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About school applications for reception 2015...

(197 Posts)
elfycat Wed 17-Dec-14 09:46:24

To remind you that you need to apply by Mid-January (15th seems to be the day).

And AIBU to bump this for the next few weeks?

You need to apply, even if you live next door to the school, even if your child is attending the preschool attached to the school, even if a sibling already goes. There are no automatic places at state schools.

There were quite a few shocked parents last year who got a random school that they didn't want their child to be at. If you do not apply for a place and someone else does - they will get it. Even if they are out of catchment and you are in the area they will get the place.

Most, if not all counties have on-line submissions. If you have time to read MN you have time to nip in and start the application, or start by just getting the log-in sorted. Do it now before you forget and get caught up in the frenzy of Christmas and the post-Xmas exhaustion.

reddaisy Wed 17-Dec-14 09:51:21

I would like to add that people should put their top three choices (or whatever is applicable locally). I have little sympathy for people who only put their preferred, often over-subscribed, primary as their only choice because they think that increases their chances of getting in and are then appalled when they get allocated a place across town in a school they wouldn't have chosen. Read the rules and request your top three schools otherwise your LA will choose for you.

elfycat Wed 17-Dec-14 10:00:30

I forgot about that bit reddaisy as I know I will get first choice (catchment and not-oversubscribed & sibling rule) but I did still put down all three options.

<sits down for the long wait>

addictedtosugar Wed 17-Dec-14 10:01:47


It needs to stay bumped.

My tupence worth:
However unpalatable, put in a school you stand a good chance of getting into as your last choice. If you don't you may end up at unpalatable school the other side of town.
List the schools in the order you would genuinly like you child yo go. there is no manipulation of the list. You will be offered a place at the school highest up your list that you qualify for, and isn't already full of people who have greater priority.

Littlefish Wed 17-Dec-14 10:04:12

Bumpety bump! I'm a nursery teacher and every year I am still chasing parents on the last day to complete their applications.

reddaisy Wed 17-Dec-14 10:06:02

Very much agree, addicted. A woman was telling me last year how she had chosen three outstanding schools that she was not in the catchment of because 'the council has to give me one of my choices'. No the council doesn't. Funnily enough, her catchment school was full and she was up in arms about having to drive her DC to a failing school she didn't deserve to be in.

5madthings Wed 17-Dec-14 10:08:10

Yanbu great thread.

I ended up doing mine the old fashioned way by post because the online system kept crashing. My lea actually had to extend the deadline for high school applications as the system couldn't cope!

I only put one choice though, sibling link and we will get in distance wise but if we didn't I would just home educate until a place became available. The council were very stroppy with me when I dud the sane for madthing4s form so I wonder if they will be again. We are lucky that the school shouldn't vbe over subscribed and it has movement of pupils due to its location and intake so even if full spaces come up and dd would be at top of the list with sibling link.

StockingFullOfCoal Wed 17-Dec-14 10:37:02

The amount of people who have no idea about school applications is shocking - at least 7 people I know had no idea they were meant to apply or when or how and were cross that they weren't told shock I was looking at schools when DD was 2!

jeee Wed 17-Dec-14 10:45:37

And there will still be people who insist that they got a place because they simply put X school down, and so the Council had to give them a place there.

Oh, and they also explained that their child was super-intelligent in the additional information box, so the school really, really wanted them.

Not to mention the people who tell you that you need to get the child's name down for the local state school, when the child is still in utero!

fancyanotherfez Wed 17-Dec-14 10:50:41

What really annoys me is that every year in our local papers we have outraged parents who have an article written about them and their disappointment, when they clearly haven't read the criteria for schools.
If, for example you want a church school, you have to have been going to the attached church for a significant amount of time ( our school has a 2 year in the parish rule). You have to fill in the supplementary form as well as the LA one, which usually includes a priests reference. There was a family who went to the papers in the year my DS was going to school bemoaning their refusal of a school place, because though they had only put down church schools despite not going to church! They said they thought that they wanted their DC to get into a church school and they would start going to church afterwards. If they'd spent as much time reading the well written booklet from the council as they had ringing the papers, they wouldn't have been in that predicament in the first place!

Bunnyjo Wed 17-Dec-14 10:52:06

Good to remind people. I am astounded that year after year there are many parents who either:

a) Have failed to make an application because they didn't know/their older DC already attend the school/their DC are in the school attached nursery.

or b) think the Law on admissions does not apply to them and their DC, and they assume that by putting only outstanding and oversubscribed school(s) that they will force the LA into offering them a place at one of these school. If you are out of catchment for a hugely oversubscribed school, and do not have a SEN statement naming said school or your child is/was under Section 22 LAC, then you are unlikely to get a place.

Please use your preferences wisely. It is fine to put schools that you would love your DC to attend. However, make sure your last preference is for your nearest/catchment school, or at least a school you have a very good chance of getting a place at based on previous years' admissions. Otherwise, you run the risk of being offered a place at a failing school on the other side of town.

