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To feel like this.....changes to admissions criteri-Gutted!!!!

(58 Posts)
SuziWills1 Fri 26-Jun-15 10:21:47

Hi this is Mr fest post on netmums but I've been lurking for a while through the forums. I need advise about my Ds's school and moving up to secondary. Now before I safari me just say that we are a catholic family and we want our kids to go to catholic school. I realise that there have been some debates lately about the admissions criteria and that some of you don't think that it's fair to be baisis towards certain children and I totally understand that but bare with me whilst I explain.

I have three children. Ds is 11 (year 6) Dd is 10 (year 5) and my youngest Dd is 3 going on 4. Years ago when it came to applying for our eldest to go to school we chose our local catholic primary as first choice, but as it was heavily subscribed he didn't get a place, neither did Dd a year later so they both started at the local community school with a plan to move them if a place came up at the catholic primary.

As it turned out no places became available for my Ds but a place became available two years ago for my Dd who was at the time half way through year 3. After much consideration and talking with dd we decided to take the place at the Catholic school and she has flourished. Ds did not want to move if there were a place available anyway as he only had years 5 and 6 to complete and he wanted to stay with his friends, which was understandable.

If I'm not being clear I apologise, but basically if you didn't go to a Catholic primary school you stood little chance of getting into the secondary school. We had/have our heart set on this school but it was no surprise to learn that our Ds this year did not get a place, simply because he didn't go to a Catholic primary, so he's now due to start at a non faith school close to home, which he's happy about.

So anyway we've endured two years of shuttling back and forth to two primary schools but have been happy with this as we knew that our Dd would be at the top of the criteria list along with her friends so you can imagine my shock when she came out of school on Monday with a letter telling us parents that from September of this year the feeder secondary school that we hoped Dd would go to is changing it's criteria significantly, and a wave of anxiety came over me.

Basically this was the top four criteria (which is as far as the governors can admit to as its oversubscribed every year)

1). Looked after children/statements
2). Baptised Catholic children who live within one of the parishes named above AND who have received their primary education at a Catholic school.
3). Baptised Catholic children who will have a brother or sister at the the school at the time of admission
4). Baptised Catholic children from other parishes who have received their primary education at a Catholic school.

The criteria from September is this

1). Looked after children/statements
2). Baptised Catholic children who have a brother or sister at the school at the likely time of admission.
3). Baptised Catholic children who live within the parishes (there are 7 local parishes)
4). All other baptised Catholic children.

Now as you can see the school are still prioritising baptised Catholic children but my daughter has now gone from being in the highest category after looked after/statemened children to being in the second category. Now this in itself wouldn't bother me as its just simply switching the categories round and she would still stand a good chance of getting into the school but it's the fact that they've now took away the stipulation of Catholic primary school.

You see, with the schools old criteria the category my Dd was in stipulated that you had to have gone to Catholic primary school which was fine as she now goes to the feeder primary so it meant that she would only be "up against" three other feeder Catholic schools to secure her palace and for years and years the secondary school have accepted all children from these primary schools who wanted a place and even had palaces left over for children from Catholic schools in other parishes and for some who weren't baptised at all, so you can see how I felt confident that my dd would get a place.

But is that they've changed the criteria she now has siblings above her and will now potentially have parents applying for their children who are baptised but go to non faith primaries, and it gets down to that then I don't think she will stand a chance of getting in as we live 1.9 miles away so hardly a stones throw. I know I'm rambling and there definitely more pressing issues in the world but I feel really worried and kind of gutted that this has happened. We moved our daughter firstly because we wanted her to get the Catholic education that she was denied in the first place when applying for reception and secondly so that she could get the best education possible and this secondary school was it! I just don't know what if anything I can do? I'd feel awful if she was refused a place at the high school and after making all new friends didn't have the opportunity to move up with them all. Plus my youngest dd is about to move to the feeder primary school this Septemebr and the hope was that he too would go on to the secondary, plus like I said, both of these schools are 2 miles from our home so I've already made the commitment to driving them there and back every day for the next 7 years or so and feel a bit sick at the thought that it was all for nothing. Please somebody tell me I'm worrying over nothingsmile

momb Fri 26-Jun-15 10:25:57

This might turn out to be a good thing for you: are you more likely to be able to get your DS in now too?

DamsonInDistress Fri 26-Jun-15 10:33:56

But sibling priority is the norm across the country. I know it's a shock to you and I don't want to diminish the depth of what you're feeling, but it's simply what everyone else has been dealing with for years.

yellowcurtains Fri 26-Jun-15 10:39:28

Then you have six months to move within the parishes. You have time. Don't you want her in the same school as DS?

mandy214 Fri 26-Jun-15 10:44:54

I can understand your frustration. If you have done all that you can to maximise your DD'S chance of a place no doubt it feels like they're changing the goal posts very late in the day. I know it doesn't help but I think that's the risk you take with faith schools, they have more scope to set / amend their admission criteria than state only funded schools.

In reality how many baptised Catholic children will be at other schools? I think you may have to wait and see if you get a place then appeal. There are some other MNetters who are much more knowledgeable than me!

NaughtToThreeSadOnions Fri 26-Jun-15 10:45:37

The problem isn't the sibling change she's said that, it's that they've removed the stipulation that children come from Catholic primaries.

If it was as before changing to siblings of current pupils from Catholic primaries her daughters position wouldn't have changed much. It's the fact by taking the "from Catholic primaries" it's opened it up to children ironically like her own son who failed to get a place at the oversubscribed primary school, or even those that didn't apply but whose parents like the idea of Catholic high school but wevent bothered about primary. WhI have to OP seems unfair given that she's made sacrifices to get her daughter in to this school.

Aren't a lot of parents from your daughters year going to be in this position OP? I don't know because there not doing anything wrong by changing it, how far you'd get at appeal.

