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Sheffield Secondary School Place Applications Over Subscription Fraud Crisis

Local / Sheffield Sep 30, 2018 - 02:30 PM GMT

By: N_Walayat

Local

Despite the construction of several new schools and expansion of many others the crisis in school places continues where one of the primary reasons for which exploded across the mainstream press this week as parents and students of Firvale School went on the rampage as a mass brawl broke out resulting in the deployment of dozens of police officers, a police helicopter and a dog team all to bring the situation back under control as the following video from a popular Sheffield facebook page illustrates.


So it is no wonder that many parents in the catchment area for problem area schools such as Firvale are be deeply concerned about the dangers of sending their child to the local catchment area school the consequences of which is to further intensify already rampant fraud in school place applications, where desperate parents attempting to escape the likes of Firvale Academy break the rules to send their children many miles away to schools towards South of the city such as High Storrs and Silverdale, both of which are consistency critically oversubscribed which means even catchment area children can fail to get a place due to rampant and persistent fraud.

The following table illustrates the crisis in school place admissions fraud for the 2018/19 Year 7 intake that manifests itself in engineered OUT OF CATCHMENT children with 'siblings' gaining places at Sheffield's high demand schools at the expense of CATCHMENT AREA and FEEDER school children.

The only workable solution is for school admissions to IGNORE out of catchment sibling applications as this loop hole is one of the primary mechanism for fraud in school place admissions, along with fake catchment area addresses that would need to be countered by withdrawing school places on subsequent discovery of fraud which presently does not happen once the child starts school.

The school over subscriptions crisis has prompted the construction of several new schools on the borders of the high place demand areas such as Mercia especially to take the pressure off Silverdale and High Storrs which have literally been swamped for places even after doubling their intake.

Mercia Academy, Carterknowle Road Construction

The following housing market centric map illustrates why Mercia school was built were it was, right on the very tip of Sheffield's affluent Green Zone and thus expected to take the pressure off of Sheffield's top ranking state schools, Silverdale and High Storrs that remain heavily over subscribed, and likely will continue to even after Mercia soaks up demand for 120 places and likely itself being over subscribed.

Sheffield's Best Schools

So in the countdown to the 31st October school applications (online 18th October) deadline, students and their parents will be scouring Sheffield secondary schools performance league tables in making their application choices. However, the league tables can from time to time prove highly misleading as many of Sheffield's 38 or so Secondary schools / Academies for whatever reasons tend to exhibit volatility in performance from year to year. Therefore a currently high ranking school may not mean that the same level of performance will continue in subsequent years as it may have been subject to special measures, therefore a better methodology in the ranking of schools is to evaluate performance in terms of trend.

The following graph represents Sheffield's Top 18 Secondary schools out of a total of 38 rated in terms of consistency in attaining high rankings in the school league tables from 2001 to 2017 for 5 A-C GCSE Results.

The graph shows schools ranked as a percentage attaining 5 GCSE's at A-C, the grading system changed for most schools in 2017 to Attainment 8 Score, so data has been normalised as a % of top scoring school.

For another year the the top two rankings are taken by Independent schools, with the third being a Catholic faith school. Whilst Silverdale School (Academy) continues to rank as Sheffield's best state school in terms of consistency of trend, closely followed by Westbourne and Tapton Academy despite both scoring higher than Silverdale School for 2017 but rank lower due to higher volatility in results.

The next 2 state schools are High Storrs and King Ecgbert with little difference between the two. With Bradfield in 9th place which is probably the last of consistent schools.

The trend chart continues with fairly similar rankings for the next 3 schools, 10th Handsworth, 11th King Edward VII and 12th Meadowhead Academy. With the remaining 6 schools all ranking similar to Meadowhead.

Overall 2017 was a good year for Sheffield's school results as most managed to improve their GCSE results, with several new schools appearing on the scene as Sheffield city council finally got around to addressing the crisis in Sheffield's school places by building new schools, though of course which will lack any track record.

The bottom line is Sheffield's school places crisis is NOT over, schools such as Silverdale, High Storrs and Tapton will remain heavily over subscribed because that is where parents want to send their children to, and not many of the existing schools such as Firvale nor the newly built Astrea. Whilst Mercia will soak up some of the demand, however it is likely that it too will soon become heavily oversubscribed as parents desperately attempt to avoid the likes of Firvale Academy. Though many parents are under the misguided assumption that sending their children to a good school will as if by magic break the cycle of under performance that tends to blight their catchment area secondary school, likely encouraged by clueless ivory tower academics periodically producing studies that the mainstream press eagerly regurgitate which tend to state that affluent parents hog places at Sheffield's best school:

The Star - Pupils from posh suburbs hog Sheffield’s best school, report reveals

Children in Sheffield’s poorer suburbs are having to travel further to get into higher performing primary schools – while those in wealthier areas are likelier to attend one on their doorstep.

The fact that so many good schools have overlapping areas of influence in the wealthiest neighbourhoods helps to explain a lot the persistent advantage in those neighbourhoods, including high house values, over time.

Studies that are ignorant of the fundamental fact that it is affluent parents who are responsible for the existence of the good state schools in the first place! For if it were a question of funding then the school league tables would be in reverse order as on average affluent schools tend to receive about 1/3rd less per pupil than the schools in less affluent area schools. Instead what academics recommend is a recipe for disaster, one of of turning ALL of Sheffield schools into bottom ranking schools, ALL under performing, forcing affluent parents to ultimately take the leap into private schooling, leaving behind literally a city wide waste land of schools that no parents want to send their children to!

Therefore good schools are good because the parents of children in affluent areas tend to spend a lot of time, money and effort on their children's education, so parents who don't do the same traipsing their children half way across the city are NOT going to reap any significant benefit, not unless they also do what the parents of affluent school children do in respect of their education. All that will happen is an erosion in the performance of the good schools results as we have been witnessing with Silverdale School that remains blighted with rampant school place applications fraud, taking places and schools ability to rank higher from catchment area children.

Think it won't happen to you? We'll yes it CAN! As IN CATCHMENT SIBLINGS can be sent to DIFFERENT SCHOOLS! Due to rampant fraud in school place applications that will continue until there are real world consequences for school place applications fraud.

Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-2018 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 30 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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