At a private meeting after her statement in the House of Commons Chamber
today, Ruth Kelly (Labour’s Secretary of State for Education) told
Michael Fabricant that under her new proposals, schools would set their
own catchment areas, NOT local education authorities. "This will make a
huge difference in Staffordshire" says Michael Fabricant and is
"potentially very good news indeed for parents". Ruth Kelly said "It
will empower parents to choose the schools they want".
Michael went on to explain: "Staffordshire’s local education authority
has been inflexible with its school catchment areas. In the past there
have been problems in Kings Bromley, for example, with pupils from the
Richard Crosse Primary School being sent to a school in Rugeley when
their parents have preferred their children to be sent to John Taylor
High School in Barton Under Needwood. And there are many other examples
in my casebook.
"Providing Ruth Kelly’s proposals are not watered down by hostile Labour
back-benchers and that Staffordshire headteachers will use the powers
that will be given to them, it will be of huge benefit to parents
throughout the West Midlands. School catchment areas set by the schools
themselves would be allowed to overlap giving real choice to parents."