2 May 2008

A quarter of pupils to be denied their primary school of choice

The story behind the headline "A quarter of pupils to be denied their primary school of choice" in The Times is one of misery, frustration, anger, incompetence and complacency.

Choosing a school for our children is one of the biggest decisions most of us make and the process has changed in the UK over the last few years to make it more equitable. When things go wrong, such as some schools breaking the rules on admissions policy, then this makes the national news.

There are now many families in Kingston upon Thames that are distraught and worried that their child has not got in to the school of their choice and some 200 families who have not been offered any place for their child.

Kingston Council's response to this is its usual complacent twaddle. They claim both that there is not a problem and that the problem is not their fault. Both statements are false.

Kingston Council has failed in one of the most important services it provides for its residents but does not have the courage to admit this or the ability to fix it. Somehow Ofsted thinks that Kingston is "outstanding", a claim many parents find hard to believe.

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