‘One in twenty’ school children in Hackney miss out on secondary school places

School children hackney
Berger Primary School. Photo: sarflondondunc

One in twenty Hackney school children have failed to gain a place at any of their top six secondary school choices.

On Tuesday, hundreds of families in the borough found out their children’s secondary school places for this autumn.

School Children without places

Speaking to the Hackney Post, a teacher at a primary school in Hoxton, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “None of the teachers had absolutely any idea of the situation in Hackney until the figures were published. I spoke to the children today and lots of them who applied to schools in Islington were able to get places.”

There are five schools in Hackney where children will not even be considered for a place if they live more than 300 meters away,  figures released yesterday by the FindASchool website show.

The schools in this list are Kingsmead Primary School, Grasmere Primary School, Berger Primary School, Parkwood Primary School and Rushmore Primary School.

Free Schools

The teacher also criticised the government’s programme to convert Hackney schools into academies and free schools. “Pumping money into schools isn’t necessarily the solution,” she said.

“Academies are quite elitist, so if you’re worried about your reputation you won’t take kids from disadvantaged schools like mine, and no one is going to make you.”

Hackney parent David Gething said “My main concern is the development in Dalston. There are a number of 15 story flat developments going up which will mean school places will be  even more hotly fought over than they are at the moment.”

School crisis

A spokesman for the National Union of Teachers told the Hackney Post:  “The National Union of Teachers have been campaigning  around the school places crisis for a number of years now and predicted this would happen.”

“The government is trying to fragment the education system with devastating cuts and privatisation. When Local Authorities are not given the actual authority to open schools and there is no regulation of free schools, it causes a real problem” said the spokesman.