CAF - Conflicting Advice

(6 Posts)
angeldiver Wed 12-Oct-16 10:29:02

I have spoken to my LEA helpline and the education people specific to my area.
I am getting conflicting advice.
Firstly, 11+ was passed. We are OOC and are 6th on the waiting list. Last year 5 from waiting list gained a place.
I am pretty sure I will be putting the grammar school first choice in the hope we make the top of the waiting list.
Now, the dilemma. I was going to put my catchment school 2nd. The LEA says there is no such thing as catchment areas and I will not necessarily get a place. The booklet that details school admissions has an area, bound by roads, that my local school refer to as catchment area. So is it a catchment area or not?!
Secondly, every school we have viewed have said if we put them down 2nd, we won't get in, they fill the school on 1st choice only.
The education team specific to my area said to put down grammar, local and an aspiring 3rd choice. This goes against the LEA helpline advice.

If we don't get into the grammar, the local school is pretty much the only school to go to. The schools around me are dire. My 3rd choice school is going to be out of County.

Can anybody make it clear which way to proceed here? I know a school place in one of my choices isn't guaranteed but I need to maximise our chances of getting into the local school if the grammar doesn't come through.

PatriciaHolm Wed 12-Oct-16 10:55:56

"Secondly, every school we have viewed have said if we put them down 2nd, we won't get in, they fill the school on 1st choice only."

Which shows they don't know how the system works. bangs head against a brick wall

All LEAs operate an Equal Preference system. The schools do not know where you place them.

The LEA looks at all the people who would like a place at each school (whatever preference) and ranks them according to the admission criteria. If you are in the top 210/240 or whatever PAN is for your first choice, you get offered it. If not, then they look at where you are for your second/third etc.

If you are in the PAN for more than one, you get offered the school you put highest on your list, so its is important you put the schools in genuine order of preference. The LEA do not say, "oh this person wants school X as first preference so even though they are further away we'll offer them it because this person who lives nearer put them as third choice.."

However, it's also important to put a "least worst" banker on there too, as if you don't get any of your choices you'll get whatever's left over at the end.

So in your case the grammar should go first.

Re. catchments - even if a catchment exists, it won't guarantee a place. It just offers priority on the admission criteria. If you want to say here (or PM me) I can have a look for you if you like.

If you think you would really want the local if the grammar doesn't work out, then put it second.

angeldiver Wed 12-Oct-16 15:13:55

Thank you Patricia.
With my previous dd, we were in an area with 3 outstanding schools, so my choices didn't seem so important.
Now we have moved, I am incredibly nervous of where my dc is going to end up.

Dixiechickonhols Wed 12-Oct-16 22:27:44

Definitely put grammar as number one. I think you are CRGS?, if you look on 11 plus Lancashire forum there are threads saying previous years have taken 7 and maybe 10 from the wait list. Two years ago I know a DC who gave up a place to go private month before school started so places do become available to wait list.
Ignore what the schools are saying it is equal preference. You get the highest one you qualify for. Can you check with school 2 as it sounds like you think you are in the catchment area?

angeldiver Thu 13-Oct-16 06:05:04

Dixie it is open evening at school 2 tonight, so I will definitely check if we're in the GPA....catchment by any other name!
I'm definitely putting CRGS first and hoping against hope we get to the top of the list.
The thought of not getting 1st or 2nd choice leaves me feeling a little bit sick sad.

Dixiechickonhols Thu 13-Oct-16 08:32:02

They had Lea advisors at some (all) high school open nights we have been to hopefully someone there you can speak to.

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