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If SIL doesn't put down the local school, she won't get it?

(84 Posts)
spongeypants Wed 16-Jan-13 23:25:01

SIL does not like any of the local schools and they would like to move to the neighbouring suburb anyway. They have put down 6 schools, 2 in the suburb they would like to move to and the other four all over subscribed, where you have to be living practically in the playground to get a place. From speaking to other mums, no chance of getting in. They have not put down the local school. She reasons that the council make the decisions and that DD may just be given the local school regardless but wanted to try and get in the others. I have tried to explain to her that it doesn't work like that and if she didn't put it down, she won't get it as plenty of other families do want it!

Its more likely that as she won't be successful with any of her choices, she they will get the failing school with the signs in the corridors asking parents to refrain from smoking.

How does it work, do councils allocate kids to the local school regardless sof choice, like she says?

TodaysAGoodDay Wed 16-Jan-13 23:33:10

As far as I'm aware, if you don't put it down you don't get it. However, if you aren't given any of your 'choices' then the council allocate you a place, sometimes the nearest school, sometimes miles away. I stand corrected if I'm wrong, but that's how it worked when I put down my choice for DS 2 yrs ago.

TodaysAGoodDay Wed 16-Jan-13 23:34:35

And never to an over-subscribed school, always to one with spaces. Tell her to get her name down now.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 16-Jan-13 23:36:52

If her DD doesn't meet the application criteria for any of the schools she has put down as her choices, then she will be given whatever places are left.

She runs the real risk of ending up with the failing and therefore undersubscribed school, because she will be allocated a place at the end of the process, along with all the other kids with dense parents who have done the same. Her DD will not automatically be awarded a place at her catchment school - which is what it sounds like your SIL thinks happens.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Wed 16-Jan-13 23:38:14

They allocate the nearest school with a place, so if the local school is oversubscribed then she won't get in.

Blu Wed 16-Jan-13 23:40:28

If the local school is full or oversubscribed with people who did put it on the list, then no, she won't be offered it. If it does have places after everyone else who put it down has been offered a place then she might be lucky and be offered it.

But yes, unless she is lucky with a long shot or a school she doesn't yet live close to, she could end up with a failing school miles away.

She could then put herself on the waiting list for the local school. The waiting list is in order of how far you meet the admission criteria, so if she lives very close could stand a good chance of a waiting list place.

Blu Wed 16-Jan-13 23:42:56

TodaysAGoodDay: the deadline was yesterday. She can't do anything now til offer day.

spongeypants Wed 16-Jan-13 23:47:43

I heard another local mum put in an appeal at the local school last year so it is popular but just not as popular or in as posh an area as the others. There is a local failing school with the signs I mentioned.
She is convinced that her DD will get a place, like it is automatic, even though she didn't like it that much, like a case of oh well, maybe the local school will do.
I think she will get a school with places after all the allocations are made, and it will be a school she will hate as it will be unpopular for a reason. DB has had no say it seems.
The booklet says be realistic.
I think there will be a shock come April.
Glad I wasn't away with the fairies (we have al this to come ourselves).

spongeypants Wed 16-Jan-13 23:50:07

thinking about it, it would be totally unfair to have a safety net of the local school but still try to get in all the other ones!!!

TodaysAGoodDay Wed 16-Jan-13 23:54:05

Oh dear, silly girl hmm

diamondee Thu 17-Jan-13 00:18:50

I'm so glad I live in Scotland, much simpler

Lollydaydream Thu 17-Jan-13 01:59:43

I have to say I really don't get why people don't grasp this aspect of the admissions system. Do you think the councils don't make it clear enough?

TidyDancer Thu 17-Jan-13 03:27:44

In my experience, your SIL could find herself in a bit of bother over this one. I don't think I'd ever be as optimistic as her about places, even if you think you live in an area where you can't fail to get into a good school, is it worth taking the risk?! I would say no.

Does she have the funds for private school if her plan doesn't work out? Sounds like it's either going to be that or the failing school.

TidyDancer Thu 17-Jan-13 03:29:29

Unless the two choices in the area she wants to move to are undersubscribed? Then I suppose she has a chance. I've never come across a future move being taken into account tbh, although I'll admit my knowledge in this area is not exhaustive! Others might be able to give you more information.

