Well, I suppose if both children had their applications in on time and they both rate equally in terms of admissions criteria then there is not really any other way of deciding who should get the place.
Unless it's a private school the school has no power over who is let in / not - it's done by admissions in the local authority - If you have a query ask them and they are obliged to reply within 5 working days - schools often end up relaying information to parents because often the admissions people are not very prompt and this can be confused with the school having a say.
I deal with admissions in my school ( a state school) and I often talk to parents who are quite rightly very upset by something as important as school choices and it's difficult because often other cases just happen to meet the criteria set by admissions (not the school).
Hope you get a good answer and sorry you didn't get hte place.
Well, this contradicts everything I've ever heard about admissions! Surely in-year admissions must be administered in the same way the "main round" ones are, according to the criteria set out by the LEA? Or is this a private school?
Waiting lists are not first come first served. The order changes because if someone applies to the school and is in a higher priority group (eg lives closer to th school, goes to the right church, etc) then they go on it above you, even if they applied later than you.
Some schools do choose between applicants of equal priority by lottery. If you accept dc2's place, that should automatically bump you up the priority list. Can you accept it before they decide the applications for dd1's year?