Yes there is the positive that actually once your daughters there there would be more chance of getting a place for your son, but then would he want to move. Or that if your daughter didn't get a place that her and her brother would be at the same school.

InexperiencedDisneyMum Fri 26-Jun-15 10:51:13

They can change the criteria to anything they want. The new criteria are more standard and are the same as all the catholic schools in my city.

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 26-Jun-15 11:19:15

I think the new criteria are fairer. It gives other children who missed out first time (at primary) a chance to attend a catholic school.

SuziWills1 Fri 26-Jun-15 11:19:36

I know that they a fully within there rights to change the criteria, this i'm not disputing, but I can't help feel worried and upset really can I. It just feels like a kick in the teeth as if my eldest would have gotten a place at Catholic primary initially then so would of my Dd, my eldest would have then gotten into the secondary using this year's criteria and my dd would have got in next year using the new criteria as siblings are being put as first priority, so it's upsetting.

And I'm aware that in a lot of areas there are tons of disappointed parents who haven't manage to secure their first choice school for their child, I have been in that situation twice with my own children so I did what I thought neccesary and moved my daughter so that she did fit the schools criteria and now they've changed it 3 months before the next round of applications start.

SuziWills1 Fri 26-Jun-15 11:26:12

I can't agree that it is fairer to be honest. I personally don't see the point in putting siblings before children in catchment/parish as 99% of those children will be from in catchment/parish anyway, so it's pointless. And I don't understad why they are now allowing children who haven't had a catholic primary education automatically the same right to have a catholic secondary education. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying that faith schools should only offer places do children of that particular faith but why put my child and other children who have shown commitment to attending Catholic primary on the same criteria level as those who children who haven't?

SuziWills1 Fri 26-Jun-15 11:30:58

And whoever said about moving within the parish, we already do. The schools technically serves 7 parishes but 90%+ applications come from those within the closest 4 parishes and we already live within one of them, all be it we are just under two miles away, but kids have been getting in for years who live in our street and those even further away so I thought I had no need to worry but now I'm going to spend the next year worrying. We can't even move closer to the school itself as we can't afford to, we bought our first house 5 months ago and couldn't afford to move again.

hedgehogsdontbite Fri 26-Jun-15 11:44:31

You don't think it's fairer because it gives all catholic children the same opportunity rather than continuing to prioritise your child.

SuziWills1 Fri 26-Jun-15 11:47:27

Well in a nut shell, yes. I wanted a catholic education from day one but this was denied, I've since done everything in my power to ensure my children can get into the school and we've got little chance, so not I don't think that is fair no.

SuziWills1 Fri 26-Jun-15 11:50:50

And for that matter why would any parent chose a catholic secondary if their child hasn't been to Catholic primary? Thinking about it I doubt there will be a lot of non Catholics who do chose the school so I might not have anything to worry about but I suspect the parents who do chose it will be doing so simply because it is and excellent school and not because they are practising Catholics or even believe in God, now that is what I mean when I say it's kick in the teeth.

CantBrainToday Fri 26-Jun-15 11:57:03

Would this change mean you have a better chance of getting your DS in the catholic school? Then in turn your DD?

DessertOrDesert Fri 26-Jun-15 11:59:08

You mention that the secondary has spaces for un baptised kids, so presumably the intake is larger than the number of kids who are baptised in any 1 year.
On that basis, she should get a place.

She has benifited from her Primary. DS has gone where he wanted to.

Sounds OK to me.

SuziWills1 Fri 26-Jun-15 12:00:53

Hiya no not really as the new criteria is only being applied this year for 2016/17 whereas my ds starts this September and appeals have already been heard for this year. And it wouldn't be any use for my youngest either, even if her sister did get in she would have left before youngest starts secondary so I'd be fighting for a place for her as well.

5madthings Fri 26-Jun-15 12:04:13

I am surprised ar siblings being higher priority than those at feeder schools, I understand the reasoning for that at primary age but this is a high dchool so kids travel on their own to school etc.

Presumably they can't change criteria for kids starting this sept as places are already allocated but they are changing them for current yr five pupils.

Most schools are actually removing the sibling link criteria...

SoupDragon Fri 26-Jun-15 12:04:28

And for that matter why would any parent chose a catholic secondary if their child hasn't been to Catholic primary?

Er... you would.

SuziWills1 Fri 26-Jun-15 12:05:43

Well yes, the last couple of years there has been a handful of un baptised kids who have gotten a place, but these children will be even lower down the list now. Like I said I've no problem at all with the school prioritising siblings over my daughter and other children but to open up the second criteria to children who haven't previously attended catholic primary schools will mean that she will be fighting for a place against lots of children from 10+ primary schools whereas before because of the Catholic primary stipulation there were only 3 other catholic schools locally that she would of been trying to get a place with.

SuziWills1 Fri 26-Jun-15 12:07:12

No, I chose to send my child to catholic school but that choice was taken away from me, and if I wasn't a practising Catholic I wouldn't chose to send them there.

yellowcurtains Fri 26-Jun-15 12:08:10

I am quite surprised they've moved to new sibling criteria as most schools I know are dropping the priority if this due to families playing the system and renting close to school to get first child in, then moving right out of catchment to mahoosive houses knowing the other four will get places.

SoupDragon Fri 26-Jun-15 12:09:45

Your child did not attend catholic primary.
You wanted them to attend catholic secondary.
Thus you are a parent who wanted their child to attend catholic secondary despite them not attending catholic primary.

Babyroobs Fri 26-Jun-15 12:09:58

I can't personally understand why anyone would want a catholic education full stop.

SoupDragon Fri 26-Jun-15 12:10:49

Do you imagine you are the only parent who failed to get your child into a catholic primary despite wanting them to go there?

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