work hard to get to the grammar schools so we did. Everyone knew where they stood. The current education system seems be based more on the housing market than the child's effort and ability

    Completely agree - We constantly hear the nonsense that the selection exams are unfair on the poorer children, howvever I think its the no academic selction criteria that is unfair in the poorer families and the good schools are in the more affluent areas and acceptance to a school is based on where you live.
    I live in Northern Ireland - so the issue of acedemic selection is very much in the news here - since this is the first year without a state run 11+, were now in a situation of chaos, with individual grammar schools running their own exams etc

  • Comment number 34.

    Yes, all the children in my family are at our #1 school of choice.

    Of course, the fact that we're forking out £10,000 a year, EACH, helps a bit. And no, we're not middle class, we're very much working class but we understand that the money is better spent getting them the best education in the county rather than getting us nice cars or a longer holiday.

  • Comment number 35.

    #22, PaulRichard2:

    "Well that would be ideal, unless your local school happened to be a dump as mine was."

    So surely the solution is to sort out schools like that so that they are not dumps? Or do you think it's OK for a school to be a dump just as long as it's only other people's kids who have to go there?

  • Comment number 36.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 37.

    #35. At 4:08pm on 01 Mar 2010, DisgustedOfMitcham2 wrote:

    "So surely the solution is to sort out schools like that so that they are not dumps? Or do you think it's OK for a school to be a dump just as long as it's only other people's kids who have to go there?"

    Now where did I say that?

    It's not the parent’s fault that that school is failing or has discipline problems. If the school, local education authority or local council can't or won't sort that school out then the parents can hardly be blamed for trying to send their schools elsewhere can they!? They wouldn't be much good as parents if they didn't.

  • Comment number 38.

    Be grateful you have some choice. Up here in the Highlands we have one school serving a catchment area of around 30 miles radius.

    The next nearest secondary is over 60 miles away.

    It's a good thing our school is so excellent.

  • Comment number 39.

    My child did not get into our choice of school. Her older brother already attends the school and it is in our catchment area. However this seams to count for nothing! This means i have to chose a child to be late for school everyday and be late for me to pick up! If the schools want you to walk to school how is that meant to happen! Leave my child to stand lonely in the playground. I do not understand who makes these stupid decisions do they not understand the impact it will have on the children and their family life. It is hard enough to settle a child into school. Even more so now she will not know anyone.

  • Comment number 40.

    The whole concept of "choice" is a misnomer: it just means that those with the loudest voice and the most financial clout get what they want while everyone less fortunate or pushy gets second-best. In reality, for many of us, there is no "choice" - only what is offered or what we can afford, and it's time the government - of whatever persuasion - stopped peddling this nonsense which started with Thatcher and has been bandied about ever since like the Holy Grail. For everyone who gets their choice, someone else gets no choice at all: where's the fairness in that?

  • Comment number 41.

    Could "Predator at Aliens" please explain what a "carefoo" is? I have never heard of it/them.

  • Comment number 42.

    #30:

    What's a "carefoo"?

  • Comment number 43.

    The other issue that never comes up is, local knowledge. My brother and wife decided to stay in our childhood town to have his family. That means they know that our old school is the faith one slap bang in the middle of the tables, flatline average, the selective grammar is at the top, the single-sex grammar (for boys) and religious (for girls) were just behind the top grammar...in other words, none of the PC government interference that takes attention from the cold hard pass grades, has changed the outcome of the results of these schools since we went to them as children nor 20 years afterwards.

    Jenny's also right - but I would say that as well as teachers and the local authority, just do a poll of all the other parents you know about their kids' schools, whilst your own are still toddlers and if you plan to stay in that area - forewarned is forearmed at the very least.

  • Comment number 44.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 45.

    The Grammar school system works from the false assumption that intelligence is fixed and doesn't undergo changes. If a child does not pass the 11+ they are doomed to a second rate education til they leave. The psychologist whose work this whole system has been based on has since been exposed for falsifying his results. Also, state schooling is not as bad as many people think. If they have good support and encouragement at home, children will do well no matter where they are.

