Claire Richardson 0

Say no to proposed new admissions policy for Ilkley Grammar School

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The proposed new system states clearly that even if your child is living in the admissions priority area 1 of Ilkley Grammar School but has no siblings attending the school, that out of the all the criteria stated, those families who do not send their children to the nominated feeder schools would only be allocated a place after children living much further away from the school (priority 2 and beyond) who attend the feeder schools.

This change does not just impact on families that send their children to private schools. Children that are home educated or attending Montessori or Steiner schools are also affected.

This is discrimination against any child whose parent chooses an alternative school or teaching method to that of the local state primary schools, a choice that in law parents are fully entitled to make.

The UK law states that parents have the right and choice on how their child receives an education for both primary and secondary level. This choice is no more with the proposed new system!

Moreover, this proposal puts parents in a situation where they may feel forced to send their child to state primary school for Year 6 to guarantee a place for their child at Ilkley Grammar School. Should parents decide to do this, there would be insufficient places in Year 6 at the feeder schools in the event of such an influx. In fact, Bradford Council is reliant on a proportion of parents choosing alternative education in the local area as this means they have less places to create.

There are many reasons why families choose an education that is alternative to that of state schooling. The main driver is simply their desire to do their best by their children, rather than considering themselves above the state school system or being “anti-school”. Parents make the choice of education and the environment it’s offered in based on the individual needs of their child. For example,

Some parents choose state schools.

Some parents may choose smaller class sizes to enable their child to cope better.

Others may choose an approach of more autonomous learning.

Parents with children with special needs such as dyslexia may opt for a school offering superb one to one support.

Same sex schools are chosen due to the scientific studies of how single sex groups can work well.

Other parents may choose a school as it specialises in a subject that their child has shown a flair for or has great passion about.

Some may choose a school as their child has suffered at the hands of bullies and their only option is to change.

Finally, some may electively home educate for one or more of the reasons above.

We are lucky in this country to have such choice and as parents it’s our responsibility to ensure our children’s health and happiness. As families, we choose what we feel best for our children and nobody should be allowed to judge those choices or discriminate against the children in families that make them.

We opposethe proposal in its current form and want to ensure a place at Ilkley Grammar School for all children living in the priority 1 admissions area, irrespective of their primary education.




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