Local council are bragging about the choice of secondary schools in the area. One is Welsh medium, one is Catholic and then there is one regular state school in our catchment. We do not speak Welsh, we are not Catholic, so that leaves the regular state school. This has just had an absolute slating by inspectors. The crazy part is there is also another state school which is closer to us by over a mile, under a mile to walk in fact, it is in the top 10% for exam results in Wales. It is oversubscribed (unsurprisingly). Apparently we live around 50 metres off the catchment zone, ALTHOUGH when you look at the map, there are children going there who live more than 5 miles away who are in catchment. WTF springs to mind?
Fight it. Put it as your top choice, and if you don't get it in the first allocation, keep your fingers crossed for continued interest while you mount an appeal. I mounted an appeal after we missed our school place due to a similar 'geographical anomaly'. I got the school place for my daughter on the second round of continued interest, but my appeal was ready to go.
Just remember you're not appealing against a school, you're appealing for a school. Find all the points of that school that your child needs. Do they have any specialities that match your child's interests or talents?