  • Comment number 46.

    “Did your child get a place at the school of their choice?”
    If you really had a choice you could not ask the question. If you really had a choice you could send your child to the school you wanted to.

    What you should be asking is did your child get a place at the school you would prefer them to go to. Because in reality you have no choice at all

  • Comment number 47.

    It was thatcher who laughably introduced the 'con'cept of choice in schools and the vast majority of fools voted in favour of it. However those with two brain cells or more could see was her plans meant choice for the schools not the parents. After you make your 'choice' the school decides if it wants you, often by sitting tests. It was obvious from the begining that it was a backdoor return to the old grammer school system of elitism and had nothing to do with improving the education system.
    You got what you voted for....a mess.

  • Comment number 48.

    No. 30 wrote "When I was young you didn't get too choose what school you went too your parents chose for you and that was that".

    Reading the rest of your comment, clearly they didn't choose too well, did they?

    Sorry to break it to you, but not all kids are vandals or engage in feral behaviour!!

    But getting back to the point, choosing my daughter's secondary school 6 years ago was a nightmare - we ended up applying to only one school in our borough (Lambeth) as the rest weren't up to much then (and still aren't great, but have improved), six in neighbouring boroughs, and six independent schools. Luckily she's bright so she got acceptances from half of the schools we applied for, but it was, in my view, unnecessary stress for all involved. Education should be of a good standard no matter what your postcode.

  • Comment number 49.

    If everyone just sent their child to their local comprehensive there wouldn't be a problem. Some schools are only worse than others because middle class parents ship their kids out to schools miles away. Comprehensives do not provide a second rate education at all. I attend my local comprehensive and am going to oxford next year to study medicine. People should stop obsessing about choice.

  • Comment number 50.

    I think Vicy should appeal to get her daughter into the same school as her son, I think this is absolutely ridiculous the local authority sending one child to another school apart from a sibling and 10 miles away, what on earth are they thinking of?

    I am lucky I have a foundation school a stones' throw away which is best in Tameside, I really hope in 3-4 years' time that my 7 (nearly 8) year old gets in as his older brother went there and is now at University.

    If we had more schools that were good enough everywhere we would not have the problems we have these days.

  • Comment number 51.

    All this "what school your child goes to" is RUBBISH! My friend went to a top of the pops private school and she finished school with worse A-Levels than me and got a lower pass at Degree level too. I came from a school that was notoriously rough and failed offsted twice while I was there and me and my brother have both gone onto to do History and English degrees. I passed mine with a 2:1 and I am now about to start a PGCE. It does not matter what school one goes to, just what one does with the time there and the resources available. I joined plenty of after school and lunchtime clubs instead of just hanging round in the streets or playground and worked hard in class. Most of the teachers were amazing and almost every brilliant teacher I have spoken to all agree that working in a more disadvantaged school is much more fun than a "posh" one. I am much prouder of myself for getting where I have through adversity than going to a private school where everything is handed to you on a plate and you have to strive for nothing. The real world isn't like that (unless daddy employs you) so why should school be?

  • Comment number 52.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 53.

    Thank goodness I live in Scotland where we have none of this laughable annual nonsense.

  • Comment number 54.

    1. Local school is the school you get a place at - period.
    2. Parents are legally obliged to support and encourage their children at all times whilst they are at school
    3. Independent complaints commission to deal with issues at school
    4. Proper performance management for all teaching and non-teaching staff
    5. Unannounced inspections

    That would solve a whole lot of the problems this board is discussing

  • Comment number 55.

    Yes, we got our first choice which we are happy with it - But being a younger sibling made it almost dead cert' this time around. We have not had any problems with the selection system with either of our children, but we know many who have, in fact, half my daughters friends seem to be contemplating an appeal this year. Unfortunately we have three failing schools in a 20 Mile radius. That is the price we pay for still having the 11+ in Kent! - It really does not work because if you take all of the cream of the top, it is inevitable that what you are left with will be well below the national average.

  • Comment number 56.

    Vicy,

    I would just like to say that I had not read your messages when I said that having a sibling made entry almost a dead cert'. For the school we selected the entry criteria puts siblings before all but special needs and I had not realised that all schools did not work that way. It seems outrageous that they would put siblings in different schools, you should appeal with out a doubt.

  • Comment number 57.

    We were fortunate in getting our child into the primary school we wanted, I would say though, that the school was at the bottom of our road. When it comes to the secondary school, I feel that at times it is the parents who choose the school, and not the children. Most of our daughters friends went to what many parents say is the best girls school in the town. Our daughter found thats chool to big, and chose a school which was nearer, but lacked some of the good results many parents look for. I often wonder if the reasons for the good results, is more down to the fact the child is more into schooling, rather than the school. Our daughter did very well, even though her school was still down on grades passed. The main thing in our view, was that our daughter loved her days in school, especially the one of her choice.

  • Comment number 58.

    Meribelman,

    I agree with all but point 1.

    Our local school is a sports academy whereas both of our kids are very maths and science orientated. It would make no sense for us to send our kids to a sports collage, when there is a technology collage in the next town.

    But I agree with everything else, especially the unannounced inspections - That seems like a no brainer to me.

  • Comment number 59.

    I disagree no.55 Tim. We have the 11+ here in Trafford and perhaps the top 20% do go to grammar school but the others do not just get shoved anywhere, our local secondary modern is an outstanding school as are the others in the area NONE are below national average in terms of results and the students are given education tailored to their needs. They have the opportunity to study both academic e.g MFL and manual subjects e.g masonry. They can go to 6th form and to university as many do. They are also heavily setted so as to ensure that every child is with those of equal ability.
    Could I also point out here that there is a 12+ and 13+ etc for students to take once they are at the Secondary Mod.and if they do well they can move to grammar school at any point until GCSE.
    The normal state process is not fair but you can blame Labour for that; one size does NOT fit all.

  • Comment number 60.

    I went to school when the State eduction system provided an education second to none.

    Children left primary school able to read and write legibly and with a good grasp of arithmetic.

    This must seem a little odd to today's parents who have the dubious pleasure of today's State system.

    Let me explain, we sat at desks, in rows, facing the teacher who was able to see whether or not one or more of us was having a problem. We were taught to write, initially using large and small case letters, in order to use 'joined up' writing, we practised lines of loops etc on a piece of lined paper. This taught us how to handle a pencil or pen correctly and this is why our handwriting is legible and distinctive.

    We were also taught how to spell and also how and when to use punctuation. we were also read to and had to read in front of the whole class. We also learned poems and sang folk songs.

    We were taught to add and subtract, multiply and divide and learned our times tables.

    We were taught history and geography. In those days the BBC provided a rang of programmes especially for schools. The two that stand out in my mind were 'How Things Began' and 'Singing Together'

    Those of us who were considered able sat the 11 plus exam, I did and failed. I attended an excellent Secondary Modern school. was reassessed at 13 and then attended a Technical School.

    I am honest enough to admit that I could have done far better at school than I did, I worked very hard at the subjects that I was interested in, English, Biology and Art and was persuaded by my parents to spend my last year learning shorthand and typing, to 'fall back on'. I scraped through typing and had the dubious honour of being the only person to fail shorthand. Typing has proved useful. On reflection I should have spent that year doing what was called a 'Pre Nursing course' not because I had any desire to nurse except for animals but because it included Biology.

    I left school, spent several years working with horses, on farms, farm office work, none of these 9 to 5 jobs and then the only 9 to 5 job ever in an estate agents, the typing eas useful but the worst job ever, I felt trapped. I am now self employed.

    I am grateful for my State provided education which unfortunately ended with the introduction of the Comprehensive system.

    I feel so sorry for today's parents and even sorrier for the children.



  • Comment number 61.

    No 59, this exactly how education should work.

