Feel sad for dd as she has no hope of getting into the school she likes

(28 Posts)
bunjies Fri 27-Sep-13 10:51:48

We went to a couple of school open days this week, one at our closest school & one at the popular girls school. We have no issue with the closest one, in fact our ds goes there & likes it. When we looked round there was nothing glaringly bad & on the whole the teachers were enthusiastic. It has always been our preferred choice due to its location. We decided to go & visit the other school to provide some perspective expecting it to be stuffy & not at all what dd would like. How bloody wrong we were. She & we came away totally blown away by the school. She loved everything she saw & now has her heart set on going there. One thing I did notice is that the teachers took more of a step back & let the students do most of the talking. Our guides were a y8 & y12 girl & they were lovely.

Problem is the school is likely to be very over subscribed & as we don't live in the catchment area or have a sibling she is unlikely to get a place. Also if we put this down as her 1st choice & our closest school as her 2nd there is a risk she won't get a place at either. Although at least there will be a sibling connection.

Anyway, I don't really expect any answers & i know it's how things are but it still saddens me that dd won't be able to go to the school she has set her heart on.

Mintyy Fri 27-Sep-13 10:54:43

It sucks a bit and is very hard to explain to children, but why have you said this: "Also if we put this down as her 1st choice & our closest school as her 2nd there is a risk she won't get a place at either. Although at least there will be a sibling connection."

?

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 27-Sep-13 10:57:20

Putting your closest school (ds's) down as second choice won't affect her chances of going there. The authority/schools are not allowed to take preference as a criterion for offering places, ie. you will be given the highest up school on your form for which you qualify. Therefore, it's worth putting the school you really like down as first choice, and if by some fluke of lower birth rates or applications to this school this year, you might get a place. If not, you will still get a place at your ds's school (if you're sure you qualify on sibling/distance grounds etc).

MrsDavidBowie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:57:49

Why go and see a school you know you are out of catchment for? Seems a bit pointless.

bundaberg Fri 27-Sep-13 10:57:54

i don't understand that either. if she doesn't get a place at the first school then she'd get into the second with sibling priority... where you place them on your choices doesn't make a difference iyswim?

prettydaisies Fri 27-Sep-13 10:57:59

You won't miss out on the closer school if you put it down as your second choice. Admissions does not work like that.
Each school that you apply to has to apply their admissions criteria. If you meet them, then you have a place. You are actually only offered the place of your highest place school that has a place. Hopefully someone can explain that a bit more clearly!

KittiesInsane Fri 27-Sep-13 10:58:47

If she meets the entry criteria for your closer school she will get a place regardless of the order you put them in.

Unless it's an academy with dodgy admissions criteria, anyway.

tywysogesgymraeg Fri 27-Sep-13 11:02:50

It was a bit mean taking her to a school you knew she had no hope of getting in to. I'm sure she'll forget all about it in all the excitement over starting at the local school when the time comes though. C'est la vie (in the world of education anyway). There's a lot to be said for the days when you just went to your nearest school and had no choice over the matter.
Where I live, there is really only a choice of one school anyway, unless you have parents able and willing to drive you half way across the country to another one.

prh47bridge Fri 27-Sep-13 11:09:32

Even if it is an academy your chances of getting a place at the local school are not affected by making it your second choice. The school doesn't get to find out whether you have made them your first choice or your sixth choice.

You can safely put your daughter's preferred school down as first choice and your local school as second choice. You may strike it lucky and get a place at the first choice school. If you don't you should still get a place at the local school.

tiggytape Fri 27-Sep-13 12:07:46

Also if we put this down as her 1st choice & our closest school as her 2nd there is a risk she won't get a place at either. Although at least there will be a sibling connection.

As others have said this is not true at all
Put the girls' school first - if you get it then great
If you don't get it then DS's school automatically becomes your first choice and, since there is a sibling there, you will get a place (assuming siblings is one of their admissions criteria - it normally is) over and above anyone else who doesn't have a sibling there even if it was their first choice.

That's how it works now.

racingheart Fri 27-Sep-13 13:22:08

Bunjies, if she really loves it, explain the lottery aspect to her and that she might be disappointed, then put her favourite school first. And be prepared to wait and jump last minute if it stays her favourite. DS was offered a place at a top state school just before he started at his independent school. We were really happy with the independent and it was our first choice anyway, but I was interested that last minute places came up at great and massively oversubscribed state schools. I hadn't expected an offer.

lljkk Fri 27-Sep-13 13:30:00

I had a spell of this when DD was y6, 12 months ago; all turned out okay in the end. She now loves the school she ended up at instead.

