Proposed changes to Vyners admissions policy

You may well already be aware of the proposed changes to Vyners School admissions policy for year 7 admissions in 2021. If not they can be found at
https://www.vynersschool.org.uk/page/?title=Admissions&pid=110

These will give precedence to those pupils attending Ryefield school who live within 2km of Vyners over local children who live nearest to the school.

We were not informed directly of these proposed changes;  we were informed by concerned parents as were those residents in roads closest to the school. This despite the following statement on the school website that

Vyners School’s Governing Body has supported the changes to the admissions criteria subject to consultation with stakeholders.

The consultation is for the attention of:

    • parents of children in the locality of Vyners School between the ages of two and eighteen;
    • other persons in the area who in the opinion of the admission authority have an interest in the proposed arrangements;
    • all other admission authorities within the local area;
    • the local authority;
    • any adjoining neighbouring local authorities.

Our schools representative has endeavoured to arrange a meeting with the head but has been informed that no meetings will take place till after the consultation finishes on 24th January.

We therefore feel, as an Association eligible under bullet point 2 above, that this consultation has not been properly undertaken.

We are very concerned about the impact this will have not only on those children who attend Breakspear,, Glebe and Hermitage (the 3 nearest schools) but also on the village community in the potential for increased traffic and pollution among other issues.

In addition to our concerns about the detrimental impact of the proposal on local people, following a detailed review of the national admissions code, the schools adjudicator annual reports and several adjudicator judgements, we believe that the Trust’s proposals may breach the code in at least three areas:

  • No rationale or justification for the criteria have been offered – impeding stakeholder’s ability to consider whether the criteria are reasonable and fair (as they must be)
  • No tie-breaker criteria (which must be included)
  • Failure to consult on the full criteria. The approach taken by the Trust of only consulting on one criteria means stakeholders are deprived of the opportunity to comment on the cumulative impacts of the criteria as a package and suggesting supplementary new criteria, or consequential changes to existing criteria.

With these potential breaches in mind, we call on the Trust to hold a further, legally compliant consultation.

We would urge that if you share our concerns you write accordingly to the school as below

An email to: jbeater@vlt.org.uk referring to Admissions Consultation in the subject header or a written letter addressed: Admissions Consultation and sent to the school’s address.

Thank you

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