thisbrighton.co.uk - Brighton: illustrated   (中文)

Big Issue: Secondary Schools Admissions Procedure

Gotta Read It...

The Great Storm of 1987 full story...

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Green
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The Luck of the Draw

Demo at Hove Town Hall
click the photo to see
a map of the catchment areas

One of the most doubtful aspects of the new system is the introduction of chance as the preferred method for choosing successful applicants when a school is over-subscribed. Having introduced fixed catchment areas around schools that prioritise those children within them, the system has dispensed altogether with 'distance measuring' (that is, measuring the distance from home to school). Instead, ballots will be used, not ballots as in voting, but ballots as in the drawing of lots. So, if for example Dorothy Stringer is over-subscribed then all will draw lots (electronically) to see who gets the places available and who does not. It should be noted that in deciding to allocate places randomly, the committee is following national guidance. The only other random selection in government administrstion which springs to mind is the random selection of conscripts to the US Army.

It is when reason fails that governance resorts to randomness in decision making. What a lesson for our children to learn that the secondary school they are about to enroll in was decided by a raffle! New Labour's super casino fiasco has led to accusations of a gambling addiction. Here is yet more evidence.

There is no easy answer to this matter, but the system that has just been approved is unsatisfactory, not least because it appears to have resolved one set of legitimate grievances by the creation of yet others. To return to the story with which I started this piece, the mother kept her child at his school, though unhappy with his progress, and the boy moved on to a local secondary school with his mates. His motivation - or lack of it - got worse, and in desperation she went to Lewes and managed to persuade a well respected comprehensive there to take him in. No doubt it was a wrench, but within a week the boy who never had homework to do, who never would do his homework, was asking his mother for help. It's true: the child your child sits next to is a part of your child's education.
posted 6/2/07


SAR Pressure Groups

cause4eb.co.uk
schools4communities.co.uk


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