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 23:57:44

and even if the primary is within the catchment for the secondary, that doesn't mean the primary's catchment overlaps much with that secondary's catchment IYKWM

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:58:12

Thanks cece.
I've tried that but keep going round in circles. They seem to have a vamped-up site with a new virtual portal thingy for students and parents, and absolutely all sections seem to need a password, annoyingly. I'll take another look tomorrow with a clearer head, I think.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 23:59:41

sorry what I'm trying to say (not very well) is that kids can be in catchment for a primary that's in a secondary's catchment, and not be in that secondary's catchment.. if that's the cut off

but to complicate further sometimes the cut off is higher than living in catchment and it goes by proximity so being in catchment doesn't even get you in

sunnyday123 Sun 30-Dec-12 00:00:30

Do check whether its a 'feeder'though, in most cases people call it a feeder as everyone goes there-but that may be because they live there and meet the criteria, not that the school is named in the admission criteria.

For example in dds school all 60 children go to the same high school. However on the very odd occasion when a child further away got in (on a low birth rate year) there have been instances were that 1 child was the only one in 60 who didn't get in as it went on distance or whatever.

So if you a applying to the school based on getting in the secondary, make sure the criteria names the kids from the school and not the kids from the local catchment ( who jus happen to also go to that school)

Hope that makes sense!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 00:00:48

(and state catchements are totally different to church catchments confused)

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:01:29

I think I do see what you mean, thanks ILoveSalad.

In the ideal world, we'd stay here until DD has almost finished primary, then move to the town where the secondary is (i.e. our house would be in catchment, so what primary she went to wouldn't matter). Is that what you meant?

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sun 30-Dec-12 00:01:51

Don't forget, people can and do move schools. Your decision doesn't have to be forever. If you are unhappy with where your dd ends up, you can go on waiting lists for other schools. I don't think it is good to keep moving children, but it may be liberating for you to think that you can move her later on if things go wrong. Dd1's school was massively oversubscribed, only 6 places for non- siblings. Now in yr 3, 3 places had already been given up and new children admitted from almost a mile away, 4 more places became available due to private school migration, only 3 of which have been filled. The school itself is improving, all the moves have been due to house moves, planned private school moves (as older siblings went private) etc.

We did go for more the A option of yours, and are very happy, but equally know people happy with the B option and our 'A' option did have an intake of 30. Ten sounds very small, how do they combine classes? Which year groups are mixed and what do you think of mixed classes, she could be taught in a yr R,1;2 class with children two or three years older, obviously they will give her different work, but how will she feel with children older/younger. I think mine would be fine, but some wouldn't. Also don't pay any attention to SATs at that number, each child would be 10 percent of the class, so one year you could have 9 children achieving great grades, the next year only 8, causing a 10 percent drop, just because one child had hayfever.

Not sure if that helps at all, but do remember it's not for ever, and if it is so hard to choose they are probably fairly equal.

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:03:40

Sorry, ILove and sunnyday, cross-posted.
Things are much more complicated than I though with secondary then confused.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 00:05:42

yes that would work for a secondary that doesn't have official feeders

one (church) secondary in our area does have specified feeders and is over subscribed, the other 2 secondary options don't have feeders. One is undersubscribed, the other over, for the latter being in catchment isn't always enough, you need to be near as it goes to proximity if the catchment criteria is over subscribed. It doesn't matter what primary you went to for the 2 non church ones. For the church one I think you're better being out of catchment but in a feeder than in catchment but not in a feeder!

the ones with feeder schools do state it quite openly, so don't listen to any gossip

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:08:10

We3bunnies (I do love that name!) thanks for that. You are right, it's not forever. Although avoiding disruption would be great. Agonising for one year is enough, don't want to go through this again!

The mix is R,1&2 in one class, which makes my mind boggle, quite frankly. DD likes the company of older children but not so much younger ones.

sunnyday123 Sun 30-Dec-12 00:11:27

It is complicated but if you choose well now hopefully you'll not have to worry for secondary admissions!!!

Your area sounds like mine - we also have lots of good schools. Basically we chose the best high school we know we can get into, then picked the best primary that sends kids there and applied for that! I think secondary is the most important so wanted that sorted first and the seondarrys near me have the same reputation etc year on year.

(This logic only works in very stable populations like mine were pretty much the whole town goes to the local high school etc not city areas)

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sun 30-Dec-12 00:13:48

You probably won't need to go through it again as you'll probably love whichever one you choose, but knowing that if it goes wrong, you can is liberating in making your decision now.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 00:16:19

the secondary isn't final either, lots of kids that go to the undersubscribed secondary get into the other 2 for A levels if they are academic at GCSE, and other kids find they don't cope so well with the pressure at the other more academic 2 secondaries and move to the more applied undersubscribed one.. the admissions in Y7 are v tight for the "good" two, but after that there's actually lots of movement and re-shuffling

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:17:32

sunny that's my position entirely. And yes, our areas sound quite similar.

As it stands, we are just out of catchment from Nice Secondary going on home address alone, so I must find out if school A is a named feeder. Otherwise, it looks like it will be B. Perhaps...

sunnyday123 Sun 30-Dec-12 00:19:16

What I would advise against though is sending your child to a primary, which then sends most kids to a secondary which you have little chance of getting in because of where you live etc.

I would choose the best primary which sends kids to the best secondary that you can get in!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 00:20:16

find out which criteria number nice secondary cut off at too, they might take a % of out of catchement and it would then be proximity which you may be well within even though you're out of catchment

I'm out of catchment for one of my primary choices, they take a % of out of catchment but I am well within their proximity within that % if that makes sense?

sunnyday123 Sun 30-Dec-12 00:24:25

Do make sure you are very likely to get in the secondary though- if all the other primary kids live closer to the secondary than you, it'd be a nightmare to be the only one not moving up and it does happen sadly

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:29:58

Thanks ILoveSalad, I'll have to investigate. It does not help that we are on school holidays! Or that I will be travelling when they reopen!

Good point sunny, especially in a class of 10!

OddBoots Sun 30-Dec-12 09:00:58

Schools can change their criteria, just because doing 'x' now would get them a place at 'y' it doesn't mean that will be the case in 6 years time, equally a good school can go downhill and a less good could become fantastic. Looking at secondaries is a side point if all else were equal.

My only other concern is with a tiny school, when times are financially tight they will be under much more pressure than a larger school to close or merge.

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 09:43:16

Also a good point OddBoots.

The thing about this tiny school A is it is much better funded via the PTA. Very well off village and all that. Would that make a difference, or is it the state funding that counts when it comes to possible mergers?

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sun 30-Dec-12 13:32:08

It is the state funding which counts. A school PTA might raise 10000; that is just the funding for a few children. Plus they finance different things. PTAs don't fund core curriculum activities. Being a church school may give it some protection, but as a rule schools under 100 are more at risk, especially as it sounds in your case they are near other schools. Obviously if it were the only school for miles around then it would be in a stronger position. Despite that, policies change, unless there is already discussion it might not happen in the near future. You are just choosing a school for 7 years, it might be different if you had two younger children to consider too.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 13:43:33

its not about choosing a secondary in advance - you can't!, its more about looking to see which primaries keep the most options open for secondaries IYKWIM

good point about chances of merging, I went to a teeny village primary with 2 classes per room and it did close and merge, when it merged a lot of families choose not to use the new merged school and scattered. and it was true for me that it was harder to make friends when there was less to choose from

sittinginthesun Sun 30-Dec-12 13:48:56

Honestly, OP, the more you talk about it, the more I think you should go with school B.

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 18:19:38

I see, so from that point of view the larger school has a better chance of lasting us the whole 7 years. Something else to definitely bear in mind.

I know ILoveSalad! I think I am hoping someone will talk me out of it since there is so much prejudice against it. Unfounded, I think but still makes me uncertain.

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 18:20:41

Sorry, I meant sittinginthesun!

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