|No school offers for hundreds of local children|
Uncertain times for pupils seeking secondary education
224 school children in Ealing Borough were not only rejected by the secondary school of their choice, but also the same number had received no offer of a place at all, according to a newspaper report.
Alarming reading for parents and pupils alike but situation is not as bleak as it seems. A spokesperson for Ealing Council's Admissions Services said, "No parent is without a potential school place. Unlike a number of other local authorities who enforce a 'no choice' school allocation policy on parents who did not receive an offer of one of their preferences, Ealing Council has written to all of these parents with a list of school places still available.
"The council has found this system to be much fairer and ensures parents are actively engaged in deciding where their child is educated. Secondary schools in Ealing are performing better than the national average and there are sufficient places available for all children who did not receive an offer of one of their preferences."
One parent contacted us to say, "It is quite alarming to get a letter saying that no place has been found for your child and the nearest alternative is in Southall which would be a massive trek every day. We were fortunate enough that the private system was an option but this cannot be the case for all the other parents who have received such letters."
Ealing Council urgently require people to serve on education appeal panels, which meet to hear school admission and exclusion appeals. These positions are voluntary, but members are given a travel allowance and free parking in the Town Hall on the day of the appeal. Lunch is provided if the appeals take the entire day. Further details can be received from Linda Zimmerman / Una Sullivan, Committee Section, Town Hall, New Broadway, Ealing W5 2BY Tel: (020) 8825 8419. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com.
March 23, 2006