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AIBU thinking the sibling priority rule for schools is unfair

(253 Posts)
Thisimeagain Wed 21-Mar-18 23:34:27

OK so I know it doesn't really matter whether IABU or not since it's just the way it is but it's starting to really worry me. We need to apply for primary places for our twins this year and I'm pretty sure we won't get any of our local schools. We have 4 schools under a miles walk away (the closest is around 850m) but they all had their furthest place offered for the last couple of years closer than we are. Every day I get stuck in traffic taking my kids to preschool from parents driving their kids to school bc they moved further out probably straight after their eldest got a place and so now all the siblings are guaranteed a spot meaning the local kids don't have a chance.
I understand it's pretty hard getting 2 primary age kids to different schools for the same start time - must be a nightmare in fact but really it doesn't seem that different to what most families are already doing. If your kids have the average 2 year age gap chances are you've only got them both at primary together for 2 years anyway. The rest of the time youd have one at preschool or one at secondary surely?
I don't really know what the solution is I'm just stressed about my kids not getting a place anywhere nearby when we have so many schools!

StAlphonzospancakebreakfast Wed 21-Mar-18 23:38:47

It’s so much more than getting your children to different places on time, which in itself would be hideous. A school is a community, of course you want your children to all be part of the same community. Yabu

Mumoftwoyoungkids Wed 21-Mar-18 23:40:45

Where we live the order is:-

LAC / ex LAC
Catchment
Special needs
Siblings
Distance

With the below choices as a tie break if equal for higher.

Eg Catchment sibling comes above Catchment no sibling (even if lives further) but non Catchment sibling is below all Catchment.

I think that is a sensible way of doing it.

BackforGood Wed 21-Mar-18 23:40:51

I understand, and sympathise with your worries, but YABU to think it would be a good idea to remove this as a criteria for Primary school admissions. It would be a nightmare to try to get 2 small dc to 2 different schools each day, and then collect at end of day.

StAlphonzospancakebreakfast Wed 21-Mar-18 23:41:25

I understand the stress though, I remember well the panic about not getting a place in a near by school. I don’t know what the solution is

coconuttella Wed 21-Mar-18 23:42:08

YABU though you have a right to be angry and frustrated there aren’t schools with places closer to you.

With regard to a couple of your specific points:

If your kids have the average 2 year age gap chances are you've only got them both at primary together for 2 years anyway

Not sure how you’re calculating that... surely it’s 5 years!

I understand it's pretty hard getting 2 primary age kids to different schools for the same start time - must be a nightmare in fact but really it doesn't seem that different to what most families are already doing.

Yes, it would be a complete and utter nightmare, but most families aren’t doing that for their primary aged children! Of course that changes when one goes to secondary but by then they can generally get themselves to school.

ciaobella88 Wed 21-Mar-18 23:42:30

But you wouldn’t be happy if you had to transport each twin to a different school?!?!?

prideofaberdeen Wed 21-Mar-18 23:43:02

With a 2yr age gap, there is not just a two year crossover. YrR/Yr2----Yr4-Yr6. Getting two primary aged kids to school on time at two different locations would be really hard.
But, in my area, if you have moved, you can only apply for a sibling place if you still live within 500m of the school. Previously some parents did move further out once kids have been accepted because they knew they'd get a sibling place. But, in our area, there are lots of (genuine) renters who may have no choice but to move. Or families making an again genuine move from a too-small flat to a house but slightly (less that a mile) further away because they can't afford to buy a larger property in our tiny catchment. This rule makes life exceptionally difficult for them.

louise5754 Wed 21-Mar-18 23:43:41

Our school go on:

Adoptive kids
Siblings plus catchment
Catchment
Sibling

I think that's fair

Waspsarewankers Wed 21-Mar-18 23:44:19

Some areas/schools give twins priority.

You might be in a better position than most.

Holycrapwhatnow Wed 21-Mar-18 23:44:45

In some areas I've seen they give siblings preference but only within a certain distance (eg 1 mile or potenyially less), which keeps siblings together where possible - which is a HUGE deal with more than one child at school, logistically and if you try to do your bit with the PTA or school helping generally - but minimises the risk of people immediately moving further away and taking the mick.

