Advanced search spreading wrong information!

(57 Posts)
SophiaWright Thu 28-May-15 10:10:27

Having finally got through the School admissions stress and securing a place, I came across which apparently gives you information based on where you live the likelihood of getting into certain schools.

Looking at the website it seems very official and filled with information, however the information is wrong. I have shared it with other parents and am shocked that almost all of them say that their ‘heat maps’ are in no way accurate. For example we are outside the “less likely” area and didn’t have a problem getting in, whilst I know others who are in the “very likely” area and the school was massively oversubscribed.

I think them giving out wrong information angry is worse than them giving out no information at all. I am glad I didn’t find the website before we submitted preferences it could have made us change our mind and we could have been in a much worse position because of it.

meditrina Thu 28-May-15 10:24:32

It's not that the information is likely to be inaccurate - schools publish data on greatest distance admitted after all. That will be the basis of those maps.

What you can never do is take previous year's admissions stats as anything other than a general indication. If, for example, over last 10 years, no pupil has been admitted further than 1.5km and you live 2.5km away, then you can be pretty sure that you're not going to get a first round offer. But if distances are more variable the period profiled; or if schools have changed size (added a class, or have a bulge class 2 years before meaning more siblings), have changed admissions criteria, or there is new housing in the area, or a new school, then the distances could easily be way off.

Is there really nothing that explains in the guide that (as they say on financial services ads) past performance is not necessarily a guarantee of futures ?

SophiaWright Thu 28-May-15 10:47:47

There doesn’t seem to be anything explaining that the information could be incorrect anywhere on their website.

And it seems they have just pulled the data out of the sky for some of the schools, a friend sent me this one the school isn't even in their catchment area map.

The other problem is it doesn't show if schools are over or under subscribed as that is going to effect the catchment information. I feel that this site is spreading misleading information and should be clearly marked as a guide (a very misleading one at that).

bbkl Thu 28-May-15 12:08:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Thu 28-May-15 13:09:03

It's an unofficial source giving out unofficial information as such needs to be viewed with caution.

SophiaWright Thu 28-May-15 13:48:31

bbkl Even if it is just a guide shouldn't it still be somewhat accurate?

Problem is it does claim to be "official" and even Mumsnet have apparently endorsed the site.

mrz Thu 28-May-15 14:11:12

No it doesn't claim to be official although it does claim to use official sources for the information

Essexmum69 Thu 28-May-15 14:59:26

I have to agree that although a guide its postcode search on my house is wrong and very misleading. It claims I am very likely to get a place at either of the superselective grammars and the catholic school (with no mention of the criteria for admission to these schools) and not likely to get a place at either my catchment secondary or catchment sixth form, both of which have never failed to admit from our area in the ten years I have lived here!

bruffin Thu 28-May-15 14:59:58

Its not very accurate. My dc go to a school that takes 10% on aptitude for technology, my ds and two friends got into the school because of this. Yet there is no mention on the website of this aptitude test which does not have a distance criteria, no does the sibling rule include distance. There are plenty of other schools in my area who also have aptitude tests which are not mentioned.
I am sure they did test the site on MN a few years ago, and I told them they were wrong about dc school, I think in those days instead of "unlikely to get in, they reported the numbers of children getting in from certain areas and they said there were none from ours, when I knew there were both my dc and two friends got in one year and siblings had followed on a couple of years later.

TalkinPeace Thu 28-May-15 16:57:19

Checked it for my area and its utterly wrong on DCs school : the catchment area is odd and their algorithm clearly cannot believe it.

Back to the real data then.

MayPolist Thu 28-May-15 18:04:45

Misinformation on the internet? Well, I never!

PettsWoodParadise Thu 28-May-15 18:53:29

I think Rightmove link to this data too. For my house the information is 100% inaccurate!

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 28-May-15 19:22:53

For my address, the information was sort of accurate for secondary school allocations this year.

School 1: "not likely" - this is the one DS3 has been offered a place at for September, although admittedly not on distance.
School 2: "not likely" - this is the one DD has been offered a place at for September, again not on distance.
School 3: "likely" - correct, my children did meet the criteria for a place there.
School 4: "likely" - only if I were a Catholic.

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 28-May-15 19:24:29

I might have used it to get a first idea of which schools to consider, but would always use each school's own published admissions arrangements in the final decision.

bruffin Thu 28-May-15 20:54:17

If they are going to set themselves up as a schools guide they should include information like aptitude tests

Narvinectralonum Fri 29-May-15 10:22:34

According to this site my kids would be not likely to get a place at the schools they currently attend. The site clearly just looks at distance not admissions criteria - where I live secondary schools are not oversubscribed as a whole at Y7 entry since there is a feeder school system in place which works. Distance only comes into play if there are places left after the kids at the eligible feeder schools have made their choices. Two of my kids go to a grammar some distance away and that's not even suggested as any sort of possibility (likely or unlikely). Anyone looking at this site with house purchase in mind might think they wouldn't get their kids into any school if they lived in my road but since we are in catchment for two primary schools which feed to different secondary schools, plus the existence of grammars and a church school, that couldn't be further from the case - kids in my road go to several different schools.

tethersend Fri 29-May-15 11:28:00

It also ignores catchment areas. I live on the border of a catchment area, and am out of catchment for most of my nearest schools- yet according to this, I am in the hotspot and am 'very likely' to get a place at them. This is rubbish, I would stand no chance at all.

Very glad I didn't buy a house on the strength of that information. Rightmove would do well not to bother with it at all. It's worse than having no information.

TalkinPeace Fri 29-May-15 14:36:50

The Site also assumes I'm Catholic grin

mrz Fri 29-May-15 17:03:34 apparently they are the official data providers to MumsNet �� but seriously one of the first things we teach children about the internet is to be aware that some sources are reliable but many are not.

Nutmeg44 Sat 30-May-15 15:45:45

Not read the other replies, so this has probably been covered, but I've noticed the same thing and I think the reason is that they've based it on where people have and haven't got in from in previous years, but it doesn't take into account choice. eg. Where I live I would definitely get into my nearest school, but most people where I live choose the next nearest school, so the school guide says I would be unlikely to get in just because not many people get in there from here because they put the other school as a higher preference and live well within the catchment of the more popular school

bruffin Sat 30-May-15 17:57:41

I think the reason is that they've based it on where people have and haven't got in from in previous years

I dont think so because as I said above, it says unlikely for my dc school but ignores the aptitude test and most of the dc who pass that come from around my area.

meglet Sat 30-May-15 18:02:08

It had 3+ yr old data down for the dc's school. They couldn't have got it from Ofsted or the school. confused

Nutmeg44 Sat 30-May-15 18:13:20

bruffin Do most kids from your area take the aptitude test and pass it and put it as first preference? If so, then yes it can't be saying it's unlikely based on who has got in in previous years. My local schools don't have an aptitude test and it seems that what it's saying about my nearest school is based on who has chosen to attend rather than the actual likelihood of getting in.

Nutmeg44 Sat 30-May-15 18:15:18

In any case, certainly based on the info it's giving about my local schools the guide is pointless as it gives incorrect information

mummytime Sun 31-May-15 06:06:00

Total waste of time I agree. For both the schools my DC have attended, it doesn't take any account of the admissions criteria (eg. children from one village almost always get in, even though its further than lots of other places).

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