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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
School lottery plan ruled 'fair'
The lottery system provoked strong reactions from parents
A schools adjudicator has rejected parents' objections to a lottery system which allocates some Brighton secondary school places.

Canon Richard Lindley concluded that "a greater degree of justice" was likely to result from the new arrangements.

The council brought in the system saying more pupils would have a better chance of entering popular schools.

The admissions scheme still has catchment areas, but a lottery will be used for over-subscribed schools.

Last month, the adjudicator Canon Lindley heard objections from parents at a public meeting in the city.

'Reasonable method'

A statement issued by the adjudicator said all 51 objections by parents were rejected.

It said he noted that "random ballots proposed by the city council are intended only to differentiate between children when there are too many applicants from within any catchment area".

And it said he decided they would be "a reasonable means of exercising a tie-break function".

Brighton and Hove is a city of haves and have-nots
Councillor Pat Hawkes

But Canon Lindley stipulated the new lottery arrangements need apply for "only one year" because the council would be reviewing the system as soon as it could, to see if improvements could be made.

Parents in the city who protested against the move, and campaign group Schools 4 Communities, had wanted a delay of a year for further research to be carried out.

Hundreds of parents attended public meetings, almost 4,000 people signed a petition, and tens of thousands of leaflets were distributed by campaigners.

Brighton and Hove City Council announced in February that the new system would be brought in from September 2008.

At the time, councillor Pat Hawkes said: "Brighton and Hove is a city of haves and have-nots and the have-nots have been left out."

Plans to introduce a lottery for school places are approved

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28 Feb 07 |  Education
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28 Feb 07 |  Education
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26 Feb 07 |  Education
School admissions rules finalised
10 Jan 07 |  Education

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