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Horniman School - no bulge class
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michael


Posts: 3,204
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #1
28-03-2014 09:40 AM

A few days ago news reached East Dulwich that Horniman school will not have a bulge class, as had been expected.

http://www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk/forum/...29,1292613

The school's newsletter confirmed this news:

Quote:
The school has just been informed that the proposed bulge class will not be going ahead for September 2014. We expect to hear more details in the near future and will keep you updated. In the mean?me, if you have any specific admission ques?ons, please contact Lewisham Admissions team on 020 8314 8282. However, they will not be able to answer any ques?ons regarding the withdrawal of the bulge class.


Unless a different school in close proximity has space for an extra class there will be a serious shortage of places in Forest Hill ward for children starting in 2014.

Does anybody have further information about any possible bulge classes in SE23 for September intake? It would be nice to know what places might be available before July, as happened last year when Fairlawn, Kilmoire, and Haseltine had their last minute bulges agreed days before the start of summer holidays.

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Bells


Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #2
28-03-2014 10:37 PM

That is so disappointing especially as many people would have used their first choice for the school as the bulge year was (unusually) announced early and certainly the information was provided during the open days. This has been accounted less that a month before the admission decisions are available and seems particularly poor communication and planning from Lewisham.

I don't imagine Fairlawn would be able to have another bulge year given they did last year and again, I fear that parents and children will be left without places until late summer.

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Loncdl


Posts: 55
Joined: May 2008
Post: #3
01-04-2014 11:04 PM

As a lawyer and an interested party here, I'd say this decision by Lewisham Council is highly susceptible to judicial review (i.e., being overturned by the High Court). By openly advertising that there would be a bulge class at the time we all made our six selections, influencing the way many of us made our choices, the Council created a legitimate expectation that a particular process would be followed. This is a breach of natural justice. If anyone might be interested in exploring the ground for a group challenge to this, PM me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_re...nglish_law

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Rayray


Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2013
Post: #4
02-04-2014 08:56 AM

I have an interest here too. However, I am not too sure of the chances of a successful appeal. On the one hand, although the school clearly hoped to have a bulge class next year, they were clear (on the open day I attended at least) that the necessary approvals were still pending. On a practical level, significant building works were required in order to accommodate the extra class. I doubt these can begin till the summer and the chances of reaching a quick legal ruling in your favour, including the time for inevitable appeals, poses a significant risk that they could be completed on time.

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Rayray


Posts: 19
Joined: Mar 2013
Post: #5
02-04-2014 09:14 AM

Meanwhile, (we would presume!) the council have plans to meet the expected demand for places via other means which are either more practical and/or more cost-effective. A successful outcome from a judicial review might therefore only be to require the council to re-assess individual applications with different rankings - i.e. where Horniman is second, third, fouth (or whatever) in parents' priority order. I doubt the courts could force Horniman to take a bulge class next year if it would cost more, or the necessary works could not be completed on time.

However, all of this is speculation. What we really need to know is why the bulge class is not happening.

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Londondrz


Posts: 1,538
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #6
02-04-2014 09:31 AM

As a parent with 2 children at the school can I ask for a little restraint. A legal process is costly, devisive and not always in the schools interest.

The school is already busy having had one Bulge class, I would not want to see it bulging out of its seams.

Restraint please.

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Bells


Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #7
02-04-2014 10:09 AM

Whilst I appreciate all of the above comments, I am sure parents with children already at the school will recall how difficult / stressful the application process is.

The information we were provided was that the school would not be bulging out of its seams as building work would accommodate the additional class as well as bringing other benefits to the school. I must confess that I didn't sense any doubt over the bulge class as we were told that this had been approved by the school and Council. Personally I was delighted as it was announced before July (when the bulge classes were announced last year).

I firmly believe this had an impact on the choices parents made when completing their applications and I am certainly frustrated that my first choice was (in all likelihood) a waste.

We will know in a couple of weeks but my concern is that my children will be allocated a school some miles away.

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Loncdl


Posts: 55
Joined: May 2008
Post: #8
02-04-2014 01:09 PM

Likewise - we were also told that this was a done deal (to the point of being talked through the timing of the development). Maybe different people got different messages on different days.

Completely agree that legal action should only ever be a last resort, and the first thing is for the Council to explain why they have taken this decision. It is also they - not the school - who would be a party to any action, addressing the divisiveness point. But whenever any public authority - from Lewisham Council to Jeremy Hunt - acts in an arbitrary or unfair way, we have the right to call them to account.

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #9
02-04-2014 10:14 PM

I'm pretty sure it wasn't the school that 'hoped to have a bulge class'. As I understand it Lewisham informed the school they needed to contribute to the efforts to provide more places in the borough by taking another bulge class...as was the case when it took a bulge class a couple of years ago.

I think it is fair that all schools, including Horniman, do what they can to help alleviate the shortage of school places. The plans for the bulge class at Horniman were going to make better use of some space at the school but was also going to take up some of what is pretty limited internal and external communal space.

This post was last modified: 02-04-2014 10:18 PM by IWereAbsolutelyFuming.