    I hope uou realise that you have just ensured that property prices in your area will rocket as parents will be looking to move there.

  • Comment number 62.

    I got the school of my choice last year. I'm afraid it's still not good enough - especially if you have the comparison. Education here is very worrying.
    I've rescued my child abroad in a proper school with properly trained teachers. My daughter is lucky my Ex can take her for now. I'm about to move there but I have no money and I don't even know where I will be staying. I'm gutted that I have to do this.

  • Comment number 63.

    Every year, we get this debate. Pushy parents want their children to get into the best schools. "They are my children. Therefore they are better than the other children and must go to the best school."

    What a pathetic, subjective argument.

    Not only that, but there are parents that pretend to belong to a faith so their children can go to a faith school. The fact that the children are probably too young to have made a choice about which religion, if any, they wish to follow is besides the point. If faith schools were abolished, some attenpt could be made to improve the standards of other schools.

    The current system seems to lead to a greater gulf between the good schools and the sink schools. Wouldn't it be better to have a level playing field (although the local authority has probably sold this off)?
    Then, each child would go to the school nearest to their home and the local authority could save money on transport costs. There may even be children who can walk to school, rather than be taken by car.

    Ultimately, the pushy parents may lose out. Unless they are very rich, Tristram and Tabitha may struggle to pay off their higher education debts. Meanwhile other children have sussed out that they don't need any education. They are likely to be better off having lots of children and sponging off the state. But that's another question.

  • Comment number 64.

    Hi
    I just wanted to moan some more, to say that although we put our application in on time and said about our sibling. They have give places to children who are new to the school and live a little bit closer than us. Do they think these children will walk to school! i think not. 90% of the children get driven to the school by their parents. My child walks!!!

  • Comment number 65.

    My elder son got into the school of HIS choice. We visited a number and he chose the one that we put at the top of our selection. It happens to be a very good school, although not the highest one in the league tables in the area.

    As a result, we hope that he will be happy and motivated. Especially as we deliberately bought a house in the catchment area! And they say that education is free.......

  • Comment number 66.

    FIREFOX

  • Comment number 67.

    59. At 6:32pm on 01 Mar 2010, Deme wrote:
    I disagree no.55 Tim. We have the 11+ here in Trafford....

    I know nothing of the schools in Trafford so I'll have to take your word for that, but from a purely mathematical point of view, if you take the top 20% of achievers out of the mix, the average must drop. If it hasn't in Trafford then the kids there must be above average for some reason, unfortunately, it would seem they are not in Kent.

    As for it being Labours fault. I am old enough to remember what schools were like under the previous administration and I can only thank god that my kids started school post 1997! - No I am not a Telegraph reader ;)

  • Comment number 68.

    At 7:39pm on 01 Mar 2010, marco wrote:
    FIREFOX


    Errr - Wrong HYS! - LOL (I prefer Chrome)

  • Comment number 69.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 70.

    I really have to laugh at so many of these comments. People seem to think that 'good' schools generate 'good' results.

    Schools get good results because they have brighter kids than those schools with poorer results.

    The selfishness of some parents results in a concentration of able pupils in some schools and less able ones in others.

    The irony of it all is that bright kids will do well wherever they go to school. Less able children will do less well wherever they go to school.

  • Comment number 71.

    I live with my wife and two small children. My eldest is due to start at school in September and we have registered him with the two closest schools. We have been told that we may not get in. The next nearest is a 45 minute walk each way. No wonder people drive their kids to School - So much for an environmentally friendly government. This policy creates more problems than it solves. My wife doesn't drive so what do we do then?

  • Comment number 72.

    #70. At 8:48pm on 01 Mar 2010, hoddles wrote:
    "I really have to laugh at so many of these comments. People seem to think that 'good' schools generate 'good' results.

    The irony of it all is that bright kids will do well wherever they go to school. Less able children will do less well wherever they go to school."

    Unless they end up at a school where bullying is rampant and/or discipline is poor, bright kids aren't guaranteed to do well if they stand out in the crowd and end up being picked on.

