Grammar schools to save places for Sutton pupils in landmark move

Nonsuch High School for Girls

Nonsuch High School for Girls

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Grammar schools in Sutton are for the first time going to set aside places for Sutton pupils in a landmark move for local education.

Nonsuch High School for Girls and Sutton Grammar School for Boys have agreed to set aside places for local pupils with other grammar schools set to follow suit to ease the school place crisis gripping Sutton.

Over recent years the number of children in the borough has skyrocketed beyond the number of places available at local schools.

The situation has not been helped by the number of grammar schools in the area, which select students based on their ability rather than where they come from.

But Sutton Council has reached an agreement with the Partnership of Sutton Secondary Schools, made up of the borough's independent and grammar schools, where they will set aside places for children from the borough as they expand.

Nonsuch and Sutton Grammar will each set 15 places aside for Sutton pupils in the 2015 intake.

Education leaders have welcomed the new arrangement, saying it will benefit Sutton pupils and the schools themselves.

Gordon Ironside, headteacher at Sutton Grammar School in Manor Lane, said: "The Partnership of Sutton Secondary Schools was asked to contribute to extra places and we agreed to be part of the first phase.

"Sutton Council has an increased population to deal with so we have modified our admissions policy to help with that.

"We take 120 students at the moment but that is going up to 135 in 2015 and those extra 15 places will be for boys from Sutton.

"We consider this to be our contribution to easing the problems with school places in Sutton.

"Personally, I like the fact that this school is small and I wouldn't want it getting much bigger than it is.

"In future I'd rather the other selective schools alter their policies to take Sutton students as the situation requires."

Philip Sides, headteacher at Nonsuch High, added: "We are aware of a shortfall in places in the London Borough of Sutton and to accommodate those affected we will take more Sutton residents.

"It is a popular local authority for people to move to because of the good schools.

"All the students we take will still have to be of the ability to benefit from a grammar school education."

Sutton Council is working to deal with a school place crisis that resulted in several prospective primary school children being left without places for next year.

To combat the situation the council is working to build new schools, including a secondary school on the site of Sutton Hospital, and has installed so-called bulge classes - temporary classrooms - in many schools to cope with heightened demand.

The changes to the grammar schools' admission policies will further ease the situation.

Sue Smith of the Sutton Teachers' Committee, said; "I absolutely welcome this, it is good news for Sutton children and Sutton parents.

"Now I hope that more Sutton grammar schools follow suit. It is up to them but this shows negotiations are working."

Comments (12)

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7:36am Thu 22 May 14

Binsanity says...

What a novel idea, local school places for local school children. What next local school leaver apprenticeships with local qualified tradesmen. And maybe local housing for young local residents. Right direction sadly wrong councillors to do it, at present !!!
What a novel idea, local school places for local school children. What next local school leaver apprenticeships with local qualified tradesmen. And maybe local housing for young local residents. Right direction sadly wrong councillors to do it, at present !!! Binsanity
  • Score: 36

7:55am Thu 22 May 14

David7 says...

Has this story been deliberately held back until today, the day of the local elections? Just as the LibDems delayed for years the refurbishment of the war memorials when the money was available? Strange how these very same points have emerged as headlines in their last-minute election literature. Call me cynical, but...
Has this story been deliberately held back until today, the day of the local elections? Just as the LibDems delayed for years the refurbishment of the war memorials when the money was available? Strange how these very same points have emerged as headlines in their last-minute election literature. Call me cynical, but... David7
  • Score: 25

8:13am Thu 22 May 14

David7 says...

...and now Mike Pyle is getting his ‘exclusives’ from the front of the LibDems’ ‘Carshalton & Wallington Gazette’ election publication, which was distributed this week.

You should be ashamed of yourself Mr Pyle. This isn’t journalism – it’s either evidence of a LibDem bias, or you have been thoroughly duped. Either way, it’s not something to be proud of.

It is good news for our local children, I must add – but this information has been available for a while. Its timing as an ‘exclusive’, let alone as a ‘news’ item, just stinks.
...and now Mike Pyle is getting his ‘exclusives’ from the front of the LibDems’ ‘Carshalton & Wallington Gazette’ election publication, which was distributed this week. You should be ashamed of yourself Mr Pyle. This isn’t journalism – it’s either evidence of a LibDem bias, or you have been thoroughly duped. Either way, it’s not something to be proud of. It is good news for our local children, I must add – but this information has been available for a while. Its timing as an ‘exclusive’, let alone as a ‘news’ item, just stinks. David7
  • Score: 30

10:10am Thu 22 May 14

GreenBrown says...

Going back to how things used to be seems to be the ultimate solution for many of our problems today. It makes you wonder why they changed things to start with.