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OakR


Posts: 213
Joined: Oct 2011
Post: #10
03-04-2014 12:20 AM

Hi Bells

My understanding (which may be wrong, I'll be going through this process next year) was that if you could not get in with your first choice, your second choice counts as your first choice if that makes sense, so this should only have an effect if you can't get into your first 5 choices, in which case you would hopefully then get in via the waiting list of whatever it is called.

I certainly understand the nervousness, but hopefully the first choice is not wasted as such, it's just your 2nd choice is now the 1st which I assume it would have been anyway.

Good luck to everyone applying.

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michael


Posts: 3,204
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
03-04-2014 08:55 AM

OakR,
I'm not an expert on the process, although right in the middle of it at present, but my understanding is that each school basically allocated according to distance from the school. You can draw circles round each school and if you don't fit in any of the circles for your choices then you will be allocated a place somewhere there is a space.

So if I was stupid enough to choose 6 schools in Brockley then my daughter would get into any of them and would probably end up at the closest school with a spare place (probably Kelvin Grove, Holy Trinity, Kilmoire or Hastletine - all good or outstanding schools).

But if there are no bulge classes this year in Forest Hill ward, then it will be quite possible to live in the centre of Forest Hill but outside the catchment areas of Horniman, Fairlawn, Eliot Bank, Stillness, Adamsrill (with reception in Willow Way), Dalmain, etc. If you are lucky (and possibly of the right religious persuasion) you might get allocated a place at Kelvin Grove, Perrymount, Saint Francis, Holy Trinity, or Christchurch, but it is also possible that you will be driving your 4 year old to Bell Green to get a space place in Hastletine. At least until a place becomes available at a more local school half way through the year, when he or she can make new friends closer to home.

Two alternatives exist; you can put your child up for adoption with a family with an older child at the school of your choice, or you can move house to make it to the top of the waiting list.

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ringingcod


Posts: 84
Joined: Jun 2005
Post: #12
03-04-2014 10:05 AM

The schools don't know your ranking order. After siblings and special cases, they allocate places on proximity. So if it's the case you are accepted by more than one school you will be offered a place at the higher preference only (which frees up a spot at your lower choice). Of course this is all very well if you live close to more than one school, but as micheal points out, there are areas of SE23 that don't fall into any school areas based on recent years' furthest distances for offers.

This post was last modified: 03-04-2014 10:06 AM by ringingcod.

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michael


Posts: 3,204
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #13
03-04-2014 11:22 AM

Not to disagree with ringingcod, but every area of SE23 will probably be covered by the catchment area of a school somewhere, but that school might be in on the other side of Forest Hill or Sydenham.
A useful diagram is on http://datacollator.blogspot.co.uk/2013/...lwich.html but it is focused on non-church schools around East Dulwich.
What it shows is that Kilmorie and Turnham Green have massive catchment areas, and so does Haseltine - although not included in this diagram.
However, what most parents want is for their children to go to the local primary state school, especially when they as good as those in SE23.

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ringingcod


Posts: 84
Joined: Jun 2005
Post: #14
03-04-2014 11:29 AM

Fair point michael - I should probably have said "reasonable" or something along those lines. Bit of a minefield this.

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Bells


Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #15
03-04-2014 09:57 PM

Michael

Your circles have depressed me! We are not in 'no mans land' but we are in the predicament of probably not getting a school within a mile of where we live. I think we probably would have got Horniman with the bulge year. They explained at the open day that usually (with a one form in-take), they have places for 10 non-siblings and I assumed (with a bulge year) that this would increase to 40.....

Anybody with a child at Horniman or Fairlawn want to adopt on a short terms basis - between now and 16th April??

Thanks

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #16
03-04-2014 10:39 PM

Bells, I've got two kids at Horniman. You are welcome to them. Just bring them back when you've retrained them to behave

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ZannaK


Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2014
Post: #17
04-04-2014 06:32 AM

I'm also very depressed by those circles! We're in the process of buying a house in the centre of FH in a catchment black hole (0.3 miles from the nearest primary). We don't want our kids to go to school miles away. Should we abandon the sale and buy a less suitable, more expensive house next to the primary school of our choice?! Or is it possible that if we stick it out on the waiting list, we'll get a place at our preferred school eventually?

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Loncdl


Posts: 55
Joined: May 2008
Post: #18
04-04-2014 05:08 PM

Anyone want to set up a free school? What was that other thread about Hamilton Lodge being up for sale...?

(No I'm not seriously volunteering for this one!)

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hellohello


Posts: 42
Joined: Sep 2010
Post: #19
04-04-2014 06:08 PM

I think you need to be very aware when house buying in HO and surrounding. The Fairlawn bulge last year made a massive difference but I know the year before of quite a lot of people who would have always made either Fairlawn or Horniman on previous years who got none of their 6 choices. Having said that both Stillness and Kilmorie, both really great schools, have an intake of 90 so more of a chance nearer those schools.

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #20
10-04-2014 01:40 AM

Just to clarify a few points up it is not the schools that work out the allocation of places but the Council. The school just gets sent a list at the appropriate time.

There is also usually some movement after the initial allocation of places and people who don't end up with an initial offer and go on waiting lists usually get somewhere not so far away in my experience....

Good luck all those waiting for a place!

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