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Wow this is a huge projected sibling intake

(79 Posts)
listsandbudgets Thu 03-Apr-14 17:20:23

Has anyone come across this before?

My friend has just bought a house (at huge expense) and moved into the catchment area of a school she really wants her DS to go to in September 2015. She went to visit today and has just rung me up in a panic saying that the head teacher has warned her that the projected sibling intake for September 2015 is 26 and that's before taking into account any children starting reception in September. The school only has 30 children per year group so friend now convinced she won't get her son in. I'm feeling rather sorry for her right now sad

wineoclocktimeyet Thu 03-Apr-14 17:39:32

It's scary isn't it? In DS2's year (now Year 2), 42 of the 60 were siblings - the catchment area over the last 4 years has shrunk from 1.1 to 0.2 miles. Local estate agents have been getting into trouble for still advertising houses as being in the catchment when they most certainly are not.

DebbieOfMaddox Thu 03-Apr-14 17:42:04

Yes, one of the church schools near us only had four places available for non-siblings a couple of years back.

crashbangboom Thu 03-Apr-14 17:49:46

Depends whether siblings have priority. Don't in our area

pookamoo Thu 03-Apr-14 17:51:44

Yes, last year there were 27 in one of the local schools here with an intake of 30.

BellaOfTheBalls Thu 03-Apr-14 17:59:39

AFAIK most LEA's base priority on children in catchment in care of social services, children in catchment with parents but with some social services involvement or without English as a first language, children with siblings in the same school then all other children in the catchment area. I thought this was the same across the country but I could be wrong!

DS1's school is quite small (100 children) & the intake for his year was just 17. However there were so many siblings in the following year their intake was 30. They have said (quietly thus far!) that their intake for this September will be small but are anticipating a sibling intake of 15 for September 2015 (DS2's year).

It's crazy, but unfortunately cannot really be helped. I'd be livid if I had to drop siblings at two separate primary schools. But your poor friend OP, what a worry.

Northernlurker Thu 03-Apr-14 18:06:25

Well this is one of those things that you just have to tolerate. If your friend has other children remember this policy will ultimately benefit her. Even if they don't get a place at first then they may still get one if anybody moves because they live so close.
In my city sibling priority comes AFTER children living in catchment. I don't think that's especially fair either because you can end up with two kids at different schools.

mummytime Thu 03-Apr-14 18:08:52

I don't know anywhere that prioritises children or parents without English as a first language! (Quite a few of those around here are totally non-deprived - European and/or University lecturers).

She needs to look at how over subscribed schools are in general and what alternatives there are.

3littlefrogs Thu 03-Apr-14 18:15:53

It is a complete nightmare trying to get 2 or more children to different schools/collect from at the same time.

I think siblings should have priority, but of course I can see it is difficult for parents with their first child.

There aren't enough school places.

I live in London and I am so thankful I am past all that now.

BingoWingsBeGone Thu 03-Apr-14 18:17:42

One year our school had 19/20 siblings. They ended up taking 27 that year (rather than 20) so all catchment children would get in (village)

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Thu 03-Apr-14 18:20:00

Where I live they're changing it from sibling priority to catchment priority. My two are already in school and we only live about 200 yards away anyway but dd2's foundatin class has 20 instead of the usual 12 because there are a lot of siblings. Some of which come from a bloody good few miles away and live nearer to other schools.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 03-Apr-14 18:21:48

Of course siblings should have priority, otherwise you've got dreadful issues with trying to drop kids at different schools at the same time.

Your friend could have found this information out before she bought the house if she had looked online - the admission authority publish what criteria the places were offered under.

mummytime Thu 03-Apr-14 18:32:06

Someone complaining because her sons class has 20 children... around here we'd be celebrating (as long as it didn't mean the school was about to close).

PhoebeMcPeePee Thu 03-Apr-14 18:32:46

This happened at our primary a few years ago when there 27 siblings & about 70 children who didn't get in of which probably 10 actually lived in the village. One of the parents who didn't get in but lived v.close to the school appealed & won a place for her son which of course opened the floodgates & they ended up having a bulge class ie a 'one-off' extra class of 30. Which was great until 2 years later (presumably due to most common sibling gap) there were loads of siblings again & they did another bulge class then formally expanded to a double entry class. Sadly what was once a small, local & friendly school is now very crowded physically (portacabins overtaking playground) poorly equipped (same facilities from when half the size) & without any sense of community.

