Berlin's families and the search for a good elementary school

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Mon 9th Aug, 2021

Every third to fourth family has problems with the elementary school in whose catchment area they live. This is shown by an overview of the change requests and complaints in all districts, which is available to the Daily Mirror. According to the survey, almost 10,000 families recently tried to place their first-graders in a different school.

Those who were unsuccessful - around 3,500 families - decided to appeal against the school place allocation in more than 1,500 cases. According to the current interim status, more than 600 appeals were upheld. One-third of the cases were still open. More than 94 cases were appealed, of which only ten appeals have been rejected so far.

These so far still unpublished numbers from the districts had supplied the education administration now on the inquiry of the FDP Educational expert Maren Jasper winter. "The dissatisfaction of parents and children with the school place allocation in Berlin continues to be great," concludes the deputy from the high number of change requests.

At the same time, administration and courts, "but first and foremost parents and children" are "extremely burdened" with this allocation system. The FDP demands a free choice of primary school instead of enrollment areas.Until now, parents have had to apply to the school to which they are assigned for retraining. The FDP wants to avoid this intermediate step by allowing parents to apply directly to their school of choice.

If the school is too much in demand, "the schools should decide together with the administration on the school wish of the parents according to transparent, legally defined criteria such as proximity to the place of residence, social reasons and school concept," demands Jasper-Winter. An allocation according to wishes could also be facilitated digitally by online tools.

From the fact that so many parents were successful with their objections and complaints, the deputy from Mitte concludes "that the administrative practice of the school authorities was often unlawful and could only be corrected by the objections filed.The tendency for parents to avoid the elementary school assigned to them is not new. As early as 2012, a study documented a "flight movement" from hotspot schools that leads to social segregation.

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