shall i put on the list a catholic primary school 4 miles away because we want catholic secondary school

(41 Posts)
musicmusic Sun 13-Jan-13 08:58:03

we are both working and dropping off would be tricky - would have to find childminder near school and drop off very early or public transport by my mum. school is 4 miles away catholic, it would be big effort. but if we want the child to be in catholic secondary school, the secondary school accepts only after catholic primary schools. so primary catholic school is a step into catholic secondary... it is a long term planning. is it worth the effort? on the other hand we have a lovely CE school 5 min away from house - but after this primary school we would not be able to get child into secondary catholic school which is 15 min walk away from house. please share your thoughts. I am thinking that primary catholic would be a stage of difficlut life, but then when is at a secondaryu stage- he owuld go to secondary which is 15 min walk from us...so this would recompensate all years of primary traveling....?

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 09:01:51

Are you catholic?

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 13-Jan-13 09:02:01

Are you catholic?

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 13-Jan-13 09:03:22

Catholic secondary CAN'T only accept after Catholic primary.

mellen Sun 13-Jan-13 09:06:34

Is it worth planning for a deliberately difficult time for primary when all kinds of things could change between now and starting secondary? You could find that you move, that the school you want changes.

SavoyCabbage Sun 13-Jan-13 09:07:01

No because it will complicate your lives for seven years, more if you have younger children.

seeker Sun 13-Jan-13 09:09:13

What are the actual admissions criteria for the catholic secondary?

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 13-Jan-13 09:13:02

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 13-Jan-13 09:03:22

Catholic secondary CAN'T only accept after Catholic primary.

^ while the above is technically true, our local catholic comp is so oversubscribed that in the last decade it has only admitted children who fulfill the criteria of being baptised catholics at a designated catholic feeder primary, which has lead to a bunfight for places at one fairly ropey distinctly average catholic primary.

OP therefore needs to have a good look not just at the admissions criteria, but who is acutally getting in.

Mutt Sun 13-Jan-13 09:13:07

You need to consider:

a) Are you Catholic?
b) What the other secondary schools in your area are like.
c) If the logistics of drop-offs/collections really are feasible for the next seven years, day in day out, all weathers...

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 13-Jan-13 09:14:31

Exactly - the OP was misleading though.

Personally, I wouldn't subject by young child to a difficult/early schoolrun on the assumption that that would ensure access to a certain secondary school. A school day is long enough for 4/5 year olds without deliberately adding to it with travel. And how about friends? Will they all live further away as well.

I am saying all this on the background of having choses our boys' school for how close it is to our house grin: walk to school, short school run, lots of local friends.

What are your reasons to being so keen on this particular secondary school?

Ughfootballseason Sun 13-Jan-13 09:18:08

Go local and wait list them from year 4 for an in year place at the catholic primary if the secondary is still an issue.

CecilyP Sun 13-Jan-13 09:19:42

I honestly don't think it is worth it. You don't know what will change. You may move to a different area or the Catholic secondary might change it's admissions criteria. Although it is your prefered school, there must be other schools that would be OK. Also, if you fulfil all the other admissions criteria for the Catholic secondary, might you get in anyway on distance, even if you don't have the Catholic primary. This is something that you should be able to find out - but, in your position, I would still go for the local primary.

musicmusic Sun 13-Jan-13 13:20:07

yes, we are catholic. here is admission criteria from the Catholic Secondary Website:
Oversubscription Criteria
Places will be offered first in descending order as outlined below.
1. Catholic7 looked after Children1 and Catholic children who have been
adopted (or made subject to residence orders or special guardianship orders)
immediately following having been looked after.
2. Siblings2. Fully practising (weekly attendance at Sunday Mass / Saturday vigil
Mass) baptised (with baptismal certificate3) Catholics7, with an endorsement
from the local Parish Priest.
3. Fully practising4 (weekly attendance at Sunday Mass / Saturday vigil Mass)
baptised (with baptismal certificate) Catholics7, with an endorsement from
your local Parish Priest, from the following Primary Schools:‐
• Mount Carmel, Ealing
• Our Lady of The Visitation, Greenford
• St Anselm’s Southall
• St George’s, Sudbury
• St Gregory’s, Ealing
• St John Fisher, Perivale
• St Joseph’s Hanwell
• St Raphael’s, Northolt
• St Vincent’s, Acton
4. Other fully practising 4(weekly attendance at Sunday Mass / Saturday vigil
Mass) baptised (with baptismal certificate) Catholics7, with an endorsement
from the local Parish Priest.
Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School Oversubscription Criteria Sept 2013 Page 2 of 4
5. Other baptised Catholic7 siblings (those unable to supply an endorsement
from the local Parish Priest).

