Catchment areas? (Leicestershire)

(24 Posts)
cakewench Sun 07-Mar-10 12:53:47

My husband and I are new to our area, were not raised in the UK, and are confused about catchment areas for local schools. Everyone around us seems to know where the 'lines' are but we have no idea. Is there a government-run website with maps or so, or is this just something we're expected to know via word of mouth?

We are in Leicestershire if it helps. Thanks so much!

snowplop Sun 07-Mar-10 13:02:14

Hi and welcome to Leicestershire!

No maps that I know of but you can try this link to find the schools closest to you:schoolsfinder.direct.gov.uk/

Hope that helps

cakewench Sun 07-Mar-10 13:21:55

ooh thank you! That might be the best we can do for now. We've been renting for a couple of years now, but would like to know how the local schools are before we make any buying decisions...

thanks again!

tabouleh Sun 07-Mar-10 16:13:37

right - what anyone needs to do if they want to know about state school admissions is look at their local authority website.

so in your case Leicester City Council website

in particular the "SAS starting school in 2010" booklet page 13 admission rules

the order is as follows:

Pupils in the care of the Local Authority
Pupils subject to Child Protecction plans
Pupils who live in the Priority area
Pupils with a sibling at the school
Pupils with parent using religious convictions
Pupils with parent fleeing DV
Pupils who live nearest the school

So the key is what Leicester are calling Priority Areas - usually called Catchment areas.

You can view the priority areas by school here.

So it is extremely important to understand the Priority Areas.

Imagine a square shaped Priority Area with the school in the top left hand corner. Your house is 50m away from the school but not in the Priority Area. Every one else living in the square shape has priority to you.

Of course distance is a factor as if there are more applicants than places within the Priority Area then closest distance wins.

If not all spaces are filled from the catchment area then you would be one of the first to get a place if you lived 50m from the school.

I hate to see people getting so confused about this topic.

choufleur Sun 07-Mar-10 16:16:43

are you in the city or the county?

city you need to check the link posted by tabouleh, in the county www.leicestershire.gov.uk/index/education/going_to_school/admissions.htm

cakewench Sun 07-Mar-10 20:26:38

Taboulah, thanks so much for your detailed response.

We're in the county, not Leicester itself, so it doesn't seem as if we're covered by that site. FWIW, I had previously attempted to find the information on the county site, this is the closest I could find to specific mention of catchment areas. It refers to them specifically, with regard to "if you are between catchment areas" etc, but as far as I can see, it does nothing to inform you of what the catchment areas actually are. PLEASE someone feel free to look here and prove me wrong! In this case, I'd love to be. I've stared at various links on this site wto no avail so far.

ofc I typed all that before reading choufleur's post. Yes, that's the site I've been looking at, but I don't see where it specifies what the catchment areas actually are?

I assume specific lines must exist? Estate agents sure get a lot of mileage from saying that x house is in x catchment area, for example. Or is that wrong, as well?

tabouleh Sun 07-Mar-10 21:51:01

I had a look and could only find this statement "If you have a query about the catchment school for your particular area, please contact the Allocations Section on 0116 3056684"

Seems quite poor that they have no info on line.

choufleur Mon 08-Mar-10 09:07:55

could you phone the schools closest to you and enquire about their catchments?

we're in the county but there is only one school in our village so that's the catchment school.

when will your DD/DS start school?

snowplop Mon 08-Mar-10 14:32:30

The county council website does seem fairly useless.

I'd ring the closest schools like choufleur suggests. Hopefully the allocations people can help too. I'd double check anything they say though - they told me I only need apply online, through them, for DS's primary place. I did that in May last year (for Sept 2010 entry) and thought that was that. When I happened to ring the school on an unrelated matter last month, and mentioned that DS was looking forward to starting in Sept, they said they had no record of any online applications and asked me to fill out their own application form as a matter of urgency!

Good luck!

lborolass Mon 08-Mar-10 14:47:05

cakewench - do you know which school/area you are looking at ? In my area (north of the county) there don't seem to be many primary schools that are full so you might be able to live outside of the catchment and keep your options open if there are two schools you like iyswim.
I'd second speaking to the school as they should know where their boundaries are.
Which part of the county are you in if you don't mind saying ?

cakewench Tue 09-Mar-10 13:51:47

I'm in Loughborough, which is in the northern part of the county. ooh and given your username, so are you, lborolass. grin

My son has only just turned 1, so yes I'm worrying in advance, however, we've just recently been discussing purchasing a house, so the subject is one we are considering now.

CantSupinate Tue 09-Mar-10 14:03:29

Ooh, I know Loughborough (used to live there, owe a phone call to a friend there, actually). I used to know a lot of Lboro school gossip (I wanted DS to attend Rendal St.)

Basically, you could live in the poor areas and get your chld into one of the popular schools in more affluent areas (eg., Mountfields, Holywell), but it was essential if said child has attended the attached=to=school nursery first.

lborolass Tue 09-Mar-10 18:02:35

cakewench - I'm actually not in the centre of l'boro but I've found a old book I had for one of my DCs called Guide to Primary Education in Leicestershire (mine is for 2005 but there must be a current one).
It lists all primary schools and gives the basic info about each, there are 12 in the centre of L'boro.
I'd suggest you try and get a current copy and use it as a guide to start deciding which you like the look of and which you don't (by Ofted reports etc) but bear in mind that things can change a lot in 3 years. You can then look at school websites, speak to the head, go on visits and when you have a feel find out about catchment areas.
I think CantSupinate is right about all but the most popular schools but if you want to move anyway it gives you options.
I don't think you are thinking about it too early at all, if you do the groundwork now you can just keep an eye on things other the next few years.
One thing I would say is don't be put off if the school website isn't that great, the one for my DCs school is quite basic but the school itself is excellent.
Have you thought about the smaller village schools that surrond L'boro ? Some of those have very good reputations.

