Residents say proposals to give disadvantaged girls and girls from Kingston places at Tiffin Girls School are a step in the right direction.
A total of 30 “disadvantaged” and or Kingston students could join from 2016 if a new admission policy goes ahead.
Kingston’s Brag Residents’ Association wrote: “This is great news and a step in the right direction.”
But it said: “It is not perfect and under certain circumstances may actually not produce the extra places that are desired for local kids, especially if high numbers of local kids score well in the tests.”
The plans come after a decision by the school’s governing body and a planned increase in admission numbers from 150 to 180 to make room for a sixth year 7 class from September 2016.
But Glen Keywood, from Brag, said he feared local children who scored well might be singled out to a maximum of 30 when they may well have already been able to gain a place in the original top 150 line up.
He said the new admissions policy should start after the top 150 able students were chosen.
Mr Keywood said: “That would give them that little leg up to get in. But hopefully this is a step towards a more local emphasis.”
Headteacher Vanessa Ward said: “We would like as many girls as possible to benefit from the wonderful education the school offers and the opportunities it gives.
“We particularly want to encourage academically able girls who live locally and those from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply for, and hopefully to gain, a place at the school.
“This is why we are proposing giving priority to them in our over-subscription criteria if we expand. We believe this is the right thing to do.”
A consultation runs until June 24 on the school website.
Ron Percival, chairman of governors at the school, said: “This proposal is based on careful research of our local community and we hope that many people will agree that it is a positive step for the school.”
HOW IT WILL WORK
- Exams for 1,600 to 1,800 entrants
- From that the 300 highest scoring candidates selected to make the pool
- Of this pool, priority for the 30 extra places given to 30 ‘disadvantaged’ AND local girls
- Then, if that 30 is still not filled choose local girls
- Then, if there are still places pick from disadvantaged entrants within the catchment area