  • Comment number 73.

    No 70, rubbish, all children have a degree of intelligence, it is the system that is wrong.
    Bright kids as you quote do NOT do well if they are bored by being held back.
    The less bright do NOT do well unless they are encouraged and not made to feel failures.
    Both these types of children are those that become disruptive. A downward spiral.
    Bring back the education system of the 40s and 50s whereby each and every child achieved its full potential.

  • Comment number 74.

    Fortunately my eldest is only in reception, so this is a long way off for us, but my husband and I moved out of Bristol because we needed to have better schools around us. The three local comps were in the bottom 5 in the Bristol standings, so we took the financial hit and decided to rent elsewhere (we can't afford to buy). Now our two local secondarys are above average and we feel much more confident in our childrens education. Both my husband and I went to our local secondarys and I came away with all A-Cs, he came away with a handful of C-Es. Ironically, our two schools were the other two in the bottom five!! Bright children will excel anywhere, but a better school certainly would help to ensure they stay on track.

  • Comment number 75.

    Hello people.

    As a serving member of parliament I was very lucky to get my three children into a school which, whilst it was quite some distance from where we live, we feel it is the best learning environment for them.
    I asked my parliamentary secretary to telephone to the school to arrange an interview. Once this was concluded I decided that it would meet our needs and we were lucky in that the local council pays for them to be driven by taxi everyday.
    I am a great believer in choice in education and I think that this shows that this present system is working.

  • Comment number 76.

    The biggest influence on a child's up bring is their parents.

    When are children going to get a choice in this matter? Isn't choosing a school like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted?

  • Comment number 77.

    Nobody has answered the burning question of the day - come on "Predator at Aliens" (#30) what is a "Carefoo"?????????????????????????

  • Comment number 78.

    We are still waiting, thought it would be today .... but the postman delivered post to both my neighbours and not us!!! So we may know tomorrow.I hope she gets into my first choice but she doesnt want to go there, she is hoping its the second one on my list.

  • Comment number 79.

    Problem 'goes-away' with hyper-fast broadband; kids may study at-home, streaming-&-downloading hi-def audio-video from secure-servers.

    Primitive 2Meg requires upgrade to 1Terrabyte [500-fold increase] to accomodate 10,000s kids online throughout the school-day.

    Unlimited class-sizes mean 'war-zone' schools may be sold-off or given alternative-status [day-care, youth-clubs...].

  • Comment number 80.

    #78 "We are still waiting, thought it would be today .... but the postman delivered post to both my neighbours and not us!!! So we may know tomorrow.I hope she gets into my first choice but she doesnt want to go there, she is hoping its the second one on my list."

    Why do you want your daughter to go to a school that she doesn't want to go to? Don't you think she would be happier, and hence do better academically, in the school of her choice? And even if it didn't work out, wouldn't it be better for her to be allowed to make her own decisions and learn from the experience?

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    You used to have to go to the nearest school simple as that. Now we have herds of pushy parents moving in to areas and generally making life miserable for all who live there, when is all this nonsense going to end? I'm sure little Johnny will be just fine in the nearest school just like everyone else had to in the past, when those who were bright generally did well and those not so bright went to technical college or got a job as a labourer and worked thier way up. Even in darkest Devon we have to put up with stupid parents charging down country lanes way to fast to get thier offspring to an apparently decent school, these people make what used to be a pleasent environment for all a misery.

  • Comment number 83.

    Once again the London admissions system is not working smoothly. We have all been encouraged to apply on-line with the promise of a quick result available at 7am, but the system is down and no results accessible. My child will have a sibling place so we are relaxed - though he is keen to see it in writing - but friends going through it for the first time are fraught this morning. London boroughs really do need to get it right given the way that children and adults are hyped up to be ready for this morning.

  • Comment number 84.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 85.

    Absolutely appalled at the total inefficiency of the system that promised us an online outcome at 7 am. Having been awake half the night, the web site is not loading. No doubt they'll tell us it's due to unprecedented numbers of people trying to access it. Well guess what - plan better or get another job!

