Allocating the 'left over' places

(15 Posts)
Spindelina Tue 22-Apr-14 10:03:22

Just curious, having read many threads on the topic...

After allocations day, the LEA will have a number of children who have not got a place in any of their preferred schools, and a number of school places (possibly quite a long way away from the children who need them).

Is there any rhyme or reason in how they allocate these?

admission Tue 22-Apr-14 11:00:50

The normal procedure is to allocate on the basis of which is the nearest school to home with spare places.

nlondondad Tue 22-Apr-14 12:28:28

I agree with admission, from what I know, and anyway admission knows more than me....

However an exra detail is that sometimes a local authority will create an extra reception class (a "bulge class") in a school to which allocations could be made.

Last year, in Islington, they created some bulge classes in schools which:-

1.Agreed to them

2.Were at least OfSted good.

3. Near, or in, an area of high demand.

The practical effect of this, in many cases, was to "clear" the relevant waiting list, so that more parents got a place of a high preference, creating vacancies in other schools previously filled in the first round, and so on outwards in a ripple.

So that meant the level of "churn" after offer day was higher than usual, and by the sutumn the number of pupils "allocated" was trivial, and to a close school.

Mind you it would have saved some stress if they had created the bulge classes BEFORE offer day, but the authority are, understandably terrified of creating too many places due to the cost of having a surplus. So they hung back until they could see exactly what was happening.

Spindelina Tue 22-Apr-14 12:41:15

When they offer the closest school with places, who do they start with?

You can easily construct a scenario where the order in which they assess which school has places for a particular child matters, as the places are given to other children in that list.

Alphabetical? Lottery?

Or does it never actually come down to this, for reasons including those given by NLD?

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Tue 22-Apr-14 12:53:32

Surely it will generally be a computer programme similar to the one that does the initial allocations, so that it runs the iterations until everyone has the closest school with available places?

titchy Tue 22-Apr-14 13:25:54

Agree it's just a computer doing the allocating, so 5 kids without a school, and 2 places available at school A, and 1 place available at school B. Even though none of the 5 kids had A or B down as a preference, all 5 will be ranked against A and B. Child 1 and child 2 are 1st and 2nd on distance to school A while child 3 is 1st ranked at school B. Therefore these three kids are offered places at these two schools. Child 4 and child 5 remain without a school.

If child 1 was ranked 1st both both schools I assume they'd be allocated the nearest.

Spindelina Tue 22-Apr-14 14:54:07

Ah, OK, so they do it by school rather than by child.

Let's say there is 1 place and 2 kids in village A, 1 places and 1 kid in village B, and 2 places and 1 kid in village C. Suppose A, B and C run in a line (e.g. A to the west, B central and C to the east).

If you do it by school, 1 kid travels from A to B, and one from B to C. But if you do it by child, depending on which order you consider the children in, you can get one travelling from A to C.

tiggytape Tue 22-Apr-14 16:06:12

It is done by school not by child.
Each school has a list. The order of children on that list is dictated by how well they meet the criteria for that school.
When a vacancy arises, the child at the top of the list gets offered it.

So you might get one child who is top (or nearly top) of more than one waiting list eg they meet the faith criteria at one school and the distance criteria at another one they live very close to. That child might get 2 waiting list offers over the course of the summer (but will have to choose between them).

You might get another child who doesn't meet the faith criteria and also lives further away from the other (non faith) school. That child could end up getting no waiting list offers at all if they are low on the list at every school.

It is totally done by school and does not consider what offers or potential offers each child has at all.

MillyMollyMama Tue 22-Apr-14 17:50:30

Often so few schools have spare places it is not rocket science to fit children into them if the number without offers does not exceed places.

mammadiggingdeep Tue 22-Apr-14 18:56:50

Just to hi jack the thread...of we're currently 4th on a waiting list (missed last cut off point by 200ths of a mile) can we move down the list once all the accepted/declined offers are tallied up??

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Tue 22-Apr-14 18:58:43

mamma - Yes, you can. If others who join the waiting list are in a higher admission category than you, or live closer, then they will slot into their natural position in the list. So you could be 4th one day and 7th the next time you ask (we went down the waiting list we were on).

tiggytape Tue 22-Apr-14 19:02:45

The lists are constantly updated. Someone being offered a place at the school moves you up the list. Someone being added to the list who lives nextdoor to the school moves you down the list.
This is the case through the whole process so you can go up and down several times.

You are very close to the school though so it is less likely that anyone will get added above you than if you were number 30 on the list and much further away.

nlondondad Tue 22-Apr-14 19:11:03

Also some one who is on the list above being offered a place at ANOTHER school which they decide to accept can move you up. Happens in London where there are schools close together.

Spindelina Tue 22-Apr-14 20:52:52

Thread hijacks welcome, but just thought I'd point out that this thread wasn't originally about waiting lists!

I meant to start a thread about what happens to those children who don't get any of their preferences - how do they get allocated the proverbial school no-one wants on the other side of the LEA.

I think I've got it straight in my head now. In effect, it is as if every child who hasn't got one of their preferences submits another application form, with every school in the LEA ranked in order of distance from their home. Then the LEA uses one criterion (distance from school) and goes through exactly the same process as they did for the preferred schools to allocate the remaining places to the remaining children.

I was confused because of statements such as the one by admission that "the normal procedure is to allocate on the basis of which is the nearest school to home with spare places", because actually there's a caveat to that: "after any children who live closer to that school have been allocated a place somewhere". (Not trying to criticise - I'm sure it's a very useful shorthand statement. But I've been thinking about the possible permutations and it's actually slightly more complex.)

titchy Tue 22-Apr-14 21:00:25

The criteria would normally be distance yes as this is generally the tie breaker, but for secondaries which take in equal bands I guess it would be theoretically possible for them to have spare spaces but not allocate them to unplaced kids if all those not placed fell into over-subscribed bands.

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