Anyone else still waiting for a school place/on continuing interest lists?

(31 Posts)
mirrorpants Fri 18-Jul-14 03:48:33

Hi everyone.

Starting to panic a bit now. We're in Herts and DS didn't get a school place. He was offered a school I didn't apply for, which after attending the settling in sessions, I rejected the place. He's on the continuing interest list for four schools and I've now done an 'In Year' application for these too.

He will remain at his private nursery for now, and isn't 5 until next July (it's his 4th birthday this weekend) so no rush but still concerned he will be missing reception. We've only seen movement in the wrong direction in the CI lists, currently position 2, 4, 11 and 13.

Also- Herts Admissions are infuriating- won't tell me ANYTHING on the phone everything by email only, but they have a ten day workaround for replies! Grrrrrrr!

Anyone else in same boat?

NynaevesSister Fri 18-Jul-14 07:26:50

Personally I would have kept the place and deferred his start until the summer term. I know a lot of people who deferred starting and the children had no issues in reception because of it.

I would suggest that as well as keeping on the waiting lists you look around for schools with vacancies in reception that you could live with if needed. Might be a school that's recently been turned around or gone into special measures and since has a new head. Take the place, and defer till summer term. That would give you some breathing space.

Otherwise I don't think there's much else you can do other than look into private schools. The LA aren't obliged to find you another place as you turned this one down. But you can still apply yourself and just go on as many waiting lists as possible.

Kimaroo Fri 18-Jul-14 07:31:33

Also if you are on the border, make sure you are on the lists of schools in the neighbouring county. Some people don't realise they scan do this.

Kimaroo Fri 18-Jul-14 07:32:24

Scan? Can obvs....

mirrorpants Fri 18-Jul-14 08:47:16

Thanks for your reply. There was no point keeping the place, the school was 100% not for him/us- not least because it has no wraparound care, and only 4 childminders linked to the school who are all full- I'm a working single mum so he needs to be in childcare 8-6.

There are no other schools anywhere here with vacancies that aren't faith schools, I don't mind a bit of a travel as I commute 45 mins anyway so anywhere up the road to Luton is fine. But there's nowhere. You can only be on the waiting list for 4 schools, which I am.

Worst case scenario if he's not got into one of these 4 before next summer (so we've got a whole year, he will miss reception but I don't think that's the end of the world) I'll have to consider moving house to be near a school which has a vacancy before he starts year one. So keeping everything crossed there's movement and he gets in to one of these 4!

TheEnchantedForest Sun 20-Jul-14 17:17:16

So there are youth schools with vacancies? Would you consider one of those?
Unless you have really strong anti religious views they may be worth considering.

TeenAndTween Sun 20-Jul-14 17:22:20

You can only be on the waiting list for 4 schools, which I am

You may like to double check the legality of that. I vaguely remember seeing admissions experts saying there should be no limit to waiting lists you can be on.

When you say 'DS didn't get a school place', actually it seems you have ruled out a) the school he was offered and b) any faith school with a vacancy. You do realise that if a school doesn't turn up you'll have to home school don't you?

mirrorpants Sun 20-Jul-14 20:36:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teacherwith2kids Sun 20-Jul-14 21:20:37

So your fallback plan is moving to be near to a non-faith school with vacancies (are there any? I know every place is full for Reception withina radius of miles of here) AND immediately available wrap around care.

Um....that seems quite optimistic in the current climate.. remember that once a place is given you have to take it up quickly, and your place on waiting lists can vary day to day, so a school with a vacancy on day A when you decide to move could have no vacancies on day B after you have moved......

admission Sun 20-Jul-14 22:07:12

The general belief is that you can go on the waiting list (continued interest) for as many schools as you wish but Hertfordshire is one of those LAs that limit the number of schools that you can have. In this case it is 4. My personal view is that the determining factor for this is the capability (or lack of it) of the computer system they use. But until somebody actually goes to judicial review on this there will be no definitive answer, so Herts continue to restrict the number of schools that you say you will accept a place at..

