Secondary school allocation problems 'must end'

PUBLISHED: 15:40 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

Cllr Chris Oxley

Cllr Chris Oxley

SECONDARY school transfer problems must not be allowed to go on into another year according to concerned St Albans district councillors. They have agreed to complain to Herts County Council and ask for specific issues to be reviewed in the wake of this y

SECONDARY school transfer problems must not be allowed to go on into another year according to concerned St Albans district councillors.

They have agreed to complain to Herts County Council and ask for specific issues to be reviewed in the wake of this year's secondary transfer which has left 77 pupils in the district without a place at one of their ranked schools.

Nineteen of those are in Wheathampstead with an additional 30 unsuccessful in St Albans and 14 in Harpenden.

Wheathampstead Lib-Dem district councillor Chris Oxley said that children in the village had been offered places at Francis Bacon in St Albans or Onslow St Audrey in Hatfield, both of which required long and difficult journeys.

Warning that the situation could only get worse and was already being seen in primary schools where there was a shortage of places, he pointed out that parents of children in the villages were particularly disadvantaged. "They pay the same taxes and shouldn't get second-class treatment," he said.

Cllr Oxley said he had spent the past 12 years trying to persuade the county council to make admission rules fair and equitable.

Labour group leader, Cllr Roma Mills, urged last week's full meeting of the district council to raise specific issues with the county.

She wants them to review the current capacity in Year Seven places in the district and the number of incoming pupils, the planned admission numbers at each school and the priority areas that the community schools in St Albans and Harpenden are required to serve.

Cllr Mills maintained that there were a number of voluntary-aided schools in the district which took children from outside the area and she called on the county to look at that, "in an intelligent way".

And she suggested that while a number of schools were landlocked, there might be some with the capacity to expand which needed to be looked at.

But Tory councillors accused them of politicking with a district council election looming. Former group leader and now Independent, Cllr John Newman, said most initially-unsuccessful children got places when others, offered places at public schools, were taken out of the equation.

And Cllr Liz Stevenson accused the ruling LibDem group of not responding when the county council consulted on its admissions policy earlier this year. She added: "The Government only allows the county council to choose broadly by geography and siblings. Different rules would achieve the same results but move the anxiety elsewhere.

More news stories

17:00

Two St Albans mums are hosting a one day pop-up vintage clothes shop to help fund a charity fashion show next year.

St Albans district’s hospitals could be left without vital medical supplies after Brexit, new data appears to show.

09:00

A 17-year-old girl from St Albans has been selected as one of eight winners of Young Sportsperson of the Year.

Yesterday, 18:00

Traffic is queueing on the M1 following a crash between a car and motorcyclist in the St Albans area.

CountryPhile

Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards