Only children and primary school admissions

(42 Posts)
Sadgits Thu 18-Apr-13 13:40:17

Noted that one of the priority criteria for a child gaining admission to a primary school is if they have a sibling at the school at the same time. How does that work for only children? Surely that is unfair to onlies? (I know, I know, there are lots of other categories who probably deserve priority but) just wondered what people's views are and whether anyone is in this situation with an only.

Kewcumber Thu 18-Apr-13 13:42:53

I have an only who got into a heavily oversubscribed school because we are so close. The problme is practicality - how can you justify having two or more children at differnet schools at primary age - pick up and drop off would be nigh on impossible.

No criteria are fair - it wasn't fair that I could afford to buy a more expensive house in the catchment area when others couldn;t.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 18-Apr-13 13:43:30

But the eldest sibling would have been in the same situation.

I think schools should have sibling priority or how can a parent be in two places at once at drop off and pick up times.

cyanarasamba Thu 18-Apr-13 13:44:21

Surely onlies get the same chance as first born children?

AuntieStella Thu 18-Apr-13 13:45:24

It's simply irrelevant for onlies.

Just as it is for eldest children.

Each family goes through the process once with no siblings in play.

dozily Thu 18-Apr-13 13:46:03

Onlies get treated exactly the same as eldest children which is fair in my view.

Sadgits Thu 18-Apr-13 13:46:27

Oh, absolutely. Funnily enough the I suddenly thought of the views expressed above after I had posted re first born and pick up/ drop off.

AuntieStella Thu 18-Apr-13 13:46:53

Oh - and subsequent children (full or half siblings) where there is a big age gap. So there are families who have to go through this more than once, even if they haven't moved (at which point one starts from scratch again).

NickNacks Thu 18-Apr-13 13:47:36

Not just eldest children either, ds1 and ds2 will have left first school by the time dd is due to start so she won't have priority either.

Just reiterating - no difference between only children and eldest in family.
I have more sympathy with sibling priority at primary than secondary but not where families have deliberately moved away so eldest/only children within yards of the school can't get in. Our area is still priority for catchment children over siblings out of catchment.

dozily Thu 18-Apr-13 13:48:25

I think it's toughest on twins - it's possible (certainly where I live anyway) for one to get in and not the other.

ReallyTired Thu 18-Apr-13 13:49:13

Your question is an utter hornets nest. I know a couple of first born children who have been left without a school place, but there are children with siblings who are being driven from miles away who got a place.

I feel that sibling priority should only count

* The family are living at their orginal address at the time of the first application.
or
* The school is the nearest school
or
* The family lives within a mile of the primary school (in a very built up area)
Prehaps 5 miles if the school is in a rural area
or
* The older sibling has special needs

The biggest issue that is there are not enough school places because the LEA closed down several schools and then sold the land off to developers. DD's school is ridicolously over subscribed inspite of having particularly good results. Our LEA (in their wisdom) have put a bulge class in one of the worst unpopular primaries in the country county

The sad thing is that the parents affected cannot afford private education

TeenAndTween Thu 18-Apr-13 13:49:41

What is unfair imo is out of catchment siblings being ahead of in-catchment children. If you choose to move out of catchment, that's the risk you take.

Myliferocks Thu 18-Apr-13 13:49:48

Where we live priority is given to all catchment children first then it's siblings who live out of catchment.

CockyFox Thu 18-Apr-13 13:50:21

I don't have an only and don't think it is unfair at all

Only children are in the same criteria as Eldest Children. The reason for sibling criteria is that it is impossible for 1 person to drop off 2 or more children at 2 or more different places at the same time.

That said, I have not benefited from sibling priority as DS will start Junior school (5 minutes walk from the infant school) in September when DD starts at the infants, the 2 schools start and finish times allow for the walk between them but siblings don't get priority for the infants if the older one is or will be at the juniors despite it not being possible to drop of and collect from the next nearest Infants (30min walk).

Sadgits Thu 18-Apr-13 13:52:25

Oh dozily, that must be a nightmare for pick up and drop off.
Reallytired, that sounds terrible.

givemeaclue Thu 18-Apr-13 13:53:15

Op with one child you wouldn't have to drop off or pick up in two places at the same which you would if the siblings rule didn't apply and you had two children at different schools.

Don't see at all how your child is being unfairly treated in this respect?

What admission criteria would you propose for siblings?

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 18-Apr-13 13:53:17

reallytired I think what you are talking about would be covered by separating out of catchment siblings from those in catchment. It's utterly unfair when the parents moved into the catchment deliberately to get their first in, and then moved out again.

Manchesterhistorygirl Thu 18-Apr-13 13:55:41

Re: siblings living at same address as first application. You don't know what people's circumstances are, such as mine. We moved to be nearer school after we got a school we hadn't asked for, neighbour directly attached is a nightmare and if I had to stay here to wait for ds2 time to apply I'd go crazy.

It's unworkable. I think the rules as they are here are about as air as it gets. It's not possible to please everyone all the time.

AuntieStella Thu 18-Apr-13 13:56:02

Cozily: they've changed the admissions code for multiples, so that shouldn't still be happening. If one is the 30th child, the other goes too as an excepted child.

givemeaclue Thu 18-Apr-13 13:56:35

Where we live you only get siblings priority if it is your nearest school, so if you move you lose your siblings priority

givemeaclue Thu 18-Apr-13 13:58:37

But where we used to live, siblings got priority regardless of where they lived whilst siblings in same year group like twins didn't get any priority to be kept together so could get allocated two different schools.

We moved!

givemeaclue Thu 18-Apr-13 13:59:48

This was before the change mentioned by auntie Stella above

EwanHoozami Thu 18-Apr-13 14:01:08

In my LEA, distance takes priority over siblings so a closer only child would have priority.

Which is fine, but as we're renting at the moment we are faced with the decision of buying a house we can actually afford slightly further away from the school or staying in rented so that DS2 can go to the same school as DS1.

Sadgits Thu 18-Apr-13 14:23:06

On further reflection, I retract my statement about it being an unfair policy. It seems to be a minefield to which we haven't arrived yet. Bit dopey of me not to initially think of the dropoff and the first born situation.
givemeaclue haven'taclue how to answer your question.

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