Surely when parents consider schools they look at admission criteria? That means they are aware of their chances of being admitted to a particular school. There is no choice and can be no choice in admissions which will result in 100 per cent match. In the state sector parents can express a preference for a school(s). And that is as far as it goes.
Most express a preference with regard to factors including admission criteria and past experience. It is not surprising that in rural and sem-rural areas parents get their choice as there is often no alternative.
But in urban areas - particularly conurbations with schools of all persuasions - choice falls down.
The Government's latest proposals may increase the variety of schools but will not do anything for choice, especially if schools are responsible for their own admissions and decide on criteria for their ideal child. Schools will choose pupils rather than parents choosing schools. Bring back catchment areas, I say, and slay the dragon of choice!
19 Advice Avenue