what happens to 2nd choice if you reject 1st choice school?

(75 Posts)
stickygotstuck Fri 28-Dec-12 22:59:54

Here is the deal.

Due to various issues, DH and I find ourselves still in disagreement over which of two schools should be our first chioce of primary. And it's getting urgent as application must obv be in by 15 Jan.

I need a second visit to both school but this won't be possible before the 15th.

So, we thought we could put school A as a first choice and school B as second. Then go and visit again. If come April we are given a place in school A and after new visit and further consideration we decide we prefer B, what happens if we reject school A? What chances do we have of getting school B if we reject 1st choice?

Anybody been in this position and got their 2nd choice after rejecting their 1st choice?

I should add, we plan to only put down these two schools.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:01:18

it's difficult because the school with the naice parents is more likely to have a higher level of private tutoring so the results don't always reflect the teaching WITHIN the school!

OFSTEAD is often very out of date too, look at the dates of the inspections

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:04:58

OP it doesn't actually sound like any of your choices are awful! just all have different strong points - that's a very good position to be in so try to relax!

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 14:13:57

Ofsteads were from 2011 for A and B.

You are absolutely right, I know DD will be fine in any of the local schools. There is also school D, which I would like to avoid but even that one is not horrid. I know we are very lucky in this compared to some people, but I still strive for the 'perfect decision' hmm. Mad, I know.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:16:20

if it makes you feel any better, there is no perfect decision! there is no way of knowing what school will be best for your 3YO when they are 7,8,9,10, or how the schools will change by then!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:16:59

(or does that make it worse?? confused

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 14:19:44

Thanks ILoveSalad, no it doesn't make it worse, I just makes me feel worse. Because I already know that but I still can't stop obsessing grin.

I am hoping it will all go away as soon as I press the send button for the form. It won't, it will just become a 'have I done the right thing' obsession then! blush

admission Sat 29-Dec-12 18:19:19

The bottom line is that it takes an absolute age for parents to realise that their school is either going slowly down the pan or improving. So in your case even though Ofsted have given a much better report to school B, the school is still seen as it was years ago and with the "stigma" of mixed council / private housing in the vicinity of the school.
School A is quite possibly living on past history of being in the picture postcard affluent village. The school could well be considered to be a coasting school, in that the attainment at entry in school means that the attainment level at KS2 seems OK. However in reality the pupils have not made the progress they should have made. The alternative is that this is actually a really good village school but only your view of the school and that maybe of independent people like Ofsted are the ones that matter, not those of the local, potentially biased population.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 18:30:17

and some schools stay undersubscibed even when they become very good because their reputation means that some people don't even consider/view/research them at all! won't even go and look for themselves

likewise some failing schools stay over subscribed because the naice parents have kids there so it must be a naice school, and some people don't really look past that

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 20:24:23

Thanks again, that is exactly the feeling I get.

There is a 'stigma' attached to the fact that school B is on the edge of a council estate (which is really not that bad at all, I've lived there long enough to know! It's just not the prettiest housing in town).

And it's also true that some of the locals are not even considering the school. Which must be why those two parents were astonished when told that, actually, school B gets better results than some and has a better report than some, including A.

I have met three people who are happy as Larry with school B, all local too (and importantly, one has one DD who is struggling and another DD who is a high achiever, and both girls are very happy with school). But I must be honest and admit to myself that, although perfectly nice and good people, they don't have the sort of outlook I'd wish for my own DD - snobbery strikes back! grin

I was expecting that talking to the parents would be the key, but it turns out it has actually confused me more.

In fact, I do wonder if all this is to do with the fact that I am very much an outsider (and one who comes from a more urban background) who has moved to a big village/small town where the mindset is just different.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 20:36:20

I learnt at the nursery stage to take recommendations from other parents with a pinch of salt. People raved about nurseries that I hated and didn't even look at ones that I loved, when questioned people really do have different priorities, for example one mum I knew looked mainly at cleanness - I preferred the nurseries where the kids made a mess! another loved a nursery with a spanking new building - I hated the fact that 100% of the non management staff there were newly qualified. Another nursery is considered the "best" because it is most expensive but I hear terrible things about it from people who've moved their kids out.

also there were horror stories about waiting lists and I was told that I woudn't get a place at the one I used because I hadn't gone on the list years ago - I asked for myself and they had a space for immediate start!

so when it came to schools I blocked out the scare stories and the gossip about admissions etc and got my info direct

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 20:56:19

Blimey ILoveSalad, do you live near me? That's exactly what my nursery search was like. I do like the messy ones too! In the end we went for the not so flashy one owned by several partners who have worked there too since day one (over 20 years!) and where staff turnover is practically unheard of. But mostly because you didn't need an appointment to visit and the kids seemed all so happy and confident. I was also told waiting lists here were huge. Not really.
There is also a newer, more expensive and far flashier further down the road which people rave about. I wasn't keen, it seemed so artificial.

