what happens to 2nd choice if you reject 1st choice school?

(75 Posts)
stickygotstuck Fri 28-Dec-12 22:59:54

Here is the deal.

Due to various issues, DH and I find ourselves still in disagreement over which of two schools should be our first chioce of primary. And it's getting urgent as application must obv be in by 15 Jan.

I need a second visit to both school but this won't be possible before the 15th.

So, we thought we could put school A as a first choice and school B as second. Then go and visit again. If come April we are given a place in school A and after new visit and further consideration we decide we prefer B, what happens if we reject school A? What chances do we have of getting school B if we reject 1st choice?

Anybody been in this position and got their 2nd choice after rejecting their 1st choice?

I should add, we plan to only put down these two schools.

exexpat Fri 28-Dec-12 23:06:12

If you reject the school you are allocated you go to the bottom of the list and have to take whatever school places are left/join the waiting lists. You certainly don't get given your second choice. It would be a seriously stupid idea to plan on doing that.

Also, it's a bad idea only to put two preferences - it doesn't increase your chances of being allocated those schools, just means that if you don't get into either of those (too far away etc) the LA will just allocate you the next closest school with places, whether it's the one that would have been your next choice or not.

learnandsay Fri 28-Dec-12 23:09:09

Can you explain the reasons for your disagreement? There is a perfectly good discussion going on in a nearby thread about couples (or ex couples) fighting about choice one and choice two. It's probably worth you reading that thread.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/1644362-Ex-I-just-cant-agree-on-school-choices

learnandsay Fri 28-Dec-12 23:15:51

Expat didn't explicitly say, (but did imply) that if you don't put down your local catchment area school as a place on your entry form you may be allocated a place at the nearest available school which is many miles away. (She also didn't say that if you reject your school offer you are no longer entitled to fees for transport.)

jinglebellyalltheway Fri 28-Dec-12 23:18:50

here if you reject what you are offered you have already lost your lower choices, and you go on wait lists. You might get no school place at all.

If you want to try and get into a different schools after the offers go out its recommended that you accept the offer while you go on the wait lists so that if you don't get up the wait lists you at least have something!

why on earth would you only put down 2?, even if you don't like the runners for no 3 you should at least put the best of a bad lot.. otherwise you could end up with the worst of a bad lot IYKWIM

exexpat Sat 29-Dec-12 00:03:42

So, basically I think what everyone on this thread is saying is that you and your DH need to come to an agreement before January 15th, not only on your first and second preferences, but also on whichever you think the most acceptable of the other local schools are to fill up the other gaps on your list.

I'm sorry if this sounds rude, but you do sound a little clueless about how admissions work, so can I just ask whether you have actually checked that you stand an equally realistic chance of getting into the two schools you are currently considering? Just putting a school top of your preferences doesn't give you priority for a place there if you live too far away or don't meet religious criteria etc.

You need to make sure that at least one of the preferences on your form is an 'insurance option', ie a school that you are very likely to get into, and which is at least acceptable, if not ideal. This is particularly important if there are any schools close to you that you would find completely unacceptable, though in some areas the shortage of primary places means that there is effectively no parental choice and you just get your closest school if you are lucky, and no school place or one miles away if you are unlucky.

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 00:11:46

Thanks for your replies.

learnandsay, I was just reading that thread! Reasons are mainly that we got a totally different impression of school A (and we went together to visit!). I had a long thread here a while ago about these two schools, and opinions were divided.

I wish I could say I prefer school B but I don't really. But neither am I totally convinced by school A. For DH it's school B all the way. These are the only local schools tat we have a chance of getting into.

The reason for putting only 2 was simply that we have no chance in hell of getting into any of the "local" schools as they are not local at all. In fact, I much prefer school C, but it's out of catchment and massively oversubscribed. School D and E are the only other choices, and also out of catchment. School B is just around the corner and it would be a pretty safe bet as a first choice.

I see from your reactions now that it would make sense to put down all the schools in the area, no matter how remote the chance of getting into them.

