Karen Cuthbert

Hinchley Wood School - Impact of Proposed Changes to Admissions Criteria from Sept 2015

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Karen Cuthbert
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We, the undersigned DISAGREE with the proposals as outlined in Criteria 4a and 4b – Feeder Primary Schools and Catchment Area of the Draft Admissions Criteria 2015. We agree with the changes set out in Criteria 1 and 5.

Reasons for this include:

(1) The proposal to introduce feeder schools to Hinchley Wood School is not compatible with the need to ensure fair access to a local secondary school for all children living within the catchment area.

(2) Children living within the catchment area and attending non-feeder schools would have little to no chance of gaining a place at Hinchley Wood School compared to children in feeder schools. This would result in feeder school applicants living further away from Hinchley Wood School being offered places over non-feeder school applicants who live closer to the school.

(3) Criteria 4a also contradicts Hinchley Wood School’s attempt to “more effectively meet the needs of families committed to the local area” (Source: HWS Admissions Consultation 2015.) For example, in 2013 Hinchley Wood School was the second most popular destination for pupils from St Paul’s Catholic Primary. Had these proposals been in place in 2013, as a non-feeder school, these pupils would have not got into their local secondary school and would have been forced to travel considerable distances to an alternative school. It is equally a popular destination for pupils from St Andrew’s and St Mark’s C of E Junior School (“SASM”), Esher Church School and other local primary schools. The proposal therefore does not serve “families committed to the local area,” it discriminates against pupils at local faith based primary schools and further harms the environment by creating unnecessary traffic congestion.

(4) Applicants specifically from the Claygate Primary feeder school would have the choice of three local secondary schools, Hinchley Wood, Esher High and Chessington Community College. On the other hand, some non-feeder school applicants (from schools such as St Paul’s and SASM), who fall within the catchment area for Hinchley Wood School will find it impossible to get into a local secondary school in Elmbridge.

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