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Objection to proposed Admission Policies SRRCC 2020/21

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We object to the proposed 2020/21 admissions policies for SRRCC due to the following:

  1. We object to The prioritisation of (10) children currently attending SRRCC Primary school under the ‘open place’ scheme over and above Catholics and Catholic Siblings: The Open Places go to the 10 Children living closest with NO reference to faith (non-Catholics). This action goes against the legally binding Trust Deed that SRRCC holds with the Diocese of Westminster which prohibits the prioritising of Non-Catholics over Catholics. “Catholic school governing bodies have an over-riding duty to offer places to Catholics first. This is a requirement of the Trust Deed and therefore a legal requirement on governing bodies. Catholic schools must not operate any policies if the consequence is to offer a place to a non-Catholic and deny that place to a Catholic.” DIOCESE OF WESTMINSTER ADMSISSION GUIDE 2018It is also against the Governments Schools Admissions Code ‘The Code’ to prioritise anyone who is not of the faith (i.e the 10 open places) over any looked after children not of the faith. “Where any element of priority is given in relation to children not of the faith they must give priority to looked after children and previously looked after children not of the faith above other children not of the faith.” SCHOOLS ADMISSIONS CODE ‘THE CODE’ 2012
  2. We object to The prioritisation of all Catholic children currently attending SRRCC Primary school over and above all other Catholics and Catholic siblings:

All other children with both Baptism and Catholic Practice certifications presently at the primary school will be given priority over all other children (with the corresponding paperwork), including siblings. This establishes a feeder school. “….the governing body should be able to demonstrate that the selection is reasonable and avoid inadvertent disadvantage of Catholic children not attending the feeder schools.” And “no school should act for its own perceived interests alone.” DIOCESE OF WESTMINSTER GUIDELINES 2019

There will be NO other feeder primary schools into SRRCC High school, meaning that any child not attending SRRCC Primary will be disadvantaged. SRRCC will be the ONLY school to benefit from the new policy, as parents will likely favour a primary which (pending CCPs) will almost guarantee entry into secondary education. This disadvantages every child at every other Catholic Primary.

  1. We object to the proposed admissions policy as it contains Contradictory statements regarding what constitutes as ‘sibling’:

The admission criteria states that a sibling will be counted is present at the school at time of application. However, the appendix states that sibling only counts at time of admission. This section does not take in to account the sixth form or older siblings being at, or intending to progress into their sixth form.

  1. We object to the proposed admissions policy as it contains Contradictory statements relating to what constitutes as ‘looked after children’:

The admissions criteria states broadly that Looked after children will be given top priority. However, the appendix differentiates, and gives first priority to Catholic looked after children and non-Catholic looked after children will be given priority over all other non-Catholic children: “Catholic child in this category will have top priority and a non-Catholic child in this category will be given priority over all other non-Catholic children.”

  1. Children in the listed Southwark parishes will be disadvantaged:

If the feeder school (which sits in the Westminster Diocese) is established, it will reduce the number of places available to the wider Catholic Community, and will especially disadvantage the Southwark Diocese who will receive fewer places as a result due to the oversubscription criteria for the Primary school being based on distance.

  1. Parish Boundary information omitted from the Admissions documents:

The admissions policy for the high school fails to provide clear Parish Boundaries (ie maps) along with its admissions arrangements. The Diocese of Westminster Admissions Guidelines states “Where geographical area such as parishes or deaneries are used, a map showing the boundaries of any such parishes or deaneries must be provided with the admission arrangements.”

  1. We Object to the policy as The SRRCC governing body has failed to follow the admissions arrangement consultation processes:

The Schools Admissions Code says that a school MUST make every effort to reasonably consult with the following before implementing a new admissions policy: “parents of children between the ages of two and eighteen; other persons in the relevant area who in the opinion of the admission authority have an interest in the proposed admissions; all other admission authorities within the relevant area (except that primary schools need not consult secondary schools); whichever of the governing body and the local authority who are not the admission authority; any adjoining neighbouring local authorities where the admission authority is the local authority; and in the case of schools designated with a religious character, the body or person representing the religion or religious denomination.”

SRRCC have NOT emailed/contacted parents with children at The SRRCC High school or Primary school. There have been NO tweets or use of media to publicise the consultation. Local (Catholic) Primary Schools were notified re High School Admissions 27 days after the consultation went live. They were NOT asked to cascade this information to parents or point out the consultation was occurring. Failure to consult with those potentially affected by the proposed changes in in direct contradiction to point 1.44 of The Schools Admissions Code

Schools Admissions Code:

Diocesan Admissions Guidelines for Westminster:

SRRCC proposed admissions policies for 2020/21:

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