I am hacked off that I won't have a chance to visit the schools again as I haven't made up my mind yet (not for lack of trying, i might add!), and wouldn't want to regret my choice later.

admission Sat 29-Dec-12 00:13:50

If what you suggest actually happens, you would be much better advised to accept the place at school A, rather than reject it.You then have a place at a school that you are reasonably happy with.
You can then ask the LA admission office for a place at school B. If there are places available ( probably unlikely) then they will give you a place. If no place is available, then you can ask to go on the waiting list and also to appeal for a place. Obviously the chances of success at appeal will depend to a large extent on whether the school has classes of 30, which is the legal maximum number of pupils with one school teacher. If the infant class size regs are relevant the the only way that you will win an appeal is proving that the admission office made a mistake, which seems highly unlikely as they offered you the first preference.

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 00:20:04

exexpat it's not so much clueless as misinformed/misunderstood, hence asking here before it's too late.

I have found the whole application process unnecessarily complicated, misleading and confusing, not to mention stressful. I am sure I am not the only parent feeling like this.

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 00:24:31

admission that's what I suspected from my research but wasn't sure. You have confirmed it, thanks.

Sorry, I didn't explain clearly. I didn't mean reject school A outright, just wanted to know if there was a way of changing your mind at a later date. And how to go about it. Reapplying seems to be the answer then, thanks all.

Anybody had any success in a similar situation?

exexpat Sat 29-Dec-12 00:25:13

OK, it sounds like you do have a realistic idea of which schools you're likely to get, so that's good.

FWIW, I don't think there's any guarantee that another school visit would be decisive for you anyway. There is so much pressure on parents to make the 'right' choice of school, but the truth is there is no such thing as a perfect school. If you're having trouble agreeing it is probably because they are both good/acceptable schools, and whichever one you end up with, there will be things you like and things you dislike about it - and they most likely won't be the things that struck you on the school visits.

It's hard, but I think you really need just to make the decision - draw up a list of pros & cons, toss a coin, whatever - and then just tell yourself that the decision is final, so you don't go back and constantly question whether it was the right one (or at least, that's the approach I try to take with big decisions like house-purchases, schools etc).

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 00:54:32

That's exactly it, exexpat, I dont't think there is much difference between them. And yes, it is doing my head in! Seriously.

prh47bridge Sat 29-Dec-12 09:38:05

You are not allowed to change the order of your preferences after the closing date for applications unless you have a good reason such as a change of address. Even then, most LAs will only accept a change for a few weeks after the closing date. So try to make a final decision in the next couple of weeks!

If you change your mind after that you should follow Admission's advice. The one thing I would add is that your position on the waiting list for school B will be determined by their admission criteria. Therefore if you would have got a place at school B if you had named it as your first choice you will be at or near the head of the waiting list.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 11:51:18

Why not put school C first? it won't change your priority for A or B and you'll never know, you might be lucky

if you think you'll definitley get into B then that is what you'll be offered if you put it above A, if you put it above a, you'll have to accept then go on waiting list for A so if you want A over B, then put A above B

have you looked into things like sibling priority to help you decide? i.e. whether if you have more children they are likely to be prioritised so that you don't end up with 2 kids in 2 different schools, that can be answered with a phone call

do not listen to second hand info about your chances of getting into any of the schools, get their admission criteria online, see which one you're in, then phone up and ask which number criteria they cut off at for the last 3 years

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 12:07:02

Thanks prh47bridge and ILoveSalad, I think I will put school C as a first choice. Although it was the head who told us recently that they already have more applications they can accept, all of them from children in catchment.

We have no other children (and most likely we won't), so the sibling policy doesn't really affect us.

I think at the moment I am torn between the convenience of school B and the relative "niceness" of school A. School C is further afield and I do wonder if this would be an inconvenience too far.

I should add that my highly flexible job is on shaky grounds, so I fear I won't be able to accommodate school pickups anymore, so that's adding to the stress significantly.

'Tis hard!

When dd went to infants we put school c down despite being 15 minute train away because I had friends there and it was a fab school. We then put the safe options as choice 2 and 3.

We got school C but had we not we at least knew we tried.

OddBoots Sat 29-Dec-12 12:23:23

Please don't get as worried about this as you sound. Of course there are schools we would love and schools we would hate but this doesn't sound like a case where one is great and the other is dire, both sound like good schools so in the end your child will probably do well in either. With schools like these problem tend to be unpredictable out of the blue things like personality clashes with either staff or pupils and these could happen at any school and you can only deal with them when they occur.