To parents in areas that are heavily oversubscribed - London and Bristol to name a couple - please try not to panic if, on offer day, you have not received an offer for any school. This does happen, but the LA are obligated to find you a school place. There are admissions experts on the Primary Education board who can and will help.

Also bear in mind, once the LA have offered you a school, they have fulfilled their obligation and do not need to offer you another school, even if you turn the first school down. The onus will then be on you to find schools with spaces and make an application for one of those.

I applied for DS's school place in September, I must be keen! Even though we are pretty much guaranteed a place at our first choice school (our application will be placed under criteria 2 - sibling link and catchment school, only LAC rank above us) we have still listed 2 further schools, just in case!

RiverTam Wed 17-Dec-14 10:59:07

If, for example you want a church school, you have to have been going to the attached church for a significant amount of time

actually, that's not necessarily true. We put a church school as our 1st choice last year that has about a 50/50 split between Foundation ( places and open places. You only need supplementary info if you were applying for a Foundation place. So check with the school!

JingleBellSniffer Wed 17-Dec-14 11:06:20

Can't you ask MNHQ to pin it on the front page?
also you don't have to go to church at all to get into a church school, although it helps. they have to take in a % of children of other faiths/no faith.

fancyanotherfez Wed 17-Dec-14 11:07:24

Oh OK, I live in an area with a massive shortage of school places, so all the church schools in the area are full by the time they have gone through the first 3 criteria, which all require church attendance. Yes, agree, read the criteria.

fancyanotherfez Wed 17-Dec-14 11:09:00

None of the church schools in my area are required to take children of other/ no faith ( much to my disappointment). If there are spaces left after the church school places are taken, then they will. If they are oversubscribed, they don't have to.

RiverTam Wed 17-Dec-14 11:13:25

ah, this school, out of 60 places, had (I think) 35 set aside as church places to go to, in order, those who worshipped at the local church, those who worshipped at another C of E church, and those of other Christian denominations. Even if the church places were oversubscribed, they didn't take any of the open places. The year before we applied, they actually only filled 23 of their church places, so far more children that year were non-church than church.

I actually think it's against most church schools' original charters to not allow any non-church children - a church-going chum who taught at a church school was very shocked by some of the stories I told her.

NancyJones Wed 17-Dec-14 11:15:26

I don't understand! Are you saying that each year lots of parents don't bother applying for a school place? Really? Surely that must be a small minority?
How can you forget to apply for a school place or not read the info relating to applying? Do these people not register their children with Drs or dentists either? I'm amazed!

LegsOfSteel Wed 17-Dec-14 11:34:51

I am from a time and place when you just went to your local school. If you arrived in the area mid-year you still got in.
When DD was around 2 1/2 I thought I'd check with the local school about the nursery places. Went into school office and got told "this should have been in last week!". Well how was I to know that? There is no information on the school website or even the local authority website. There is a lot of presumed knowledge about education in this country.

LegsOfSteel Wed 17-Dec-14 11:36:53

* presumed knowledge of the education system

5madthings Wed 17-Dec-14 11:40:41

Yes lots of presumed knowledge! In my area you get a letter to tell you you need yo apply from the council and notices go up at pre schools etc.

Not all areas do notices or letters, some do an advert in local papers it varies wildly.

And then even when people apply they misunderstand the system or believe lies about how it works.

I knew one mum who was convinced her daughter would get a place at a certain school despite it being oversubscribed and them being out of catchment with no sibling link etc because a friend of a relative worked there. I and others said she was mistaken but no she wouldn't have it!

RustyBear Wed 17-Dec-14 11:50:45

LegsofSteel - there is now a legal requirement for schools to publish admission arrangements online

"You [the school] must do one of the following:

[either] publish your school’s admission arrangements, explaining how you will consider applications for every age group, including:
-arrangements you have in place for selecting the pupils who apply
-your oversubscription criteria (how you offer places if there are more applicants than places)
-an explanation of the process parents need to follow if they want to apply for their child to attend your school

[or] publish details of how parents can find out about your school’s admission arrangements through your local authority"

Our school has a link to the borough's admissions page, as the LA still handles all admissions, including in-year, centrally.

reddaisy Wed 17-Dec-14 11:52:16

Maybe a leaflet explaining school admissions should go in Bounty packs in the hospital?

Sizzlesthedog Wed 17-Dec-14 11:58:57

I didn't get a form from my LA about school admissions, so rang them up and got an ear full from the person at the LA. She said I should have known to apply by the 15th Jan and should have known that that's how it works.

Ok, I understand I'm in the wrong, but I have no friends locally of same age children to ask. Also I was privately educated so have no knowledge of the education system. I had thought I would ask the school for a place and go from there. My friends I would ask send their children to private schools so it's a totally different admission system.

I would have thought the LA should send a letter to all parents to advise them of the procedure.

HesterShaw Wed 17-Dec-14 12:01:35

Isn't it sad that it has come to this?

SassyCandyCane Wed 17-Dec-14 12:04:28

I did this as soon as the letter from the council came through. Nearest school I can see out of my kitchen window, I hope its good enough though. Have put two other local schools though just in case because its never that simple! grin

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