1 March 2017
Commenting on the day parents are told of their child’s secondary school place allocation Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“We hope that parents and children get the secondary school place of choice. We know, however, for many this will not be the case resulting in children being separated from siblings or primary school friends and for some will result in travelling longer distances. Such anxiety at this important stage in children’s education is unnecessary.
‘The Government has consistently refused to address the school place crisis effectively while the free schools programme has seen many schools opened in areas where there is no need. The money being ploughed into academies, free schools and now the latest pet project, grammar schools, should be spent on ensuring there are enough school places for every child where they are needed, for schools to be properly funded and for children to be taught by qualified teachers.
‘As more schools have become academies, the admission process has become too fragmented and confusing for parents to navigate. The Government should end the practice of schools being their own admission authorities and restore this role to local authorities to ensure that admissions are fair and that there is neither overt nor covert 'selection' in the system.