Be careful what you wish for in a school. I would wait & see where I was on the waiting list before doing anything too radical as there's usually some movement before starting.

Ours put sibling in catchment before catchment, and then sibling outside catchment, but no one outside catchment ever gets in, so if you get one in and move out of catchment you won't get the second in. I think that is reasonably fair. However if they ever shrink the catchment area then people with one child in could find themselves out of a place for the siblings if their house is no longer in catchment through no fault of their own.

In both my DCs years there was a lot of movement after the place allocations, most people got into the school they wanted eventually.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 03-Apr-14 18:46:32

Actually I thought it is always catchment sibling, catchment, and then out of catchment siblings. At least it is always been this way in Hampshire. I think this is only fair with priority given to local residents first.

My DD is also going to reception in sep 2015 and the catchment primary is also oversubscribed. Not everyone in catchment got in last year. Hopefully we will as we are quite close to the school. It meant though we aren't going to move until my second started primary. (EDD this September). I don't want to drop off at two schools so we just have to be a bit squeezed!

bakingtins Thu 03-Apr-14 19:06:30

alibaba how would that have helped? I'm sure she was aware of the sibling priority but didn't realise how many there would be.

bakingtins Thu 03-Apr-14 19:08:41

In our LEA the sibling priority only applies if the family also live in catchment.

ManicMinor Thu 03-Apr-14 19:12:31

That many siblings does suggest a knock-on effect of a previous bulge class - it seems more typical that 50% of places are taken up by siblings.

WhoKnows, we have exactly that situation happening for our school - current policy is siblings within 2 miles, then whoever lives closest (no priority for siblings more than 2 miles away). Only now they are planning on introducing a catchment area, that excludes some areas that are within 2 miles - so some people with one child there who thought they would get sibling priority are going to lose that. Luckily doesn't affect me, as my last dc will start this year. But a nightmare for them.

Nocomet Thu 03-Apr-14 19:15:46

Move to the countryside we have lots of lovely primary school places.

Expensive houses and no jobs unless you like long drives, but lovely leafy primary schools.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Thu 03-Apr-14 19:21:44

I'm in the countryside. The reason our lovely village primary is growing is because so many of the smaller village primary's have shut. We're getting their catchment areas and ultimately their siblings. Still at least we haven't shut.

Hampshire here too. It did happen at my DCs school, before our time, a big new estate was built and they shrank the catchment area on the other side of the school. They are planning to massively expand this estate now so it may well happen again, I can see the lovely playing fields at my DCs school vanishing under a sea of new classrooms, as the only other school nearby has no field. My DCs will be gone by then, but it still makes me sad.

HanSolo Thu 03-Apr-14 21:06:24

This happens lots, especially at the moment with all the bulge in birthrate.

I feel little sympathy though, as presumably someone that has lived in catchment all their life is now pushed down the list?

Blu Thu 03-Apr-14 21:33:42

"children in catchment with parents but with some social services involvement or without English as a first language," I have never ever heard of this as an admissions criteria, and doubt that it would be legal!

OP - is the school one which has a great reputation and for which people rent houses for?

Unfortunately, temporary renting has an exponential effect on the numbers of siblings: each rental property close to the school gets an oldest child in, the family then move back or buy a bigger house in a cheaper (outside catchment) area but another 2 siblings form that initial address are guaranteed places. This can happen every single year from each of many rental addresses around the school. If the houses were occupied long-term then only one family from that address would be getting a first child and siblings in. Over 5 years one rental flat could account for 15 children getting into the school!

I hope it all works out for your friend. It's possible that younger siblings of Yr 5 or 6 children will move away if families move for secondary schools.

Nocomet Fri 04-Apr-14 01:13:17

That's why we want more children, we don't want the council to close any of our village schools.

We have various federations and HT sharing arrangements as it is.

Sadly the absence of low cost housing means we have far too many families who commute to work and send their DCs to private school.

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