Hippee Wed 21-Mar-18 23:45:05

The problem is that in a low birth year, children from miles away can get in. I guess the only way to sort this would be to strictly enforce catchment areas, even in low birth years.

Puffycat Wed 21-Mar-18 23:45:55

Answer.......earn shit loads more then choose where your kids go to school......coff

jmh740 Wed 21-Mar-18 23:46:09

If there's a 2 year gap they will have 5 years at school together. When the elder ones go to secondary they will more than likely make their own way there. Nursery/preschool are generally more flexible about starting times I know mine was anyway and I was able to drop ds off after I'd taken dd to school. How do you know there's parents are driving because they've moved away? They are probably driving to work after the school run. You sound bitter op I'm sure you would be ready to complain if your twins got in to 2 different schools.

coconuttella Wed 21-Mar-18 23:46:12

Some areas/schools give twins priority.

I’d be amazed if there was a case of twins being split.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 21-Mar-18 23:47:06

Some areas have had a huge problem with this and have changed criteria because of it. So where LAs don’t have defined catchments the sibling link will only count if you live within a certain distance of the school.

coconuttella Wed 21-Mar-18 23:48:12

* I guess the only way to sort this would be to strictly enforce catchment areas, even in low birth years.*

I’m not sure how that solves anything! So in low birth years the school in forced to be under-subscribed?

SecondaryConfusion Wed 21-Mar-18 23:48:45

The rules where I am are

LAC / exLAC
Special circumstances
Siblings in catchment
Children in catchment
Siblings not in catchment
Children not in catchment

If any category is over subscribed, distance is the tie breaker.

This seems the fairest way to do it to me. When you get your first child in, you know that moving out of catchment means a sibling will be lower down the priority list. Local children get priority by coming before any children (including siblings) who are not in catchment.

It’s really stressful at school admissions time - I hope you do get a place in a local school.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 21-Mar-18 23:49:15

Twins being split used to happen a lot. If they are 30 and 31 on the list there wasn’t much the LA could do.

Now the admissions code allows for the second twin to be admitted as an accepted child.

Thisimeagain Wed 21-Mar-18 23:49:49

I think they just need to build more schools in my neighbourhood. Don't think that'll be done in time for us though

coconuttella Wed 21-Mar-18 23:52:04

Twins being split used to happen a lot. If they are 30 and 31 on the list there wasn’t much the LA could do.

Yes, the rules are relaxed a bit now, but even then I can’t imagine it happening ‘a lot’... you’d have to be very unlucky. Also,
if that happened, surely you’d enrol both at the 2nd school?

Mumofkids Wed 21-Mar-18 23:52:41

I have done split schools twice and it is no fun. 3 years was the longest. (Not taking into account secondary as generally they travel independently unless you choose for them not to) it's hard and you never really become part of either community as you are rushing between them. They clash with services and parents evenings, offer different things (which is hard for the kids, 1 might have a disco the other a party and your kids will moan.) in all honestly the sibling rule only applies to 2 miles (generally l) so you would have to live relatively close to the school. What is annoying is those that wait to get sibling in then promptly move but keep them there.

WorraLiberty Wed 21-Mar-18 23:55:46

Don't assume that's why there's so much school run traffic.

Many parents simply will not contemplate walking their kids to/from school if it takes more than 15 minutes and certainly not if it's raining.

As PP's have said, it's no longer all about the sibling connection anyway.

thatwhichwecallarose Wed 21-Mar-18 23:55:50

The order for my area is also:

LAC / exLAC
Special circumstances
Siblings in catchment
Children in catchment
Siblings not in catchment
Children not in catchment

Which means there’s a good chance dd2 won’t get into the same school as dd1 even though we live about 250 yards away from the school. We have a stupid catchment area so our catchment school is over 1.5miles away!! Ridiculous. I appreciate your frustration but having 2 siblings at different schools must be a nightmare. I’m panicking at the thought of it!

BakedBeans47 Wed 21-Mar-18 23:56:26

YABU

siblings should get priority for being at the same school IMO.

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