Unexpected Fri 27-Sep-13 13:40:47

Visiting a school you had no chance of getting into was not going to provide perspective though, was it? Put it down as first choice, if you get in by chance, great, if not, you will get into your second choice which you are familiar with and know is a good choice.

tiggytape Fri 27-Sep-13 13:48:51

In fairness, parents are asked to list 6 choices.
Given that most high schools, even in London, are built 2+ miles apart, everybody is going to be listing some 'ideal but not likely' schools on their forms. Very few people have 2 let alone 6 schools they have a genuine chance of getting into.

Mintyy Fri 27-Sep-13 13:51:42

I would love to meet someone who actually has six choices!

I put down six for dd and I certainly won't be doing that for ds ... all it meant was that poor old dd had to miss quite a lot of school sitting pointless banding tests hmm.

crazymum53 Fri 27-Sep-13 13:53:02

If there's a chance of her being offered a place (even if very small) then I would recommend putting it down as first preference. The schools don't know where you have placed them on the form and send a list to the LEA of all pupils who meet their criteria. If the child meets the criteria for more than one school, the LEA will offer the school that was the highest preference.
I would check that there is suitable transport for her to reach that school first, but assuming that's available go for it!

mumofthemonsters808 Fri 27-Sep-13 14:01:52

Similar situation around here, but all the girls in DD's class who wanted the high achieving all girls school unexpectedly managed to get a place. It all depends upon how subscribed the year actually is. So I would put it down as your first and the local one as your second. I'd also prepare your DD for the fact she may only get offered her second choice. I hope things work out for you.

namechanger1979 Fri 27-Sep-13 14:04:25

Put it down. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Good life lesson for her either way it goes!

bunjies Fri 27-Sep-13 14:05:39

Oh right. I thought if you put a school as your 2nd choice but more people put it as their 1st they would get the places before the 2nd choicers. Is that not the case then?

mummytime Fri 27-Sep-13 14:10:30

I don't live in London but I have 4 secondary schools within 2 miles of my house, 5 within 3 miles.

Do put your dream school down first.
Then always put a likely school you would accept on the list somewhere.

bunjies Fri 27-Sep-13 14:11:04

Maybe you're right Unexpected but we honestly thought the other school wouldn't be right for her. We did, however, feel we ought to go and see at least one other school in the area as this is a decision that could theoretically affect the rest of her life.

Unexpected Fri 27-Sep-13 14:14:58

No that is not the case as has been explained by several people. You need to check the admissions criteria for both your first and second choice schools to determine whereabouts you would be placed. If you have a copy of the admissions booklet from the LA, this should list the number of places awarded in each admissions category last year (or you can get if from the school) whcih will help you determine if your daughter has any chance of getting in.

Viviennemary Fri 27-Sep-13 14:18:05

This is a really difficult situation. It's a shame she has set her heart on a school that she has little chance of getting in. So much for increased parental choice. confused

mummytime Fri 27-Sep-13 14:36:56

Bunjies for a long time (at least 7 years) schools have had to operate an equal preference system, which means the school does not know which position anyone has put it on their form, so cannot discriminate on that basis.
Some schools in the past have implied this was not the case (one local to me got their knuckles wrapped and had to remove certain questions from their supplementary application form). Some parents still insist where you place a school will determine if you get an offer or not; just as some think only putting one down gives you an advantage or your "catchment" school has to offer you a place.

mumslife Fri 27-Sep-13 16:11:22

Def put it down as first choice. It will not affect your second choice as others have said go for it. if you think she will be happy there then nothing to lose

Fairypants Fri 27-Sep-13 16:27:32

We can list 3 schools and dd1 was offered them all in reverse order - 3rd choice undersubscribed local school, stayed on waiting list. Then offered over subscribed school we were out of catchment for but it was a small year, just about to accept that and go off the waiting list when she was offered top girls academy in the city (700+ applications for 100 places not based on ability)!
I guess my point is, it's worth giving it a go but maybe don't get her hopes up. Someone has to be offered those places so it may as well be your dd.
Good lucksmile

Clavinova Fri 27-Sep-13 22:12:22

None of the schools will know what position you place them on your list; the local authority will look at the first school on your list to see if it can offer your daughter a place depending on that school's admissions criteria eg sibling, nearness to school etc (each school should have their admissions criteria online). If there are more girls (or boys) who fit the criteria ahead of your daughter to fill the available places for that school then the local authority will look at the next school on your list and so on until they find a school which can offer your daughter a place. As far as each school is concerned they are your first choice and you should list the schools in the order you would prefer.

HSMMaCM Fri 27-Sep-13 23:32:12

My DD didn't get a place at the school she really wanted to go to, but she loves the school she ended up at.

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