Booyhoo Thu 17-Jan-13 03:37:17

diamond how does it work in scotland?

littlewhitebag Thu 17-Jan-13 07:38:24

diamondee - was just thinking that myself!

CelineMcBean Thu 17-Jan-13 07:40:51

Actually y might bu. Where I live you only get to express a preference. It's really based on distance after all other priorities such as children in care, siblings, SN etc have been accounted for and your preference only makes any difference if you live close enough to more than one school to be eligible for a place.

Eg family A live 400m from school1 and 350m from school2 and 900m from school3. All three schools have places for all children living within 600m (let's say for argument's sake), so family A can have a place at either school1 or school2, so their preferences are used to choose based on how they ranked the two schools, so if school2 was ranked higher than school1 on their preferences they would get a place at school2. If no preference is made for an eligible school they are allocated the nearest of the two, school1. They do not get a place at school3 even if it is first preference because they are too far. If family A listed school4, school5 and school6 that were all 1km+ away on their preference they would still get offered a place at school1 because that is the nearest school with places.

So if your SIL is in London where the above is the admission procedure yabu. The bit about your brother not having a say is probably rubbish too unless hey are in some sort of abusive relationship. He's probably just left it up to her to decide and make the effort like my DP did when we had to apply.

If you really want to know if SIL is being unreasonable why not read the admissions process for where they live? The council publish it online.

pingu2209 Thu 17-Jan-13 08:15:17

Your SIL is being an idiot. I bet she will be the one who kicks up a massive fuss that she didn't get her local school when she is offered a sink school and then waste time and money fighting to get her in.

Blu Thu 17-Jan-13 08:26:27

CelinemcB, that's the system across England (different in Wales and Scotland), with the addition of any faith or other admissions criteria. Under that system she would still only get a place in her closest school if she has actually put it in her preference list, unless it is undersubscribed. Which in London of all places, is highly unlikely unless it is truly a failing sink school..

The issue is that she hasn't put her most likely / realistic school on her preference list at all..

CelineMcBean Thu 17-Jan-13 08:48:48

I'm fairly sure Blu, unless it has changed very recently, that there is no requirement to list any preferences at all where I live - London borough so presumably same for all of England? Otherwise preference would take priority over preference which it doesn't here. They don't even look at preferences until after they have looked at all the admission criteria which for most families applying for the first time is usually distance, with the exception of SN, being in care or any other criteria as I suggested above.

CelineMcBean Thu 17-Jan-13 08:55:33

Gosh I'm doubting myself now! grin

I'm not quite sure I can sift through all the admission guff to check. It was bad enough first time round!

CelineMcBean Thu 17-Jan-13 09:08:21

Ooh. I've just had a quick look at my council's most recent admission brochure and I am wrong! You do need to list all schools you wished to be considered for. All ours are oversubscribed so council encourages all applicants to list their nearest community school.

FryOneFatManic Thu 17-Jan-13 09:17:15

We're in the Midlands. Certainly here, you have to formally list the schools you want to be considered for. You don't get allocated a place at the nearest school unless you've put that on the form.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 17-Jan-13 09:23:01

Suggest to her that she puts it down as her last choice (assuming that it isn't a religious school or something where she won't meet the criteria). She's banking on the local school not being oversubscribed when it sounds like it probably is. The last choice should always be a school you are virtually guaranteed to get even if you're playing fantasy school places higher up the list. I hope that your SIL takes your advice.

Gomez Thu 17-Jan-13 09:31:18

In Scotland you have a catchment non-denominational and a catchment Catholic primary. You pop along to the school in January and register and 9 times out of 10 that's you.

There are some hot spots in Edinburgh where space is tight and transfers into catchment may not be accommodated; you can also make a placing request for a non-catchment school but not that common at primary level and again with exceptions of some urban hot spots would normally be met.

Secondary schools have feeder primaries and again 9 times from 10 you go to the high school associated with your catchment primary. Placing requests more popular for high performing schools at secondary level with but less success. I have never heard however of a secondary pupil not going to their catchment high if that is what they wanted.

There is no frenzy and angst like there appears to be in other areas of the UK either. Also no grammars or selection for entry.

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