School Accused of 'Social Segregation'
Hayes, Dominic, The Evening Standard (London, England)
A POPULAR state school has been accused of illegally rejecting applications from children living on council estates.
Drayton Manor High School in Hanwell today faced claims that it had practised "social segregation" by rejecting applications from children living on three estates less than a mile away.
The school, which rejected the claim as "preposterous", has been referred to the national admissions watchdog, which has the power to order Drayton Manor to change its entry criteria.
The row started after Schools Secretary Ed Balls ordered all local authorities to check their schools' admissions criteria complied with the law, in a crackdown on those that flout the national code.
It could be the first skirmish in a wider war to make England's most popular state schools more accessible to poor families. Drayton Manor, under headteacher Sir Pritpal Singh, was accused by another local secondary school, Brentside High, of turning down dozens of applications from children who live on the Cuckoo, Copley Close and High Lane estates.
At issue is Drayton's practice of rejecting pupils who live less than a mile away but for whom there is another school such as Brentside High closer to their house. …