27/09/2010 08:24 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

'Satellites' To Allocate School Places As Applications Reach Fever Pitch

GPS satellites are to be used to allocate school places, allowing local authorities to calculate down to four or more decimal places how far youngsters live from their chosen school.

In plans which will further enrage parents already despairing over school admissions policies, software provided by Ordnance Survey will provide definitive data on how near a family lives from their preferred school.

One school already using satellite technolog; Holland Park School, in central London, has defended its decision and issued guidelines to families on how places are allocated:

'Nearness to the school will be calculated using a straight line (as the crow flies) measurement from the child's home 'address point' determined by Ordnance Survey data to the centre of school grounds as determined by the Royal Borough [of Kensington and Chelsea] using its computerised measuring system. Routes are measured to four decimal places [of a mile]' - equivalent to around 6 inches.'

Councils and schools insist the data is fairer than traditional catchment areas, but critics claim the distances are far too small to base school admission decisions on. It could also mean those families living in flats could be penalised if they live on high floors as the distance is measured vertically as well as horizontally.

What do you think?
Is this the fairest way to deal with school places?
What do you think is the best policy for school admissions?