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How is distance measured to a school?

(12 Posts)
TethHearseEnd Wed 12-Oct-11 22:54:52

I found a really nice nursery for DD, a 5 minute walk away- I phoned admissions to see how they measure distance, they said 'in a straight line'. Looked on directgov schoolsfinder and all good, it said that we are 500m away.

Unfortunately, nursery have rang this morning to say that we have come back as 800m away, so no chance of getting in sad

I know there's nothing we can do, but am gutted, it was lovely.

So, to avoid future disappointments, does anyone know how they actually measure distance? Quickest walking route? It sure as hell isn't in 'a straight line'...

NickNacks Wed 12-Oct-11 22:58:30

Nurseries don't have 'ctchment' areas or admissions critieria just first come, first served (or a waiting list) so not sure why they are saying the distance is important..... confused

Harecare Wed 12-Oct-11 22:58:48

I'd call and ask them.

NickNacks Wed 12-Oct-11 22:59:03

That would be 'catchment' obviously...

ASuitableGirl Wed 12-Oct-11 23:01:47

In some areas there is definitely an application process for nurseries attached to schools (I know Herts definitely did have one) and I presume they have admission criteria so it can happen.

Are you looking at a school nursery for say next September with an application process?

TethHearseEnd Wed 12-Oct-11 23:05:54

I did call. They said 'in a straight line', which was clearly bollocks grin I will call again, i just wondered if there was a standard formula.

NickNacks that is very interesting; is that the case with all nurseries? I was told that this Nursery's admissions criteria were similar to a primary school in that after children with safeguarding issues, SEN, and siblings, they allocate places to the nearest children. They have never allocated a place to someone 800m away apparently sad

TethHearseEnd Wed 12-Oct-11 23:06:48

Not a school nursery, but a nursery school. For Jan or September (DD is 3 in November)

NickNacks Wed 12-Oct-11 23:25:58

As far as i knew it was the same for all nurseries but asuitablegirl says it's not so in herts ( and I'm only in the next county ). Sorry poor posting as on phone!

prh47bridge Thu 13-Oct-11 00:30:08

Nurseries run by the LA may well have admission criteria which can include such factors as distance. Private nurseries generally operate on a first come, first served basis.

There is no standard for measurement of distance. It is up to each LA to decide how to measure distance. They may use a different method for nurseries to that used for schools, so it is possible that they use straight line for schools and shortest walking route for nurseries, and that the advice you got therefore related to schools rather than nurseries. I should also note that schoolsfinder measures from the centre of your postcode to the centre of the nursery's postcode whereas for admissions they will measure door to door. For some postcodes this can make a substantial difference to the outcome, although 300m is a lot.

I would query this in case there has been a mistake.

Harecare Thu 13-Oct-11 21:34:57

If they measure in a straight line and by that measurement you're within 500m you just need to prove it somehow I guess. Try google maps, or show them the schoolsfinder info

prh47bridge Thu 13-Oct-11 22:33:29

The problem with both of those services is that they measure from the centre of your postcode to the centre of the school's postcode. They are only a guide. The LA will have a system that gives an exact door to door measurement.

TethHearseEnd Fri 14-Oct-11 18:38:08

Thank you very much prh47 and Harecare.

I'm going to call admissions again on Monday, as have been told by other parents today that they are calculating 'as the crow flies'. I'm not sure that that is the case though, so we are well and truly screwed.

It's so gutting. My first taste of the school system as a parent though wink

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