School catchment areas up for consultation

By Sara Bryce

Thursday, December 19, 2013


PRIORITY areas for secondary schools could be scrapped, giving parents the chance to send their children to any Island secondary school, under a consultation launched by the Isle of Wight Council.

The consultation will look at admissions for the 2015/16 school year, including the impact any changes may have on the council's transport to school policy.

It will also consider the new Free School and Studio School, in Ventnor and East Cowes, due to open their doors next September.

Proposals include; no change at all to existing arrangements, creation of a priority area — or catchment area — for the free school or abandonment of all priority areas which would affect some pupils' entitlement to free transport to school.

The council's current policy gives free transport when the child attends their nearest school and it is over three miles away from their home.

Parents of children in Year 5 currently are first affected but families with children aged from two to 18 are being asked to have a say in the consultation.

Cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Richard Priest, said: "We would strongly urge parents to take part in this important consultation.

"It will play a helpful part towards determining our finalised school admission arrangements for 2015/2016."

The consultation — which by law must be completed by April 15 next year — runs until February 14, 2014 and results will be available from March.

For more information and to have a say, visit:

Reporter: sarab@iwcpmail,


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by James McAdder

20th December 2013, at 11:42:48

I'm sure it would be better for parents to fight for excellence at your local school.

The trouble with that is their children will still be attending a sub-standard school until the "fight" is won.

It's a moot point on the IW anyway as the only schools that are classed as "good" or better aren't subject to regular catchment areas, anyway.

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by David Shoulder

19th December 2013, at 21:11:00

Choice and therefore competition forces up standards? The other side of the coin - many parents and their offspring act like lemmings rather than making objective informed choices. There is also the down side of extended and wasted time spent on buses. Would it not be better to support and fight for excellence at your local school?

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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