2 thoughts on “Fear and Loathing in School Admissions

  1. This is all well and good, but the system works and your ideas are fundamentally flawed,
    You forget that behind all the systems there has to be an underpinning of admissions law and legislation. Something you don’t seem to touch upon or realise in this blog
    I get that you didn’t get the school place you wanted, but to talk about redesigning it because the ‘outcome’ wasn’t to suit your personal circumstances is Ludicrous.

    What you are actually saying is that you didn’t get a place, so let’s rip it up and redesign something in order that it gives you a place! Why don’t you just come out and say that?

    You are stating that you want an all singing and dancing system, with bigger fonts et al but ultimately it wouldn’t have made a jot of difference in the scheme of things and you would still be left without a place at your school of choice?

    The issue here in my opinion is more about the middle class wanting everything on a plate, including carte blanche, when it comes to the pick of schools!

    Out of curiosity, I would bet you any money that the school you are applying for doesn’t have an Ofsted rating with a 2,3 or 4 in it!

  2. Hi Bob,
    Thanks for your comment and sorry my post wasn’t clear. I did get the place I wanted for my child and so this post is not written out of disappointment at the outcome. I recognise in the post the complicated process and having worked in the background of school admissions do realise the hard work which goes in and the law surrounding it.

    My point in this post is mainly about making small improvements to the presentation of the admissions process. The law of admissions would not be adversely affected by the text size in admissions systems being readable (in the system I used it was equivalent of 6-8 point text and accessibility guidelines recommend 12 point minimum for online reading).

    As my day job is all about making online systems and information more usable of course I am interested in things like font size, typography, signposting through a form and as I look at this across the sector I am interested that for a standard process there is so much variation between how councils communicate and present this. On this occasion my profession crossed with my personal life (because as well as working on this I’m a citizen and a parent too) and having had conversations with other parents it gave me a few ideas for things councils could do to improve stuff WITHOUT needing to challenge the law or change their existing processes. Would these changes make a difference to the outcome? No (which I do recognise in my post) but it would make the whole experience of applying and being allocated places online a whole load better to go through for a lot of people, including those who don’t just prefer bigger fonts (for example) but actually NEED them to be able to carry out tasks online.

    Hope this helps explain where I am coming from and that I am not just an angry, self-entitled middle class whinger. And thanks for the personal attack and not engaging in constructive discussion – the internet definitely needs more of that!

    PS – no idea what the OfSted rating of my child’s school is without checking. It wasn’t a deciding factor for me.

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