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What does "last distance admitted" actually mean?

(12 Posts)
EssentialHummus Fri 13-Jan-17 15:11:16

Or rather, when is it measured?

This is very premature but we're about to buy a flat which is about 0.4 miles from what looks like a great school. I've looked at their FAQ and they list the last distance admitted for reception as being 650-ish metres - i.e. 0.4 miles. We're either just in catchment, or just out of it. I get that this will shift year on year.

What I'm wondering - is that the furthest-from-school DC that was initially offered a place and accepted? Those, plus appeals? The furthest-from-school DC who actually started at Reception that year? Something else?

I live in London and there's a lot of movement in and out, so I'm trying to gauge whether we'd be able to join a waiting list and be in with a good chance, or whether this distance already takes into account some waitlisting, iyswim.

unicornhelp Fri 13-Jan-17 16:17:34

I phoned my local council this week to ask them this very question as we're in a very similar position! They told me it was the distance of the last child on national offer day in April, so potentially there could have been further movement on the waiting list between April and September. Could be different with different councils I suppose but this was also a London borough.

I asked if they could tell me how many people were admitted off the waiting list so far and they said I'd have to email their freedom of information department which I have done but I'm not really expecting a reply!

Venusflytwat Fri 13-Jan-17 16:26:49

If there's only one set of data for a year then yes- it's the distance that child lived from the school on national allocation day, as measured by their published method for mapping distance. There should be a note of which Rule they were admitted under, too- so if Rule 2 at that school is siblings and Rule 3 is distance then a sibling living further away would get in over a non sibling living nearer, so just check that too.

Some LAs publish 2nd and 3rd etc lots of this data as the admission Year progresses and they administer further rounds of offers. So in the first round the last child admitted might be 0.3 miles away but in the 3rd round it went out to 0.7 as spaces became available.

EssentialHummus Fri 13-Jan-17 16:27:59

Brilliant unicorn, thank you! Yeah, requesting you mail the FoI department (there's a department??!) for this kind of thing seems a bit odd.

EssentialHummus Fri 13-Jan-17 16:30:01

Thank you venus, I'll check the Rule point. There is another good school closer which I don't think we'd have a problem accessing, but inevitably I like the other one more.

admission Fri 13-Jan-17 16:40:52

The furthest distance is definitely the furthest distance that was allocated on the allocation day. As others have said this could mean that the real furthest distance is considerably further away, though that is less likely given that it is a London Borough. In London Boroughs it is much more likely that those admitted off the waiting list are late applications and live closer to the school than the last quoted distance. So it is very definitely preferable to get a place allocated at the first allocation, though with a transient population anything can happen.

hertsandessex Fri 13-Jan-17 22:39:03

It might be worth trying to find out about previous years. At our secondary school the further distance seems to vary between 700m and 1100m year to year I seem to remember. You might find the 400m is often more like 500-600m.

Madcats Mon 16-Jan-17 14:24:16

It is going to depend on admission procedures but, around here, the "distance" criteria is measured as the crow flies (so it is irrelevant if there is a railway line or river in the way) AFTER they have admitted:
-children in care
- siblings of children currently in school (even though they might now live 3 miles away).

I think some schools have got wise to the idea that some families rented a place to get 1st child in before moving, but at times it has been really frustrating for parents unable to get into the local schools.

It is worth talking to the school/LA (try to get a few years' data and check whether there are any big housing developments planned). Good luck!

Justchanged Mon 16-Jan-17 14:58:42

Do ask the LA. I have done this for two LAs and they have been happy to tell me the cut-off distance for the last child admitted on 1st September. There can be a big difference with the initial offer day.

EssentialHummus Mon 16-Jan-17 15:15:52

Thanks all, much appreciated. I'll ask the school. It's a new-ish free school and the LA doesn't seem to include it in their usual table of admissions, but I'll contact them directly to get the figures just mentions.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 17-Jan-17 13:42:12

In our area the last distance offered is usually qualified by a date in the admissions booklet. So past years it is usually by September and the most recent year is as per around May. Offer day distances are usually a good bit less than those advertised - sounds like each area can be different if others are saying it is as per offer day.

Bulge classes can also have a huge impact on distance where siblings get priority. If there was a bulge class further up the school, typically two years later the siblings are more numerous and the distance can become minuscule. I know one primary school that went from 0.4 miles to 0.13 miles for that year.

One of the neighbouring borough's school do a 'safe walking distance' measurement but all others do as the crow flies. A neighbouring county has priority areas based on the first part of your postcode and parish. Others require entrance tests or faith criteria for part of the intake.

In our street children in y11 were in catchment by a good margin when they applied to a particular secondary school within five years it has gone from 2 miles down to 0.9 as well as putting on two extra forms of entry so it now takes 210 a year. That is due to more families moving into the area and more houses being built.

Blu Tue 17-Jan-17 13:52:42

Will you be applying next year?
Check how much building and development is going on in the circle around the school in question.
In popular schools, and where there is no new school being built close by to take up the slack, the catchment tends to get smaller year on year.
Also people may be a bit suspicious of a new school to begin with, and then confidence and demand builds.
But still, there is a lot of mobility in London, and places may become available right up until a couple of weeks into term.
How many classes is the intake?

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