ATL comment on secondary school places

Press release
01 March 2017 by ATL Media Office
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: “We hope parents across the country manage to get a secondary school place for their child tomorrow. But with the number of secondary pupils increasing, we fear more children will be disappointed and not get their first choice of school. 

This can lead to huge uncertainty for pupils and parents, with some children finding they will have to travel long distances, or attend schools where they won’t know anyone, causing distress at a vital time in pupils’ education.

“The Government needs to focus on the key priority of providing enough school places for children, with enough teachers qualified to teach them. It should focus funding on this and stop wasting money on opening free schools where they aren’t needed, converting schools into academies or funding its pet grammar school project which will not benefit 90% of children.”

“Increasingly school ‘choice’ is becoming a myth: the Government’s strategy of opening free schools and converting schools is clearly not working to make admissions fairer so there needs to be a review of the admissions system.

“As school budgets are increasingly squeezed, we hope that next week’s budget will provide additional funding so that these pupils will not face larger classes and fewer staff to support them as they make the transition from primary to secondary.”

ENDS

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