Real Life

Re-organisation of Secondary School catchment areas

Date: April 29, 2016 Author: admin Categories: Real Life 0


Catchment area changes- give our children access to their local community schools.


With the council proposing big changes to the catchment areas across Brighton & Hove, there is much debate as to whether its the right approach. I wont re-write whats already been written many times about whats been proposed so here are links to further reading:


Random Lottery or Distance to School?

If it’s based on a random lottery system I see the following problems;

  1. School choice not being tailored to the child’s strengths and specialisms ie. Art at varndean or sports at dorethy stringer
  2. Distance to School – I do not want my child having to journey across the city to get to and from school which poses a safety risk in dark mornings or early evening and also unnecessary commuting when there are perfectly good schools nearby
  3. Siblings – if they have younger siblings the practicality of drop off and pickup if the two are far apart is extremely awkward and an issue that could be avoidable.
  4. Freedom of Choice – as parents we reserved the right to choose based on the house we picked to live in, if this is taken away I feel we have had no say in our child’s future. It is unethical to ‘move the goalposts’ after we have already invested time, energy, research and money into securing a house near the schools we prefer, only then to have the rules changed.

I believe the proposed changes will benefit the more under privileged children who live in more deprived areas to be able to go to a better quality of school, however those parents like myself who have worked extremely hard, scrimped and saved to buy a house in a decent area to be close to good schools will lose out. Also we’ve invested in being near schools that would have suitability to our child’s strengths and interests. What would then have been the point in trying to better oneself to get a better school only to have the rules changed and our children not benefit from our hard work.

As I understand it, there were catchment area changes  a few years ago in Brighton that were subsequently abolished as it caused animosity between parents and hugely negative upheaval in communities. I do not think that changing the catchment system now is a good idea due to my reasons above.

I have worked in the education sector with underprivileged groups in higher education. As a university they offered classes and workshops to this demographic to offer these children opportunities that they would not normally have access to. I feel this is the right way of offering opportunity to this demographic and not by the recent proposed catchment area plans of which I am opposed.
If its based on a random lottery allocation I believe the changes in my opinion will;

  1. Break communities
  2. Create more traffic congestion
  3. Compromise children’s safety
  4. Not be in many child’s best interests academically, socially, physically
  5. Penalise a demographic of whom have made a concentrated effort to be near good schools


Why not inject money into schools in underprivileged areas so children can have the opportunity to better educate themselves and most importantly,  educate parents!



Hurry! this consultation is only open until 1st May!



Post by Sam J April 2016

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