101damnations Tue 09-Mar-10 21:27:12

I'm not far from Loughborough and can second what lborolass says about the county schools.There are a lot of very good village schools within 20 minutes or so of Loughborough.

Over40 Wed 10-Mar-10 23:35:12

Come to Rutland!!Look just east of Leicester and enter a rural oasis...... Great schools, low crime, very friendly, easy commute to Leicester, Peterborough and Nottingham.

(Public service announcement is now finished grin)

herbietea Wed 10-Mar-10 23:43:20

Message withdrawn

tootootired Thu 11-Mar-10 22:24:10

Leicestershire is a bit of a law unto itself. I would ring up the Education department, they are actually helpful to talk to. It is quite complicated and depends a lot on the school.
For instance our village school is small, village children are guaranteed a place but then out of catchment children can apply if there are spare places in any one year. I imagine in town the nearest primary will be the main thing but a bit of flexibility if you have your own transport.

Are you thinking primary or secondary? Being a rural county it's quite common for secondary children to have some significant journeys to middle/upper school. In terms of primary I think you can get the Guide to Primary Education online - has that been linked yet? here you go

Welcome to Leicestershire by the way smile.

If you're looking at secondary education in Loughborough, be aware that the county council is looking at a consultation to "re-organise" the schooling in that area. This is just council-speak for "we want to save money by closing a school".

We've just had a "consultation" in the Melton Mowbray area, resulting in the only secondary school in town with any experience of GCSE exams being closed, n favour or two schools that previously only took children up to the age of 14.

coldtits Fri 12-Mar-10 22:11:41

ILovePlayingDarts - I might know you!

shock

should I know you? Are you a name changer?

I am a MM person

cakewench Sat 13-Mar-10 18:09:32

I've gone ahead and sent away for the pamphlets mentioned above. Thanks for the recommendation!

We've seriously considered looking to the villages nearby for a house, but as much as I'd like that, I just wouldn't be able to rest knowing my husband was making the commute to work (the Uni) on his bicycle along the roads he'd need to take. (yes, we have a car, but he's a happy little biker)

god, ILovePlayingDarts, that doesn't make any sense at all. Also, I admit, I'm likely to be back on MN in a few years time asking what the differences are between the options for school for above-11 yr olds. At the moment I don't understand the system, but I suspect I'll learn eventually.

YouMightKnowMe Sat 13-Mar-10 18:56:11

Oh....this is my area too. There are LOTS of things to consider here.

1. I would be more concerned about secondary school that primary - that is where it matters (but you obviously don't want an awful school). I don't know the primary schools in l'boro but can comment on the villages and local secondaries.

2. In loughborough the secondary school system is not great. It is currently largely a middle school - high school system - and the high school in Loughborough (Burleigh Community college) is DIRE, has the lowest ofsted ranking. One of the better schools is De Lisle - which is a full secondary but hard to get into as it has a Catholic biased admissions policy.

3. There has recently been a bid for government money to close the only outstanding middle school in Loughborough and extend Burleigh (which is ridiculus if you ask me). This has however been UNSUCCESSFUL.

4. There is still a commitment to try and find funding to allow them to change from the middle and high school system to a straight through secondary. My bet is that the existing middle and high schools will become small straight through secondaries - but there has been no formal info on how they actually plan to do this. I would factor this in when you look at catchments and try and go close to one of the better middle schools such as Garenden or Limehurst. Although it is a long way off for you you might as well have a try at getting it right.

5. There is a VERY good private school system in Loughboough if that is something you could consider.

6. The other thing to consider is the villages. Based on your circumstances I would recommend looking at Quorn. It has a better middle and high school than Burleigh (although subject to the same potential changes as in Loughborough). St Barthelomews in Quorn is also a very good primary. It is very easy to cycle from Quorn to the uni in l'boro with a good pavement based cycle route all the way there (I think). If I was moving into the area again I would go into Quorn. Downside is that it is a little pricey but probably no more so than loughborough. The school lin Mountsorrel is also reasonable - good. Cheaper. Same secondary system as Quorn, but a little further to cycle.

7. Loughborough's second biggest employer has just announced 1200+ redundancies. Those made redundanct are not likely to get a similar job in the area - so Ipredict that there will be a reasonable number of people leave the area. They won't be going until 2011 though and I think it will have an impact on house prices which could be worth waiting for.

Good luck - if you want any more info just shout.

YouMightKnowMe Sat 13-Mar-10 18:59:00

FYIW It is probably safer to cycle from Quorn than the East side of L'boro.

The cycle routes are set up as quite a lot of 14-19 yo's from l'boro go to school in Quorn.

kitten75 Wed 11-Jul-12 18:12:10

We are moving to leicester hopefully by the end of august and im hoping to get my 15 year old boy into a secondary school wot is the catchment area of babbington thank u loads

jarahar Thu 12-Jul-12 10:56:19

kitten - here is the catchment area map but I would phone the council and see if they have spaces in the year group as there may be a waiting list. Living in catchment does not guarantee a place.
www.leicester.gov.uk/education/prioritymaps/BabbingtonSecondary.pdf

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