Azara Blog: Government blames schools rather than itself for admission problems

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Date published: 2008/01/17

The BBC says:

Some schools in England may be breaking the law in the way they admit pupils, despite the introduction of new rules last year, the government has said.

Schools Minister Jim Knight said not all children had been given an equal chance of getting into a school of their choice this September.

Councils who failed to prevent this have been warned they may have flouted the new admissions code themselves.

Mr Knight said "covert admission practices" penalised poorer families.

The independent Office of the School Adjudicator, which regulates the admission system, investigated objections against 79 schools last year where admission criteria and practices had breached legislation or the code.

Some heads had asked to see parents' marriage certificates, while others invited parents to an interview - a practice banned under the new code.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families said other examples of law-breaking by admission authorities included not giving the highest priority to children in care and even asking the order in which parents had ranked their school choices.

And who should be blamed for this situation? The schools, stuck between a rock and a hard place? Or the government, who promised parents that their children could go to the school of their choice, which was obviously a complete lie? (As is apparent, it is not the choice of the parents, it is the choice of the school.) And what does the government propose to do? Not make the situation better (by making sure more schools are good) but instead try and figure out a way to screw the middle class, who (not surprisingly) have a very good track record at getting their children into good schools. (Needless to say, government ministers and their children will not be amongst the middle class families who are screwed.) This would all be laughable were it not so serious. When will the UK have a political party that has an education policy that does not just involve screwing the middle class, and even the working class for that matter (since only the bottom of the pile ever gets any attention, and most working class children will continue to end up in crap schools)?

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