I am concerned by your future plan. You will be in a position where you will be looking for a place in a year 1 class and frankly there will be no more places than there are now, in fact it could be less. You can of course apply for a place from anywhere so if you are thinking of moving to somewhere and a suitable local school has places then you should apply now and get the place - they cannot refuse you if there are places available.

mirrorpants Sun 20-Jul-14 22:10:25

I don't really know what else my fallback plan could be...?
sad
(Genuine question- what other choice do I have?)

Yes there's quite a lot of schools with vacancies- plenty of village schools, in the wrong direction for me work wise so no good right now, but things can change in a year and I can change office etc. I've the freedom to move pretty much anywhere this time next year.

All I'm doing is hoping he gets into one of the schools we're on the waiting list for by this time next year. Then i'll deal with it if he doesn't then... what more can I do? I've been an absolute mess about all of this, apparently less than 1% of kids in Herts didn't get a place and we were one. Then he finally gets one and it's totally unsuitable. I genuinely have absolutely no idea what else to do than what I am.

teacherwith2kids Mon 21-Jul-14 08:31:13

In your shoes I would probably drop the issue around faith schools (it is a luxury that you can't afford), find a village school with vacancies and identify childcare that allows you to access that NOW - a childminder reasonably local to that school from early in the morning, for example (my children have been at a childminder from 7.30 am for years), or even advertise in that village for a mum who is prepared to drop your child along with theirs. Or move over the summer to give you access to that school by September. Honestly, a school place now is going to be worth the extra commuting time, because when it comes to next September and you STILL don't have a place and the private nursery isn't interested any more (and he's wondering why all his friends are in school and he's not, and you're fretting because they can read, write and do maths and he can't) then it is all going to be a LOT worse, because you will face the legal issue that he MUST be in school by then.

[I think the thing that worries me most is that you feel you have the luxury of rejecting 'totally unsuitable' school places. You really don't. The council is no longer under any obligation to find you a place, and you many well regret that 'bird in the hand' that you rejected so unthinkingly. Did you investigate other before / after school options - nurseries closer to that school who do before / after school care? After school clubs away from the school building? Part time nanny shares? Childminders who don't deliver to that school currently but could? Au pair / au pair share? The faith thing is, genuinely, a luxury for you at the moment and seems to have landed you in a bit of a pickle]

mirrorpants Mon 21-Jul-14 08:40:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mirrorpants Mon 21-Jul-14 08:41:55

Oh, and 3 of the 4 schools I'm on the waiting list for are all within five minutes of me, our three nearest schools. It's not like I've just been extra choosy- I haven't. He just didn't get a place.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 21-Jul-14 08:45:10

It's obvious to me your fallback plan is private schools. Have you checked their availability? (They might be full too). I don't see how you could get a place at all even at year 1 given how short school places are. Is your DS in nursery full time? It's the same price as junior school in many independents.

teacherwith2kids Mon 21-Jul-14 08:47:54

You say that there are village schools with places now? Do you have that from someone official? Because if there is a place now, you have to be given it if you ask for it.

Get an up-to-date list of EVERY school with a reception place for September (I asked for this for DD a couple of years ago, when i was thinking of moving her - I had expected a long list, it had 3 schools within an 8 mile radius.....) and investigate childcare for each one in turn. I reallty would aim for a school place in September - even if you then get a place uin your local school and can cancel the plans - because a 'wait and see' strategy could land you in a very bad place.#

How many places have been offered from the CI lists you are on to date? Typically, how many children get places from those lists for those schools? (This can vary hugely - in DD's class, the first child to get a place from the CI list arrived in year 3 as there was no movement for 3 years).

mirrorpants Mon 21-Jul-14 08:50:00

He is full time at nursery, yes. Private is something that could happen if absolutely necessary this time next year although it would cripple me financially.

