Related News

Home » World

Brighton defends schools lottery

A BRITISH council that pioneered the use of lotteries to allocate places to oversubscribed secondary schools defended the practice after the government said it was reviewing the procedure.

Brighton introduced the idea of a lottery in 2007, although some critics said the idea of allocating school places purely by chance was wrong.

The council's Vanessa Brown said the system had been a success.

"For our particular area it does seem to have worked. We've got 81.9 percent of children who have got their first preference this year, and overall 96.4 have got one of their preferences, which I think is pretty good."

The council had only used a ballot in one area where the catchment area of two schools overlapped. She said more families got one of their school preferences under the new scheme than under the previous application system.

Children's Secretary Ed Balls said he had asked for a review of the use and fairness of school admission ballots.

Other English local authorities have followed Brighton's lead.

Balls said: "I have sympathy with the view that a lottery system can feel arbitrary, random and hard to explain to children in Years 5 and 6 who don't know what's going to happen and don't know which children in their class they're going to go on to secondary school with." Balls said he would be concerned if ballots were being used other than as a last resort.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend