If SIL doesn't put down the local school, she won't get it?

(84 Posts)
spongeypants Wed 16-Jan-13 23:25:01

SIL does not like any of the local schools and they would like to move to the neighbouring suburb anyway. They have put down 6 schools, 2 in the suburb they would like to move to and the other four all over subscribed, where you have to be living practically in the playground to get a place. From speaking to other mums, no chance of getting in. They have not put down the local school. She reasons that the council make the decisions and that DD may just be given the local school regardless but wanted to try and get in the others. I have tried to explain to her that it doesn't work like that and if she didn't put it down, she won't get it as plenty of other families do want it!

Its more likely that as she won't be successful with any of her choices, she they will get the failing school with the signs in the corridors asking parents to refrain from smoking.

How does it work, do councils allocate kids to the local school regardless sof choice, like she says?

I was a parent governor as DS's school for a while.

The hassle we had once places had been allocated was enormous. The head ended up with some frantic parents clamouring for some way for their child to be admitted. But, it was tough luck, we didn't have any more places.

There are many parents out there who seem to think that allocation to nearest school is automatic and that it doesn't matter if you don't put them down on the forms. Despite the constant information that yes, you do not to put that school on the form........

Need to put that school, not "not to put school" Oh well, should have previewed first..,

3littlewomen Thu 17-Jan-13 12:22:57

in rural Ireland we have a very simple system as the vast majority of school are not oversubscribed.... my littlest just enrolled in national school for next year by handing in her form and informing the headteacher she will be there in September! Job done.

It is so sad to hear just how stressful this all is in the UK

tiggytape Thu 17-Jan-13 12:31:58

Wales is different. In England you never get priority because a school is your first choice:

- If Fred lives 100m from School A but doesn't fancy it much so puts it as his last choice (all his higher choices are stupidly unrealistic but he really wants one of them and only lists School A as a back-up)....
- And if Jo lives 250m from School A and puts it as her first choice as she really loves it and is desperate for a place there...
- And if the lst distance the school can offer to is 157m then Fred gets a place but not Jo. Jo will get sent to her 2nd choice (if she qualifies for it) or her last choice (if she qualifies for it) or to a council allocated school if she qualified for none that she listed.

The fact that Jo would walk over hot coals to get into School A whereas Fred is gutted that he's been allocated it means nothing. All that matters is meeting the admission criteria.

Yes tiggy even more frustrating when Jo is allocated the school which Fred wants, so neither parent is happy, and they can't swop because then if they give up either place it might go to another child! Has happened here, not to me but others.

Not saying that there is a solution to that problem, but so frustrating if you are caught up in it.

spongey hope your neice gets a place, and remember, children do move/ go private, so if the results aren't favourable suggest they get themselves on every available waiting list, and keep checking they are still on the list.

In my dd's school there was a place for half a term, but the school/LEA kept denying it, even though the parent who wanted the place had another child in the school and knew the space was there, the whole class, even the children knew there was a space.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 17-Jan-13 13:56:14

Blu There some latitude in our LEA not sure if this applies elsewhere.

This is from the Kent Primary School Admissions booklet for this year:

What if I miss the closing date for applications?

Whilst the closing date for Kent County Council to receive applications is Wednesday 16 January 2013, late applications will be accepted and considered to be “on time” if they are late for a good reason and it is reasonably practicable to accept them. It will not be possible to submit these applications online, parents will need to complete a paper RCAF/JCAF. These late applications must be received no later than 5pm on Monday 28 January 2013.

Obviously it does say for a good reason but they may well accept a last minute change of heart to put down the local school as last choice as it will potentially save a lot less hassle later. The reason could be "I misunderstood rules but my nice SIL has explained them and I've changed my mind". Might be good enough

tiggytape Thu 17-Jan-13 14:29:40

3Birthday - yes there was a lady on here a couple of years ago who had been allocated a school she didn't want. She then found out that her and her friend had been allocated each other's first choice schools. Neither of them qualified for their own first choice school but both qualified for each others! They aren't allowed to swap though. If that was allowed it would open up the possibility of trading school places for cash or people being coerced into swapping and that would be even worse.

I agree with Ghoul that there is no harm in asking the council about any last minute changes but if your SIL does, she must make it 100% clear (in writing) that this is just an alteration to the existing application not a whole new application. If the council get muddled up and treat it as a new application, it will be treated as a late one and then she will get dealt with last i.e. no hope at a school she wants.
If they allow her an alteration for good reason then this could resolve the issue although I suspect you'll have a hard time convincing her that she is wrong about automatically getting the local school despite not listing it.

PurpleStorm Fri 18-Jan-13 20:56:11

OUr local council make it pretty clear that changing your mind about which schools you want on your list isn't considered an acceptable reason for missing the submission deadline. Examples of reasons they consider acceptable for missing the deadline include being a single parent who's been too ill to fill in forms, and having just moved into the area.