Have a think about which school would be the least stress for your family (so nearest, with breakfast/after school clubs, likely to have some of the pre-school friends going) and aim for there.

It will all work out.

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 12:31:30

Whistlingwaves, that's encouraging to hear. I'll put C down, see what happens. But then I worry about regretting it later!

OddBoots, thanks so much for that, that's very helpful thanks. I am unnaturally worried about this, I do realise that, but I can't help it. I am beginning to think there may be a touch of Aspergers going on in my head - that would explain a lot, I am totally paralised when it comes to making decisions.

I do agree with you that the main main should be to minimise stress since I doubt I could cope otherwise at the moment. No amount of time is going to make the choice clearer in my head!

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 12:32:12

*main aim (not main main!)

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 12:32:57

I know it sounds superficial to some, but I think the school walk route is very important, you do it for hours of your life! and the kids'll be healthier and brighter if they are walking to/from school twice a day rather than always going by car. It was a factor in the order that we put our school choices (not the only one obviously), and our first two choices are the more rural walks which IMO is better for wellbeing, health, concentration etc. Our 3rd choice is sort of doable by foot but it's through a built up area and further away so we'd probably drive more

if your job is on shakey grounds, having the option of being able to get rid of the car if you can't afford it is a very big advantage. Also if you go for more local schools its easier to build up friendships and reciprical play dates/pick ups/drop offs which would be a great help if you need to job hunt and attend interviews - its harder to build those systems if you're out of area a bit

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 12:35:27

oh and whoever said about breakfast/afterschool clubs, that's very important too if you may need to change shift patterns etc, and that can be answered with a phonecall, doesn't need a visit!

its not all about which is the best school educationally, I think it really matters how it fits in with your family life and makes life easier, if the very act of getting to or getting picked up from school is stressful then that can affect enjoyment of school!

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 13:12:21

Very good points, ILoveSalad, that's the main thing going for school B - it's within walking distance. It's very slightly worse academically (at least on paper) and it's not in such a nice area.

The other thing is size. B is smaller than average, whereas school A is a tiny, tiny village school. I know some people would love it but I worry about DD's social life with just 10 children per year. Even if she would much prefer that initially, I'm sure. Also, some of her nursery friends will go there. C is bang in the middle size-wise.

Unless we starve, I could not possibly get rid of the car sadly. We live in a place with totally useless public transport.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 13:15:57

how are you measuring it academically, if it's results are just slightly lower, but its demographic has a much higher proportion of children with difficulties, then on an individual child's level it may be academically better IYKWIM

schools that take more transient families and english as second language often score lower even though individual improvemtent, happiness and aspirations are better than schools with higher results but less challenges IYKWIM

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 13:52:28

I am just looking at the league tables, and comparing the absolute figures. Just to have an idea. My first port of call were the Ofsted reports. According to this C is better all around, whereas A and B are quite similar (B perhaps a bit better). Then I want to see them. B and C I had seen before too, when DD was tiny and we were looking at nursery provision.

I spoke (at length!) about this on a previous thread. Quite frankly, I think I am being a prisoner of snobbery. Not just mine, but mainly other peoples' - stupid as it may sound. Simply put, school B is an mixed council/private state and has a higher proportion of free school meals etc. School A is in a picture-perfect affluent village.

I have tried to talk to a few parents and those with children in school A (or currently applying for B) cannot believe their ears when I tell them that I am considering B as a first choice. Of these, I am beginning to realise, most are locals who were at primary back in the days when school B was not so good, but has improved massively in the last 10 years I have been living in the area. In fact, I pointed out to one of the parents the other day that B's Ofsted is actually better than A's and she was very very surprised at that. I do think it's a matter of prejudice. And yet, I can't get past it.

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 13:54:23

*(or currently applying for A)

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:01:18

it's difficult because the school with the naice parents is more likely to have a higher level of private tutoring so the results don't always reflect the teaching WITHIN the school!

OFSTEAD is often very out of date too, look at the dates of the inspections

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:04:58

OP it doesn't actually sound like any of your choices are awful! just all have different strong points - that's a very good position to be in so try to relax!

