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What do I do??

(25 Posts)
Twinkie Mon 15-Mar-04 15:08:43

We have applied for DD to join our local ctaholic primary school (where she already is in the Nursery Class) - I am late applying - I did not know the bloody cut off date was 20th Feb - why did no one tell me - anyway she can only go to this school or another one which is near to us - both are oversubscribed - can they make me send her to another school - this thing being is that my childminder will be taking her to school probably half of the week - she already has kids in her care who attend one of the schools (times different so she could get to both of my choices) but if DD does'nt get into one of these schools I will have to change her childcare - I really really don't want to do this and think I am going to get foisted on a crap school at least 4 times the distance from our local school - will I be able to appeal on the grounds that I have no way of getting her to and from the school they give me???

momof2 Mon 15-Mar-04 15:16:09

Not sure how these things work - but can't you emphasise the importance of her staying with her new nursery friends as they move into the Reception together, after the move she has already had recently and how you want her to be in a stable environment, which will mean staying in the same nursery/school, with the same friends. I would really ham it up (for want of a better word) with the headmistress, and go for flattery about the school and what it can offer DD and DD can offer them. Oh and many apologies to the religious among us, but I would become very catholic and make my presense felt in the church - may be they have some influence over who goes to the school?
Sorry if this offends anyone - not meant to but seriously this is how I would get my DD into an oversubscribed school.

marialuisa Mon 15-Mar-04 15:19:49

The LEA can offer her a place at a different school but you could appeal on the distance thing, not sure how well it would work.
If the RC school is VA the appeal will be tougher but if she is baptised and you are in parish there is a good chance they will give her a place so long as your form got to them before they had their meeting to allocate places.

Have you filled out the LEA application form too?

Hope it all turns out ok.

Twinkie Mon 15-Mar-04 15:20:19

Thanks Momof2 - we go to church every other week but aren't the sort to hang around and make a big fuss or really speak to anyone so I am not sure as to whether they have noticed us - I actually really like going to church and so does DD - drama queen in her I think all that mystery and insence - although that is making me want to puke at the mo - anyway - lets hope that it helps in the long run!!!

I have written a letter saying that she has had lots of upheavel in her life lately and I would prefer her not to have anymore both in terms of changing school and changing childcare if she does not get into said school!!

Twinkie Mon 15-Mar-04 15:20:57

We are in Parish but not baptised - x2b wouldn't allow it!!

cazzybabs Mon 15-Mar-04 15:23:20

If you don't get a place you should appeal and say that noone told you when the cut of date was and you recieived no reminders.
At my mothers school this happened. There was several supply teachers at the time in the nursery and no-one could be sure that the parent hadn't been reminded/told to send her form in. It went to appeal and my mothers school had to take this woman's child even though it pushed the class size over 30. It is "unlikely" the school will have any records to confirm wether or not they did inform you. It's really no good going to the head about it - she has no influence in the admissions to children's to her school (although I don't really know much about church schools)!

But if you don't get in use the lack of information. Phone up your LEA admissions seervie to complain.

LIZS Mon 15-Mar-04 15:27:29

My SIL got her dd into a school which was out of catchment, oversubscribed and C of E, even though they were not practising. Part of her argument was that her dd was already in the Nursery and her then Childminder could pick up from there as she already had other kids at that school.

Definitely worth a try if you have to apply direct to the schools themselves but if the applications are dealt with centrally a letter could be easily overlooked. In theory the LEA could offer you an alternative to those two, as they have to offer your dd somewhere but not necessarily the closest to home.

marialuisa Mon 15-Mar-04 15:40:50

Twinkie, if she's not baptised write a grovelling letter to the chairman of the governors (probably a priest!) outlining why she isn't baptised but how you hope your X2b will change his mind and therefore want DD to be in a "Catholic environment". Then lay it on about need for stability, continuity, how happy DD is and so on. Also that as this is your first child you were unaware that a cut-off date existed etc.

My friend (unmarried parents, unbaptised DD, non attendance at church) got her DD into an oversubscribed RC primary on the strength of such a letter.

For the LEA school, just keep your fingers crossed. You may be lucky, esp if it is your nearest school.

Twinkie Mon 15-Mar-04 15:43:45

Cool - thanks will do so - I did put in the letter that I had a catholic education and upbringing on behalf of my grandparents and really want my daughter to be brought up like this with the same values and sense of community - but her father has not been at all receptive in allowing me to choose this path for her!!

If I have to write a letter will you help me if I email you please??

hercules Mon 15-Mar-04 15:47:56

Don't see why you would need to do anything but tell the truth. Your case is genuine and you have valid reasons for not baptising.

marialuisa Mon 15-Mar-04 15:53:54

Course I will Twinkie! My mum is dyslexic and English is not her mother tongue so i've had to sort out my bro and sisters' school places-hence why I know too much about all this!

Twinkie Mon 15-Mar-04 15:55:13

Thank you thank you thank you - do you think I should wait until they say she can't go to the church school or write a letter now - well tomorrow when my boss is not here !!

marialuisa Mon 15-Mar-04 16:02:00

I'd send the leter now. Can you find out if they've had their meeting to allocate places, e.g. ask school secretary?

Will email you via "contact another talker"

Twinkie Mon 15-Mar-04 16:10:05

Thanks Honey - apparently they are oversubscribed by 6 pupils - they won't tell me where these pupils live - if we live nearer we will be at the top of the waiting list - but I suppose there is always the possibility of all the kids who have been offered spaces taking them up!!

Batters Mon 15-Mar-04 16:12:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marialuisa Mon 15-Mar-04 16:17:42

6 pupils isn't that bad, honest! Have you got a copy of the Admissions criteria? They're usually in the school prospectus. You can probably make a very good case and VA schools have a lot more flexibility with admissions so being "visible" and smiley around church/school will help.

LIZS Mon 15-Mar-04 16:19:28

When they say they are oversubscribed does that mean they have already offered the places or simply have more applicants than places? If they haven't done their selection process yet (assuming they are VA/out of LEA control) then you stand as good a chance as any who have applied. Remember not all applicants would necessarily meet their criteria (LEA or schools should be able to provide details of their priority selection criteria ie. siblings, RC , living in Parish etc) and not all would have it as their first choice so may turn down a place if offered elsewhere. If offer letters have already gone out then you'd have to ask to be top of the waiting list and hope, but do apply to LEA too.

carla Mon 15-Mar-04 16:43:20

In our RC primary school, siblings being at it are at the end of their list of criteria. Any chance you could have her baptised now, as he's an X2b? DD2 hasn't yet been baptised as I can't bear the thought of another mini wedding, but if that's what it took I'd grit my teeth and do it. Will have to grit my teeth anyway, as don't want her to be at RC school and not baptised. (Although there are plenty of non RC pupils in that school, don't think it's fair if one dd is and the other not, iyswim). Do you get a booklet from your county council explaining each school's criteria? Also, if no one told you the cut off date I think that's an argument in itself.

annh Mon 15-Mar-04 17:31:07

I'm not sure if things are the same at all church schools but at any of the RC schools I know (including the one ds1 goes to), distance from the school is not a factor at all in whether you get a place. Unlike Carla's experience, the first places go to siblings of those already at the school, then they move on to children who have been baptised and who belong to the parish. The school is so over-subscribed that I'm not sure they ever get any further down the admissions criteria than that.

Playing devil's advocate, I'm not sure why the fact that the nursery did not advise you of the cut-off date for applying for the school should be a valid argument. As a parent, presumably you will be aware that if your child is going to school in the next academic year, you will need to apply either end of last year/beginning of this year. If your dd was going to a school other than the one attached to the nursery, you would have had no other way to find out their closing date other than take the initiative and call them? Also at our local RC school, they adveistise the closing dates widely in the parish newsletter and announce it at Mass on Sundays so not knowing about the date could suggest to them that you're not paying attention!

nutcracker Mon 15-Mar-04 18:24:37

I would appeal Twinkie (i'm in a fighting mood today). The only thing is though that they can offer you a school further away but then reinburse travel costs. I wouldn't accept that though, it's not acceptable to me.
Can't understand why you weren't told of the cut off date either. At dd's nursery they have had reminder notices on the doors since before xmas. Good Luck

aloha Mon 15-Mar-04 19:18:48

annh - I don't know why we are supposed to know all this stuff about cut-off dates just because we are parents. I haven't a clue about any of it! I don't even know where to start tbh. It reminds me of going to see my gp when first pregnant, and then not hearing anything at all about hospital appointments, calling my gp and being told, 'Oh you have to pick a hospital and call them and make an appointment." I just thought, how the hell was I supposed to know that? I've never had a baby before.

tanzie Mon 15-Mar-04 19:47:36

Tell them your x2b has converted to Islam and wants to bring her up as a Muslim. That usually gets them running. Apparently.

Batters Mon 15-Mar-04 20:43:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Marina Tue 16-Mar-04 10:32:25

Twinkie, at least one other school in borough has selection criteria based on offering appropriate support to single working parents (Dulverton if that helps at all...) we were very impressed with it, and its selection process. Unfortunately so were lots of other parents who live closer and ds had to go elsewhere eventually. But we didn't have strong extenuating circumstances like you do, so we didn't appeal. Good luck with your campaign.

Twinkie Tue 16-Mar-04 10:43:45

Thanks Marina - think I will put that down as my second choice - although it still means I will have to find a new childminder to take ad pick DD up from school and to look after new baby when it comes along - and I was hoping that DDs childminder could do it - but she already takes kids to Days Lane so no chance of her getting to Dulverton in time!!

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