Kentish Town Church of England Primary School to review its admission arrangements

July 18, 2013

Kentish Town Church of England Primary School in the London Borough of Camden has agreed to review its admission arrangements at a meeting today called by the Office of the School’s Adjudicator. Earlier this year the school was at the centre of controversy, after a group of children with a sibling at the increasingly popular school were unable to obtain a place after a surge of applications were received from families seeking a place due to attendance at the local parish Church.

The school has since amended its policy so that the siblings of pupils already at the school are given much greater priority in future. However, the new policy still fell short of making sure that at least half of its places could not be allocated on faith grounds, an approach the Diocese of London has suggested its school adopt.

Accord’s National Coordinator, Paul Pettinger, attended the meeting on behalf of a local parent who had submitted a complaint against the school’s policy and he pressed for greater inclusivity. As well as stressing the Diocese’s guidance, he further questioned the proportionality of the school’s policy due to the unusually low Christian population in its local area and the unusually high number of religiously selective schools in the wider local Borough.

The school has now committed to reviewing its admission policy in the next academic year, including looking at whether it should only select up to half of pupils on faith grounds. Meanwhile there was general agreement between representatives from the school and local Diocese at today’s meeting that the school’s current policy should be amended so that the places currently set aside for five children who live closest to the school should become the most privileged group after looked after children. The policy currently assigns the five children living nearest to the school as only the seventh most important group to be admitted. The school currently admits 30 pupils in its reception class.

Paul Pettinger said ‘Kentish Town Primary School has already sent a clear signal that it does not want to divide families by ensuring that siblings of existing pupils are given priority in future, which is to be welcomed. The school now also has an opportunity to show it does not want to divide its local community either by embedding more inclusive arrangements in its admissions arrangements. Moving towards greater inclusivity in this way would be welcomed by its Diocese, local authority and many local families, and would demonstrate its commitment to being open, as well as set an example for other schools to follow.’

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