Out of catchment but school under capacity - will we get in?

(11 Posts)
MisterGC Sat 15-Jun-13 14:04:57

Hi there
We're thinking of moving to village in Shropshire, but the catchment primary school is Ofsted grade 3 sad. The next school along (2 or 3 miles away) is grade 2 and, according to latest stats, is currently undercapacity.
I realise that it all depends on how many in-catchment applications the school receives in a given year, but does the fact it is undercapacity mean we have a better chance of getting in, even if our catchment school is nearer (and also undercapacity)?
Thanks for any help!

meditrina Sat 15-Jun-13 14:08:41

Yes, if there is a vacancy, it must be given to an applicant regardless of where they live. Depending on your LEA's rules, you probably won't get free transport, though.

dotty2 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:17:11

Yes, of course you will if there is space. But small village schools can fluctuate wildly from year to year. In recent years, my DDs' school has had between 3 and 17 applicants for 15 places. And apparently there is a (nationwide?) bulge year coming up for 2014 entry and we already know of over 20 siblings/in catchment applicants for that year. So it's all very unpredictable. Sorry - I know that's not much help, but good to be aware.

admission Sat 15-Jun-13 14:18:20

It is not whether the school is under capacity as a whole but is whether there are places in the actual year group that you want. If there are spaces in the year group that you want then they cannot refuse you the place. If the year group is full then you have the option of appealing for a place.
If you are talking about a place for reception year, then it all depends on what the admission criteria is for the school. If it is maintained school in Shropshire then they have a "standard" admission criteria of looked after children, then in catchment children and then out of catchment children. Siblings get priority in each of the categories. That means that you will be in the bottom category and there is therefore more chance you will not get the offer of a place at the school.
Be careful with the Oftsted judgments because it does depend on how long ago the inspections were and I would recommend visiting both schools before you make a decision.

dotty2 Sat 15-Jun-13 15:21:59

Oh yes - you must go and look at the schools. Ofsted can only tell you so much and is a snapshot in time, and things change. We chose the DDs' school over ones with better Ofsted's (it was a 2 with some 3s in individual categories at the time) and it is now all round outstanding - but the judgement does not really reflect the actual situation, either then or now!

MisterGC Sun 16-Jun-13 18:53:45

Thanks very much for your advice everyone. flowers I wonder if its possible to find out the numbers in a particular year group (and the capacity for that same year group). Would the school or LA provide that information?
We'd have three primary age children in different years, so would presumably need the stats for each year to see if they'd all get a place?

BoundandRebound Sun 16-Jun-13 18:55:06

Depends which year group is under capacity I'd have thought

BoundandRebound Sun 16-Jun-13 18:55:37

I wouldn't over rely on OFSTED reports though

dotty2 Mon 17-Jun-13 04:26:01

Well, just ask the school. Our school is actually over capacity now in some years, but the head has taken additional children in those years because we have two year classes, so it's not practically a problem, and because she thinks there is a strong likelihood that if she didn't the parents would go on to win an appeal so she might as well just take them and save them the hassle. We are not in Shropshire, though, so the situation may be different. Good luck.

FadedSapphire Mon 17-Jun-13 09:35:15

As others have said- arrange a visit to both schools. A 3 category is not something to always feel doomladen about. Check local school out, visit, talk to the Head. There is a lot to be said for being able to walk to school and this school will not be allowed to coast after a '3' ofsted label.

Betty5313 Mon 17-Jun-13 16:50:39

Hi, I would,say go and have a look at the possible schools if you haven't already. I don't know how feasible that is for you. Our Dd is 2014 entry but for various reasons we started looking early and found that ofsted, and even what other local parents said, was not a great indication of how well we thought the school would suit dd. We are in Shropshire, just outside Shrewsbury, if you want to pm smile smile

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