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 13-Jan-13 13:55:50

Are you talking about Cardinal Wiseman then ? A few of my uni friends went there

crazymum53 Sun 13-Jan-13 14:05:54

I would say that living 4 miles away from the primary school is too far away for a 4/5 year old. A distance of under 2 miles is usually recommended. as a reasonable distance to travel to school. You need to remember that in primary schools there may also be other events that parents can be invited too during the day so it's not just about drop off and pick ups! Also any friends your child makes could live a long way from you as well so there could be difficulties with play dates etc.
There is no guarantee that the Catholic secondary school will have the same admissions policy in 7 years time. Operating a feeder schools type policy is being phased out in may areas and Catholic secondary schools in my area (if over-subscribed) specify dcs living in certain parishes or attending specific churches rather than primary schools.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 13-Jan-13 14:11:55

Unless it serves an unusually large parish you are unlikely to get a place at a Catholic (or any other) primary school that is four miles away. What are its admissions criteria? What was the farthest distance at which it awarded a place last year (this should be on the LEA's website)?

tiggytape Sun 13-Jan-13 14:25:30

I understand your logic but unless you would want the Catholic secondary no matter what it seems like a lot of effort and the disadvantages on a day to day basis are pretty overwhelming. If your motivation is that you want a catholic education for reasons of faith then it may be worth the long term planning but if your reasoning is that the catholic school is better than the other secondaries, it might not be worth it at all. For one thing, 6 years is a long time and schools change for the better or the worse very quickly. And whilst the current admission criteria would favour the catholic primary schools, there's nothing to say they won't drop the linked school criteria anytime in the next 6 years.

I suspect the main obstacle will be though that you are unlikely to get a place in a school 4 miles away unless the faith criteria are really rigid and you meet them. If the school is a golden ticket to a good secondary school then presumably everyone 4 miles away will also be playing a long game of going to the local catholic primary purely to get guaranteed entry to a decent secondary later on and presumably they will get some priority living so much closer to the primary than you do.

In general I think 6 years is too far in advance to be able to judge which secondary options are best and to plan for them.

musicmusic Sun 13-Jan-13 14:56:47

yes, I was taling about Cardinal Wiseman. The catholic primary school was undersubscribed last year as they only had a nursery class last year - they are building a new school

admission Sun 13-Jan-13 16:58:21

Purely in terms of admission process, there is no reason why you could not put the school as first preference, on an assumption that the likelyhood is that you will not get the offer of a place and then out the local CE school as second preference. Putting it as second preference will make no difference in terms of your chances of getting an offer of a place for the school than if it was first preference. The only time it will be different is if a place could be offered at the catholic school, when as first preference that would be given priority.

Having said that, it is 4 miles away and your mother will actually have all the hassle of getting them there. You need to think quite carefully about those facts as they are important.

Looking at the data for Cardinal Wiseman the admission number is 300 pupils and last year the last accepted pupil was in category 4 at a distance of 0.9 miles. From that I would suspect that you are correct, unless your child goes to one of the named primary schools you are unlikely to get a place, especially as the level of pupils going into primary schools now is considerably higher than into secondary school at present.

ZooAnimals Sun 13-Jan-13 17:07:09

My DC's go to one of those schools. The whole area is so oversubscribed I would be wary about why this school is undersubscribed. Is it a good school?

musicmusic Mon 14-Jan-13 13:46:04

it is a new called Holy Family school in West Acton

RosemaryandThyme Mon 14-Jan-13 20:26:14

Yes it is worth it.
Four miles is not far by car, we travel it daily.
Put down catholic primary and then look to chenge jobs or work patterns so that one of you can drop off and collect each day.
Better for child and much less hassel than having a CM.

musicmusic Mon 14-Jan-13 20:39:35

RosemaryandThyme, so do you take your kids to school 4 miles away or do you leave them with CM?

musicmusic Mon 14-Jan-13 20:49:56

RosemaryandThyme, so do you take your kids to school 4 miles away or do you leave them with CM?

4goingon14 Wed 23-Jan-13 13:21:43

Holy Family is a new school with only 2 classes of reception this year and it was undersubscribed but is now full in the two reception classes. My daughter goes here and it was undersubscribed because alot of people did not even know that the school was being built or open for September 2012. We are not Catholic and it was a 6th choice school. There are many Muslim children and children from out of borough going there as there are so few primary places in Ealing they filled it with a mixture of children that did not get spots elsewhere.

There is a good chance that if you apply you will get in, particularly if you put it as your top choice.

Can you move closer to it?
In addition to inconvenient location for drop off and pick up (which you will face for 7 years, in truth) it will be difficult for your dc to make friends and do play dates, when living so far away and possibly also outside the parish.

I would rather ensure you go to mass 3-4 times per month plus every Holy day of obligation, which I assume you do already if you are Catholics?

scaevola Wed 23-Jan-13 13:29:53

4 miles in London doesn't sound like a trivial journey.

