Local schools for local children

Studies have shown that children who walk or cycle to school concentrate better than those who are transported by car, train, or bus, children attending a local school cuts down on unnecessary travel and we’d like to see all publicly funded schools being at the heart of the community, predominantly providing places to local children.  Addressing the House of Parliament in 2010, the Rt Hon Rob Wilson, MP for Reading East said, “I would like my local grammar schools to re-engage with the task of aiding social mobility for clever, poorer local Reading children rather than being regional schools.”  The 2010 Schools Admissions Code said, “admission arrangements should support sustainable and healthy travel.” although this was removed by the coalition government when the code was revised for 2012.

We are running a petition asking decision makers such as school governing bodies to consider changes to admissions so they revert to being at the heart of the community providing places predominantly for local children.  We’d be interested to  hear about any schools who appear more concerned about selecting those children they want to admit than the wishes of the community in which the schools are situated so we can add them to the decision makers the petition is aimed at.

Further reading




3 Responses to Local schools for local children

  1. Julie says:

    Firstly, I would like to point out that I am a firm supporter of grammar schools; my son started at Reading School this September, where he is now extremely happy, and finally receiving education suited to his ability (unlike his experience at his state primary school). I am also a former Kendrick girl myself, and believe that I received a fantastic education there.

    My main concern is the inequality between the number of grammar school places available to girls and boys in Reading. I understand that Reading School will shortly be offering 150 places for boys starting in year 7 (brilliant!), whereas Kendrick will be offering only 96. I completely understand that Kendrick is very limited for space in which to expand (I went there!), but I would be very grateful if someone could tell me who I should approach about this huge inequality and what, if anything, can be done to address it. My daughter is currently in year 5, and I do not think that her male peers should have such an advantage when it comes to gaining a local grammar school place. Does anyone have overall responsibility for this sort of thing, even though both schools are academies?

    I do sympathise with your campaign, as it would seem to me that there are far more “local” children who would benefit from a grammar school education than there are places available to them. (I would not consider sending my daughter to one of the Slough grammar schools due to the travelling this would involve.)

    • Steve says:

      Hi Julie, I think you would need to contact Kendrick re. any expansion. They are an academy and aren’t under the control of Reading Borough Council.

  2. Julie says:

    Thank you for your response, Steve. I feared as much. Unfortunately, Kendrick have no currents plans for expansion. I am still surprised that there doesn’t appear to be anyone who assumes overall control and responsibility for ensuring that boys and girls have equal access to education, academies or not. They are still state schools after all. Perhaps, if there is enough local demand, they will one day consider opening a further site as in Kent.

    I wish everyone currently going through this system the very best of luck. We found the waiting pretty stressful.

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