Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Pupils cannot be denied a place in their preferred schools simply because they are full, a court ruled yesterday.

The landmark High Court judgement is likely to give hope to thousands of families who challenge the schools they are allocated each year before independent appeals panels (IAPs).

In the case, the mother of an 11-year-old girl took her battle to London's High Court after an appeal panel rejected her choice of secondary school because it was full.

The mother - referred to as M - wanted her daughter (MC) to be educated away from her London inner city neighbourhood and its problems of crime and bullying. The mother had applied to a popular and oversubscribed school but she was rejected by Haringey's schools council admissions service.

The ruling means M and her daughter are entitled to a fresh hearing before the IPA.

This was the first High Court case to examine provisions of the new schools admissions appeal code 2009. It will provide guidelines for parents and education authorities in the future.

More on the ruling here.

Tags for Forum Posts: haringey heartlands, school funding

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Uh? Must confess I don't understand this. So schools should consider the individual pupil and whether they might "enhance" the school - what does that actually mean in practice, especially when there are limits to the number of students that a school can accommodate? How can it be used in choosing who should attend, and what weight should it have against things like where a pupil lives?
This does seem a bizarre ruling. So a school can longer say they are full just because they have filled their places?? Or am I missing the point here?
David, it appears you are right. Que an increasing workload for IPAs!
About time.
Can you explain?
There may, of course, be more to the ruling than The Daily Mail was up to dealing with. On the face of it, however, if the law itself isn't an ass I'm beginning to have my doubts about Lord Carlile. So what's to stop all those thousands of disappointed mums who want to ship the apple of their eye out of, say, Somerstown (or even Wightman Road) to, let us say, Fortismere on the Hill? Shouldn't they descend upon the High Court and Lord Carlile, however oversubscribed and overworked these may be, to demand justice? I'm sure Lord Carlile will fit them all in somehow.

Let's suppose that Mother M & Daughter MC live in some corner of Haringey, or just over the border in Islington, Camden or Hackney. That would be stre-e-e-etching the meaning of the phrase 'London inner city neighbourhood and its problems of crime and bullying'. It would also be stretching the meaning of 'local or neighbourhood school' - as Alison says, where the pupil lives.

Let's just suppose, too, that the school is indeed Fortismere. It's the only heavily oversubscribed school I know in Haringey with an intake of 243 in Year 7, presumably a nominal 8-form entry (240).

If MC already had a Statement of Special Needs which named Fortismere as her school of choice, then the school, however oversubscribed, would have to take her. She doesn't have a 'SN Statement'.

Next priority is: 'Children who are looked after by a local authority'. She isn't.

Next (and the only provision with some bearing on MC's application): 'Young people whom the Governors and Head, in their sole discretion, accept have an exceptional need for a place at Fortismere. Applications will only be considered under this category if they are supported by a written statement from a doctor, social worker or other appropriate professional. In each case there must be a clear connection between the child's need and Fortismere School.'
Certainly the Mail Online story makes no mention of any supporting statement.

Mother M would have been given all this and other info before she applied for a place for her daughter by 24th October 2008. Even if she had applied later, the school would/might have offered to place MC on their Waiting List, if M & MC agreed. M would have known all this at least seven months before the IAP met to deal with appeals in early Summer'09. So too with all the other parents whose applications were unsuccessful, even though Fortismere was their child's first choice.
(Of course, this is all hypothetical. Fortismere may not be the school in question. It could well be John Loughborough or Northumberland Park.)

It seems to me that all this ruling can mean is that secondary schools and IAPs will continue to do their 'due diligence' but take care to dress up their decisions more palatably. When a school's Year 7 is full, it's full.
Fortismere pupils passing 5 GSCEs: 70%
Alexandra Park: 62%
Hornsey Girls and Highgate Wood: 48%

Jump east over the track and you start entering 30% territory.

What exactly is a parent with a 10 year old meant to do?
Matt, surely that also reflects the social makeup of the areas mentioned..?

I would expect there to be a higher proportion of shall we say 'don't care a less' parents in the East, than in the West of the Borough..

Is it really a school problem?
Stephen, why would you expect there to be a higher proportion of parents who don't care less in the East? Do you think we don't love or care for our children as much as parents in the West of the Borough? What nonsense.
Unfortunately, I don't think it is nonsense.. the statement was of course, a generalisation ..
On the other hand, If I'd had written that generally parents in the west 'were pushier' - expected more from their kids - would you have agreed to that?

Inequalities can't be corrected if no one's prepared to admit they exist.. and believe me, they existed in my days at school too..

I happen to think that schools/teachers do a great job, often without much assistance from 'some' parents

OT: pleased to see that my old school is over 50%
How far west do I have to move to become a better. pushier and more caring parent?
You're mistaking a statement about an average for a statement about an individual.

If I said people in the West were taller (or fatter) than those in the East, you wouldn't ask how far you'd have to move to be taller or fatter. At least I hope you wouldn't!

I think it's undeniable that ON AVERAGE the levels of parental involvement, pushiness, expectation - call it what you will - are higher in the wealthier (western) parts of the borough than the east.

If not, how would you explain the differences in educational outcomes? Are the children in the East stupider than those in the West?



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