What would other secondary options be? For if Holy Family isn't added to the feeder primary list in the entrance criteria, going there won't help you one whit. Also, are you regular churchgoers - it sounds as if you won't get in without the weekly attendance chit as well as being in a feeder primary.

Also, by secondary age, your DC will be able to travel alone to school and easily cope with more or less any journey. The need for an easy 15 minute walk diminishes, not increases, as DC mature.

WhatKindofFool Wed 23-Jan-13 14:03:48

I think it might be worth it if you can do the journey. It depends on your work circumstances. Only you can decide. People who choose independent preps often travel that distance and more to get to them.

WhatKindofFool Wed 23-Jan-13 14:07:03

I would rather ensure you go to mass 3-4 times per month plus every Holy day of obligation, which I assume you do already if you are Catholics?

It is easier to do that if you go to a Catholic school.

I would rather ensure you go to mass 3-4 times per month plus every Holy day of obligation, which I assume you do already if you are Catholics?

It is easier to do that if you go to a Catholic school.

Why is that, then?

Is it not possible to get to your local Church on a Sunday unless you go to a Catholic school?

WhatKindofFool Wed 23-Jan-13 21:41:10

I was thinking more about the holy days of obligation than Sundays. Catholic schools tend to have a mass on those days. I know you can go in the evening but sometimes mass times are a bit late for little ones.

swanthingafteranother Wed 23-Jan-13 22:02:16

There are other Catholic schools both for girls and boys if you are near Cardinal Wiseman! Unless you are very far North from CW.
There is Gunnersbury, CV, Oratory, Gumley, Sacred Heart, St Mark's (a bit too southerly) all of which don't have feeder schools but have quotas for each district, so not necessary to live next door. And some don't insist on institutional Catholic education just regular attendance at Mass, Baptism and usually First H C.
There is also the other Catholic primaries in Ealing to consider, are none of them nearer you? We are one of those primaries. I don't want to say which one. Holy Family does look good though. Might you end up moving a bit nearer HF anyway, as it is nearish CW by bus (on the Westway)

There is also the new C of E flagship school with no faith criteria called William Perkin in Greenford. And assorted comps all over London with Good or Outstanding if you don't want to go for a faith school necessarily. Certainly I don't think other Catholic secondary schools demand a feeder, just proof of Catholic education.

swanthingafteranother Wed 23-Jan-13 22:04:20

and proof of Catholic education can be an endorsement from your priest. Still I can't see why there isn't a Catholic primary a bit nearer you, even if it isn't on that CW feeder list.

swanthingafteranother Wed 23-Jan-13 22:05:43

And of course you could always transfer when kids are older. Plenty of people in our school only moved here [our primary] when their kids were in Year 4/5/6. Possibly to faciliate transfer, although I suppose they were always Catholic even if they didn't go to the Catholic primary

Ah WhatKindofFool, I see. Our RC primary only do Harvest Mass at the Parish Church Next door, everything else you need to go for evening mass.

In addition you have Mass for the New School year, and a special mass for each class, and School leavers mass. You wont get any credit for attending these though.

swanthingafteranother Wed 23-Jan-13 22:45:47

I think you pay too high a price friendship wise living 4 miles away in London. Especially if you have a lovely school round the corner. Seven years is a long time and all secondaries can change a lot over that period, especially the ones which are local to you, in addition to CW. There are clusters of people living 2 miles from our primary, and even that to me seems a long way off. Most of the people who live much further do it because they have grandparents round the corner from the school to cover emergency pickups or after school. Or because they moved and could not immediately find space in new area school.

My oldest son is in Y6, so we have just had the whole Secondary application stress this year. He is in an RC primary. We are too far away to have applied to the CW, but Gunnersbury is high up on our application form, along with the CVMS. We find that there is a much bigger emphasis on regular church attendance than actually being in a Catholic primary. It wont mean a thing to our son, as long as we dont also have a reference from the Parish priest saying that we have been to Church 3-4 times per month plus holy days of obligation.

I think you could possibly be better off at your more local primary, if you keep in close contact with your local parish and the children there.

Many people also opt to move their children to an RC primary in year 4/5....
By then they are so firm friends with their local children, it seems like a boost to have both their neighbourhood friends, coming from a Catholic primary and make new friends there. Especially if the school is in the Parish they have been worshiping.

WhatKindofFool Thu 24-Jan-13 10:38:28

In addition you have Mass for the New School year, and a special mass for each class, and School leavers mass. You wont get any credit for attending these though. grin

grin You know what I mean though. I can see how that sounds. But the point is you have to go to mass rather a lot if you go to a RC Primary.

Arithmeticulous Thu 24-Jan-13 11:33:24

Do you live in the parish?

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