Question About Last Year's Admissions

(12 Posts)
SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Wed 12-Oct-16 11:30:28

I have a question about primary school admissions, but a bit different to the usual questions.

My DS started in reception in Sept 2016. Luckily for us we had a genuine choice of schools - we could state 6 preferences, of those I was 99.9% sure we would get a place in at least 3 of them. We have no special circumstances & no sibling link so we were looking at distance to school.

My first preference was for School A (standard community school with usual admission criteria), I checked the furthest distance admitted in previous years and we were at least 100m outside of this (long way in London). Thought I'd chance it as I loved the school so put School A first and a "sure bet" as School B. Low & behold we were offered School A on offers day - celebrations!! I assumed that there must have been a low number of siblings this year.

The admissions data for this year have now been released and according to the data from the council, the furthest admitted from School A is smaller than ever - putting us approx 150m too far away for last year - the year we were admitted.

Now, I know I may have my measurements wrong, but we are only about 450m away so, proportionally these are quite large distances. I am extremely grateful we got a place for DS at this lovely school but I am confused by this anomaly. I'm hoping someone with a lot of admissions knowledge maybe able to explain? PRH, admissions....?

Thank you

breakfastnotattiffanys Wed 12-Oct-16 11:41:08

I have used the measuring system (GIS) before the local authority took it over for our school. It is not an exact science depending whether you follow the pathways, cross the roads diagonally etc etc. However we always remeasured any applicants if the cut off point was extremely close.

PassTheCremeEggs Wed 12-Oct-16 12:42:27

Our LA (and others, but I guess not all) measure on a straight line distance, not a walking route. Is this how you've measured it?

cheekyfunkymonkey Wed 12-Oct-16 12:48:47

Ours measured walking route so you could be closer in a straight line and not get in because the way you would have to walk to school would be longer. That could be why?

idontlikealdi Wed 12-Oct-16 12:56:31

Ours is done in a straight line from a particualr point in the school grounds, depending on where that point is it could easily account for 150m.

MrsKCastle Wed 12-Oct-16 13:05:26

Hmmm strange. I guess there may have been an error made in your favourite.

IAmAPaleontologist Wed 12-Oct-16 13:22:25

As others said it depends how you measure. A friend lives closer to me to our school as you would walk it on footpaths but by road and pavement I actually come out closer and was ahead of her on the rankings for distance for admission to school. Bonkers.

chamenager Wed 12-Oct-16 20:22:41

It could also be that the distance tiebreaker was applied to a lower admissions category than you are in.

So if it is e.g.
a) Looked after and formerly looked after
b) siblings
c) children for who it is the nearest school
d) any other children

and usually the places fill up with categories a, b and c and nobody from d gets a space. To decide which children from c are offered a space, the distance tiebreaker is applied - and you at 450m would most years have been too far. But this year perhaps ALL category c kids were offered a space and the distance tiebreaker was applied to category d. So all c children got in but only those d children who live closer than 150m.

Just worth double checking if the distance tiebreaker was applied to the same category as it was in previous years.

prh47bridge Wed 12-Oct-16 21:57:21

Several possibilities spring to mind:

- If they measure using the shortest walking route it may be that they know a shorter route than the one you've used, possibly using a footpath that is unsafe or overgrown
- They may be measuring to a different point on the school. Depending on the size of the school grounds this can make a big difference
- If you've used Google Maps or some other online system to calculate the distance it will have measured from the centre of your postcode (which can be some distance from your house) to the centre of the school's postcode (which can be some distance from the measuring point the LA use) unless you drag the start and end points to the correct locations
- if you've measured the shortest walking route but they are using straight line that could easily account for the difference

There is also, of course, the possibility that they got it wrong last year and you should not have got a place. If that is what happened don't worry - they can't take the place away.

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Wed 12-Oct-16 23:06:23

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful replies. I have checked the admissions criteria again & they use "as the crow flies" not shortest walking distance. It's not mentioned where in the school the point of measurement is - the school gate is on "my" side of the school. The point about measuring from the centre of my postcode is something I hadn't considered, although where we are postcodes are actually quite small.
Perhaps it was an error that gave DS his place at the school, prh - I am very glad to hear the place cannot be taken away from us s this had certainly crossed my mind. Just out of interest, could the place have been taken away after it was offered but before he had started i.e. Between April & Sept?
Thank you

reynoldsnumber Wed 12-Oct-16 23:22:47

Was the measurement of the cut off distance in miles not kilometres?

prh47bridge Thu 13-Oct-16 00:04:01

If the error (if that is what it was) had been discovered quickly they could have taken the place away. The cut off is not clear but available case law suggests that the LA has around 3 days after an offer is made to withdraw an offer made in error. After that they have to live with their mistake.

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