The ‘lottery’ is here to stay

April 6, 2009 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

Not the Camelot one, the Brighton and Hove admissions one.

Following my previous post on March 4th about a potential review of the so called school admissions ‘lottery’ system I am pleased that last week it was announced that in Brighton and Hove the system will stay as it currently is at least for the next 3 years, until 2012, when it will be reviewed.

This is exoneration for the two years hard graft and emotional cost by those like me who spent so much of their lives trying to get the best possible (admittedly not perfect) system.

Bearing in mind that at the time of the initial implementation of the current system the conservatives did their very best to ensure that it was not accepted the fact that it is Vanessa Brown, conservative deputy leader of the council, who now extols the virtues of the system is good but somewhat exasperating.

The arguments she now uses for the ‘lottery’ system are the very arguments those of us who developed and supported the system extolled during the review process and the very arguments which her fellow conservatives rejected out of hand.

Unfortunately there is little common sense in this, and a lot of politicking.

I doubt that anything will change in the next three years to render the ‘lottery’ system anything other than the best fit for Brighton and Hove. I can’t see all Brighton schools magically relocated (location being a large part of the original admissions difficulties) in this time.

But given that a change of government is likely before the review date, who would not bet that a battle to retain the system beyond 2012 will have to be fought. Given, also, that the comprehensive two year review that has taken place did look at all feasible alternatives, any system other than the current one will almost certainly be a backwards step for the city.

I am generally an optimist and not particularly prone to doom mongering, but in this instance I feel bad things in my water. I do hope I am wrong.


Entry filed under: Lottery, School admissions, Schools.

The book is dead! SATS make you stupid!

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Mick Landmann on education, digital technology, and the 21st century

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