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Sending Bromley children to secondary school outside the borough 'simply not acceptable'

PUBLISHED: 09:25 01 April 2019 | UPDATED: 09:25 01 April 2019

James Dixon Primary School. Photo: Google Maps

James Dixon Primary School. Photo: Google Maps

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A row has broken out over school places in Bromley after 13 families from one primary school were told childen would move to a secondary school outside the borough.

Some pupils from James Dixon Primary School, in William Booth Road, have been placed in a struggling school in Croydon.

Bromley Council has a good record on school places compared to the rest of the capital, with 96per cent of children getting a school from their preferred list compared to London’s average of 92pc.

However, that figure is much lower at James Dixon, where just 76pc of children got a preferred school.

Angela Wilkins, Labour leader in Bromley, said the situation was “simply not acceptable”.

She added: “A good education is the springboard from which every child can achieve their potential and succeed in this world so parents are absolutely right to want the best schools and to fight back when this is not what they are offered.

“Bromley has had a long-standing reputation for good schools. There is something wrong somewhere when so many of our local children can’t have access to this same level of education just because they live in SE20”.

The Greenwich Judgement is a national policy that means children are sometimes placed at a school in a neighbouring borough.

It’s understood children have been sent to an academy in Croydon that currently has an Inadequate Ofsted rating.

A spokesman for Bromley Council said places are allocated by an independent process and “the rigorous national admissions code”.

“In any borough there will sadly be a small number of pupils who will have to be directed to a specific place because their location or situation in relation to their preferred schools means they do not secure one of their preferences.

“The only way to avoid this would be to create vastly more places than would be required, which is clearly not an option.

“It should also be noted that a high number of families from neighbouring boroughs exercise their legal right to select one of Bromley’s great schools for their child.

“This year, around 1,000 school place offers were made to children from outside the borough which puts added pressure on Bromley school places. In comparison only half that number of Bromley pupils were offered places for schools outside of the borough.

“Whilst challenging, it should be remembered this is a consequence of our success in overseeing a family of amazing schools for our young people and we are proud of the teachers, pupils and governors who have made that the case.”

Ninety-six per cent of children in Bromley were offered a place at one of their preferred schools for September, with 91pc getting one of their top three choices.

Across London and in Bromley there has been an increase on applications reflecting pressure nationally on schools places.

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