After DD had been in her nursery for over 6 months I happened to meet someone who had worked in both, and confirmed my gut feeling that there really was no comparison.

I got the impression that kids looked equally happy in school A and B. Although A was more chaotic, which I like! DH doesn't. But then, DD's fantastic current nursery is pure chaos too. Which is where the domestic disagreement comes from.

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:09:40

I'd be wary of any school with only 10 in the year group, as potentially only 3-4 girl friends? For that reason alone I'd go for school b.

Also consider which high school it feeds to, given there's little between your choices it'd make things easier if they move to high school with friends.

Good luck!

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:12:36

As for school c, my dds go to a school 2.8 miles away, so with 2 drop offs per day plus evening activities with friends etc (rainbows, parties if they live near shool) I'm driving up to 10 miles extra per day than before!! My petrol has gone through the roof! Worth thinking about!

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:14:03

Sorry should have said 18 miles per day.... scary when its added up!

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:16:59

Thanks sunnyday.
Yes, those are two things that put me off school A - distance and the fact that there are just too few children!

As for feeder schools, both feed into the same secondary school. I am trying to find out if school A also feeds into a different one in a different town, but I can't find it.

Does anybody know of a website where you can find out what primaries the intake of a secondary actually came from in the last few years?

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:24:39

I love my dds school but really wouldn't recommend going far... It's a real pain as they get more involved over the years and the school run gets irritating after a while! my dds school has a 60 year intake so can't begin to imagine 10!

I'm sure it has its advantages though but it'd worry about going from that to a high school, particularly if other schools are sending big intakes to that high school (so they'd all know each other). And if school A also feeds to another high school, you could end up with only 1-2 girls from the school moving up together!!!

I know its early days but since you need to pick one.....!!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 23:28:36

like with primaries, call the secondary school one at a time, or look on their website, to get their admission criteria. Then ask them directly what number admission criteria they cut off at for the last couple of years.

If they prioritise particular primaries it'll be on their admission criteria list
The rumour mill often cites "feeder schools" that aren't at all, but there is such a thing particularly with church secondaries

cece Sat 29-Dec-12 23:29:44

If I were you I would put

1st choice - C - your preferred option and the one you both agree on
2nd choice - B - you can walk to it, it seems to do well academically, larger pool of children to make friends with, your dc will get to mix with a wide range of people
3rd choice - A - further distance for journey, very small (which would put me off immediately), not such a wide social mix.

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:33:57

Are they all community schools or are any faith? Only saying that incase school c is faith? I which case, if you were faith out of catchment you'd go above non faith in catchment usually so heads 'numbers' won't show clear picture yet?

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:34:35

The move to a more standard size secondary does worry me too, I must admit.

The feeder school thing is bothering me because I remember seeing a pdf somewhere with a table for my preferred secondary (thinking ahead here, as you can see!), and it detailed how may children from within the catchment made up last year's intake, and crucially, whereabouts the out-of catchment children came from. I seem to remember there were a few from my town. But I can't find it and I don't know where I got it from sad

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:38:33

A and C are CofE. We are not, so not queue-jumping for us!
B is a Community Primary. Which we like, as we are not religious.

70-odd children for a whole school does seem rather few. Especially as DD is likely to be an only child. hmm

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:43:54

Do you mean they dont get in your chosen secondary or people just dont send?

If you are unlikely to get in out of catchment secondary school then Id go for the primary school that sends kids to the secondary school you will get into?

My dds are in a faith primary out of catchment but we are in the catchment for the secondary school (as it takes from 5 villages/towns). This is the reason we went out of catchment for primary. our catchment rc primary is rubbish so if we stayed local we would have had to go community or cofe. but that meant my dds would have gone from primary to secondary with no friends as the rc high school never takes non Catholics as so over subscribed.

If you mean that they don't go from your local schools by choice then I wouldn't worry, as long as they go from your chosen school then that's fine

cece Sat 29-Dec-12 23:51:03

Look on the secondary schools website in the admissions section. They will list named feeder schools on their admission criteria.

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:53:57

My town is just out of the catchment area of my preferred secondary, as are all the nearby primaries.
People from out of catchment do send their children there, but few get in as it gets (almost) enough applications from within catchment. Or at least that's what I understand from my research.

But I am trying to find out if school A is actually inside the catchment. The village next to mine is half in, half out of catchment so a bit difficult to tell!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 23:55:46

if the secondary goes by catchment, it is by the catchment you live in not the catchment of the primary you go to. If it prioritises certain primaries there will be a criteria category for that

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