Infant school pupils to get priority at junior schools after protests from parents (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Infant school pupils to get priority at junior schools after protests from parents
INFANT school children in Christchurch, Mudeford, Upton are set to get priority at their associated junior schools, after a wave of protests from parents.
The admission arrangements for children moving between infant and junior schools in September 2015 will be looked at for Christchurch Infant and Junior, Mudeford Infant and Junior, Upton Infant and Junior and Wkye Regis Infant and Junior.
The review follows complaints to Dorset County Council and the Schools Adjudicator after a number of children who had attended Christchurch Infant School were then unable to get a place at Christchurch Junior School.
A number of parents complained it was unfair that despite living in the catchment area and their children attending the infant school, they lost out on a junior schools spaces to parents who lived nearer.
Dorset County Council’s cabinet member for education Cllr Toni Coombs said: “Families move in and have been unable to get their children into the catchment infant school so they take a place at another primary school within the pyramid.
“Some of these parents live closer to the junior school and later apply for a junior school place at Year 3, displacing infant school children to other schools based on how far away they live from the school."
As a result of an objection raised with the Schools Adjudicator, Dorset County Council will now work with the adjudicator's office to review the admissions arrangements to agree an in-year variation.
Cllr Coombs added: “We've told the Schools Adjudicator we support the change for September 2015. This would mean that children who are in catchment for a junior school and attend the feeder infant school would have a higher priority than catchment children who do not have a sibling or feeder school link.”
The final decision for any change will now sit with the Office of the Schools Adjudicator. Any ruling will be binding from September 2015, but the county council will continue to consult annually on its admissions arrangements in line with Department for Education Statutory Guidance.
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