An excellent piece by Fiona - thank you. Just to add that as we pursue the "political" strand to our campaign that we should ask what the imperative was to make the change so quickly and without the recommended modelling? I am not sure if this has been "captured" anywhere yet but take a look at this document presented at a cabinet meeting in Oct 2008 where Councillor Quick outlined the proposal:http://www.cookham.com/cookhamnow/education/cookhamsecondary/meetings_081023_cab_secondary_schools_report.pdf
A key point in this document is:3.1.30 A second concern is that no detailed modelling of the effect of these options has been undertaken. The likely impact of the options above has been assessed on the basis of experience of the admissions system and local knowledge. It has not been possible to statistically model the impact of these changes as this would require the secondary transfer process for the past three years to be run again to show what would have happened if the proposed arrangements had been in place then. Besides, given the volatility of parental preference there is no guarantee that this more detailed modelling would result in a better understanding of the impact of any changes.
Bearing in mind for the last 3 years all the allocations etc have been computerised surely this could not have been a difficult exercise (although possibly time consuming).
The recoomendation of this report was:
3.1.37 The Royal Borough should include within its wider consultation on secondary school provision and BSF in Maidenhead specific questions about designated areas, thereby avoiding the need to run two separate consultation exercises. This would then allow the Royal Borough to either proceed with interim changes to the designated areas or to delay any changes until they could be incorporated within the BSF, following consideration of the outcome of the consultation. Any interim changes to the designated areas could be made as part of the process around the annual consultation on the Royal Borough’s admissions arrangements.