I don't think this story makes the Libdems look very good. Allowing thousands of homes to be built and then deciding to build new schools once a school place shortage has hit, shows the usual mismanagement we've come to expect from this lot. They must have known that a shortage was coming. No doubt their reward for failure will be re-election.
Going back to how things used to be seems to be the ultimate solution for many of our problems today. It makes you wonder why they changed things to start with. I don't think this story makes the Libdems look very good. Allowing thousands of homes to be built and then deciding to build new schools once a school place shortage has hit, shows the usual mismanagement we've come to expect from this lot. They must have known that a shortage was coming. No doubt their reward for failure will be re-election. GreenBrown
  • Score: 2

10:39am Thu 22 May 14

David7 says...

David7 wrote:
...and now Mike Pyle is getting his ‘exclusives’ from the front of the LibDems’ ‘Carshalton & Wallington Gazette’ election publication, which was distributed this week.

You should be ashamed of yourself Mr Pyle. This isn’t journalism – it’s either evidence of a LibDem bias, or you have been thoroughly duped. Either way, it’s not something to be proud of.

It is good news for our local children, I must add – but this information has been available for a while. Its timing as an ‘exclusive’, let alone as a ‘news’ item, just stinks.
To be fair, I’m sure Mike Pyle didn’t know the LibDems were going to release this news ahead of his exclusive via a political channel rather than through the proper council press office channels.

But such unethical news management by the LibDems tells you a lot about how much contempt they have for their constituents.
[quote][p][bold]David7[/bold] wrote: ...and now Mike Pyle is getting his ‘exclusives’ from the front of the LibDems’ ‘Carshalton & Wallington Gazette’ election publication, which was distributed this week. You should be ashamed of yourself Mr Pyle. This isn’t journalism – it’s either evidence of a LibDem bias, or you have been thoroughly duped. Either way, it’s not something to be proud of. It is good news for our local children, I must add – but this information has been available for a while. Its timing as an ‘exclusive’, let alone as a ‘news’ item, just stinks.[/p][/quote]To be fair, I’m sure Mike Pyle didn’t know the LibDems were going to release this news ahead of his exclusive via a political channel rather than through the proper council press office channels. But such unethical news management by the LibDems tells you a lot about how much contempt they have for their constituents. David7
  • Score: 8

10:39am Thu 22 May 14

BevHalstead says...

We do have enough secondary school places in this borough for all of the children starting in reception in September and more. 25% of the secondary school pupils attending schools here are from outside of the borough. That rate is far higher in the grammar schools.

Post 2015, if the tories get in, Gove will allow academies to leave the Pan-London application process and those schools will be able to have 100% pupils from outside of the borough. Then, and only then, will there actually be a problem in finding secondary places for Sutton children.
We do have enough secondary school places in this borough for all of the children starting in reception in September and more. 25% of the secondary school pupils attending schools here are from outside of the borough. That rate is far higher in the grammar schools. Post 2015, if the tories get in, Gove will allow academies to leave the Pan-London application process and those schools will be able to have 100% pupils from outside of the borough. Then, and only then, will there actually be a problem in finding secondary places for Sutton children. BevHalstead
  • Score: 2

12:16pm Thu 22 May 14

labyrinth says...

The truth is that ALL places should be for local pupils: a catchment area around each school would mean no more of the present dreadful situation where most of the pupils are driven in from miles around.
The truth is that ALL places should be for local pupils: a catchment area around each school would mean no more of the present dreadful situation where most of the pupils are driven in from miles around. labyrinth
  • Score: 12

1:00pm Thu 22 May 14

west1000 says...

It isn't for the first time.

When I was at school 20 years ago 70% of pupils were from Sutton. The other 30% from Croydon or Merton.

Offering 15 places is ridiculous as it wouldn't even account for half of the existing Sutton based pupils at the schools.
It isn't for the first time. When I was at school 20 years ago 70% of pupils were from Sutton. The other 30% from Croydon or Merton. Offering 15 places is ridiculous as it wouldn't even account for half of the existing Sutton based pupils at the schools. west1000
  • Score: 11

1:18pm Thu 22 May 14

jonjo79 says...

