Author: Cyril Richert
We have published a series of articles on the Belleville primary school extension and the choice of primary school in Clapham Junction area over this summer (read our series HERE).
As promised this summer (read the bottom of our article HERE) Wandsworth Council is now running a consultation on primary school admissions in the Northcote, Shaftesbury and Balham Wards and the expansion of Alderbrook School.
The Council is considering the establishment of a geographical priority area for admission to Belleville Primary School from September 2012 and the establishment of a secondary geographical priority area for admission to Belleville Primary School, around its satellite site in Forthbridge Road SW11 5NX, from September 2012 (similar to plan B explained in our article on Solutions for Belleville extension).
You can download the Belleville and Alderbrook Consultation document and a copy of the Proposed Priority Areas for Local Schools Map showing the proposed priority areas for admissions.
Here is the map (click on the image to see bigger) with colours for the two catchment areas (priority zones):
The council does use Geographical Priority Areas at some other schools in the Borough. These are a fixed catchment areas i.e. specific shaped area not just distance and one school Beatrix Potter has a first and second priority area with admission priority following that (Children living in the first priority area are given priority over those living in the second priority area. However, living in either priority area does not guarantee a place at the school. This will depend on the demand for places from people living in the priority areas in a particular year.)
The Biggest effect of GPAs however is on sibling admission. Siblings only get priority admission if they STILL live in the GPA. The idea to use priority areas for Belleville primary school (with extension in Forthbridge road) was raised by Councillor Kathy Tracey.
You should also see our previous articles:
- Excellent Primary schools oversubscribed in nappy valley (with a map on the current catchment zone, 30% smaller than zone 1+2 and shrinking every year)
- The need to extend Belleville school (with the Forthbridge road site extension putting Belleville from 3 form of entry to 4)
- Opposition to Belleville extension
Questions asked by the Council are (do you agree Yes/No):
- Should the Council designate a geographical priority area for admission to Belleville School?
- Should the Council additionally designate a second priority area for admission to Belleville school?
- Alternatively, should the Council make no change to the current admission arrangements for Belleville school?
Alderbrook Primary School to double form of entry
The Council is also consulting on a proposal to expand Alderbrook Primary School from one form of entry (30) to two forms of entry (60) from September 2011.
For information on pupil place projections for Balham, Bedford, Nightingale, Northcote and Shaftesbury wards download the Pupil place projections for the local area.
Question asked by the Council is (do you agree Yes/No):
- The Council proposes to expand Alderbrook School from one to two forms of entry from September 2011.
Two consultation meetings have been arranged to take place in November 2010 as follows:
- 15 November 2010 at 6.30pm at Belleville Primary School, Webbs Road, SW11 6PR
- 18 November 2010 at 6.30pm at Alderbrook Primary School, Oldridge Road, SW12 8PP
The consultation closes on 1 December 2010.
You can submit your views/comments online.
Or write to the Council (download the Belleville and Alderbrook Consultation document):
Ref: JAJ/Belleville Admission Consultation Oct10/sa
Post: The Consultation Officer, Admission Consultation, Room 90, Town Hall, Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 2PU
Any changes to the existing admission arrangements for Belleville Primary School (and its Forthbridge Road site) would be applied to applications for admission in September 2012 onwards.
The Forthbridge school site campaign published a leaflet ahead of the consultation meeting on Monday 15th at Belleveille school (download HERE).
- The Belleville Governors are against these Council proposals, so are they even workable?
- The proposals are very complicated. They conflate the sibling issue at Belleville with the Forthbridge school access issue.
- The sibling issue is separate and is for Belleville parents to decide. Many people would like to see this addressed at ALL the schools in the area at the same time.
- This “ranked GPAs proposal” is flawed because:
– Nearly all of the reception places offered at Belleville in 2010 by distance alone were to addresses already located in the FIRST GPA (including the 30 “Forthbridge places”).
– The distances used in the SECOND GPA will still be measured from the Belleville main site.
– Evidence from other schools shows there’s little realistic chance that any child from the SECOND GPA would ever actually gain a place (Beatrix Potter School 2007-2009)
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Unless I have misunderstood this, it doesn’t address the concerns of those living near the Forthbridge Road site. Most of these do live in the second priority zone (at the eastern end) – but will only get a place once demand in the main area is satisfied. There are unlikely to be many places left over – even if fewer siblings will get in (from parents that have moved away).
Matthew> Indeed. The idea came from Councillor Kathy Tracey as this is already implemented in Beatrix Potter (see http://cjag.org/2010/08/16/solutions-for-belleville-extension/ ).
I think it would be important to ask, during the consultation meetings, what are the place projections for the local area. It should be something that the Council is able to run based on subscription for last years.
Belleville is already over-subscribed and the current catchment area seems smaller than the priority 1 zone.
The extension site of Forthbridge will provide an additional form of entry, which will allow an increase of 25%. However the additional zone is an increase of 50%, therefore it is perfectly legitimate to raise doubts on the result of the proposed solution.
Again we should call for the council to provide projections for the local area.