  • Comment number 86.

    My son got his 'first choice' school so will appear on the statistics as one of the 'lucky' children. However what the commentators never seem to pick up on are all the children, like him, outside major towns and cities who don't actually have a choice at all. We have one school - our next nearest school is over 7 miles away with an infrequent bus service. All schools in the area are oversubscribed due to the large amount of housebuilding in recent years (but have to accept the children regardless). We are fortunate in that our local school is also a good school but I do wonder where the 'choice' is.

  • Comment number 87.

    49. At 5:37pm on 01 Mar 2010, redview wrote:

    "I attend my local comprehensive and am going to oxford next year to study medicine. People should stop obsessing about choice."

    Why are you choosing Oxford?

  • Comment number 88.

    At 4:05pm on 01 Mar 2010, The_Prince_of_excess wrote:
    Yes, all the children in my family are at our #1 school of choice.

    Of course, the fact that we're forking out £10,000 a year, EACH, helps a bit. And no, we're not middle class, we're very much working class but we understand that the money is better spent getting them the best education in the county rather than getting us nice cars or a longer holiday.

    I beg to differ - if you can afford to spend £10k a year EACH on schooling - you are middle class. A typial working class person would only earn about £14k - £15k, so if you can afford to spend 2/3 of a salary on your childrens education fair play i you, howvere i very much doubt this.

  • Comment number 89.

    Have I found out where my daughter is going to school in September? Well, I'd like to, but the online Pan London admissions system has crashed, so although we were told we could access the details from 7.00am on 2 March, nothing of the sort has happened.

    The BBC may want to investigate this story as one more piece of evidence that the admissions system is over-bureaucratic and inefficient - and made even worse when you introduce IT into the equation. These people only have to get things right ONCE a year - they can't even do that.

    It makes the "benefits" of doing admissions online little more than a joke.

    Cuts to local government - they can't come quickly or deeply enough in my view.

  • Comment number 90.

    Hello people.

    Yes, I was lucky to get my child into our choice of school.
    I agree, being councillor may have helped but it is not true that I threatened to withhold funding from the school if they didn't acquiesce. I merely suggested that the school's new Arts Centre would benefit from some special funding which the EU has ear-marked for Excellent Learning Centres which this school now is.

  • Comment number 91.

    This like a lot of other HYS, seems to be a London centric thing. Im really worried that a lot of people from that region are losing touch with the rest of the UK.

  • Comment number 92.

    We still don't have the results as the eadmissions web site has been down since the promised 7 am publication time.
    The application process has been a long, drawn out process for us, with reams of documents read, miles of school corridors walked and far too many forms, proofs of address, references, test papers, waiting hours and coffees.
    To be faced with a "Page not available" message on the main day is disappointing to say the least. Just hope the outcome won't be!

  • Comment number 93.

    My son got into our first choice, a first choice we were basically forced into. We couldn't put him in the school next door because he didn't stand a chance, as he's not CofE. This school is literally across the road, state funded, but there was no chance of him getting in!

    So now he's got to go to a school that's awkward to get to and requires cycling through a sink estate. We're only -just- in its catchment area (it stops at the edge of the back garden).

  • Comment number 94.

    I wish parents and commentators would put the basic sums and voting habits of parents into the same bag. eg.....A given town has 1000 students going into Yr 7 in September ...there are say...two excellent towns in the area ..the rest are average or below standard. It's obvious every child is not going to get into the 'best schools'. Any politician who offers you false hope by saying that their party can solve that problem is lieing through their back teeth......and they have maintained that myth for years.
    The best parents can do is A).. and this is VERY important....check all the local schools VALUE ADDED figures for the last 5 years in detail. In lay terms this figure tells you how a far a school ADVANCES students in their care from when they arrive in Yr7 until they leave at the end of YR11. In 'value added' terms the best school in the area may not push YOUR child enough whereas what appears to be a 'more average' school will PUSH your child a lot more thus advancing them. And B) visit the schools in their area and ask to be taken around by some students.....the schools will onlt trust you with pleasant and reliable students...which is good beacause then you will know that they do exist. C) Check out the pastoral system within the school...what is the role of the Form Tutor? and the working systems through them to Head of Year or House....A good pastoral system ensures that your childs welfare is monitored at ALL times..,,,and some schools are rubbish in this regard.
    Finally ... a lot of parental views and opinions about local schools come 2nd ..3rd... 4th hand..etc..thats why considering all the above is important in making a choice within a system that will only ever be perfect for a few.

