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Catchment Areas - Do I have any rights?

(12 Posts)
cheeseypeas Tue 30-May-06 22:19:43

The primary schools around where I live a really bad and I'm v. worried at the prospect of sending DS to them. But, there is an exceptionally good school a 5 min drive away from us but we're outside the catchment area. It's very popular (unsurprisingly). I was wondering if any of you knew what, if any rights, I have to get him in there? Any advie would be v. welcome as the thought of sending him to schools near me actually makes me consider home tutoring!!!

It's a C of E school.

AngelaD Tue 30-May-06 22:21:33

No rights I'm afraid we're in catchment and 31st on the list so have to go private or home ed.

jamiesam Tue 30-May-06 22:28:38

Talk to the school about what the chances are of getting your ds in. Be prepared to take what they say with a pinch of salt!

Of what would have been our first two choices, the headteacher at one was saying (last year) to anybody and everybody 'oh yes, you'll get in, no worries' even though she MUST have known that the class would be so virtually full of siblings that a lot of children in catchment wouldn't get in.

The headteacher at the other was similarly blase but shortly before we had to submit our choices, she did reveal how many siblings and C of E first choices she'd got. And based on her experience that this was lower than usual, we put that school down as first choice. Ds got his place, and we subsequently heard that the school had had exactly 30 first choice applications...

cheeseypeas Tue 30-May-06 22:49:47

So, could they potentially 'let him in' above someone living in the catchment area?

gingernut Tue 30-May-06 23:24:22

Round where we live, there is a list of criteria for selection. First criterion is living in the catchment area. Siblings come next, then other things (e.g. being churchgoers if it is denominational school). Ask the school/your council for a list of the criteria, and then you might at least have an idea if you stand any chance (you might also be able to get hold of the admissions stats for this year - how many applied and who got in).

cheeseypeas Tue 30-May-06 23:31:31

Cheers Gingernut, will do that.

scienceteacher Wed 31-May-06 05:32:05

You have to look at the amissions policy for the school/LEA. Most schools will offer places to those living closest (by a safe walking route) to the school, especially if you have no ties to the school (such as a child already there). There isn't really a concept of catchment area anymore (especially here in Surrey).

sunnydelight Wed 31-May-06 17:50:46

Church schools have their own admissions policies so you would need to contact the school directly. If you are practising C of E I would think that you have some chance. Generally practising C of E at the local church will be top priority - after any exceptional needs (looked after children etc.) - and it goes down from there. Most, but not all, schools operate sibling preference. If you are practising at a nearby church it MIGHT get you higher priority than a non-practising child living closer but it really depends on the school. If you live that far away and you are not currently a churchgoer, personally I think you should not set your heart on it (unless of course your DS is a baby and you are willing to see this one through to the end!). Lots of mumsnetters seem to think that people who decide admissions at church schools are extremely stupid and all you have to do is start going to church to get your child into a church school. It's one of those subjects that always attracts a lot of debate but in my experience you are wasting your time! In terms of rights by the way, legally you get to "express a preference" for which school you want your child(ren)to go to but you do not have a "right" to any particular school, however bizarre that may be sometimes. Good luck

Trifle Wed 31-May-06 17:59:43

The catchment areas round here are changing for next September and I have been told that you will be allocated your nearest school regardless of your preference. That for me means that ds1 will be allocated a special needs school even though he isnt. That for me is not an option so he will either be going private or we will be looking to move fairly urgently. C of E schools might be different but I think you need to hedge your bets before you get allocated a poor school and then have a frantic rush to get him in somewhere better. I would check out whether admissions procedures are changing in your area as whatever preference you have may not even get considered.

titchy Thu 01-Jun-06 13:24:02

Trifle I'm sure that special needs schools are exempt from the usual admissions criteria based on distance, siblings etc. Your child wold not go to a special needs school just because it's your nearest. he would go to the nearest mainstream school.

Trifle Thu 01-Jun-06 13:32:10

Unfortunately he would be allocated there as the school has 45% special needs children and the rest of the places are filled with normal children. A friend of mine has been allocated this school. She went and viewed and was appalled by it, particularly the padded room. It's also in the middle of a council estate so accommodates all the children from there. I am 20 metres closer to this school than the best one in the area. I cant take the risk that I wont get in the best one, hence we are moving.

Northerner Thu 01-Jun-06 13:36:17

Hi Cp. C of E schoolds are quite often voluntuary aided and therefore control their own admissions and odn't work on catchment area.

WE have got my ds into our excellent church school for SEptember, it is over subscribed but we do attend church and I am volunteer on a local comittee.

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