Published: 09:05, 07 January 2020
| Updated: 09:42, 07 January 2020
Families gathered to protest against plans by the Langley Park Learning Trust to change its admissions criteria to prioritise feeder schools.
Parents fear the changes will make it more difficult for local children in Beckenham to get into their nearest secondary school.
Around 400 people turned out to protest yesterday morning, and they were joined by Conservative Councillor Christine Harris and Labour's Marina Ahmad.
Victoria Wimpenny said: "I went along to the protest because as a parent, I want to feel confident in the schools’ admissions process, and that means knowing that there is a fair system in place with local school places being offered to local children.
"What the trust is proposing seems completely unfair, and would benefit children in the trust schools at the expense of local children who should have just as much right to attend these schools.
"If the proposed changes were to go ahead, I fear it would have a detrimental effect on the school places available for Bromley children, increase the risk of some applicants not being eligible for a place at any local school, and this would have a knock on effect to all school catchments.
"There is also the environmental considerations of children no longer being able to walk to their local school to be taken into account."
"The demonstration shows that this is a highly emotive topic, and that there is an overwhelming feeling within the local community that these proposals are unfair."
Langley Park Learning Trust runs the two secondary schools - Langley Park School for Boys and Langley Park School for Girls - in Beckenham, alongside three primary schools.
It has started a public consultation on changes to the admission procedures, which runs until January 24, with one option giving preference to children from its own primary schools over other pupils.
LPLT's board of trustees said no decisions had yet been taken, but said that even if all the Year 6 pupils at all three primary schools transferred to the trust's secondary schools, there would still be 280 places available for children attending other nearby primaries.
There is also another option just to name Langley Park Primary School, which is on the same campus as the secondary venues, as a feeder school.
Parents have started an online petition against the changes, which is available here.
More by this authorAlan Smith