They treat changes of preference received after the closing date as late applications - so if OP's SIL lived here, and decided now that she wanted the local school on her application form, she'd still be in line for the local school behind everyone who submitted forms on time, regardless of whether or not she lives closer to the local school than them.

But OP's local council may be more flexible than ours. Hope things work out for the OP's niece.

spongeypants Thu 18-Apr-13 14:04:17

Posting this update in case it helps anybody who will be doing this next year and this must be a classic case of how not to go through the process.

DN got the local 'failing' school, obviously not one of their choices. I feel really sad for them. Instead of feeling excited, they are looking at appeals, waiting lists or moving house.

Please, anybody out there looking at schools for next year, read the guidance, it is there for a reason, be realistic.

formicaqueen Thu 18-Apr-13 14:39:56

I think she has done the right thing. We didn't put our local school down but instead listed other schools in order of preference. All schools were very very popular but we still got into our second choice - you never know your luck. If we hadn't got in, we would have appealed and if that failed, we would have joined waiting lists for vacancies that arise as pupils leave.

thegreylady Thu 18-Apr-13 14:45:23

Thanks for updating-I wondered what had happened.
Which general area is your sil in where she didn't get any of six options?

Floggingmolly Thu 18-Apr-13 14:47:57

Did you understand the op's latest post, formica? confused

StanleyLambchop Thu 18-Apr-13 15:11:27

On what grounds is she appealing though? You cannot just appeal because the decision does not suit you. If the Local Authority have applied the selection procedure correctly then I cannot see she has a chance. It is a shame for her DD but what else are the LA supposed to do? They cannot mind-read that she actually wanted the local school as fallback position.

MummyOfSunbeam Thu 18-Apr-13 15:17:43

Diamondee and littlewhitebag - how does it wor here in Scotland? I am new to it and have a dd facing primary school in a couple years - we have two primaries in our catchment area, one RC and one nondenominational. I assume we all have to go to one of these? I guess Applying for a non-catchment one doesn't work here?

MorrisZapp Thu 18-Apr-13 15:21:00

In Scotland, you can put in an out of catchment request, but you have no guarantee of getting it.

Mostly, kids just go to their local primary.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 18-Apr-13 15:21:06

In Scotland you can apply for out of catchment, and you will be considered last in the order of priority.

You are guaranteed a place at your local school.

Read your local councils website do more info.

mummy you can make an out of catchment request in Scotland, but I think you will still have your catchment school as a fall back. Most people go to their catchment school although I think you get more placement requests in the bigger cities.

MummyOfSunbeam Thu 18-Apr-13 16:53:08

Thanks all - the Scottish system thankfully seems more straightforward. Sympathies for OP's niece and SIL sad

HollyBerryBush Thu 18-Apr-13 17:09:10

As far as I'm aware, if you don't put it down you don't get it.

If you put down 6 premier schools that you haven't got a hope in hell of getting into - you will be allocated the arse end school no one wants and is under subscribed.

Floggingmolly Thu 18-Apr-13 17:09:48

She's looking at appeals, waiting lists, or moving house
You can't appeal the non allocation of a school which hasn't been requested; there are no grounds whatsoever.
Moving house won't guarantee her a place either; unless the new local school is undersubscribed.
The waiting lists are her only hope, but no guarantees there either.
Why would you make a decision like this without clueing yourself in? confused

PurpleStorm Thu 18-Apr-13 20:44:10

Thanks for the update OP, I was wondering what had happened too!

It's a shame that your DN didn't get into any of the schools that your SIL put down, but given what you said about the situation, I'm not surprised.

I also can't see appeals getting them very far, regardless of whether she's appealing not getting into one of the 6 over-subscribed schools or appealing not getting a place at the okay local school she didn't bother putting as a preference on the form.

spongeypants Sat 20-Apr-13 09:37:33

I won't say where exactly, (worried will out self) just midlands. I've not been through process yet so not sure how many choices there were, seemed to be a few, maybe as many as six.

Point is, none of the choices were local, they were all schools outside catchment, two quite far away and she recently mentioned another she had put down that is so far away that it might as well be in the next county for all the chance she had.

She has been advised little point in appealing, probably because there will be so many children in catchment who may have not got that choice.

This school is the exact opposite of what they did not want, in deprived end of town, very multi-cultural.

Summed up in a nutshell hollyberrybush !!

Poor DN - she's got to deal with the outcome of all this.

I said to SIL that surely the school will get a new head etc and be turned around soon (that seems to happen these days) and become very sought after? Not much else I can say really.

Poor DN, but ultimately it was a bad, unrealistic decision....which your niece will suffer for.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 20-Apr-13 10:38:13

Why are parents such idiots about school applications? What is it about a certain kind of (usually middle class) person that thinks that normal rules don't apply to them?

I say that as a middle class person grin

OP - really sad for your DN sad

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