labyrinth wrote:
The truth is that ALL places should be for local pupils: a catchment area around each school would mean no more of the present dreadful situation where most of the pupils are driven in from miles around.
Same old line being given despite it being nonsensical. Most schools do have an effective “catchment” as the bulk of places are awarded according to how close you live. Grammar schools are not “most” schools as they are limited in number nationally and are to serve those of selective ability rather than just those in the immediate vicinity. To remove that would really mean an end to the grammar schools which may or may not be a good thing.
I must agree with many of the other valid comments here. This is a non-story as this information has been publically available for some weeks and would appear to be more than a coincidence that the story breaks today. Is this a back door breach of election rules or is the Guardian simply being a political vehicle? Either way this may backfire as such a prominent headline may prompt legal challenges to what may be a questionable policy of prioritising residents, which could lead to it being revoked
[quote][p][bold]labyrinth[/bold] wrote: The truth is that ALL places should be for local pupils: a catchment area around each school would mean no more of the present dreadful situation where most of the pupils are driven in from miles around.[/p][/quote]Same old line being given despite it being nonsensical. Most schools do have an effective “catchment” as the bulk of places are awarded according to how close you live. Grammar schools are not “most” schools as they are limited in number nationally and are to serve those of selective ability rather than just those in the immediate vicinity. To remove that would really mean an end to the grammar schools which may or may not be a good thing. I must agree with many of the other valid comments here. This is a non-story as this information has been publically available for some weeks and would appear to be more than a coincidence that the story breaks today. Is this a back door breach of election rules or is the Guardian simply being a political vehicle? Either way this may backfire as such a prominent headline may prompt legal challenges to what may be a questionable policy of prioritising residents, which could lead to it being revoked jonjo79
  • Score: 7

3:28pm Thu 22 May 14

jonjo79 says...

BevHalstead wrote:
We do have enough secondary school places in this borough for all of the children starting in reception in September and more. 25% of the secondary school pupils attending schools here are from outside of the borough. That rate is far higher in the grammar schools. Post 2015, if the tories get in, Gove will allow academies to leave the Pan-London application process and those schools will be able to have 100% pupils from outside of the borough. Then, and only then, will there actually be a problem in finding secondary places for Sutton children.
I do not understand this post? Gove has nothing to do with the Pan-London application process. The government could make changes to the School Admissions Code but as schools and acadmeies are not required to prioritise local kids, I do not see how a change in government policy could make it worse?
[quote][p][bold]BevHalstead[/bold] wrote: We do have enough secondary school places in this borough for all of the children starting in reception in September and more. 25% of the secondary school pupils attending schools here are from outside of the borough. That rate is far higher in the grammar schools. Post 2015, if the tories get in, Gove will allow academies to leave the Pan-London application process and those schools will be able to have 100% pupils from outside of the borough. Then, and only then, will there actually be a problem in finding secondary places for Sutton children.[/p][/quote]I do not understand this post? Gove has nothing to do with the Pan-London application process. The government could make changes to the School Admissions Code but as schools and acadmeies are not required to prioritise local kids, I do not see how a change in government policy could make it worse? jonjo79
  • Score: 1

8:58am Fri 23 May 14

labyrinth says...

jonjo79 wrote:
labyrinth wrote:
The truth is that ALL places should be for local pupils: a catchment area around each school would mean no more of the present dreadful situation where most of the pupils are driven in from miles around.
Same old line being given despite it being nonsensical. Most schools do have an effective “catchment” as the bulk of places are awarded according to how close you live. Grammar schools are not “most” schools as they are limited in number nationally and are to serve those of selective ability rather than just those in the immediate vicinity. To remove that would really mean an end to the grammar schools which may or may not be a good thing.
I must agree with many of the other valid comments here. This is a non-story as this information has been publically available for some weeks and would appear to be more than a coincidence that the story breaks today. Is this a back door breach of election rules or is the Guardian simply being a political vehicle? Either way this may backfire as such a prominent headline may prompt legal challenges to what may be a questionable policy of prioritising residents, which could lead to it being revoked
No, removing "that" would certainly not lead to the end of the grammar schools! What you are describing, is Magnet schools, which is what they have become. When I attended a grammar school in the 1960s, all but a handful of pupils came from within a few miles around, with most just a short distance away. When I taught at a grammar school in the 1980s, the ratio was 75% local, 25% from further away. That has now been effectively reversed in the desperation of these schools to get where Tiffin is in the league tables. It is absolutely possible to fill every single place at a grammar school, with children of selective ability from within a few miles' radius!
[quote][p][bold]jonjo79[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]labyrinth[/bold] wrote: The truth is that ALL places should be for local pupils: a catchment area around each school would mean no more of the present dreadful situation where most of the pupils are driven in from miles around.[/p][/quote]Same old line being given despite it being nonsensical. Most schools do have an effective “catchment” as the bulk of places are awarded according to how close you live. Grammar schools are not “most” schools as they are limited in number nationally and are to serve those of selective ability rather than just those in the immediate vicinity. To remove that would really mean an end to the grammar schools which may or may not be a good thing. I must agree with many of the other valid comments here. This is a non-story as this information has been publically available for some weeks and would appear to be more than a coincidence that the story breaks today. Is this a back door breach of election rules or is the Guardian simply being a political vehicle? Either way this may backfire as such a prominent headline may prompt legal challenges to what may be a questionable policy of prioritising residents, which could lead to it being revoked[/p][/quote]No, removing "that" would certainly not lead to the end of the grammar schools! What you are describing, is Magnet schools, which is what they have become. When I attended a grammar school in the 1960s, all but a handful of pupils came from within a few miles around, with most just a short distance away. When I taught at a grammar school in the 1980s, the ratio was 75% local, 25% from further away. That has now been effectively reversed in the desperation of these schools to get where Tiffin is in the league tables. It is absolutely possible to fill every single place at a grammar school, with children of selective ability from within a few miles' radius! labyrinth
  • Score: 1

