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To not include my catchment school?

(25 Posts)
Bixxy Mon 16-Nov-15 10:40:10

We're about to apply for primary schools. Our catchment is 0.3 miles from our house, but is a poor school (OH is a governor there so well aware of school issues). There are three further schools within a similar distance (0.4, 0.7 and 0.8 miles respectively), all better with good reputations (I know parents at all of them).

Frankly, I don't want to put the catchment down. But do I have to include it? Is there an etiquette? Will I just be allocated catchment anyway even if I leave it off? Gah, I don't know how all this works!!

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 16-Nov-15 10:43:52

I will probably X-post with someone who can explain it better, but I'll try.

If you put down your 3 preferred schools but not your catchment school, and then you don't fit the criteria for your 3 preferred schools you will not be offered a place at your catchment school unless it is the closest school with places. You run the risk of being allocated a crap school miles away. Better to be at a crao school close by than a crap school miles away.

WorraLiberty Mon 16-Nov-15 10:47:24

Exactly what Milk said.

If you don't get a school of your choice and your catchment school is full, you could be fucked really.

Bixxy Mon 16-Nov-15 10:47:14

That's depressing Milk thanks!

Looks like it's going in third spot and I'll be appealing if I have to!

bluebolt Mon 16-Nov-15 10:52:05

Depends on your percentage of getting chosen school or schools, not adding catchment at all will not increase your chances to get your preferred choice. You also need to view catchments maps, in some areas you can be close to a school but not within boundaries or the real catchment is tiny.

Enjolrass Mon 16-Nov-15 10:53:48

Exactly what milk said.

Appealing is a bit of nightmare as well, so I wouldn't do anything that depends on winning an appeal.

Personally I would put it down as 3rd. Unless you would prefer your sc to go further away.

Pengweng Mon 16-Nov-15 10:55:33

Can you only apply for 3 schools? Our council allow 5 schools on the online application and if you want to apply for more then you can email them in the full list in the order you want them.

But if you are only allowed 3 then yes you need to put the catchment one down incase you get allocated a crap school miles away instead.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 16-Nov-15 10:57:35

I don't mean this to be snippy, but how fond is your OH of his governership? I wouldn't be impressed by a governor who didn't think enough of their school to send their children there...

Bixxy Mon 16-Nov-15 10:58:45

Glad I asked really! I was genuinely (and clearly naively) not going to bother including it.

Enjolrass Mon 16-Nov-15 10:58:57

Some councils allow 3 some allow 5.

Ours allows five and we still didn't get any angry

Stillunexpected Mon 16-Nov-15 10:59:51

You should always include a school which you know you know you qualify for, even if it is not one that you would be particularly happy for your children to attend. If your choices are all "aspirational" and there is a possibility that you will not come high enough up the admissions criteria to get into any of them, then, as another poster mentioned, you will be allocated a place at the closest school with space available. That might not be your catchment school but one further away with an even poorer reputation.

You will be allocated your highest preference school for which you meet the admissions criteria so putting the catchment school in third place will not affect your chances of getting one higher up.

If you think there is a real chance that you will not be allocated one of your preferred schools you do need to think though on what basis you would be appealing (as you have mentioned this). You can't appeal just because you don't like what you have been given so this might determine which schools you place in first and second place.

Paintedhandprints Mon 16-Nov-15 11:02:38

Anyone know the chances of getting into your preferred school if you are just outside the catchment? If you put the non preferred school in as 3Rd choice will they just send your dc their as it's 'on your list'? What a minefield!

Enjolrass Mon 16-Nov-15 11:06:06

painted depends on the school. How many apply etc.

I know someone who's neighbour got in but they didn't because the neighbour lives slightly closer (a few doors closer) and got the last place. The school wasn't full from catchment applications.

Every other year this school hasn't even been able to accommodate all children in the catchment area that wants a place.

Enjolrass Mon 16-Nov-15 11:07:30

And no you could end up not getting on the list.

There were real problems here (Leeds) with people getting schools they hadn't even heard of or know where they were.

Littleoddfeet Mon 16-Nov-15 11:09:38

A mum at DS nursery omitted our catchment school last year (as it was only 'Good' not 'Outstanding' [hmmm]). She ended up with none of her choices and at a less well regarded school in a horrible area further from home. Don't risk it...

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 16-Nov-15 11:12:42

Painted - your child will be offered a place at your highest ranked preference where you qualify for a place. If you qualify for all 3 preferences you will be offered 1st preference.

LumpySpaceCow Mon 16-Nov-15 11:14:30

I live two minutes walk away from an 'outstanding' school (outstanding mainly due to achievements of children with special needs and those from deprived backgrounds which make up the majority of the pupils) and didn't put it down in my 3. I luckily got our first choice smile

Bixxy Mon 16-Nov-15 11:15:08

Fair point Lonny.

He gets quite stuck in there and wants to help make it a better school - it's a work in progress i think. He said there are some individual teachers there who are excellent. However, they had an incident recently where they lost a five year old for a couple of hours confused So funnily enough, I'm not keen!

Painted, you're right, it's a huge scary minefield. And such a big decision when you're sending your child there for a full day and trusting people to look after them. Choosing a nursery was stressful enough!

LaughingHyena Mon 16-Nov-15 11:15:31

I'm sure somewhere in the stuff we had was the distance of the last child admitted in the previous year (this was a secondary application but I vaguely remember having it for primary as well).

If you can find out that for your current choices it would help, it sounds like they are all pretty close by.

Mrsbennington Mon 16-Nov-15 11:15:27

Painted If you put the non preferred school in as 3Rd choice will they just send your dc their as it's 'on your list'?

No If you put it in 3rd place you will only be offered it if you don't meet the admissions criteria for either of your other 2 choices.

Paintedhandprints Mon 16-Nov-15 11:34:32

Thanks all. Sorry to hijack thread op. Information from the council is so confusing. Good luck op. It sounds like it's best to put your catchment school in as last option and just hope for the best. confused

pinkdelight Mon 16-Nov-15 11:54:06

"outstanding mainly due to achievements of children with special needs and those from deprived backgrounds which make up the majority of the pupils"

lumpy I don't know what you're getting at - that a school isn't really outstanding unless it has middle-class kids with no SEN? Are you just being goady for some reason? Unless I've misconstrued somehow, it sounds like they're better off without you too.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 16-Nov-15 12:33:33

I wouldn't be impressed by a governor who didn't think enough of their school to send their children there...

The other perspective is that it may create a small conflict of interest.

The role of the governing board is a strategic one, its key functions are to:

set the aims and objectives for the school
set the policies for achieving those aims and objectives
set the targets for achieving those aims and objectives
monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making towards achievement of its aims and objectives
be a source of challenge and support to the headteacher (a critical friend)

Stillunexpected Mon 16-Nov-15 13:41:34

The other perspective is that it may create a small conflict of interest. - but all Governing Bodies have Parent Governors so it is obviously considered possible to manage any conflict of interest?

Medusacascade Mon 16-Nov-15 13:52:53

I'm a parent governor at my daughter's school and I'm going to quit. It's very hard to listen to the head teacher misrepresenting the school to other governors and I can't do it anymore:

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