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March 3 Sceondary results/Waiting

(369 Posts)
AdventureTime Mon 27-Jan-14 16:34:05

This is my first post and I'd like to kick start he waiting thread.
DD hoping to get 1st choice grammar but has completely forgot about it all.
How's the anxiety/nervousness/ overall wait?

tiggytape Thu 06-Mar-14 17:07:26

Yes the statistics aren't much comfort in individual cases.

2 out of 3 people getting their 1st preference is wonderful except if you are one of the 33% who doesn't or worse, one of the 12% (in some boroughs) that gets none of your 6 options at all.

For some their 2nd of 3rd choice is a perfectly acceptable and a local school but for others the first 1 or 2 schools on their list represent their true preferences or most local schools and slots 3-6 are filled with options that they may either be less keen on or actively not want at all. Getting preference number 4 is not a cause for celebration for most people.

And despite there always being a few people who list ridiculous choices, most people in the last 3 years know the score. They are listing local and realistic options on their forms not pie in the sky academies 10 miles from home so they are even more disgruntled and horrified not to get in.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 06-Mar-14 16:46:16

Teddington I hope your son thrives at Reeds. Everyone I know who has gone there has been happy. I totally respect your decision.

As it happens I have been through the state applications process myself with two DDs at 4 and 11 (and an in year application) and only once had an offer for a local school, which is why I do have empathy for others, and get involved with trying to put some pressure on the Council, and both parties to change things. The problem is that we know the Council monitor mumsnet (I know hmm) and will quote things back to try and reinforce their spin that 70% get first choice, 32% of applicants who disappear from the waiting were, like you, always going to go elsewhere, you can't please everybody and everybody who needs a place is accommodated etc. etc. conveniently ignoring all the angst you and I know is caused.

Teddingtonmum1 Wed 05-Mar-14 19:49:27

Hi shooting ,
I had a personal reason for not choosing Teddington,as you know but i am certainly not a martyr but I did put down Turing house and Orleans and if i got offered orleans to be completely honest i would have had to seriously consider my options but as fate would have it got a no DS got an indy offer but its for another 25% more than initially expected ie more than my mortgage payments so a huge commitment As a single parent haven't spoken to the other parents to see if everyone got Teddington but out of 261 places 103 went to siblings. Fortunately I only have 1 child so I can make the sacrifice I'm am having to move out of Teddington sob to raise the cash but not everyone has the means or the offer that we have and I would be distraught if TA was the only thing offered so despite having limited funds ive fought tooth & nail for an alternative. That's my pension gone to the dogs ....

its alright shooting I don't take it personal everyone just wants the best they can possibly get for their DC just thankful never have to go thru it again Amen ....

mary21 Wed 05-Mar-14 17:41:36

unfortunatly shooting is right. teddington does live in an borough with blackspots. however where she lives isnt one of them. her post should have read ??? my local ofsted rated good +over over subscribed school was not the right school for my child. for personal reasons i did not want him to go there. (this is totally fine and we all have a right to our opinions.)i therefore put down our local ofsted outstanding school with shrinking catchment. which we are out of catchment for and other schools which we had little chance of getting . i have always really wanted boarding as it suits my personal situation .
teddington. it many ways you are lucky. decisions have been taken out of your hands. picking the indy which you really wanted is now a no brainer. even if it does mean poverty.Its still worth hanging out for turing though. i assume you are the waiting list. unfortunatly there are many in the area who live next to TA or HA who would cut of their right hand to have been in the catchment of the school you didn't want.
hope R goes well.

ShredMeJillianIWantToBeNatalie Wed 05-Mar-14 13:09:19

Whatever the situation, I wish everyone the best in finding a school they are happy with. There is lots of helpful information on the 11+ website at the moment regarding waiting lists and appeals - good luck.

tiggytape Wed 05-Mar-14 12:56:38

But regardless of Teddingtonmum's personal intentions, you admit that the scenario she describes is perfectly true and affects many people. Parents are applying for their 6 nearest schools and either not getting a place at any of them or not getting a place at all. It happens in our borough too - in lots of London boroughs in fact.

It is a huge problem whether or not this is exactly what happened in Teddingtonmum's case I don't know (I haven't seen any of her other posts about choices) but the point she makes about the London blackspot problem is a very valid one.

Yes a few people who do the 'we've been failed by the system' newspaper articles are to blame for putting down stupidly unrealistic school options BUT a lot of people who get no school or none of their options listed perfectly reasonable schools and in many cases the 6 nearest ones to home discounting single sex or faith ones that they wouldn't be eligible for

HercShipwright Wed 05-Mar-14 12:52:44

There's obvious some history of bad blood between you but to follow her into this thread and start it up all over again is bad form, no?

HercShipwright Wed 05-Mar-14 12:51:52

It just seems very petty mean spirited and stalky to follow a poster into the allocation thread when you yourself are many years away from having a Y6 child (and have privately educated anyway, so never even went through the state process) just to be nasty to her. Why would someone do that? And it's derailed the thread too.

