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To think there must be a better way to do admissions for secondary schools

(4 Posts)
Cryifiwantto Sat 15-Oct-16 23:32:35

Just that really.

Living in London in a long, narrow borough means we could reasonably choose schools from at least four boroughs.

None of the schools on our list are grammars - so no 11+ as such, but still we have so many hoops to jump through: DS has some anxiety and SEN needs - mostly we need good pastoral care, and he has some aptitude - in art and music in his case. I had absolutely no idea there would be so much testing:

We've had three different aptitude tests that 'might' get a place at a fairly nearby school that we'd be too far from otherwise (tiny catchments), each is in a different borough or has different admissions criteria. Two boroughs require a 'banding' test so that they can fairly allocate places across the abilities, and another school does its own banding test and allocates places via lottery. A further school allocates by 'as the crow flies' distance only.

So we now find ourselves with a child prone to anxiety and stress who has no less than three almost identical banding tests, and three aptitude tests - all for schools that are nice, but the one that we like the most that is closest is probably 'too far' away (15 minute walk).

Poor DS is beside himself.
He doesn't have an EHCP (statement) - he's not 'bad' enough for that - so he falls between the gaps. If I didn't do all this we'd end up with a school that really wouldn't suit him.

I have friends who have moved house for schools this year, or rented their flats and rented near a preferred school. TBH I don't blame them.

There has to be a better way to do all this.

myownprivateidaho Sat 15-Oct-16 23:44:44

Honestly, I don't think it sounds like you're in a bad position. There are lots of good local schools. I get that doing several tests isn't ideal, but you do have the choice not to do them too...

JoJoSM2 Sun 16-Oct-16 03:25:13

I suppose it's easier to manage admissions on a borough level than have a centralised system for the who country. If anything, I'd be questioning why your closest school can't provide adequately for him... Or at least why you have such perception.

Phineyj Sun 16-Oct-16 10:01:47

In a few years, we may be in a similar position but while I agree some kind of London-wide admission might simplify things (not for us though as we live on the Kent border), at a time of such fast population growth, school places are always going to be in short supply. If the tests are going to stress your DS out that much, can you explain it's so he can go somewhere with the best support? Pain now for gain later type thing? Are you and the other adults in your family being as calm and matter-of-fact as you can about it? Have you posted in Education where you can get knowledgeable support?

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