The wife and I received the application form for my daughter's first school (she'll start next year) today. There's a choice of six schools in the local area so we put those down and read the smallprint...
Apparently, the types of children who will be considered for school places ABOVE her include:
Children of traveller families (ie, the kids of the loudmouthed, violent gypo scum who live two doors down from me)
Children who have been permanently excluded from another school.
Pupils at risk of permanent exclusion.
Refugees and asylum seekers.
Children who are known to the police and other agencies.
Children without a school place with a history of serious attendance problems.
Children withdrawn from schools by their family following exclusion.
So, my little girl, who comes from a (pretty) normal background and has had a decent upbringing thus far may very well be told she can't go to a local school because she's not a troublemaker, asylum seeker, gypsy or never shows up for school in the first place.
And what's worse? The government actively encourages the schools to take kids like this over I suppose what you'd call "normal situation children" by offering upwards of £1000 per each problem placement.
With the prospect of nice, fat cheques being waved infront of them, what school is going to want to take on kids who actually want to learn, aren't going to cause trouble, but ultimately aren't going to get the school that new OHP projector or stationery supplies for the year?
They do stress that it only applies to over-capacity schools and that it doesn't happen very often, but seeing as my town has been inundated with asylum seekers, gypos and the like, we know from actually talking to teachers at these schools that they're already over capacity for at least the next five years.
What a great fucking country, eh.