Bad review for admission farce

13th October 2006 at 01:00
I well remember the farcical secondary-school admission process I took part in this time last year. I have just read Geoff Barton's review of Miranda Perry's book How to choose a state secondary school (TES, October 6) after watching a news report about parents home tutoring their children because they are not offered a place at any of their chosen state schools.

Please can we stop perpetuating the nonsense about being able to "choose" a secondary school, or at the very least acknowledge that while some parentscarers are able to do this, others are not.

The verbs "to prefer" and "to choose" are not synonymous, and most certainly not when it comes to school admissions. While all can express a preference, not all are able to ensure that this preference becomes actuality.

From my experience of the non-selective, secular, state admissions process, you are only likely to have your preference met if the school you "choose"

is either undersubscribed or you virtually live in the playing field of your preferred oversubscribed school.

In areas where schools are oversubscribed you do not "choose" the school.

It is the admissions criterion that is more likely to do the "choosing".

Lynne Nicholls Dawlish, Devon

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