Call for changes to school admissions in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 20:01 07 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:02 06 May 2010

OVERWHELMING support has emerged for a change to school admission arrangements in the St Albans district. As a result, the county council will switch from the current shortest designated route measurement to school from home to a straight line distance

OVERWHELMING support has emerged for a change to school admission arrangements in the St Albans district.

As a result, the county council will switch from the current "shortest designated route" measurement to school from home to a "straight line distance measurement".

An eight-week consultation was held in January and February and of the 568 responses, 499 agreed with the move to a straight line distance measurement - a total of 87.85 per cent.

The change will apply at both primary and secondary level and will be implemented for the start of the school year next September, 2011.

Glenda Hardy, head of school admissions and transport at the county council, admitted that despite their best efforts, the system of "shortest designated route" was not well understood.

She went on: "The 'straight line measurement' is simpler, less open to dispute and is now the norm in most local authorities - in fact seven of the nine local authorities surround Herts already use this method"

Cllr Judy Shardlow from Wheathampstead, who has championed the problems encountered by secondary age children in the village trying to get a school of their choice, said this week: "Every year it seems they make mistakes about pupils' routes to school which causes people a lot of heartache so I can't say it's not a good idea.

"Whether it will make things any better for better for people in Wheathampstead, I doubt it will. The only thing which will make a difference is when the county council does what they should do and creates more secondary school places.

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