1:49pm Fri 23 May 14

jonjo79 says...

labyrinth wrote:
jonjo79 wrote:
labyrinth wrote: The truth is that ALL places should be for local pupils: a catchment area around each school would mean no more of the present dreadful situation where most of the pupils are driven in from miles around.
Same old line being given despite it being nonsensical. Most schools do have an effective “catchment” as the bulk of places are awarded according to how close you live. Grammar schools are not “most” schools as they are limited in number nationally and are to serve those of selective ability rather than just those in the immediate vicinity. To remove that would really mean an end to the grammar schools which may or may not be a good thing. I must agree with many of the other valid comments here. This is a non-story as this information has been publically available for some weeks and would appear to be more than a coincidence that the story breaks today. Is this a back door breach of election rules or is the Guardian simply being a political vehicle? Either way this may backfire as such a prominent headline may prompt legal challenges to what may be a questionable policy of prioritising residents, which could lead to it being revoked
No, removing "that" would certainly not lead to the end of the grammar schools! What you are describing, is Magnet schools, which is what they have become. When I attended a grammar school in the 1960s, all but a handful of pupils came from within a few miles around, with most just a short distance away. When I taught at a grammar school in the 1980s, the ratio was 75% local, 25% from further away. That has now been effectively reversed in the desperation of these schools to get where Tiffin is in the league tables. It is absolutely possible to fill every single place at a grammar school, with children of selective ability from within a few miles' radius!
...but not now from within Sutton unles the entry standards were to be reduced, effectively no longer making them grammar schools.

Given you have admitted to being a grammar pupil and then a teacher, it is no wonder your posts are consistently biase towards these schools and what they should be doing. The key issue you fail to see is there are enough places in Sutton schools and the comprehensives are fantastic schools. A grammar school does not mean it is a better school or the teaching is better (league tables are irrelevant when comparing a grammar or independent against a comprehensive) , just that they are only geared up to teach those of a very high ability. The best teaching comes from those who can differentiate their teaching to improve the outcomes for children of all abilities,
[quote][p][bold]labyrinth[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]jonjo79[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]labyrinth[/bold] wrote: The truth is that ALL places should be for local pupils: a catchment area around each school would mean no more of the present dreadful situation where most of the pupils are driven in from miles around.[/p][/quote]Same old line being given despite it being nonsensical. Most schools do have an effective “catchment” as the bulk of places are awarded according to how close you live. Grammar schools are not “most” schools as they are limited in number nationally and are to serve those of selective ability rather than just those in the immediate vicinity. To remove that would really mean an end to the grammar schools which may or may not be a good thing. I must agree with many of the other valid comments here. This is a non-story as this information has been publically available for some weeks and would appear to be more than a coincidence that the story breaks today. Is this a back door breach of election rules or is the Guardian simply being a political vehicle? Either way this may backfire as such a prominent headline may prompt legal challenges to what may be a questionable policy of prioritising residents, which could lead to it being revoked[/p][/quote]No, removing "that" would certainly not lead to the end of the grammar schools! What you are describing, is Magnet schools, which is what they have become. When I attended a grammar school in the 1960s, all but a handful of pupils came from within a few miles around, with most just a short distance away. When I taught at a grammar school in the 1980s, the ratio was 75% local, 25% from further away. That has now been effectively reversed in the desperation of these schools to get where Tiffin is in the league tables. It is absolutely possible to fill every single place at a grammar school, with children of selective ability from within a few miles' radius![/p][/quote]...but not now from within Sutton unles the entry standards were to be reduced, effectively no longer making them grammar schools. Given you have admitted to being a grammar pupil and then a teacher, it is no wonder your posts are consistently biase towards these schools and what they should be doing. The key issue you fail to see is there are enough places in Sutton schools and the comprehensives are fantastic schools. A grammar school does not mean it is a better school or the teaching is better (league tables are irrelevant when comparing a grammar or independent against a comprehensive) , just that they are only geared up to teach those of a very high ability. The best teaching comes from those who can differentiate their teaching to improve the outcomes for children of all abilities, jonjo79
  • Score: -1

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