Primary School Applications

(20 Posts)
bluewisteria Mon 22-Jul-13 14:56:33

My sister in law put the same school name in every choice on the application form, ie the same school repeated six times.

Does this make any difference....?? confused

We have only one local primary I really want my daughter to go to, but we are likely to have to appeal as we are not particularly close and there will be a very high number of siblings applying for 2014 entry.

Thanking you kindly

uneedme Mon 22-Jul-13 15:00:50

It was very silly of your sil to do that. If she doesnt get in her child will be placed in the closest school with spaces.

Only 1% of appeals are successful. Simply wanting your child so go to a particular school wont work. You would have to prove that the lea have made a mistake or that your child has a SEN that only that particular school can cater for.

gintastic Mon 22-Jul-13 15:02:25

Not only will it make no difference, it's madness. I know all counties admission policies vary, but here what would happen is that if you didn't get a place at the one school you had requested, you'd be given a place at the nearest school that has a place. Could be miles and miles away. We are told to always put are catchment school, even if its 3rd choice (only get 3), otherwise who knows where you will end up. In Oxford they are bussing 4yo children across the city due to lack of spaces...

Trazzletoes Mon 22-Jul-13 15:04:47

I have no direct experience but remember watching a programme about school places where someone did that and the woman at the LEA was calling her to explain that she needed to put different schools for each entry. Which I thought was fairly generous of her.

As far as I'm aware it makes no difference at all, except for her child losing out on having any other options.

gintastic Mon 22-Jul-13 15:05:59

You won't win an appeal just because you want your child to go to that school. For YR, Y1 and Y2, the infant class size regulations means they WILL NOT admit if class sizes will be more than 30 unless administration error. A child was admitted to DD's primary school last year above this limit as county had in error decided they lived further away than they did. Had the correct distance been used, he would have been allocated a place in the normal admission round.

Read the admissions policies very carefully to see how it is done where you live.

bluewisteria Mon 22-Jul-13 15:07:15

Yes, I thought she was too, a bit of a wild card. She got it though, it was about three years ago and she wasn't near to it.

I just wondered if it somehow made a difference statistically when they work out the choices... Haven't really got my head around exactly how places are decided after sen/religious etc priorities - ie if they are soley relying on the choices of school on the form and no other information.

bluewisteria Mon 22-Jul-13 15:08:40

Ah, okay, thank you all. So she simply would have got it anyway.

gintastic Mon 22-Jul-13 15:09:33

Look on your LEA website, admissions policies should be very clear.

soapboxqueen Mon 22-Jul-13 15:16:02

Nope. Other than giving the admissions staff who open it a chucklegrin

There are many people who believe that either only putting one choice or putting the same choice repeatedly forces the LEAs hand to give them the choice they want. If this were true then everyone would be doing it.

You do not have the right to choose your child's school, only to express a preference. The preference only comes into action if you qualify for more than one school in which case they offer you the school you put the biggest up your list. You are only offered a place if you meet the school's selection criteria. If you have six preferences and you only qualify for one school, that is the school you are offered. Doesn't matter where you put it on your list. If you are offered two or all six, they will offer you your highest preference.

In your sil case, if she is lucky and is offered her preferred school then all is well. However, it will be because she qualified for that school, not because she wrote it six times. If however she doesn't qualify for that school then she will be in a bit of a pickle.

She will have to wait until all of the other children have been given their choices and then she will be given a place at a school that still has vacancies. Doesn't matter if she hates the school, it's 10 miles away or she can't get to it because of transport. The LEA only have to offer a place, not a place that parents like.

By all means she can put her favoured school as top of her list, but the other options are four her to express a preference if she doesn't get that school. She should look at school she stands a good chance of getting into as back ups.

AbbyR1973 Mon 22-Jul-13 15:31:51

No you aren't only supposed to apply for 1 school or the same school multiple times over and it doesn't change the outcome of the authorities decision if you do but....

I only applied for 1 school for DS2. DS1 was clearly already at the school so it helped but from DS1 I knew that the ONLY school in our town I would be offered is one of the worst schools in the country and 3 miles away (they put on a "bulge class" in the least popular, least successful school n town!!). We didn't get catchment school last year nor any of our other choices. We had been offered only said dire school and at one point my Mum (ex-primary teacher) was going to home educate for me. Fortunately we didn't have to do this as a places were available at a lovely school in a village a few miles away. It would have been a disaster if DS2 hadn't got in but there is no way he would have gone to the authorities choice and as a single parent I couldn't have done to school runs and gone to work anyway
So there are circumstances where you might only put down one school but you have to consider for you whether no school place is better than place in diabolically awful school. grin

prh47bridge Mon 22-Jul-13 16:22:57

Applying for the same school multiple times makes absolutely no difference to your chances of getting a place. If your SIL hadn't got a place at her preferred school she would have been offered a place at the nearest school with places available, which would definitely have been an unpopular school and could have been miles away. If she had used her other choices properly she may have been offered a place at one of her other preferences.

prh47bridge Mon 22-Jul-13 16:24:03

Just for clarity, she would only have been offered a place at one of her other preferences if she had failed to get a place at her first choice school. As she did get a place at that school the fact she named the same school six times didn't have any effect. But it could have left her in a much worse position than if she had used per preferences properly.