Shootingatpigeons Wed 05-Mar-14 12:33:55

Herc I am sorry that my post appears nasty but I know so many people in this borough who genuinely put down the six nearest local schools and get places at none of them, indeed no place at all, and I have huge empathy for them, not least because it happened to is. I have sat in front of our Council Cabinet to highlight the iniquity of the system. It is a very emotive issue in our borough which is why in the local thread you will find four threads on the schools issue of more than 1000 posts where in recent years many parents of both primary and secondary school children have expressed the stress of finding themselves without a local school place, Some primary school children haven't started school until Christmas and many who live in areas that are black holes of provision do indeed find themselves feeling forced to go private or move even if they can't afford to. However Teddingtonmum does not live in a black hole, she lives somewhere people move to to get into the local school. It had over a 1000 applications many of whom knew they had no chance of a place and was very very oversubscribed.

Teddingtonmum always intended to go for a Boarding School. I totally respect that choice. She also knew if she didn't make that school one of her six preferences she would almost certainly be offered one of the less popular academies some distance away. I know so many people that are genuinely the victims of unfairness that it does seem rather insensitive for her to don the mantle of martyr in quite such an emotive way.

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 05-Mar-14 11:55:23

Re my waiting list query - I emailed the council (so now I probably look like a loon fretting about schools, which I'm not, I'm very happy with our choice, I just wanted to be sure what I was possibly signing myself up for!) and got an answer from the head of the admissions team:

"If you return the acceptance with no ticks in any of the boxes then should a place become available at B for dd then the place at A will automatically be withdrawn. As dd is some way down the waiting list of B it is unlikely that a place will become available at that school but if it does it will probably be late into summer. In that case we will contact you before withdrawing the place at A to allow you the opportunity to decide which school you prefer."

I thought you wanted a boarding place anyway and you always knew Gordons would be a long shot.

Blu Wed 05-Mar-14 10:48:17

The problems of black holes and lack of choice through faith, single sex or whatever are indeed extreme in some areas and need adressing, but since politicians are in the business of listening to parental pressure (hence the current Lotteries debate, and indeed Free Schools) I do think it is quite important that people are absolutely accurate and honest about how the system did or did not work for them.

IF it is the case that a parent, any parent, got a worse allocation than they would have done putting their closest school, then accuracy is important: the problems need to be seen for what they are and not obscured by horror stories that don't quite get to the nitty gritty.

In a neighbouring borough there is much talk of the awfulness of how many people did not get their first prefernce. However, something like 85% got a preference from their top 3 - a number got none of their preferences. I know for a fact that at least 10 people put completely unreaslitic long shots as the first 2 places, sometimes more (fine - it's a good tactic!), and that the 3rd or 4th chpoice allocated is actually one they expected and are very happy with. I know for a fact that one family took the the 'if we only put one preference they will have to give us that' line - with predicatble results, and I know for a fact that the woman in our local primary school playground who is be-wailing the miles away bad school she has been allocated put down 3 selective and super-selecive choices and 3 faith choices for which she is ineligible, Despite having 2 well regarded / high performing comps within walking distance.

It is this woman who will end up on a radio phone in or the news...and the story isn't the real story of people who actually do not live in any 'catchment'.

Huge sympathies for anyone who is facing a miserable summer of waiting lists and appeals - for their sake it is best that facts are told in context. Good tuck everyone.

tiggytape Wed 05-Mar-14 09:04:19

Most parents aren't unreasonable and it is unfair to judge them for trying to choose a semi decent and semi local school. Nobody wants to be in the position of getting allocated a school far from home that they did not choose. I don't know Teddingtonmum's situation but what she describes absolutely can and does happen a lot in London i.e. a parent lists 4 local schools or even their closest 4 schools and doesn't get into any of them.
Some people in London have no "catchment" school at all i.e. no school that they fall within the last distance offered for.

HercShipwright Wed 05-Mar-14 07:19:29

What a nasty post. Especially since you don't even have a child in y6.

Teddingtonmum - I really hope your situation is resolved happily.

Shootingatpigeons Tue 04-Mar-14 22:25:56

Teddingtonmum You are being a little economical with the truth there. It is quite right that Richmond has given many parents no option of a school place at all, let alone a place at one 30 minutes away, and the reason that there aren't more in that situation is that local parents have established a Free School, hopefully with a site announced soon, and it is scandalous. However you chose not to put down in your preferences the sought after and rated good (almost certainly outstanding when the results of the latest OFSTED inspection come out in a few days time ) comprehensive that you live in the catchment of, and you knew the consequence of that would be if you did not get the four you listed that you would be allocated to an undersubscribed school. Your choice, your risk, but you can hardly moan that the Council forced you into it by failing to provide a good local school, unlike many other parents in the borough. Many would regard you as lucky to have had the opportunity. Incidentally assuming it is TA you have been offered it is OFSTED rated as requiring improvement, whilst acknowledging it has improved, it is not in special measures or deemed to still be failing, none of the Richmond Schools could now be deemed to be failing.

