Administering waiting lists with ratios? - admissions expertise needed!(5 Posts)
Lots of schools have admissions policies that have a ratio element - e.g. 30% faith, 70% non-faith. In line with para 1.6 of the Adissions Code, one of these always has to be first in the list of priorities. This results a single list of applicants ordered by priority.
However para 2.14 says that every time a child is added to the waiting list, the ist must be re-ranked.
Surely that means anyone joining the list who is in the first ratio category will always get priority and anyone languishing.in the second ratio category is unlikely to ever get to the top?
Seems a bit unfair. Surely waiting list places should be allocated using the same ratio (so in the above example the first 3 places to come up could be for faith applicants and the next 7 for non-faith.
Or else schools could use the category of the child leaving to determine what type of waiting list place is allocated.
How is this administered in practice and is it a can of worms?
Can't speak for all schools, but where I have used such policies, the policy states that a certain number of places are "foundation" or "governor" or "open" spaces, each with their own waiting list. So when a space opens up we know what type of space it is and go to the appropriate waiting list. If there is no-one on the relevant waiting list then it becomes an "open" place.
Isn't it the case that where there is a ratio, then if a child in the second category leaves, then they must be replaced with whoever is at the top of the list AND in that category?
Its pretty straightforward. The child highest up the waiting list that maintains the ratio is selected. So its not always number one on the list that gets the next free place.
It can be a can of worms if the school does not understand the process correctly.
At first admission in your example 30% are faith. So in a school with a PAN of 30, the school, as the admission authority, should have a list of all those that fit into that admission criteria category and admit the first 9 in the list (assuming they have not got a place in a higher preference school.)
The other 21 pupils should be admitted from the non-faith category. Depending on how the admission criteria are written it could be that all those who are in the faith category also fit into the non-faith category. That does not mean they have priority it would be solely on the the non-faith admission criteria which will probably be distance to the school. So there will be faith category applicants that have no chance of getting a place as a non-faith admission because they live much further away for example.
When it comes to waiting lists. If it is in the period between the first allocation round and September then there is no question that the process is the same, if it is a faith position it is filled form the faith list and vice versa. The issue is far more open to issues after September when it does become far more difficult to know what category the pupil leaving came from and therefore what category the pupil offered the place should come from. What is quite clear is that the school cannot hold open a faith place if there is nobody on the faith waiting list. In that circumstances they would fill from the top of the non-faith waiting list.
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