Abbey School seeks to admit children from Blackwell

Federation of Abbey Schools: seeking to amend catchment area

Federation of Abbey Schools: seeking to amend catchment area

First published in News by , Reporter (Darlington)

A SCHOOL serving the West End of Darlington is seeking to amend its catchment area to include Blackwell.

The Federation of Abbey Schools, on Cleveland Terrace, has launched an eight-week consultation into the proposed change to its admission policy.

If approved, it would see children in Blackwell who would otherwise attend Skerne Park Academy become eligible for a place at Abbey for the start of the 2015 academic year.

A report prepared as part of the consultation process says that historically Blackwell families have been disadvantaged when school places have been allocated on the distance between the home and school.

Headteacher, Elaine McCue, said the idea was first mooted by Darlington Borough Council before the school became an academy.

She said that the proposed admission area does not include land in Blackwell earmarked for development, nor is the amendment being considered because Polam Hall has applied to become a free school in 2015 which could affect Abbey’s intake.

Mrs McCue explained: “It is purely because we feel as professionals in education that these families (in Blackwell) are disadvantaged when going for school places.

“It is purely on that reason alone that the academy trust, the governors, are seeking opinions and thoughts about the proposal.”

Kate Chisholm, headteacher of Skerne Park Academy which serves Blackwell, said she was unaware of the proposal until recently.

She added: “That being said, as a big advocate for ‘Schools at One Darlington’ I feel that any efforts to increase parental choice for pupil placement can only enhance the already outstanding provision that we as an authority provide for our children. “I wish Abbey every luck with their consultation.”

Cyndi Hughes, Darlington Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, and Park East ward councillor, said: "I have discussed the consultation proposal with council officers and with a representative of the Federation of Abbey Schools and am satisfied that the impact of the possible changes will have a minimal effect on families living outside the Blackwell area.

“I have further been assured that the numbers who would be gaining preference are very small and that no new proposed housing areas are included in the plan.

“I must stress, however, that even if this were not the case, the proposal is a school one and not one within the remit or control of the Local Authority.”

The consultation closes on February 7 and information can be found at abbeyfed.darlington.sch.uk

 

Comments (8)

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11:39am Sat 11 Jan 14

laughingboy51 says...

That's not snobbery then, is it?
That's not snobbery then, is it? laughingboy51
  • Score: 12

12:21pm Sat 11 Jan 14

darloboss says...

“I have further been assured that the numbers who would be gaining preference are very small and that no new proposed housing areas are included in the plan.

so is it just for councillors kids and family like a little posh club sort of thing
“I have further been assured that the numbers who would be gaining preference are very small and that no new proposed housing areas are included in the plan. so is it just for councillors kids and family like a little posh club sort of thing darloboss
  • Score: 6

12:30pm Sat 11 Jan 14

jandarlo says...

heaven forbid a child from Blackwell should go to Skerne park....snobbery and elitism at its finest!
heaven forbid a child from Blackwell should go to Skerne park....snobbery and elitism at its finest! jandarlo
  • Score: 15

12:38pm Sat 11 Jan 14

BMD says...

Great idea and I fully agree.

The next generation of productive and tax contributing individuals should be steered away from "Benefit Street"
Great idea and I fully agree. The next generation of productive and tax contributing individuals should be steered away from "Benefit Street" BMD
  • Score: 13

2:40pm Sat 11 Jan 14

David Lacey says...

You are right BMD.
You are right BMD. David Lacey
  • Score: 6

6:15pm Sat 11 Jan 14

Jackaranda says...

Blackwell is the new diddycoy campsite, so the whereabouts of the skool(sic) is irrelevant, for sure!!
Blackwell is the new diddycoy campsite, so the whereabouts of the skool(sic) is irrelevant, for sure!! Jackaranda
  • Score: 9

7:14pm Sat 11 Jan 14

laughingboy51 says...

I wonder if the school was actually in Blackwell, would they welcome children from Skerne Park there?
I wonder if the school was actually in Blackwell, would they welcome children from Skerne Park there? laughingboy51
  • Score: 9

10:37pm Sat 11 Jan 14

harry2 says...

I. Surprised blackwell falls in the skerne park catchment area it's a long walk, and skerne park is a lovely school with great plans for expansion .
I. Surprised blackwell falls in the skerne park catchment area it's a long walk, and skerne park is a lovely school with great plans for expansion . harry2
  • Score: 2

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