  • Comment number 95.

    This question takes me back to the early 1970's when my bright daughter was destined to go to a brand new and very large Comprehensive Secondary School.
    As concerned parents we fought long and hard to try and get her into an established school with a proven excellent record.
    We were startled to be told by the Deputy Head Mistress of the Comprehensive that her school was there to produce 'factory fodder'.
    Despite our attempts to save our daughter from this fate we lost our appeal and, in my mind, her education suffered.
    Parents have never had real choice.

  • Comment number 96.

    My grand-daughter did get into her first-choice secondary school, but only after an entrance examination. Curiously, this was not a grammar school, with an Eleven Plus selection requirement, but a co-educational comprehensive school.
    I had always imagined that a basic tenet of entry to a state comprehensive school was non-selectivity - how naïve of me.

  • Comment number 97.

    This seems like an awful lot of fuss involving pushy parents to me.

    I grew up in Scotland and went through the Scottish education system. There is no competition for schools there as most people just go to the nearest school in their catchment area. Once I started my Standard Grades in 3rd year, classes were seperated by ability in each subject so this meant that if you were good at a particular subject, you would end up in the top class for this and not have to be in the same class as other pupils who didn't want to or were unable to do well and were potentially disruptive to others.

    Even though it was a comprehensive school (the sort of place pushy mummy types would turn their noses up at) I felt that it gave me a good grounding and I went on to achieve excellent grades and then a decent university degree. A far better way of doing things I feel without the yearly kerfuffle of worrying which high school your child is going to end up at.

  • Comment number 98.

    Sue Denim wrote:

    "why are we so worried about getting into a 'chosen school' or even given a choice?"

    It's to give parents something to boast about at dinner parties. Particularly if the local schools are so awful they have to pay for their revolting brood to go to a "public" school. Then they can bore everyone witless complaining about school fees. They usually neglect to tell anyone that they blackmail their parents into paying the fees anyway, threatening withdrawal of grandchildren. It's got so bad that I've stopped socialising with anybody under 50. At least then you've an even chance of an entertaining evening getting quietly pissed. People aged between 30 and 50 have always been morons, myself included, but now they seem proud of it!

  • Comment number 99.

    Whether it was the preferred school or not, that's usually just the start of the problems in securing a decent education.

    Disruption by the disinterested pupils (supported by their parents) is the usual problem. All schools have numerous "policies" on disruption, commitment to providing a good learning environment, home-school agreements, etc. However, actual delivery is another matter. Many teachers are compelled to become unwilling amateur (and usually inneffective) social workers. Seeking to compel a school to fulfill the terms of its own policies is always an interesting activity. Notification in accordance with the policies followed by reasoned discussion is always best. Then it comes down to, "Your policies state this - so do it". The litany of excuses related to the problem pupils' "anger management issues + disfunctional family + absence of a home-school agreement" is always entertaining - but sad when one's own child is the victim of the resulting poor education.

  • Comment number 100.

    "I beg to differ - if you can afford to spend £10k a year EACH on schooling - you are middle class. A typial working class person would only earn about £14k - £15k, so if you can afford to spend 2/3 of a salary on your childrens education fair play i you, howvere i very much doubt this."

    Rubbish, My salary is more than double what you say a working class person would earn, but I was born working class and I'm still working class. I work with working class people who have spent money to help their child with private tuition its not just the middle class who care about their childrens future .

 

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