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Do I have a foolproof way to get the primary place at desired school?

(122 Posts)
TeenAndTween Mon 02-Jan-17 17:15:38

No of course I don't. grin

This is a public service announcement to anyone with a child due to start school in September in England.
- use all your choices
- put them in your preferred order
- make sure you have a safe bet on there somewhere, even if you don't like it much
- get your application in on time

Better to have a rubbish school on your doorstep than one 10 miles away.
Just putting down one choice doesn't force them to give you it.
Don't lie about where you live, it's dishonest.

Read the admissions criteria, remember they may have changed since your eldest first went 10 years ago.

If you have detailed questions or a complicated situation then ask on the Primary board under Education as there are some very helpful experts there.

For pedants. AIBU to raise points about school applications that some people may be unaware of to stop them making a massive mistake with their applications?

Soubriquet Mon 02-Jan-17 17:18:12

Never turn down a school you don't want hoping it forces the school you do want to accept you

It doesn't work that way

MillionToOneChances Mon 02-Jan-17 17:20:22

And, unlike a friend of mine, don't forget to apply for your youngest because they're guaranteed a place under sibling rule. That only counts if you actually apply scary few months there

PhilODox Mon 02-Jan-17 17:20:56

Cheeky clickbaiter! grin
I was going to come and debunk your method... but foiled.

Bringmewineandcake Mon 02-Jan-17 17:24:38

Thanks teen ! Although I was hoping you had a foolproof method obviously... grin

TheOldestCat Mon 02-Jan-17 17:25:07

Brilliant from you.

The 'safe bet but we didn't really want' option, we got. And it turned out to be brilliant for both our children.

TeenAndTween Mon 02-Jan-17 17:25:37

I probably actually do have the most foolproof method, which is that we adopted, and adopted children generally get high priority. However, in faith schools, they are allowed to prioritise all children of faith above adopted non-faith children. (How's that for Christian values?)

ChippyMinton Mon 02-Jan-17 17:26:48

I will add, the school may have an additional form of its own that also needs to be completed and returned to the school itself. Also may need proof of address and other supporting documents, so make sure you have council tax bill, utility bill, and for church schools you may need baptism certificate and priest's reference.

ChippyMinton Mon 02-Jan-17 17:29:06

Don't let this thread degenerate into a faith school bashing thread.

DixieNormas Mon 02-Jan-17 17:32:11

Don't put down 3 really good schools that you are not anywhere near catchment for as you most likely won't get any of them.

TeenAndTween Mon 02-Jan-17 17:38:44

.... (leading on from Dixie) ... and then if your catchment school is full with people who did put it down you will get an undersubscribed school somewhere else which might be rubbish and miles away.

HungryHorace Mon 02-Jan-17 17:41:18

Our local church schools have 'looked after children' as heading the criteria lists, so maybe that's just your area where they don't, Teen?

We don't have any 'shoe-in' schools on our list; especially since the Catholic school which usually is slightly under-subscribed will be more popular due to the next nearest Catholic school plummeting from outstanding to requires improvement after the most recent OFSTED inspection.

Our top choice has said that we should get in, however, and we live a mile closer than the furthest child who was successful for last year.

I'm not too concerned right now. But I imagine I'll be more concerned nearer the time when they're actually going to tell us which school we've got!

SocksRock Mon 02-Jan-17 17:42:00

Live next door to the school and have siblings there in an area where there is sibling priority. I know DD2 is not guaranteed, but there would have to be 17 children with SEN naming the school or 17 adopted children asking for this one ahead of her. There are no children living closer to the school.

I've still filled in two other choices, both of which have before and after school clubs so I could do drop off and pick up at two primary schools.

Littledrummergirl Mon 02-Jan-17 17:42:44

Yanbu.
Hth grin

Be realistic about your choices and use them wisely.

megletthesecond Mon 02-Jan-17 17:45:37

dixie but if you're daft enough to put three non catchment outstanding schools down you must do a sad face article for the local paper. I laughed

pigsDOfly Mon 02-Jan-17 17:47:28

And definitely don't put your one preferred school down under all the options under the mistaken impression that they will have to give you one of your preferred choices, as someone I know was planning to do. Because apparently that's what her DP's mother did thirty odd years ago and he got into the school he wanted hmm

Aworldofmyown Mon 02-Jan-17 17:59:16

Just because you know the school secretary/receptionist and she says it will be fine. You are not guaranteed a place!!

sashh Mon 02-Jan-17 18:02:53

Also don't listen to people who tell you, £They only take people who are X, Y or Z".

A friend moved house, was told by neighbours the school was impossible to get in unless you were Methodist. It turns out they were about to put two year groups together due to lack of numbers and children going to the next village because they didn't think they could get in.

MargaretCavendish Mon 02-Jan-17 18:04:15

Our local church schools have 'looked after children' as heading the criteria lists, so maybe that's just your area where they don't, Teen?

Surely looked-after children are children in care? Adopted children have permanent parents just like children who are cared for by their birth parents, so I think it's a bit weird to put them in a different category.

InvisibleKittenAttack Mon 02-Jan-17 18:08:42

Yes, get your applications in soon! And don't lie, you will need to be able to prove your child lived where you say they did at the time of application, and as a side point, for those not lying, try to hold on to something like letters from nursery/pre-school or the doctors addressed to your child or about your child that's arrived around now to make that proving it easier!

Re the faith schools criteria, it can vary depending on if the school building/land was orginally put in a trust to 'educate the children of the church' in the pre-state school days - that's certainly an issue for the faith school near us (not one we've sent our DC to), faith has to be the first criteria as that's why the original owner of the land gave it to the church. If they stop having a faith criteria/prioritising the children of those who attend that particular church, then the land the school is built on has to revert to the desendents of the person who gifted it. It's all rather complex, personally I think the state should start buying the land /buildings off the churches (if possible) so they can set their own criteria and stop the upset.

5BlueHydrangea Mon 02-Jan-17 18:09:08

My friend has just adopted a little boy. It takes about 6 months for the adoption to be definite so he is in a grey area between 'in care' and permanently adopted and therefore not in need of any extras.

5BlueHydrangea Mon 02-Jan-17 18:10:02

And you will need a child benefit letter too..

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 02-Jan-17 18:12:09

It's not weird at all. There are many reasons an adopted child may need more choice over which school they attend. The criteria for looked after children includes children who have been adopted after being in local authority care.

ElasticGirl Mon 02-Jan-17 18:12:12

If there is an out of catchment oustanding school, and you put it first, does that make it less likely you will get the safer bet school that would be ok if you put that as your second choice?

InvisibleKittenAttack Mon 02-Jan-17 18:12:24

Maragaret - ours is looked-after or ever have been looked after, which includes all children who've been adopted in the UK as they usually are officially looked after by a foster parent, even only for a short while, before adoption.

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