Parents fuming over school admissions proposal

By Laura Payne Thursday 24 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 09:33

ANGRY parents have slammed proposals to change the admissions policy at a borough school.

Tudor Grange Academy's plans to give priority for places to children who attend two primary schools ahead of those living in the catchment area has caused outrage amongst parents.

The academy began sponsoring St James School on Halifax Road this month and has developed a partnership with St Alphege Infant and Junior Schools.

And in the proposal revealed on Tudor Grange's website it says the academy wants to recognise both of these relationships when it accepts new students.

But parents are angered by the plan which has been heightened in some case where families have moved specifically into the catchment area to secure a place at Tudor Grange for their children.

Worried mum, Sharon Rayner, has a daughter she wants to start at Tudor Grange Academy in 2014.

She bought her house five years ago knowing it was in the catchment area and she is unhappy with how she and other parents found out about the proposals.

She said: "It hasn't been publicised much, it's been through Facebook that people have found out and spread the word.

"We are not happy with it. I think because they are an academy they write their own rules.

"I bought my house five years ago and put my daughter into a school so she could get into Tudor Grange.

"We know that parents are taking their children out of junior school and moving them to Saint James' to get into Tudor Grange."

Another mum, Dawn, has a daughter in her second year at Tudor Grange Academy and a son at primary school.

She told the Observer she fears her children will end up at different schools because although her son will have a sibling at the academy, this priority will be pushed further down the list as the two primary schools are favoured.

Dawn said: "I feel so angry at such a popular school being taken from the community it is supposed to serve without even a fair consultation.

"Many parents didn't even know about Tudor Grange's plans.

"They are trying to bring this in quietly through the back door and think that the local community will roll over without a fight.

"The local community would never have agreed to such sweeping changes to transfer the school to an academy and agree to their school being taken from them piece by piece if they had been informed honestly from the start."

A spokeswoman for Tudor Grange Academy said they welcomed responses from parents.

She said: "It is important to emphasise that, based on demographic modelling by Solihull Council, the proposed changes will not affect pupils who wish to attend the academy during the next four to five years.

"Beyond this timescale it is difficult to predict numbers because of possible housing developments.

"Proposals are in hand to increase intake numbers to cope with any such developments within the present catchment area, in line with the Government policy that encourages successful schools to expand."

A petition has been organised by some parents to voice their opposition to the changes and it can be found online at www.ipetitions.com/petition/tudor-grange-admissions-policy where it has over 200 signatures.

People have until February 28 to submit their reviews on the consultation.

Visit www.tudor-grange.solihull.sch.uk for more information.

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