Saturday, March 13, 2010

School choice in Britain

A story in the Telegraph appears to report the remarkable fact that some schools in Britain are more popular than others, and are over-demanded: School admissions: half lose out in some areas
"Half of children in some areas have been rejected from their preferred secondary school amid fierce competition for the most sought-after places. "
"In Birmingham, only two-third of children gained places in their preferred school, a fall compared with last year.
The squeeze on places has led some over-subscribed schools to run controversial “lotteries” in which names are effectively picked from a hat.
The system is employed to stop middle-class parents jumping the queue for the best schools by buying homes in the catchment area.
Lotteries are believed to be used in at least one school in a third of local authorities. Hertfordshire council told the Telegraph yesterday that seven schools had employed the system.
Michael Gove, shadow schools secretary, said: “Unfortunately too often too many parents don’t get the school they want. The reality is that it is only the rich who can guarantee the kind of education they want for their children.” "

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