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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Admin on June 28, 2013, 10:25:44 AM


Title: Schools and places
Post by: Admin on June 28, 2013, 10:25:44 AM
ref News item in Summer's TD Today on the looming crisis in secondary schools places (and the article by Nicola in the Spring issue on the infant/junior 'bulge'), we are not alone:
"Academies 'making shortage of school places worse'
Spending watchdog says non-expansion of independent schools could drive up pupil numbers in normal schools"

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: Admin on September 03, 2013, 01:29:39 PM

"Almost half of England's school districts will have more primary pupils than places within two years, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said."

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: Admin on February 05, 2014, 12:36:32 PM
Surrey County Council will be discussing the petition for a new Thames Ditton Secondary School at 11:30 on the 12th February.  Louise McDonagh of the parents' action group, the author of the article in TD Today Winter issue, will be speaking to the petition.  Your support in attendance at the meeting would be a helpful signal to the Council.

Parents of prospective secondary pupils should also be sure to view and contribute to the Hinchley Wood School consultation on admissions for the coming September: see (  Consultation closes on 21 February.

Esher High is also having a consultation.

Louise comments that the feeder schools proposition in these consultations should be supported by Thames Ditton residents.  Also, it is still not clear why Hinchley Wood has not addressed the sibling rule (and this could become a real issue even if it is not significant just yet); and that perhaps it might be worth asking HW to place the feeder school criterion above the sibling rule criterion as well.

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: mrdom on February 10, 2014, 04:39:28 PM
New ePetition set up :

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: Ratty on February 13, 2014, 12:55:52 PM
The ePetition above is actually for people who wish to oppose the feeder schools proposition.

Those Thames Ditton residents looking to support the proposals should complete this form:

Return by Friday 21st February 2014 to:

Mrs E Walsh
Clerk to Governors
Hinchley Wood School
Claygate Lane
KT10 0AQ

Or by email to

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: Admin on February 22, 2014, 06:01:05 PM
Courtesy of Louise McDonagh, to whom all parents should be grateful for organising and driving this forward, you may download here (  the notes of the SCC hearing on the petition.

The Council's official response subsequent to the hearing is below:

"Council response to petition 'TDittonSchool'
The Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning considered this petition at her
decision making meeting on 12 February 2014 and agreed the following

"We monitor the demand for school places carefully and have had several
meetings with all parties regarding the sufficiency of secondary school
places in Elmbridge, particularly in the south part of the Borough. Our
present forecast data indicates that there are sufficient places in the
borough overall; for 2014 these will be provided by Esher High School,
Heathside, Hinchley Wood, RES and The Cobham Free School. We have also
planned for additional places to be available from 2015 onwards in line
with our forecast data.

Surrey County Council is also concerned that its secondary schools are
large enough to provide the breadth of curriculum and subject options
required by young people in order to equip them for the future. This means
that our secondary schools need to be at least six forms of entry (i.e. 180
students per year group) to be viable and possibly even larger than this in
future. Where we only need one or two additional forms we would always look
to expand existing successful schools in the first instance.

We are keeping a close eye on the situation in Elmbridge and will adjust
our strategy if and when we feel there is a need. However as local
authorities can no longer promote new community schools any new secondary
school would have to be an academy or Free School."

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: Admin on February 22, 2014, 11:35:38 PM
...and from the Telegraph:
" Tens of thousands of children face losing the automatic right to a place at their local secondary school amid a surge in the number of comprehensives using lottery-style admissions policies.

Some one in 12 schools is shunning traditional catchment areas in favour of rules designed to engineer a more balanced student body and break the middle-class stranglehold on places.

The shift is being driven by a rise in the number of academies and free schools whose admissions policies are independent of local council control. The head of one major chain of academies said it was no longer “inherently fair or good for our society” to let parents move into the catchment area of a leading school to get a place. "

One of the ?unintended consequences of the present government's policies of encouraging academies and free schools and of not allowing councils to open new state schools.  You may easily imagine the anomalies (e.g. siblings) which a lottery would throw up. 

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: Ratty on February 25, 2014, 03:30:04 PM
Campaigners lose battle for new Thames Ditton secondary school (

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: Ratty on April 01, 2014, 07:08:31 PM
The Hinchley Wood School's Governing Body has approved the proposed changes to the school’s Admissions Criteria for September 2015 which include Thames Ditton Juniors becoming a linked feeder school - Press Release (

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: Dictun Mearc on April 17, 2014, 09:29:48 AM
It's not just Secondary School places that are causing problems.  Some friends of ours have failed to get their daughter into either Thames Ditton Infants or Hinchley Wood Primary, despite living in a flat overlooking Giggs Hill Green - 800m away from both of them as the crow flies.  They've instead been offered a place for her at Chandlers Field School in Molesey instead, which was not on their list at all, and they're understandably quite upset about this.

Similar problems for some other friends of ours who live in Claygate - they didn't get any of their choices either, and their daughter has been offered a place at Bell Farm Junior school in Hersham.

Both plan to appeal.

Title: Re: Schools and places
Post by: Juninho on April 17, 2014, 09:12:49 PM
That must be horrible for them. My sympathies for your friends.

I had to look up where chandlers is and it's all the way over in west molesey - I make it just shy of 3 miles or almost an hours walk for them. And the fact is it's not got a very high ofsted rating at all must only add to their concerns.

Who are they losing out to? Is it children that live closer than 800m? How do the schools allocate places? Is it distance first? Do siblings take priority over distance?

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