Teddingtonmum1 Tue 04-Mar-14 18:40:59

Im in richmond in an educational blackspot did not get any of our 4 choices and been allocated a failing academy approx 30 mins away. Thankfully we have an Indy place but it will be a huge sacrifice even with a large bursary but the system is clearly not for for purpose , was advised to have a state option as a fallback option I now have no option but to basically take on the equivalent of another mortgage for the next 7 years grrrrrr

Dancergirl Tue 04-Mar-14 14:02:49

Just wanted to say zebra don't panic just yet. It's only a day after allocation day. Places DO come up in the next few months.

A friend of mine got her second choice a few years back which she accepted as she knew first choice was a really long shot. Then in May she got offered her first choice, she was amazed. She still took the 2nd choice school after all that, but it was nice to have the choice.

steppemum Tue 04-Mar-14 13:53:49

zebra, I am pretty sure you can ask for a full evidence of why you didn't get in.

pass mark - the pass mark is different for each school, and they can change it, but they tell you what it is before the exam. So, for the school we wanted pass is 216, if you pass you can apply for the grammar, if you don't you can't apply as you don't fulfill the criteria (although there is room to appeal in some circumstances)

The exam results though are tailored to suit the number and quality of candidates, it is an adjusted score, so we passed with 222, with the same paper and answers last year (or next) ds could have scored 230 or 214. They aim to place the pass line at a place where most of those who pass will then be able to go to the school.
So in theory, if they had a massive load of extra kids this year, that should have been taken into account in the pass figures, the pass line should have moved and still have been at a place where the right number were given a pass. So the system has failed quite badly this year.
(and of course, this is only the glos 11+, they are not all the same!)

Blu Tue 04-Mar-14 13:52:29

Zebra - how very upsetting. sad

It does sound as if something technical has gone wrong - or at the very least if you are so close you should do very well out of the waiting lists.

If the school uses fair banding, it is possible that the people who live closer were competing for places in a different band. I am sure it varies, but in DS's school the top band has the bigest 'catchment' and Band 3 has the smallest because apparantly a higher proportion of the priority criteria applicants (statemented, SEN. looked after) tend to be in Band 3. The Band 3 catchment is about half that of Band 1. So you need to ask what band your dd was put in and the respective distances for bands.

Fingers crossed that you get something sorted out very soon.

tiggytape Tue 04-Mar-14 13:03:48

I wonder if it's just a particularly high scoring year or a general trend that scores are going up year by year...?

A general trend I think. The more people that compete for a place the more people tutor and prepare for the tests in a panic that their bright child might not get in otherwise. There are more applicants this year than last year and more competition for places. This drives up the overall marks. As does more people applying from further away who find local options limited eg by shrinking catchments at their own schools. As does people applying from private schools who see a chance for a good school with no fees.

zebra - the people who answer the phones at the council aren't always admissions staff. You might be better off emailing and asking which category your child was placed in and the furthest distance offered for that category. That way you can see for yourself if a mistake looks likely
There are lots of reasons why a child living further away might genuinely beat you to a place eg sibling, statement, adopted from care. Unless you ask the council direct (and an email bypasses the front desk people) you won't know for certain.

ShredMeJillianIWantToBeNatalie Tue 04-Mar-14 12:28:36

Oh and our back up plan of a Bucks grammar, ds having passed the 11+ there? No. Just checked the allocation distances and for the first time ever, our "safe" choice, which has always had spare places (even allocating places as far afield as Manchester!) didn't have enough places for everyone, so we would have missed out on distance. Like you steppemum we are feeling immensely relieved this morning but also very puzzled by the outcomes.

Dancergirl Tue 04-Mar-14 12:24:53

I wonder if it's just a particularly high scoring year or a general trend that scores are going up year by year...?

ShredMeJillianIWantToBeNatalie Tue 04-Mar-14 12:22:52

zebra I wish you all the best with the waiting list and/or appeal. I think that if your chosen school has previously accommodated extra pupils then you can use that as a factor in the appeal, so definitely try and find out what has happened in previous years.

steppemum it seems to have happened everywhere I know of. In Herts the cut off seems to have jumped massively, and there will be some very disappointed children this morning who got scores that would have easily got in any other year.

Dancergirl Tue 04-Mar-14 12:15:02

So sorry hear that zebra Your poor dd sad

Apologies if I've missed this, but can you phone the schools direct to find out about waiting lists if your council aren't helping?

Dancergirl Tue 04-Mar-14 12:13:18

Wow, that's nerve-racking stuff steppemum. But he's in and that's all that matters.

How do you know the pass mark is 216? Doesn't it vary from year to year?

It looks like all the cut-offs are higher this year.

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