Still time to comment on Catholic school’s proposal to change admissions arrangements

Published: Monday 23rd January 17

Local people have just over a week left to comment on plans being considered by a popular and heavily oversubscribed Roman Catholic primary school in Putney to change its admission arrangements for the 2018/9 academic year.

The governing body at Our Lady of Victories primary school aims to make the school’s admissions criteria fairer, and in particular, ensure that places are allocated as fairly as possible when the number of applicants exceeds the number of available places.

The overall aim is to ensure that places are offered to children in practising Catholic families wherever they live within the parish of Our Lady of Pity and St Simon Stock.

Now the school is proposing to insert a new clause into its oversubscription criteria to give greater preference to three children from disadvantaged families in the parish.

The new clause states: “Up to three places will be offered to Baptised Catholic children with at least one Catholic parent who is a regular worshipper, living within the Parish of Our Lady of Pity and St Simon Stock, who are eligible for Free School Meals on the basis of family income at the closing date of applications.”

In full the proposed new admissions code and its ranking order of importance would be as follows:

  • Looked after Catholic children
  • Catholic children where there are special circumstances which can be met by this school rather than any other.
  • Catholic children, with at least one Catholic parent who is a regular worshipper, having a sibling at the school at the time of admission.
  • Catholic children with at least one Catholic parent who is a regular worshipper, having a parent who is a member of the teaching staff.
  • Up to three places will be offered to Baptised Catholic children with at least one Catholic parent who is a regular worshipper, living within the Parish of Our Lady of Pity and St Simon Stock, who are eligible for Free School Meals on the basis of family income at the closing date of applications.
  • Other Catholic children with at least one Catholic parent who is a regular worshipper, living within the Parish of Our Lady of Pity and St Simon Stock.
  • Catholic children with at least one Catholic parent who is a regular worshipper, living outside the Parish of Our Lady of Pity and St Simon Stock. 
  • Other Catholic children.

According to the school the rationale behind the change is as follows: “Catholic schools were founded primarily to ensure a good education would be made available to the most vulnerable members of Catholic communities. The governors believe that it is within the spirit of this original intent to make some provision available specifically for some of the most disadvantaged families in our community.”

The governors say that the impact of the change on other families is minimised because of the recent increase in the statutory admission number from 28 to 30 pupils.

The consultation was launched in the middle of December and continues until January 31.

Based on the results of the consultation a formal decision on the outcome is expected to be announced by the governors a few weeks later. Any proposed change would apply from the start of the September 2018 academic year. his consultation is aimed primarily at:

  • Parents of children between the ages of two and eleven-years-old
  • Other persons in the area who have an interest in the proposed arrangements
  • All other admissions authorities within the local area
  • The local authority
  • The adjoining local authorities of Richmond, Merton, Lambeth and Hammersmith & Fulham
  • The RC Diocese of Southwark

A copy of the proposed admissions criteria is available on the school’s website at
www.ourladyofvictories.wandsworth.sch.uk

Comments should be submitted in writing to Sue Lorenzo, Clerk to the Governors, Our Lady of Victories RC Primary School, 1 Clarendon Drive London SW15 1AW. Alternatively comments can be emailed to clerk@ourladyofvictories.wandsworth.sch.uk

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Recent comments

It is wrong that a state-funded school should discriminate on the grounds of religion. Tax-payer funded education should be available to all children in the catchment area, not just a select few who happen to follow a particular belief. Segregation is not the way forward in multi-faith Britain. Not only is it inequitable; it is potentially dangerous. We have only to look at Northern Ireland to see where it can lead. Schools should be broadening children's minds, not narrowing them.
Martin Plimmer

25 January 2017

I believe in integrated education, having myself suffered from a convent education. All schools should be open to all children, whatever their religion or lack of it. The best progress in Northern Ireland has been made through integrated secular schools. Ghetto schools deny children an all-round education and experience.
Sue V

23 January 2017