Is it really that unlikely he will get a place on waiting lists before then though??? I was told he could even end up with a place in September when schools start. He is now position 1,2,4,11.

teacherwith2kids Mon 21-Jul-14 08:56:55

Those positions, and the positive movement, is a good sign. However, obviously, if 4 families move into the area and ae closer to the schools than you are, you can drop down rapidly!

teacherwith2kids Mon 21-Jul-14 09:03:07

That's why I suggested you found out

"How many places have been offered from the CI lists you are on to date? Typically, how many children get places from those lists for those schools?"

My DC's primary schoo,l secretary, even once admissions was very firmly in the hands of the LEA, could tell us rthat information going back years. have schools broken up where you are? If not, could you ring the schools directly and ask fior typical numbers not turning up in September?

prh47bridge Mon 21-Jul-14 09:21:39

You may like to double check the legality of that. I vaguely remember seeing admissions experts saying there should be no limit to waiting lists you can be on.

We did say that but the Schools Adjudicator surprised us by saying LAs could place a limit on the number of waiting lists you can be on. As Admission says, the only way we can get a definitive ruling is if someone takes the matter to judicial review. Unless that happens the Schools Adjudicator's ruling stands.

I've now done an 'In Year' application for these too

I'm not sure what you hope to achieve by that. You are already on the waiting list. Making another application won't allow you to leapfrog the list. It won't move you up the list either. It will make no difference to your situation at all.

As others have said, it is unlikely the situation in 12 months time will be any better than it is today. You may have got a place off the waiting list by then but if you haven't you are pretty much out of options. Yes you can appeal for these schools but if they are infant class size appeals your chances of success are small. If you will not accept the offered school and won't consider faith schools your only options will be to home educate or go private.

mirrorpants Mon 21-Jul-14 09:24:03

Ah yes I've done that. My first choice school that we're position 1 for the secretary was really positive and told me not to rush into buying uniform for anywhere else! Obviously trying not to get hopes up though. Second choice school said they see lots of movement across the school year. Third choice said no movement in year, but two didn't turn up last September. REALLY hope that happens this year!

Had a big drop over the past week on all lists, apparently because by this point in the year those parents who are on CI lists have to reapply for In Year admissions now, and he majority don't, having accepted their fate at their given schools.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 21-Jul-14 10:03:10

It looks like you've moved up one place on your first choice school. This is really positive. I'm thinking of just getting the independent as a fallback. Obviously still having your little one's name in the wait list for all the state schools. Something will come up, it's just if it'll be in time for September this year or when he turns 5.

mirrorpants Mon 21-Jul-14 10:37:36

Thanks for all the replies and new perspectives, I really appreciate it.

@prh47bridge "I'm not sure what you hope to achieve by that. You are already on the waiting list. Making another application won't allow you to leapfrog the list. It won't move you up the list either. It will make no difference to your situation at all."

I HAD to do an In Year application- the CI lists are now ending and you have to do IY. (According to Herts)

TeenAndTween Mon 21-Jul-14 11:12:38

OP - the other thing you need to know is that some faith schools have more faith than others, so it might be worth checking which are the 'least religious' ones.

Plus you can withdraw from religious bits. It is common even in 'normal' state schools for JW children to withdraw from various bits like singing happy birthday in class, Christmas plays etc. So you could investigate whether any faith schools have more than just 1 or 2 withdrawing so your child would feel less different.

(I still reckon you should:
a) apply for the least bad state place that does have a vacancy
b) then defer that place until Easter
c) carry on applying / waiting lists for your other preferred options
at least the you have a place if you want it from Easter)

mummytime Mon 21-Jul-14 11:25:12

You do realise that all state schools in the UK (except those of another faith explicitly) are "broadly Christian". Some community schools are far more christian than some C of E ones.

Otherwise I would strongly suggest you seek some private provision which suits your views.

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