I was interested to note that in his letter showing concern about the new catchment areas (Letters, March 9) Mark Bannister referred to the secondary school admission figures for 2006. He'd have to, as the figures for 2007 contradict his position.

As The Argus reported (March 2), this year the "golden halos" around Dorothy Stringer and Blatchington Mill schools shrank to "golden glimmers" under a mile in radius.

So this means that under the current system in 2007:

  • A few children from Whitehawk and Lewes Road were accepted at Longhill or Varndean. All the other children in south-east Brighton, including most of Whitehawk, were directed to Falmer.
  • Most of the children from the often forgotten Knoll and Hangleton estates were denied access to Blatchington Mill.
  • Children in the coastal strip and the area on the Brighton and Hove boundary up to the Seven Dials and Westdene were denied access to any popular school. A few children in the south-east corner of Westdene got into Varndean. Most went to Patcham.
  • BN1 5, including Prestonville, was outside the Dorothy Stringer area, apart from five children at the bottom of Millers Road. Most of the remainder were directed to Patcham.

With increased numbers in 2008, the situation would only have got worse. I agree that Brighton and Hove needs new school facilities placed where the children live, and that we must all work together to help improve the overall quality of our schools, especially those serving our most deprived neighbourhoods.

However, an admissions system that lets down the vast majority of children from all backgrounds in order that a small minority remains privileged is against natural justice.

  • Leo Littman, Sandgate Road, Brighton