Pyrrah Mon 22-Jul-13 17:59:35

If there is a dead cert school close to you but that you totally hate, it's always worth putting it on the list in last place - better a school you hate at the end of the road than a school you hate that's 5 miles away.

I never understand why people don't realise that it's a computer that allocates school places, not a person, so no emotion involved or anyone thinking 'well that person REALLY wants that school' or 'Gosh, can't have little Johnny with no school so will have to give him the one that was written down 6 times'.

Problem is that people - like your SIL - do write the same school 6 times and then get a place (that they qualified for in the normal way) and think that the reason was because they only listed the one school. This then leads to urban myths and people really screwing up their applications.

gintastic Thu 25-Jul-13 09:15:35

I will only be putting one school down when I apply for DS for next September, but it is our catchment school (400 yards away) and he already has a sibling at the school. As I help run the preschool, I have a pretty good idea who will be applying and I think he will either be 3rd or 4th on the list - they take 15 and there is no chance of him being not in the top 15 as he will have a sibling priority (which does apply in our LEA, I checked!). You need to be this certain, or you do run the risk of getting a place miles away. And you will have to wait until everyone else has been allocated their space before they look at those who have no space...

tiggytape Thu 25-Jul-13 15:00:01

Even if you are certain you will get a place, you should still list other schools

It does not lessen your chance of getting your first chance school because you either qualify for it or you don't - how much you want it or how many other schools you list has no influence whatsoever.

A computer allocates the places using the criteria. No evil person is rubbing their hands in the admissions office saying 'haha well since she's listed more than one preference, she can't be that fussy and we'll give her the worst one'

Even if you have sibling priority, a new rule now gives all children adopted from care (regardless of their address) priority over all siblings. So if yours is a little gem of a school nestled in an area of awful schools for example, you may get dozens of applications from miles away that potentially trump your sibling claim.

Ditto SEN - if your school does really well with pastoral care or has specialist facilities, it may be listed on quite a few statements and all of those children trump siblings too.

These are children who could live quite far away that you'd know nothing about until they'd applied and got places and it was too late.

If the intake is 90 this type of thing isn't such a worry, but with an intake of 15, I would definitely list at least 1 other school just in case. It costs you nothing to do it but is a huge risk not to.

gintastic Thu 25-Jul-13 18:50:37

Yeah, I understand - but every school round here is oversubscribed. I think the nearest one who admitted children from out of catchment is about 4 miles away.

Could you potentially get a village school (ours is) with a year group made up of 15 adopted children from all over the area while the 11 or 12 kids who actually live in the village are sent miles away? I guess this is a bit of an extreme example though!

I will put the other 2 nearest schools down despite being pretty sure we wouldn't qualify for a place there either.

Hard to know what to do for the best sometimes...

tiggytape Thu 25-Jul-13 20:29:45

Well yes potentially, if you had lot of applicants who were all higher up the admissions criteria than the local people or siblings then people with siblings or living close by would be sent to schools much further away. Some schools for example have had to take bulge classes in previous years. This means that sometimes they have more siblings applying than there are places so not all siblings get in and even people living next to the school without a sibling won't stand a hope.

11 or 12 children adopted from care all wanting one school would be very surprising but perhaps not totally impossible if that was the only desirable school in an large area and if it was rural so they were all willing to travel quite a distance anyway.

And it is true that in listing other schools you will invariably have to list ones that you don't immediately qualify for. In London we can list 6 options but nobody lives in catchment / has faith or sibling criteria for 6 schools. However parents list them so that they are at least on waiting lists if the worst happens and because you just never know what will change from one year to the next. A school that was oversubscribed last year can lose half its applicants due to a better Ofsted somewhere else and the catchment doubles overnight just as a bulge class at another school can lead to even some siblings not getting in.

gintastic Thu 25-Jul-13 20:41:21

I don't think I'll fret too much about it to be honest...

We only get 3 choices, I'll have a think about which ones to put!

Fuzzymum1 Fri 26-Jul-13 21:32:53

I was certain DS would get a place at our local school - we live close and no-one in the village has not had a place in the 15 years I've had a connection to the school. I still put down the school in the next village and one in the local town just in case.

UniS Mon 29-Jul-13 19:05:54

The entry group 3 years ago was slightly small compared to the groups the year before and the year after, your SiL just got lucky and the school she wanted were admitting children who lived as far away as they did.

My DS started school 3 years ago, every one who wanted a place got one and there spaces to spare, at DS's school AND the next closest school.

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