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To tell parents of children applying for reception 2017 to read this thread?

(372 Posts)
KohINoorPencil Sat 01-Oct-16 13:08:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SE13Mummy Sat 01-Oct-16 13:15:36

This is a useful guide: www.mummysginfund.co.uk/how-to-survive-choosing-a-primary-school/

It's aimed at parents in SE London but has lots of useful tips.

trilbydoll Sat 01-Oct-16 13:22:23

Do a lot of people have a choice? We have 6 infant schools within 3 miles but having looked at the distance offered this year we don't stand a chance except for the catchment school. We're in Hampshire. I was quite surprised to realise just how many people live here!

There's already been an open morning at the catchment infant school (I like how they're setting their stall out early, we are clearly expected to be sahp) so I would add start looking now, open evenings etc might be earlier than you realise.

KohINoorPencil Sat 01-Oct-16 13:24:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FusionChefGeoff Sat 01-Oct-16 13:26:12

Really kohl??!! People just rock up without any formal process / acceptance?? God that's entitled cheek if ever I've heard it.

KohINoorPencil Sat 01-Oct-16 13:28:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

t4nut Sat 01-Oct-16 13:37:54

The main ones are:

Read the application materials.
Read the admission criteria for each school
Assume nothing

Hippee Sat 01-Oct-16 13:41:48

Not just primary school either - you'd think people would learn. I've heard of people not putting down their nearest school, because they think it will prejudice the applications office into giving them it instead of their first choice school (that they aren't in catchment for/don't meet the criteria for) - they don't get the school of choice, or the one closest, as it is, by now, fully subscribed and get allocated a random school - often worse than the school they were trying to avoid in the first place (in one case a secondary school 20 miles away) and then they have to appeal to get into the school they could have had, if they had just included it in their application.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Sat 01-Oct-16 13:43:26

They have open mornings so that you can see the school with children in it, not because they assume you are SAHP.

Buddahbelly Sat 01-Oct-16 13:43:27

Cannot agree more.. and also If you know what school you want your child to go to and think you dont need to go and see it - get off your arse and go and see it anyway

I wish to god I'd done this last year, My first 2 places were fine, 1 he was at the nursery at so thought that was a dead cert, the 2nd was a local other school that seemed good. Didnt he just get 3rd choice that id not rally thought much about.

I went to the school myself, thought it would be fine, my god how its changed, I wouldnt have put it in my top 3 had I gone and seen it and now have to worry that i've messed up ds's life by putting him in this awful school, and now just have to wait that my appeal takes place and I can get him in any other school.

OutDamnedWind Sat 01-Oct-16 13:49:06

Also people often talk about 'catchment areas' but proper catchment areas, I.e. a specific marked out area where children living within those boundaries get priority over children who live outside, are relatively few and far between.

Often it is simply that children nearest the school get in, which depends entirely on the number of children applying and where they live. A child who gets in one year might not have another depending on whether there were more children closer to the school or not.

Be clear which your LA/preferred school uses and plan accordingly.

99percentchocolate Sat 01-Oct-16 13:50:09

Definitely put down your catchment school. Even if it isn't one you'd necessarily choose put it on the list or you'll find yourself like my friend did, allocated a failing school miles away and adding your child to the waiting list of every school going. sad

Abide by the dates. Submitting your application a month after the closing date is a risky move.

Visit the schools on the list and do some research. I'd heard great things about the school I put as 3rd choice but didn't actually visit. Afterwards I found an article about it in the local paper and spent the next few months praying we'd get one of our other choices (we did)

noblegiraffe Sat 01-Oct-16 13:50:53

assume nothing

I'm going to be applying for DD. She has a sibling in school, we live in the catchment and last year everyone who put the school as first choice got in.

Do I really need to put more than one school down?

FreeButtonBee Sat 01-Oct-16 13:53:51

I'd also say read the full paper guide. Don't just rely on what is on the online application form. My LA requires 2 proofs of address for the parent and one for the child. Not obvious on the online system at all.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 01-Oct-16 13:57:13

Noble

Similar situation for us. However - what does it actually cost you / us to put 4 more choices down?

I admit I'm not going to kill myself visiting all of the other options but I'll still put the ones I prefer down.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 01-Oct-16 13:59:13

My biggest one is:-

Do not listen to things that some random friend of a friend who is "in the know" say. If it isn't on the list of things that leads to admission - it won't help you get in.

belleandsnowwhite Sat 01-Oct-16 14:01:13

Last year everyone who applied for our local school got a place, even those out of catchment. For this September the same school had more than double applications and some children in catchment did not get a place. ( Which shocked everyone!)

ScaredAboutTheFuture Sat 01-Oct-16 14:01:50

Kohl - so what happens to those who just turn up?

hawaiibaby Sat 01-Oct-16 14:03:51

I feel sick about this, being in catchment for either a faith school or a huge not very nice school. Doubt we'll get into the faith one as everyone I know around here has been baptised / attends the church purely to get in angry and it is always oversubscribed.

noblegiraffe Sat 01-Oct-16 14:03:53

mum that's what I thought, that I'd just put down the same other schools that I put down on DS's form. Except DS goes to breakfast club that starts at 8 and I don't know whether the other schools have breakfast club and if so what time they start, then I started thinking that maybe I needed to start investigating if it was logistically possible to have kids at two schools. But that sounds like pointless work when the chances of that actually happening are remote.

Idliketobeabutterfly Sat 01-Oct-16 14:04:08

Check previous years catchment areas if on council sites. Also check to see if your faith school takes distance or parish boundaries into account too.

Idliketobeabutterfly Sat 01-Oct-16 14:05:46

Also this is an obvious one: get your application in on time.

Fortybingowings Sat 01-Oct-16 14:05:57

Also. Make your own mind up, based on what you see with your own eyes, and talking to current children and parents who are actually already at the schools. NOT by listening to the chatter and predjudices of those who don't actually know any facts.

MrsHathaway Sat 01-Oct-16 14:10:18

Keep track of deadlines. Generally there's one non-extendable deadline for getting your application in, but there might be later deadlines for submitting supporting documents such as baptism certificate, Statement, etc.

We go to our school which prioritises siblings then catchment. For the first time ever, this year some non-sibling catchment children didn't get in. It was a big shock because children in catchment have always got in. But there's a big new build in catchment ... Keep track of new housing in your area and where the children will be expected to go. Don't rely on historical data.

But do read the historical data. On Rightmove you can use the School Checker to find your nearby schools and whether you'd be at all likely to get in them. Don't treat that information as gospel but do read it.

Check local news (maybe search on the local paper's website) for announcements about schools - maybe School A has just got funding to go from 210 (single form entry) to 315 (one and a half classes).

Don't expect anything that isn't in the admissions criteria to make any difference. It might seem reasonable to put a child in the school his mum went to which is near grandma's house who'll be picking him up on Thursdays, but the LA rightly gives no shits about any of that.

BikeRunSki Sat 01-Oct-16 14:10:47

Do I really need to put more than one school down?

Yea. Birth rates were high 5 years ago. DD has just started Reception, and it was oversubscribed for the first time ever- in contrast DS's Y3 class is only 24 pupils.

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