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 14:13:57

Ofsteads were from 2011 for A and B.

You are absolutely right, I know DD will be fine in any of the local schools. There is also school D, which I would like to avoid but even that one is not horrid. I know we are very lucky in this compared to some people, but I still strive for the 'perfect decision' hmm. Mad, I know.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:16:20

if it makes you feel any better, there is no perfect decision! there is no way of knowing what school will be best for your 3YO when they are 7,8,9,10, or how the schools will change by then!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:16:59

(or does that make it worse?? confused

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 14:19:44

Thanks ILoveSalad, no it doesn't make it worse, I just makes me feel worse. Because I already know that but I still can't stop obsessing grin.

I am hoping it will all go away as soon as I press the send button for the form. It won't, it will just become a 'have I done the right thing' obsession then! blush

admission Sat 29-Dec-12 18:19:19

The bottom line is that it takes an absolute age for parents to realise that their school is either going slowly down the pan or improving. So in your case even though Ofsted have given a much better report to school B, the school is still seen as it was years ago and with the "stigma" of mixed council / private housing in the vicinity of the school.
School A is quite possibly living on past history of being in the picture postcard affluent village. The school could well be considered to be a coasting school, in that the attainment at entry in school means that the attainment level at KS2 seems OK. However in reality the pupils have not made the progress they should have made. The alternative is that this is actually a really good village school but only your view of the school and that maybe of independent people like Ofsted are the ones that matter, not those of the local, potentially biased population.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 18:30:17

and some schools stay undersubscibed even when they become very good because their reputation means that some people don't even consider/view/research them at all! won't even go and look for themselves

likewise some failing schools stay over subscribed because the naice parents have kids there so it must be a naice school, and some people don't really look past that

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 20:24:23

Thanks again, that is exactly the feeling I get.

There is a 'stigma' attached to the fact that school B is on the edge of a council estate (which is really not that bad at all, I've lived there long enough to know! It's just not the prettiest housing in town).

And it's also true that some of the locals are not even considering the school. Which must be why those two parents were astonished when told that, actually, school B gets better results than some and has a better report than some, including A.

I have met three people who are happy as Larry with school B, all local too (and importantly, one has one DD who is struggling and another DD who is a high achiever, and both girls are very happy with school). But I must be honest and admit to myself that, although perfectly nice and good people, they don't have the sort of outlook I'd wish for my own DD - snobbery strikes back! grin

I was expecting that talking to the parents would be the key, but it turns out it has actually confused me more.

In fact, I do wonder if all this is to do with the fact that I am very much an outsider (and one who comes from a more urban background) who has moved to a big village/small town where the mindset is just different.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 20:36:20

I learnt at the nursery stage to take recommendations from other parents with a pinch of salt. People raved about nurseries that I hated and didn't even look at ones that I loved, when questioned people really do have different priorities, for example one mum I knew looked mainly at cleanness - I preferred the nurseries where the kids made a mess! another loved a nursery with a spanking new building - I hated the fact that 100% of the non management staff there were newly qualified. Another nursery is considered the "best" because it is most expensive but I hear terrible things about it from people who've moved their kids out.

also there were horror stories about waiting lists and I was told that I woudn't get a place at the one I used because I hadn't gone on the list years ago - I asked for myself and they had a space for immediate start!

so when it came to schools I blocked out the scare stories and the gossip about admissions etc and got my info direct

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 20:56:19

Blimey ILoveSalad, do you live near me? That's exactly what my nursery search was like. I do like the messy ones too! In the end we went for the not so flashy one owned by several partners who have worked there too since day one (over 20 years!) and where staff turnover is practically unheard of. But mostly because you didn't need an appointment to visit and the kids seemed all so happy and confident. I was also told waiting lists here were huge. Not really.
There is also a newer, more expensive and far flashier further down the road which people rave about. I wasn't keen, it seemed so artificial.

After DD had been in her nursery for over 6 months I happened to meet someone who had worked in both, and confirmed my gut feeling that there really was no comparison.

I got the impression that kids looked equally happy in school A and B. Although A was more chaotic, which I like! DH doesn't. But then, DD's fantastic current nursery is pure chaos too. Which is where the domestic disagreement comes from.

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:09:40

I'd be wary of any school with only 10 in the year group, as potentially only 3-4 girl friends? For that reason alone I'd go for school b.

Also consider which high school it feeds to, given there's little between your choices it'd make things easier if they move to high school with friends.

Good luck!

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:12:36

As for school c, my dds go to a school 2.8 miles away, so with 2 drop offs per day plus evening activities with friends etc (rainbows, parties if they live near shool) I'm driving up to 10 miles extra per day than before!! My petrol has gone through the roof! Worth thinking about!

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:14:03

Sorry should have said 18 miles per day.... scary when its added up!

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:16:59

Thanks sunnyday.
Yes, those are two things that put me off school A - distance and the fact that there are just too few children!

As for feeder schools, both feed into the same secondary school. I am trying to find out if school A also feeds into a different one in a different town, but I can't find it.

Does anybody know of a website where you can find out what primaries the intake of a secondary actually came from in the last few years?

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:24:39

I love my dds school but really wouldn't recommend going far... It's a real pain as they get more involved over the years and the school run gets irritating after a while! my dds school has a 60 year intake so can't begin to imagine 10!

I'm sure it has its advantages though but it'd worry about going from that to a high school, particularly if other schools are sending big intakes to that high school (so they'd all know each other). And if school A also feeds to another high school, you could end up with only 1-2 girls from the school moving up together!!!

I know its early days but since you need to pick one.....!!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 23:28:36

like with primaries, call the secondary school one at a time, or look on their website, to get their admission criteria. Then ask them directly what number admission criteria they cut off at for the last couple of years.

If they prioritise particular primaries it'll be on their admission criteria list
The rumour mill often cites "feeder schools" that aren't at all, but there is such a thing particularly with church secondaries

cece Sat 29-Dec-12 23:29:44

If I were you I would put

1st choice - C - your preferred option and the one you both agree on
2nd choice - B - you can walk to it, it seems to do well academically, larger pool of children to make friends with, your dc will get to mix with a wide range of people
3rd choice - A - further distance for journey, very small (which would put me off immediately), not such a wide social mix.

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:33:57

Are they all community schools or are any faith? Only saying that incase school c is faith? I which case, if you were faith out of catchment you'd go above non faith in catchment usually so heads 'numbers' won't show clear picture yet?

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:34:35

The move to a more standard size secondary does worry me too, I must admit.

The feeder school thing is bothering me because I remember seeing a pdf somewhere with a table for my preferred secondary (thinking ahead here, as you can see!), and it detailed how may children from within the catchment made up last year's intake, and crucially, whereabouts the out-of catchment children came from. I seem to remember there were a few from my town. But I can't find it and I don't know where I got it from sad

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:38:33

A and C are CofE. We are not, so not queue-jumping for us!
B is a Community Primary. Which we like, as we are not religious.

70-odd children for a whole school does seem rather few. Especially as DD is likely to be an only child. hmm

sunnyday123 Sat 29-Dec-12 23:43:54

Do you mean they dont get in your chosen secondary or people just dont send?

If you are unlikely to get in out of catchment secondary school then Id go for the primary school that sends kids to the secondary school you will get into?

My dds are in a faith primary out of catchment but we are in the catchment for the secondary school (as it takes from 5 villages/towns). This is the reason we went out of catchment for primary. our catchment rc primary is rubbish so if we stayed local we would have had to go community or cofe. but that meant my dds would have gone from primary to secondary with no friends as the rc high school never takes non Catholics as so over subscribed.

If you mean that they don't go from your local schools by choice then I wouldn't worry, as long as they go from your chosen school then that's fine

cece Sat 29-Dec-12 23:51:03

Look on the secondary schools website in the admissions section. They will list named feeder schools on their admission criteria.

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:53:57

My town is just out of the catchment area of my preferred secondary, as are all the nearby primaries.
People from out of catchment do send their children there, but few get in as it gets (almost) enough applications from within catchment. Or at least that's what I understand from my research.

But I am trying to find out if school A is actually inside the catchment. The village next to mine is half in, half out of catchment so a bit difficult to tell!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 23:55:46

if the secondary goes by catchment, it is by the catchment you live in not the catchment of the primary you go to. If it prioritises certain primaries there will be a criteria category for that

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 23:57:44

and even if the primary is within the catchment for the secondary, that doesn't mean the primary's catchment overlaps much with that secondary's catchment IYKWM

stickygotstuck Sat 29-Dec-12 23:58:12

Thanks cece.
I've tried that but keep going round in circles. They seem to have a vamped-up site with a new virtual portal thingy for students and parents, and absolutely all sections seem to need a password, annoyingly. I'll take another look tomorrow with a clearer head, I think.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sat 29-Dec-12 23:59:41

sorry what I'm trying to say (not very well) is that kids can be in catchment for a primary that's in a secondary's catchment, and not be in that secondary's catchment.. if that's the cut off

but to complicate further sometimes the cut off is higher than living in catchment and it goes by proximity so being in catchment doesn't even get you in

sunnyday123 Sun 30-Dec-12 00:00:30

Do check whether its a 'feeder'though, in most cases people call it a feeder as everyone goes there-but that may be because they live there and meet the criteria, not that the school is named in the admission criteria.

For example in dds school all 60 children go to the same high school. However on the very odd occasion when a child further away got in (on a low birth rate year) there have been instances were that 1 child was the only one in 60 who didn't get in as it went on distance or whatever.

So if you a applying to the school based on getting in the secondary, make sure the criteria names the kids from the school and not the kids from the local catchment ( who jus happen to also go to that school)

Hope that makes sense!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 00:00:48

(and state catchements are totally different to church catchments confused)

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:01:29

I think I do see what you mean, thanks ILoveSalad.

In the ideal world, we'd stay here until DD has almost finished primary, then move to the town where the secondary is (i.e. our house would be in catchment, so what primary she went to wouldn't matter). Is that what you meant?

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sun 30-Dec-12 00:01:51

Don't forget, people can and do move schools. Your decision doesn't have to be forever. If you are unhappy with where your dd ends up, you can go on waiting lists for other schools. I don't think it is good to keep moving children, but it may be liberating for you to think that you can move her later on if things go wrong. Dd1's school was massively oversubscribed, only 6 places for non- siblings. Now in yr 3, 3 places had already been given up and new children admitted from almost a mile away, 4 more places became available due to private school migration, only 3 of which have been filled. The school itself is improving, all the moves have been due to house moves, planned private school moves (as older siblings went private) etc.

We did go for more the A option of yours, and are very happy, but equally know people happy with the B option and our 'A' option did have an intake of 30. Ten sounds very small, how do they combine classes? Which year groups are mixed and what do you think of mixed classes, she could be taught in a yr R,1;2 class with children two or three years older, obviously they will give her different work, but how will she feel with children older/younger. I think mine would be fine, but some wouldn't. Also don't pay any attention to SATs at that number, each child would be 10 percent of the class, so one year you could have 9 children achieving great grades, the next year only 8, causing a 10 percent drop, just because one child had hayfever.

Not sure if that helps at all, but do remember it's not for ever, and if it is so hard to choose they are probably fairly equal.

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:03:40

Sorry, ILove and sunnyday, cross-posted.
Things are much more complicated than I though with secondary then confused.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 00:05:42

yes that would work for a secondary that doesn't have official feeders

one (church) secondary in our area does have specified feeders and is over subscribed, the other 2 secondary options don't have feeders. One is undersubscribed, the other over, for the latter being in catchment isn't always enough, you need to be near as it goes to proximity if the catchment criteria is over subscribed. It doesn't matter what primary you went to for the 2 non church ones. For the church one I think you're better being out of catchment but in a feeder than in catchment but not in a feeder!

the ones with feeder schools do state it quite openly, so don't listen to any gossip

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:08:10

We3bunnies (I do love that name!) thanks for that. You are right, it's not forever. Although avoiding disruption would be great. Agonising for one year is enough, don't want to go through this again!

The mix is R,1&2 in one class, which makes my mind boggle, quite frankly. DD likes the company of older children but not so much younger ones.

sunnyday123 Sun 30-Dec-12 00:11:27

It is complicated but if you choose well now hopefully you'll not have to worry for secondary admissions!!!

Your area sounds like mine - we also have lots of good schools. Basically we chose the best high school we know we can get into, then picked the best primary that sends kids there and applied for that! I think secondary is the most important so wanted that sorted first and the seondarrys near me have the same reputation etc year on year.

(This logic only works in very stable populations like mine were pretty much the whole town goes to the local high school etc not city areas)

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sun 30-Dec-12 00:13:48

You probably won't need to go through it again as you'll probably love whichever one you choose, but knowing that if it goes wrong, you can is liberating in making your decision now.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 00:16:19

the secondary isn't final either, lots of kids that go to the undersubscribed secondary get into the other 2 for A levels if they are academic at GCSE, and other kids find they don't cope so well with the pressure at the other more academic 2 secondaries and move to the more applied undersubscribed one.. the admissions in Y7 are v tight for the "good" two, but after that there's actually lots of movement and re-shuffling

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:17:32

sunny that's my position entirely. And yes, our areas sound quite similar.

As it stands, we are just out of catchment from Nice Secondary going on home address alone, so I must find out if school A is a named feeder. Otherwise, it looks like it will be B. Perhaps...

sunnyday123 Sun 30-Dec-12 00:19:16

What I would advise against though is sending your child to a primary, which then sends most kids to a secondary which you have little chance of getting in because of where you live etc.

I would choose the best primary which sends kids to the best secondary that you can get in!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 00:20:16

find out which criteria number nice secondary cut off at too, they might take a % of out of catchement and it would then be proximity which you may be well within even though you're out of catchment

I'm out of catchment for one of my primary choices, they take a % of out of catchment but I am well within their proximity within that % if that makes sense?

sunnyday123 Sun 30-Dec-12 00:24:25

Do make sure you are very likely to get in the secondary though- if all the other primary kids live closer to the secondary than you, it'd be a nightmare to be the only one not moving up and it does happen sadly

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 00:29:58

Thanks ILoveSalad, I'll have to investigate. It does not help that we are on school holidays! Or that I will be travelling when they reopen!

Good point sunny, especially in a class of 10!

OddBoots Sun 30-Dec-12 09:00:58

Schools can change their criteria, just because doing 'x' now would get them a place at 'y' it doesn't mean that will be the case in 6 years time, equally a good school can go downhill and a less good could become fantastic. Looking at secondaries is a side point if all else were equal.

My only other concern is with a tiny school, when times are financially tight they will be under much more pressure than a larger school to close or merge.

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 09:43:16

Also a good point OddBoots.

The thing about this tiny school A is it is much better funded via the PTA. Very well off village and all that. Would that make a difference, or is it the state funding that counts when it comes to possible mergers?

We3bunniesOfOrientAre Sun 30-Dec-12 13:32:08

It is the state funding which counts. A school PTA might raise 10000; that is just the funding for a few children. Plus they finance different things. PTAs don't fund core curriculum activities. Being a church school may give it some protection, but as a rule schools under 100 are more at risk, especially as it sounds in your case they are near other schools. Obviously if it were the only school for miles around then it would be in a stronger position. Despite that, policies change, unless there is already discussion it might not happen in the near future. You are just choosing a school for 7 years, it might be different if you had two younger children to consider too.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Sun 30-Dec-12 13:43:33

its not about choosing a secondary in advance - you can't!, its more about looking to see which primaries keep the most options open for secondaries IYKWIM

good point about chances of merging, I went to a teeny village primary with 2 classes per room and it did close and merge, when it merged a lot of families choose not to use the new merged school and scattered. and it was true for me that it was harder to make friends when there was less to choose from

sittinginthesun Sun 30-Dec-12 13:48:56

Honestly, OP, the more you talk about it, the more I think you should go with school B.

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 18:19:38

I see, so from that point of view the larger school has a better chance of lasting us the whole 7 years. Something else to definitely bear in mind.

I know ILoveSalad! I think I am hoping someone will talk me out of it since there is so much prejudice against it. Unfounded, I think but still makes me uncertain.

stickygotstuck Sun 30-Dec-12 18:20:41

Sorry, I meant sittinginthesun!

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