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School catchment

(22 Posts)
FirstTimeMummy25 Wed 01-Feb-17 22:27:53

So we are looking at moving- our house is on the market and we found an ideal house with everything we want but the schools in the catchment area are rubbish! Our DS is only 1 so such a stupid thing to think about you may think however with us planning on this being our forever home it's something I need to think about (although my DH doesn't understand why). So my question to you is... will the fact my DS childminder is in a different catchment matter when applying for a school as I would like him to stay with her but she only drops and picks up from one school (which I like). Would they take this into account or would it be irrelevant?
Sorry if this seems like a stupid question but this is all new to meblushconfused

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 01-Feb-17 22:29:22

No, that's irrelevant I'm afraid.

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 01-Feb-17 22:30:50

You can look at the admissions criteria on your local authority website to see exactly what criteria will apply to you assuming it doesn't change in the meantime.

YerAWizardHarry Wed 01-Feb-17 22:31:10

Where are you based? This would be taken into consideration where I am (Scotland)

LIZS Wed 01-Feb-17 22:34:06

Are the catchments formally defined or are you looking at the furthest distance admitted previously? Things can change over a few years. CM won't influence admission , you need to look at the criteria for each school and weigh up your likelihood of being offered a place.

GraceGrape Wed 01-Feb-17 22:34:08

No, childcare arrangements are not considered. School admission policies differ but will usually go something like 1) Looked after children, 2) SEN, 3) Sibling already attends school 4) Distance from school. Some areas may have priority admission areas, others may have faith criteria.

FirstTimeMummy25 Wed 01-Feb-17 22:36:53

I have looked at admissions policies and your right it doesn't seem to matter- so now my decision lies on do we go for it as the house is ideal but just outside a not so nice area which is where the schools lie. How does it work when applying for school do you get a choice out of all in your area or just ones in your catchment. I'm in Hampshire

SpaghettiMeatballs Wed 01-Feb-17 22:40:52

The trouble is the house may well be what you want at the price you can afford because the school isn't great iyswim?

How do you know the school isn't good?

You will get a choice of sorts. You can list any school you like but you'll only be allocated a place if you live close enough so that all other places haven't already been filled by higher priority children / those living closer.

FirstTimeMummy25 Wed 01-Feb-17 22:46:56

Well other schools that are better are only 2 miles away where as others are 0.5/1 mile away...
I've just heard bad thing plus the area they are in is in the thick of a kind of rough estate... snob like thinking maybe?!
Your right about the house and reflecting the price I guess the decision is do we go for this big house compromising slightly on location and a lot on school or compromise and have a lot smaller house in a nicer area with a better catchment. From your experience would you say I wouldn't get one of the other schools?

LIZS Thu 02-Feb-17 06:27:06

You can apply for which ever schools you choose in order of preference, but if distance is a criteria and your top choices are oversubscribed (more applicants than places) chances of being allocated a place are lower. You get up to 5 choices (areas vary) so it is worth including at least one which is likely to give you a place and acceptable to you. If not you could be allocated whatever place is available at a school not of your choice.

bibbitybobbityyhat Thu 02-Feb-17 06:50:52

No, they will calculate your distance from the school based on your address, not your childminder's address.

peukpokicuzo Thu 02-Feb-17 07:23:21

The house you like is affordable precisely because the school options are terrible. Within 400m of a good school the same size house would be much more expensive.

I would redraw your house hunting criteria to put distance to nearest good school right at the top. If that means sacrificing a bit of space then so be it.

SpaghettiMeatballs Thu 02-Feb-17 07:47:49

It's hard to say without knowing if the school really is terrible... what are the results like? What do other parents say? Results aren't the ultimate answer but the Department of Education website might be a good starting point.

I have to be honest and say I have learnt the lesson 'location location location' the hard way. We bought a lovely house on the edge of less nice area and moved a few years later. I never really settled there. We moved back to the village we lived in before.

I would prioritise a good school above a lot of things but that said your DS is only 1 and things can change.

TeenAndTween Thu 02-Feb-17 08:20:28

You can look on your LA site to see 'last distance offered' for your preferred schools over the past couple of years. However with increasing population and new housing being built the distances are if anything shrinking and you are trying to predict 3 or 4 years ahead.

You can apply to any school you want (limited in my area of Hants to 3 choices) but if they are over subscribed and you are out of catchment and no siblings and a long way away then your chance of getting a place is limited.

A school can go up or down massively in 3 years too, especially if the head changes.

Local reputations take ages to change, especially for the better. like turning round an oil tanker. So the reputation you hear may be massively wrong.

If you really have your heart set on this one school, buy a house in catchment, and as near to it as you can!

MrsJamin Thu 02-Feb-17 08:25:45

I think it's very unlikely that you'd get into those "better" schools on distance and they won't take childminders address into consideration. If you really must get your child into one of the better schools you will probably need to reconsider this house. Sorry!

Alfieisnoisy Thu 02-Feb-17 08:39:12

Don't rule out any school based on location . Go and look at them first and make up your own mind.

FWIW my son went to a school in a very deprived area. It was the school everyone said to avoid. I went to look at it and when DS asked a question the HT actually squatted down to listen to him and answer his question. The ONLY school I visited where that happened. The Head was enthusiastic and very involved with the children....there was loads going on for the pupils. I loved it and loved the feel of the place.

DS has autism and the school was fantastic for him and with him. I had no regrets.

So don't panic based upon rumours and the place of the schools ...go and look. You might be surprised.

dnamummy Thu 02-Feb-17 08:48:30

I'd also say that schools are like investments in that they can go up and down.

I moved to current area when DS was 4. Got him into nice primary that fed into Ofsted outstanding secondary so all seemed fine, however by transfer time secondary was in special measures and we were re-thinking fast!

2014newme Thu 02-Feb-17 08:52:29

Don't buy the house unless you are happy for your child to go to that school in the event that it doesn't improve or yoy have a more or less guaranteed option elsewhere.
Your dh is acting very bizarrely if he can't understand why schools are important 🤔
We moved house for good schools as do lots of other people.
I would not buy a house in the middle of a rough estate

EssentialHummus Thu 02-Feb-17 08:54:16

OP if you type the house's address into you can see the admission stats for the last few years (not all schools on there, but still helpful).

Secretsandlies12 Thu 02-Feb-17 08:58:44

I agree with the idea that schools are like investments - they can go up or down.
But as with investments you can look at the basics and take an informed view on how they are likely to perform in the future.
A school which recruits predominantly from deprived areas is likely to have more problems with behaviour, disruption etc than a school which recruits from a more affluent area. A school may be great at dealing with these issues, but they are likely to impact on the education of your DC.
Sad, but true.

namechangedtoday15 Thu 02-Feb-17 09:32:48

I agree that its a question of location, location, location. School is about so much more than whether its outstanding or not - your children will make friends there, you'll have play dates, you'll probably make friends with the parents of children at that school so I'd definitely want to be happy with the school before I bought a house. Was absolutely the top of our priority list when we bought and it was the best decision we ever made (children did very well, we all made lots of friends, social circle now made up of lots of parents from school etc).

FWIW, I don't think schools do go up as well as down. Their OFSTED rating may change, but that is a snapshot. A school is a combination of factors - teaching staff but also the social make up of the intake (and their families - how pushy they are / respect education etc). That takes generations to change.

HelenDenver Thu 02-Feb-17 09:37:50

It's important to note that you don't actually have choices, just the ability to express a preference. If the schools you put down are too far away and oversubscribed, you won't get into any of them

ICS rules restrict entry to 30 per class

Your DH may not know all this yet - I didn't when ours was 1 - and he may think he will have parental choice.

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